Exius

New tactics creator ideas and suggestions

148 posts in this topic

I’ve been playing FM series since 2005 and for a long time thought it was the best football videogame. But I was disappointed for a couple of years by lack of progress in ME and TC development. I’m glad that SI team is working hard behind scenes on ME development. And I hope that they also work on a new tactics creator. The problem with current TC is that it has a lot of limitations and we can’t tweak our tactics in such ways like RL managers do. There are a lot of simplifications in current TC. For example a lot of teams play different formations when they attack and when defend. Simplifying it to one formation creates some limitations. And the problem with ME is that it is very difficult to program AI what to do in every certain situation in every part of the field. At the same time we can’t tell our players what to do in every situation like RL managers do. So, may be giving us more options in TC can solve both these problems. I’d like to share some of my ideas about new TC with you and I hope that you’ll add some your ideas.

First of all, I think that there must be an option to use two different formations while attacking and while defending. Furthermore, there must be an option to alter your formation depending on where the ball is. So, theoretically there can be six different variations of the tactic: when the team is attacking and the ball is near our penalty area, in the middle of the pitch, near the opposition penalty area, and when the team is defending and the ball is near our penalty area, in the middle of the pitch, near the opposition penalty area. And of course there must be an option to precisely tweak every player position in all these six situations. In FM we can just choose where the player will play what role and duty. We can alter his precise position a bit with mentality and width sliders but there are huge limitations. The problem is we can’t foresee exactly where the player will play if his mentality is 1, 3, 5, 7 clicks… We have to experiment a lot and only then we could anticipate how his mentality affects his position. But it is ridiculous. IRL manager just tells the player where exactly to play or points his place on the scheme, he doesn’t guess where the player will play. So, I’d like an option freely move the player on the pitch. As shown in figure 1, central defender can be positioned anywhere inside highlighted area.

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Figure 1. Central defender in attacking formation when the ball is near our penalty area.

If I want my player to play outside this area, I have to change his position. As shown in figure 2 when the team attacks and the ball is near the opposition penalty area I can’t move my player further than shown in 2.b. So, I have to change his position to defensive midfielder in order to move him up the pitch, as shown in figure 2.d.

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Figure 2. Central defender is advancing to defensive midfielder while attacking when the ball is near the opposition penalty area.

The same refers to a defensive formation. If I want my midfielders or strikers to drop deeper when defending, I have to change their positions. As shown in figure 3, I can’t move my MR deeper while team is defending and the ball is near our penalty area. So, I have to change his position to DR, as shown in figure 3.d.

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Figure 3. MR drops to DR while the team is defending and the ball is near our penalty area.

Now I’d like to show you, how it can work with current TC team instructions. TC will automatically move players depending on team instructions. Figure 4.a shows deep defensive line. Figure 4.b shows high defensive line. And of course we can make any changes to this formation. For example, I want one of my DCs drop to SW position when the team attacks near the opposition penalty area, as shown in figure 4.c.

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Figure 4. Defensive line: a) deep; b) high; c) custom.

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The same refers to other team instructions. Let’s take width for example. Figure 5.a shows narrow playing style, 5.b – wide. But sometimes it is necessary to change width of certain line of the team. For example I want my team to play wide but my strikers to play more narrowly. So, I just move my strikers as shown in figure 5.c.

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Figure 5. Width: a) wide; b) narrow; c) custom.

Summing up, let’s see how we can use these ideas to implement the tactic some Spanish teams play – DM dropping behind two DCs, who play wider, when the team is attacking near the opposition penalty area. It is shown in figure 6. As you see in 6.c, DR and DL advance to RWB and LWB and DCs move wider while DM drops to SW position.

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Figure 6. DM drops behind DCs when the team is attacking near the opposition penalty area.

I suggest almost no changes to team instructions – only an option to set different attacking and defending formations and instructions for three areas where the ball is. But I suggest crucial changes to the player individual instructions. First of all I suggest dividing attacking and defensive instructions to different screens since we’ll have attacking and defensive formation. Overall view of personal attacking instructions is shown in figure 7.

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Figure 7. Player attacking instructions screen.

As you see, we can still change player’s position, role and duty. It’ll change his instructions but we can manually tweak them as we wish. And we can set different instructions, different positions, roles and duties depending on three areas where the ball is – near our penalty area, in the middle of the pitch and near the opposition penalty area. Every single instruction has its own tempo. It doesn’t correlate with team tempo instruction. Team tempo instruction defines how fast the tam will try to get to the goal (in how many passes or other movements), while individual tempo defines how fast the player will perform certain action – for example one touch pass, or he will hold up the ball look for his mates and only then pass. It can help, for example, to vary the tempo while attacking – playing slowly when starting to build the attack near own penalty area and faster when finishing it near the opposition penalty area.

You have noticed that there is no mentality slider. Mentality defines player’s position on the pitch and his passing direction. Since I suggest setting both these instructions separately there is no need in this slider no longer.

You can also see that near Swap position instruction there is a box Swap instructions. If you tick it, the player will swap his position and instructions with his team mate. If you decide to untick it, the player will swap only his position but will implement his initial instructions, keeping as possible his role and duty – it is best if you want your players just to swap their places on the pitch. You can also tick New instructions box – in this case you’ll create a new set of instructions, set new role and duty which the player will implement when he swaps with his team mate.

Let’s take a closer look at every instruction. Such instructions as Run with the ball and Passing can have up to three different variations in priority order. Each variation has its own tempo and frequency instructions. Run with the ball instructions are shown in figure 8.

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Figure 8. Run with the ball instructions.

A player has such Run with the ball options:

cut inside – he’ll run through the center;

move into channels – he’ll try to run through the gaps between the opposition defenders;

hug touchline – he’ll run down the flank;

specific – you can manually set his run destination.

Every option is displayed on the pitch panel with a yellow arrow.

Frequency defines how often and when the player will implement certain instruction. He can try it only when he is sure that he’ll succeed; sometimes; and anytime. Tempo defines how fast the player will do his run, it varies from Hold up the ball (the player will run slowly, stopping sometimes) to Sprint (the player will run as fast as possible).

As you see player is instructed to run with the ball rarely, but if he decides to run he‘ll have two options – cut inside which he will try only if he is sure he’ll succeed, and specific run destination which was set manually and which he’ll try anytime.

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Passing instructions are shown in figure 9.

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Figure 9. Passing instructions.

Every passing option is displayed on the pitch with a green arrow. You can also see orange arrows – they show other players runs without the ball, so you can see where it is better to tell the player to pass. Frequency and tempo instructions are similar to those we’ve already seen. In this case Tempo means how fast the player will try to give the pass. It varies from Hold up the ball (the player will stop the ball, hold it up for a moment and then pass) to One touch (the player will make the pass without stopping the ball).

As you see, there are such passing types: short; medium; long; float cross; drill cross; through ball.

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Figure 10. Passing directions.

As shown in figure 10, there are eight possible passing directions: forward; sideways; left; right; back; specific; specific player; specific position. If you choose specific direction you can manually set the pass destination pointing it on the pitch image, as shown in figure 11. Specific player direction will instruct the player to pass the ball to a certain player, no matter what position he plays. The same refers to specific position – the player will pass the ball to the player who plays certain position, no matter who plays there. These two instructions will be useful if you have some players swapping their positions and you wish to specify whether the player should make a pass to a certain position or a certain player.

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Figure 11. Specific passing direction.

Shooting instruction allows to define the distance from which the player is allowed to shoot. It can vary from short to long. You can also define manually specific area in which the player will attempt to shoot by drawing the square on the pitch image, as shown in figure 12. Tempo instruction works the same way as with Passing, varying from Hold up the ball to One touch.

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Figure 12. Specific shooting area.

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Under heavy pressure instruction defines what the player will do when the opposition is pressing him heavily. All available options are shown in figure 13.

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Figure 13. Under heavy pressure options.

Dribble – the player will try to dribble past his opponents;

Pass to the nearest team mate – the player will try to pass the ball to the nearest available team mate;

long ball forward – the player will launch the ball forward even if there are no his team mates;

pass back – the player will pass the ball back to defenders or keeper;

clear the ball – will be suitable for goalkeeper or the last defender.

Without the ball instructions define what actions the player will perform when his team is attacking but he doesn’t have the ball. As you can see in figure 14, in this case all other players passing instructions are shown on the pitch image as green arrows, so it is easier to make a decision and set player’s instructions.

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Figure 14. Without the ball options.

Usually the player will stick to his position, but you can tell him to do something else. In this case you can set how often he will do it – rarely, sometimes or often. You can tell the player to shake off the player who is marking him. It will require a lot of movement and will depend on his Off the ball skill. Come closer to the player with the ball option will be the most suitable for a playmaker. Roam from the position will instruct the player to find his place on the pitch himself, as it works in current TC. Stick to the position will tell the player to play exactly there, where you placed him on the pitch. If you choose run down the flank, run through the middle or run into channels, these options will be shown on the pitch with orange arrows. You can see it in figure 15.

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Figure 15. Move into channels instruction.

If you choose Specific option, you can manually point on the pitch where the player should run without the ball, as shown in figure 16.

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Figure 16. Specific without the ball instruction.

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Now let’s take a look at individual defending instructions screen. It is shown in figure 17.

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Figure 17. Player defending instructions screen.

As you see, there are not so many changes but may be you can suggest more… There is one important addition – Covered by instruction. It defines who will cover the player while defending if he is out of his position (injured, closing down the opposition, roamed far away). You can choose specific player or specific position there. The difference is the same as in passing direction instruction.

Note, that there are two sliders for Tackling. The first one defines how often the player will dive into tackle. The second one defines how aggressively he will tackle. I think it is very important to separate these two instructions as it gives us more tactical options. For example in later stages of the match it is useful to make numerous but insignificant, so called “tactical”, fouls. We can easily instruct our players to do so by setting the tackling to often and aggressiveness to low. Of course it will depend on every player’s Aggressiveness and Dirtiness attributes.

As you see, there are some changes to Closing down instruction. You can set the closing down intensity. It defines how fast the player will close down his opponent and how close to him he’ll try to stand. You can also specific the area in which the player will start closing down his opponent. It is shown as a red square in figure 18. You can freely change its dimensions.

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Figure 18. Specific closing down area.

One small addition should be made to overall team instructions. I’d like to choose how many players can close down the opposition together at the same time. If an opposition player appears in closing down area of more than one player, it can be useful to close him down together. But it can disrupt our formation, so this option should be set separately to every area of the pitch.

Few words about set pieces. I think, free kicks and throw-ins should also be set individually for all three areas of the pitch. In current TC set piece instructions define only set pieces when the ball is near the opposition penalty area. In other areas of the pitch players act at will. I think it is not right, because it is very important carefully set instructions for set pieces near own penalty area and in the middle of the pitch. I also think that there must be up to three variations of every set piece which also should be learnt by the team as three different tactics since FM 2011. The more they are learnt the more successful they should be in the match. So, I’d like to see set piece preparation similar to match preparation.

It would be very important option to create our own role and duty presets. If we change current presets significantly shouts won’t work because individual instructions are prior to shouts. But creating own presets based on existing roles and duties can solve this problem. For example I wish to create a trequartista who plays no through balls, or inside forward who makes only short passes.

It may seem a bit complicated for some new FM players, but it’s not. For those, who use TC only for choosing formation, players roles and duties nothing will really change, as there are almost no changes in team instructions. But for those, who like manually tweaking tactics it will give far more options making tactics creating process more interesting and realistic. Thank you for reading such a big post. I’d like to see your ideas and comments. And of course I hope that SI will borrow some of these ideas.)

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Well, I believe neither SI nor users are ready to such radical changes as I wrote in opening posts. But I think it's possible to make TC more realistic without such dramatical changes. Maybe returning to wibble wobble isn't really as good and realistic idea as I thought. I don't know how it works in ME but I feel that even allowing to choose separate attacking and defensive formations requires so significant ME recoding that we'll never see this in FM again. In this case tricks like DM dropping to SW position or DC advancing to ST should be made via team PPMs, as they can't be done with any instruction in current TC. I'm sure that TC should evolve the same way it did in 2009 - more realistic instructions and less unclear and unobvious sliders. I won't use any images this time because all my suggestions are pretty simple.

Team instructions.

I have only two additions here:

1. Among Philosophy and Strategy instructions I'd like to see something like Playing model - a combo box with such variants as British, Italian, Spanish, German, Dutch, Brazilian, Argentinian. And this choice should define not only different sliders values as it works with Philosophy and Strategy, but also different AI models. I don't know what variables in ME are responsible for that but there should be some specific AI tendencies different for every playing model which can't be set only with sliders and instructions. And of course it should affect player roles instructions. For example, wide midfielders in british football and in spanish are different players. British one prefers more run with the ball, direct passing, more crossing, less through balls, while spanish - less run with the ball, short passes, less crosses, more through balls. In current TC if you wish to recreate some specific playing styles, you need manually tweak some individual instructions thus making some shouts useless because they are overridden with individual instructions. With Playing model will have to make less manual tweaks, it'll be easier just to choose playing style you want your team to play and some player roles will be specific for that playing style.

2. Team PPMs. I suggest to separate attacking and defensive moves. There are already some team PPMs in current TC - counter-attacks, use a playmaker, use a TM , move through the centre, move down the flanks (attacking), Ofside trap, Tight marking (defensive). Since we can't use different attacking/defensive formations it'll be useful to make such attacking PPMs as DM dropping deep and Overlapping defender enabling us to choose, which DM will drop to SW, and which DC will advance to attack. Maybe there are some more such tricks but as far as I know only two these can't be fully replicated in current TC. And also there should be some PPMs more specificly describing some playing combinations which cannot be set via instructions. For example, fake runs, triangle passing, square passing, one-twos, one-touch passes, one-touch shots and others. Even if they repeat some instructions, overall effect should be strengthened. It will be good to link some playing models with specific PPMs. For example, spanish playing style includes such PPMs as using playmaker, move through the centre, one-twos, one-touch passes, fake runs. Adapting PPMs should take some time and it'll be good to make different adaptation levels. It would be brilliant to see oppositions team PPMs in scout reports about next opponent. I think playing model and favorite PPMs should also be displayed in a manager's profile. And every team should have traditional formations, playing styles and PPMs which will affect on future manager choosing.

Individual instructions

I'd like to see as few unclear sliders here as possible. Without making players robotic but making instructions more flexible I think following is possible:

1. Player positioning. We can adjust player position with mentality and width sliders but it's too complicated. I think it's better just dragging him on the pitch image and dropping where you want him to play.

2. I'd substitute mentality slider with riskiness slider or something like this, which will define only how risky the player plays.

3. As we have Run from deep slider it'll be good to add Run back slider, which will define how much and how often the player will try to help his team in defense.

4. Separate Wide play sliders for the situations when the player has the ball and when he runs without the ball. I still don't know in which case this instruction works now, so it's better to make it clear and more flexible.

5. If the AI is not improved dramatically I still think Under heavy pressure option is needed. I'm absolutely sure IRL managers give their players such instructions if needed so it's quite realistic. Possible options - clear the ball, short pass, long ball forward, dribble. Maybe it can be done in a postmatch private chat with a player.

6. If someday the AI understands that there is no sense crossing to a low player or play through ball to a slow player there will be no need in this instruction, but till then I think it's needed - Player supply. To feet, to head, run onto ball.

7. Swap instructions box and New instruction option for Swap position instruction. It's described in my opening post.

8. Tackling frequency and aggressiveness separate sliders. Also described in OP.

9. Covered by combo box. Described in OP.

10. More player PPMs. I think Plays one-touch passes and Tries one-touch shots are needed.

11 False nine and False ten player roles.

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This would be good idea because you could actually have the flexibility to create real liberos or enable your DM to cover for attacking fullbacks. The current system is okay but ultimately too rigid and simplistic.

hopefully SI take something like this into account when working on the new engine

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Setting player positions with and with out the ball was the way it worked back in the CM days and it made it very easy to make tactics that exploited the ME.

I agree that currently some formations cant be accurately recreated because players operate in two different positions when attacking and defending. I don't think the ME can cope with the formation that England used during Euro 96 where when attacking one of the CBs moved up into a DM position and the FBs moved inside to become part of a back three.

Your "swap instructions" button is a fantastic idea and I'd love to see it in FM13.

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Setting player positions with and with out the ball was the way it worked back in the CM days and it made it very easy to make tactics that exploited the ME.

I agree that currently some formations cant be accurately recreated because players operate in two different positions when attacking and defending. I don't think the ME can cope with the formation that England used during Euro 96 where when attacking one of the CBs moved up into a DM position and the FBs moved inside to become part of a back three.

Your "swap instructions" button is a fantastic idea and I'd love to see it in FM13.

I think it was a huge step back. The game has to move forward, progress and there can't be such excuses as poor ME. The best way is to improve ME but not limiting and simplifying tactics creator - this is a step back. I hope that SI will finally understand it. They are working on a new ME, so may be at last we'll have a new TC either. I'm sure that a lot of people love this game first of all because it gives them an opportunity to make tactical decisions, create various tactics, experiment with them... And such simplistic TC disappoints me a lot.

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The problem was the exploits where not realistic; it may have been a step back in what you could do, but it was a step forward in realism without the over-powered tactics that wouldn't work in real life dominating the game.

The Tactics system does need an over-haul IMO, but SI need to be very careful about how they go about it.

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The problem was the exploits where not realistic; it may have been a step back in what you could do, but it was a step forward in realism without the over-powered tactics that wouldn't work in real life dominating the game.

The Tactics system does need an over-haul IMO, but SI need to be very careful about how they go about it.

+1, there was little point in maintaining a system that exploited the ME so heavily, and unrealisitically

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I was thinking about this for a while now, and i'm very happy to see this thread, well done.

I have some ideas too, but I need sometime to put them togather, I'll post them here when i'm done, but one of the most important thing I have in mind, is shouts

as IRL, I could give sideline shouts to a specific player, but not the team.

I could tell one of my CB's to hassle opponnents, but tell the other to stand-off

I could ask one of my strikers to play ball in box, but the other one to shoot on sight!

that's what real football manager do right?

TC available now is good, but could be much much better.

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I think it was a huge step back. The game has to move forward, progress and there can't be such excuses as poor ME. The best way is to improve ME but not limiting and simplifying tactics creator - this is a step back. I hope that SI will finally understand it. They are working on a new ME, so may be at last we'll have a new TC either. I'm sure that a lot of people love this game first of all because it gives them an opportunity to make tactical decisions, create various tactics, experiment with them... And such simplistic TC disappoints me a lot.

Anything that prevents unrealistic situations coming up the game is a step forward, the way things were before was highly unrealistic, its not perfect now, but the TC was a huge step forward for FM and one of the most important features they have come up with so far in the series.

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+1, there was little point in maintaining a system that exploited the ME so heavily, and unrealisitically

So, it's ME problem, not TC. They need to improve AI on the pitch and tactical AI - and there will be no such unrealistic exploits. Limiting and simplifying TC is the easiest and the worst way. The year is 2011 but not 2001. Look at other football videogames - they have much more complicated AI.

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So, it's ME problem, not TC. They need to improve AI on the pitch and tactical AI - and there will be no such unrealistic exploits. Limiting and simplifying TC is the easiest and the worst way. The year is 2011 but not 2001. Look at other football videogames - they have much more complicated AI.

Considering the actions of the TC impact on the ME its both. Of course they should be looking to improve the AI and they always are, you talk like it can be done in an instant, when it cant, otherwise we wouldnt even be having this discussion. What other football games have better AI and are comparable to FM?

There is no point in having such choice (yet) if it leaves the game so exploited and unrealistic.

The TC is a good start, and i wholeheartedly agree there is so much more it can do, but that must work hand in hand with the ME

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There isnt a game out there that comes close to matching FM in what it does, there are only two football management sims out there anyway and FIFA certainly does not come close. PES and the real FIFA also do not come close to replicating a real game of football.

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PES and the real FIFA also do not come close to replicating a real game of football.

Yes I was talking about PES and FIFA. IMHO AI in these games looks stronger than in FM. Of course it's incorrect to compare AI of football sim and football manager, but it looks so.

milnerpoint, themadsheep2001, guys I see your point of view and agree, the game has to be as realistic as possible. And I want it to be realistic in all areas - including tactics creating. Maybe in 2001 there were no other ways except limiting TC. But a lot of time has passed. We know that new ME is coming and maybe a new improved AI. So, maybe such limitations won't be needed anymore.

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There isnt a game out there that comes close to matching FM in what it does, there are only two football management sims out there anyway and FIFA certainly does not come close. PES and the real FIFA also do not come close to replicating a real game of football.

But that doesn't mean the AI is better. FM is able to present a generally more realistic game of football because it only has to account for a very limited set of potential player inputs dictating on-the-pitch behavior. There isn't even anything that really reflects major cultural differences in footballing philosophy. You don't ever really see tika-taka or true totaalvoetbal in Football Manager, because of the tight constraints of ME behavior. However, the FIFA 12 AI, in particular, is reasonably well programmed to cope with the virtually limitless scope of potential player inputs and in-game player movements. It is still ultimately done-in by permitting total player freedom, but the franchise is definitely moving in the right direction and their programmers are trying to bridge the gap between player control and realistic match behaviors. The Football Manager series, on the other hand, has spent the last few iterations adding fluff around the edges.

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Yes I was talking about PES and FIFA. IMHO AI in these games looks stronger than in FM. Of course it's incorrect to compare AI of football sim and football manager, but it looks so.

milnerpoint, themadsheep2001, guys I see your point of view and agree, the game has to be as realistic as possible. And I want it to be realistic in all areas - including tactics creating. Maybe in 2001 there were no other ways except limiting TC. But a lot of time has passed. We know that new ME is coming and maybe a new improved AI. So, maybe such limitations won't be needed anymore.

Yeah thats the thing to remember, FM and PES or FIFA are two very different kinds of games, PES and FIFA obviously look miles better, they really should as they have been doing that for years and years, FM 3D is relatively new, and as such its only the past few years we have actually seen what is really going on when the ME is in action.

I do also agree with you to a point Exius, the entire tactical system could do with a re-vamp for various reasons, but id loath for them to go back to anything that could replicate the problems the ME used to have because of the unrealistic input the human user could put into it. That would be a huge step backwards.

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as IRL, I could give sideline shouts to a specific player, but not the team.

I could tell one of my CB's to hassle opponnents, but tell the other to stand-off

I could ask one of my strikers to play ball in box, but the other one to shoot on sight!

that's what real football manager do right?

TC available now is good, but could be much much better.

Yes, I agree, IRL managers can say something to certain players but not the whole team. But I think different situations and tactical variations are discussed with the team before the game so they have some options to change team tactic during the match.

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Yes I was talking about PES and FIFA. IMHO AI in these games looks stronger than in FM. Of course it's incorrect to compare AI of football sim and football manager, but it looks so.

A football match in either of those usually consists of two 4-6 minute halves. FM has to simulate a full game of football and there's no direct human input involved. Watch AI play another AI team for 90 minutes in fifa and tell me if you still think it's stronger than FM.

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But that doesn't mean the AI is better. FM is able to present a generally more realistic game of football because it only has to account for a very limited set of potential player inputs dictating on-the-pitch behavior. There isn't even anything that really reflects major cultural differences in footballing philosophy. You don't ever really see tika-taka or true totaalvoetbal in Football Manager, because of the tight constraints of ME behavior. However, the FIFA 12 AI, in particular, is reasonably well programmed to cope with the virtually limitless scope of potential player inputs and in-game player movements. It is still ultimately done-in by permitting total player freedom, but the franchise is definitely moving in the right direction and their programmers are trying to bridge the gap between player control and realistic match behaviors. The Football Manager series, on the other hand, has spent the last few iterations adding fluff around the edges.

Yes but remember there is no direct human control in the same sense in an FM match, if you watch the FIFA AI play against itself it looks nothing like a real game of football, it looks like a computer game and it does not follow anything you would really expect.

SI have worked on the ME constantly for years, yes its limited by certain bits of code which is why they are re-writing it, but the fluff wont have taken anyone away from the ME, Paul will have his team that works only on the ME and ME animations, so adding fluff as you put it will make very little difference to their output come release time.

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The TC is a good start, and i wholeheartedly agree there is so much more it can do, but that must work hand in hand with the ME

Totally agree. TC and ME development should correlate with each other and I think that's the way it really works in SI.

Exius what did you use to create your images?

These are screenshots from a leaked FM 2013 beta.))) I'm kidding. Adobe Photoshop.

I do also agree with you to a point Exius, the entire tactical system could do with a re-vamp for various reasons, but id loath for them to go back to anything that could replicate the problems the ME used to have because of the unrealistic input the human user could put into it. That would be a huge step backwards.

Yes, I think in fact it's a matter of realization. Even the best idea can be implemented awfully. With current ME such system will create unrealistic exploits you are talking about. So, it can be implemented only in case of improving ME and AI slightly.

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A football match in either of those usually consists of two 4-6 minute halves. FM has to simulate a full game of football and there's no direct human input involved. Watch AI play another AI team for 90 minutes in fifa and tell me if you still think it's stronger than FM.

With FM' date=' you're just watching the AI vs. the AI with the AI balanced against itself whereas FIFA focuses on programming a human player vs. the AI. The latter is much more difficult to program and requires a far more complex and adaptive AI, even if you're only talking about 10 minute matches.

Granted, the FIFA design team is larger and has a much, much higher budget, but whereas FM presents an impressive game of scripted AI football, FIFA's AI is still ultimately the greater technical achievement simply because their task is that much more complex and difficult.

[b']EDIT:[/b] But obviously, I personally still prefer to play FM.

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Totally agree. TC and ME development should correlate with each other and I think that's the way it really works in SI.

These are screenshots from a leaked FM 2013 beta.))) I'm kidding. Adobe Photoshop.

Yes, I think in fact it's a matter of realization. Even the best idea can be implemented awfully. With current ME such system will create unrealistic exploits you are talking about. So, it can be implemented only in case of improving ME and AI slightly.

assuming the new ME can handle it (whenever it comes out) I would love to see a lot of your ideas here implemented, particularly post #2 where you talk about changing the width of a certain part of the pitch

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With FM, you're just watching the AI vs. the AI with the AI balanced against itself whereas FIFA focuses on programming a human player vs. the AI. The latter is much more difficult to program and requires a far more complex and adaptive AI, even if you're only talking about 10 minute matches.

Apples and oranges. FM has to simulate a match where every recorded statistic has to be similar to figures in real life over a 90 minute match. While doing that it also has to maintain that a match involving a human controlled team involves no artificial advantages for either side. Fifa only has to challenge a human playing against the AI which it can give as many advantages as necessary to keep things competitive. And it does not need to reflect real life statistics in almost any way. It wouldn't be capable if it tried, you only need to try out FIFA Manager to see that.

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Äktsjon Männ, The Hand of God, guys I think you've lost the point here. I meant that in FIFA or PES AI player sometimes chooses better passing options than in FM, knows that sometimes there is no sense in trying to reach the ball coming out, etc. Of course it's obvious that AI in these games has to interact with human player and in FM - produce RL statistic.

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In the old wibble/wobble you could position players too precisely so they need to apply the same concept but just make it less flexible. For example they could divide the field into 6 major areas and within these 6 areas you have 6 smaller squares so you would have 36 possible positions for your 11 players at one time. You could reduce or increase the number of possibilities depending on the caliber of AI.

I think the wibble/wobble idea needs to come back in some form in order for the game to properly emulate real life management but It just needsto be done in away that balances the capabilities of the AI with the options available to the Manager.

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Well, I don't think that precise player positioning is something that overwhelms the AI. For example in PES you can position your players as you wish and it doesn't lead to any exploits. The thing is that manually tweaked tactical combinations can beat the AI. So the problem is that tactical AI isn't as inventive as human and maybe never will.

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Just a few points as this has been discussed to a certain extent in the past.

Real life players don't play in two positions on the field (With & without ball), arguably they don't even play in one position. They are simply given an area of the field to work in along with offensive & defensive instructions - Just like FM. The wibble/wobble your asking for is already there in the instructions its just not shoved in your face with a graphic. What can be improved is the range of instructions but SI need to balance this between being effective and being too detailed with players following them like robots.

FM's ME is light years ahead of anything FIFA or PES has produced. If you watch AI vs AI as have been pointed out earlier in the thread the football is terrible whereas with decent tactical instructions FM looks like a football match.

EDIT

For example in your fig 6 Exius you have a DMC dropping into the sweeper position. This already exists in FM - Place as a sweeper/libero with the correct tactical instructions to push up into midfield when the team is attacking.

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For example in your fig 6 Exius you have a DMC dropping into the sweeper position. This already exists in FM - Place as a sweeper/libero with the correct tactical instructions to push up into midfield when the team is attacking.

It is impossible in FM. SW will never act totally as DM whatever tactical instructions you give him. The thing is that DM drops to SW only when the ball is near the opposition penalty area in case of a counter-attack. If there is no quick counter he plays as a DM. SW will always stay back. So, with current TC it is impossible and it's not only my opinion. A lot of people tried to recreate such tactic and couldn't succeed. Maybe current TC isn't so bad but don't idealize it.

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It is impossible in FM. SW will never act totally as DM whatever tactical instructions you give him. The thing is that DM drops to SW only when the ball is near the opposition penalty area in case of a counter-attack. If there is no quick counter he plays as a DM. SW will always stay back. So, with current TC it is impossible and it's not only my opinion. A lot of people tried to recreate such tactic and couldn't succeed. Maybe current TC isn't so bad but don't idealize it.

Well as the initial position you give is the defensive one its clear that in your example that the player should be a sweeper. So what needs improving is the way the ME handles sweepers and the instructions that can be given.

Glancing over some of your other ideas I get the impression that what you really want is a graphical representation of the instructions as many of them already exist as instructions/PPMs etc.

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Well as the initial position you give is the defensive one its clear that in your example that the player should be a sweeper. So what needs improving is the way the ME handles sweepers and the instructions that can be given.

Glancing over some of your other ideas I get the impression that what you really want is a graphical representation of the instructions as many of them already exist as instructions/PPMs etc.

His defensive position is DM. He acts as a SW only when there is a quick counter menace and when the team is attacking. So, SW - is attacking position and only when the ball is near the opposition penalty area. There is no way of creating such tactic with current TC system.

I think you get the wrong impression. Yes, it would be nice to see a graphical representation of the instructions but that is not the main idea. Different attacking/defensive formations depending on where is the ball, precise player positioning, more flexible instructions - that's what I suggest. Maybe my English is bad that's why I made a lot of images to describe my ideas.

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I think you get the wrong impression. Yes, it would be nice to see a graphical representation of the instructions but that is not the main idea. Different attacking/defensive formations depending on where is the ball, precise player positioning, more flexible instructions - that's what I suggest. Maybe my English is bad that's why I made a lot of images to describe my ideas.

Your English isn't bad its simply that some of your ideas don't really exist in real life.

Different attacking/defensive formations - No team really does this. Take a 451/433 all that is happening is that the two wide players are pushing up to support the striker when in possession and dropping deep when not. This isn't a change of formation its just the instructions the player has been given.

Precise player positioning - No manager in the world tells a player which blade of grass to stand on. He gives them an area to work in and instructions then during a match he might tell him to push up, drop back, play narrower, play wider, pick up a particular opposition player. FM attempts to replicate these type of instructions.

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I would mostly agree with Cougar2010. Having been in a dressing room of a club which is playable in FM, I can definitely confirm that position was never mentioned in the slightest. Players knew their role and what to do and no manager would ever dream of saying some of this stuff to a player. If you are a left back you know to support your midfield when you have the ball and get back and defend when you don't. Setting someone to wing back or full back tells them what balance to strike and that is easily enough. To say when the ball is 60% of the way up the pitch you must stand 40% up the pitch is a ridiculous nonsense and that is how wibble wobble worked.

The TC as it is now is much much better than what went before, and IMO than trying to bring back an advanced version of wibble wobble.

The points about more options/instructions and shouts to single players are very good and I would hope FM expands to that however.

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The DM - SW thing is an acknowledged impossibility within the ME, but it's about the only one (assuming that they've sorted out 3-man defences in FM12 - haven't tried one yet). And all it would really need is some sort of fourth option on the forward run" slider, even further back than "rarely" to encourage a player to actively retreat when his team are in possession. It would also be useful for false 9s, although that is a position one can make work in the current ME anyway, albeit not so much with default TC settings.

The insanely detailed stuff in the OP is way over the top, though: managers just do not have that much control over players. Why would you position your CB precisely as you want him to stand in the penalty box? You want him to stand next to the opposition ST and stop him getting the ball - not glued to some fixed point on the pitch.

If you want your CM to spray it to the wings, set passing to focus down the wings, give him the passing freedom to hit the long balls, maybe train him with useful PPMs, and set up your wingers so they're actually in space.

If he still won't do it, buy a CM who's less stupid - but don't try to overwrite his brain with tactical instructions.

Whats' the point of mental stats if you can set up your players' reaction to every single incident? If your players stand in stupid places, buy ones with better positioning. If they're never in space, change your tactical approach or train their off-the-ball.

With things like variable widths, "move into channels" and "roam from position" and "hug touchline" are your friends: they kick in essentially only when you have the ball, and if combined with a narrow team width, will see you compact in defence and spread out further upfield.

Similarly, specific man marking for wingers will cause them to drop deeper than they otherwise might (IRL, a marking job on a tricky FB is the main reason wingers do this)

An aggressive CB, with high closing down and forward runs set to often, can push far higher up the field in defence than you're claiming, and a DM with sufficiently restrained settings will sit deep enough to pretty much be a CB. There's a lot more fluidity than you're crediting.

I think a "retreat" setting on the forward run slider is pretty much the only new setting needed, the rest is just better refinement and improvement of the ME, and the individual players' AI

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Precise player positioning - No manager in the world tells a player which blade of grass to stand on. He gives them an area to work in and instructions then during a match he might tell him to push up, drop back, play narrower, play wider, pick up a particular opposition player. FM attempts to replicate these type of instructions.

But in FM you can't tell the player to push up or drop back. You can change his mentality but it also affects his passing. And if I want him to push up but playing the ball sideways or backward? With attacking mentality he'll push up but most of his passes would be forward. Play wider or narrower - you can set this instruction only for the whole team, not for certain player. For example, it is also impossible to recreate DM dropping to SW because you can't tell your DCs to play as wide as they IRL play in this case. I tried instructing them to "hug touchline" - it doesn't work at all.

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But in FM you can't tell the player to push up or drop back. You can change his mentality but it also affects his passing. And if I want him to push up but playing the ball sideways or backward? With attacking mentality he'll push up but most of his passes would be forward. Play wider or narrower - you can set this instruction only for the whole team, not for certain player. For example, it is also impossible to recreate DM dropping to SW because you can't tell your DCs to play as wide as they IRL play in this case. I tried instructing them to "hug touchline" - it doesn't work at all.

I more or less agree with everything you've said there.

Mentality is a real problem for what you describe and something I would like to see changed. Overall though the ME & TC do a good job we just want them improved/refined in some areas.

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I would mostly agree with Cougar2010. Having been in a dressing room of a club which is playable in FM, I can definitely confirm that position was never mentioned in the slightest. Players knew their role and what to do and no manager would ever dream of saying some of this stuff to a player. If you are a left back you know to support your midfield when you have the ball and get back and defend when you don't. Setting someone to wing back or full back tells them what balance to strike and that is easily enough. To say when the ball is 60% of the way up the pitch you must stand 40% up the pitch is a ridiculous nonsense and that is how wibble wobble worked.

The TC as it is now is much much better than what went before, and IMO than trying to bring back an advanced version of wibble wobble.

The points about more options/instructions and shouts to single players are very good and I would hope FM expands to that however.

When you were in dressing room maybe you heard a manager telling his players to play with a mentality 10 clicks from the left, or passing style 8 clicks from the right? Such instructions don't take place IRL so this is as ridiculous as wibble wobble. The thing is IRL you can tell the player to play more aggressively or more defensively, push up or drop back and he will understand what do you want of him. But AI player isn't as smart as RL player so you have to instruct him how much exactly you want him to push up. And I think it's more realistic to make this instructions graphically or allowing you to position him yourself, because IRL manager can show with a chalkboard the player where does he want him to play, but not with sliders.

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Whats' the point of mental stats if you can set up your players' reaction to every single incident? If your players stand in stupid places, buy ones with better positioning. If they're never in space, change your tactical approach or train their off-the-ball.

With things like variable widths, "move into channels" and "roam from position" and "hug touchline" are your friends: they kick in essentially only when you have the ball, and if combined with a narrow team width, will see you compact in defence and spread out further upfield.

And what's the point of mental stats IRL? Don't you think that IRL manager can tell his player to play the ball to the keeper under heavy pressure if he constantly clears it and it leads to dangerous throw ins or corners? The player will try to implement his manager's instructions and his mental stats define how successfully and precisely he will do it. Maybe anyway he'll do what he thinks is right, but maybe he'll stick to instructions. It depends on certain player's mental stats. That's the way it works IRL and that's the way it works in FM. But in FM we are limited in the ability to give the player such instructions.

What you say about variable widths is the only way to make it with current TC and it is very limited. It doesn't give as much flexibility as width slider for every playing third would.

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You have obviously put a lot of work into this, but to me it basically sounds like a resurgence of the wibble/wobble screens from the CM days.

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You have obviously put a lot of work into this, but to me it basically sounds like a resurgence of the wibble/wobble screens from the CM days.

I haven't played CM when there was wibble/wobble system, so these are just my ideas and suggestions. I do understand why it didn't work good ten years ago, but nowadays it is possible to create AI and ME which wouldn't be so easily overwhelmed with such system.

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By the way, I found this video on Youtube, it describes some tactical application for football managers and coaches.

I think, SI can borrow some ideas, especially set-pieces instructions.

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As always with these kinds of threads, there are some excellent ideas which are obscured by the OP forgetting that sport is dynamic. Too late for me to provide any detailed feedback at the moment. I will try tomorrow.

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Very interesting thread, I hope SI research as seriously as Exius in improving the tactical part other than by adding artificial features.

I just want add one thing, SI should not hesitate to add tactical options but the player/manager must always have the choice to choose or not apply a tactical option. Why ? IRL, the density of tactical coaching is not the same in the different coutries : the italian Serie A is surely the most tactical league in the world and nothing is ever left to chance, in FM an italian manager would probably use all the tactical options available (and use also probably the Exius proposals) whereas a spanish manager let the most options to "normal".

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I'd rather have a restricted TC that led to more realistic football than a limitless TC that is easily exploitable.

I agree that it is something that should be sorted for future versions, but in the mean time the game is in a much healthier position realism wise than it has ever been.

The Diablo era was just awful, I know you could just decide to not use it, but then what's the point in trying to make a tactic that is as good as possible? You have to decide for yourself where the exploit line is, which isn't much fun. I love trying to create new tactics to create beautiful football whilst knowing that I can't just exploit the AI.

Having said all that, even if there was a Diablo style tactic I actually wouldn't use it these days. In FM 2011 I had a great save where I went through various clubs and eventually, after many many years ended up as Barcelona manager. I had a brilliant first few years with them, some really close title chases and an absolutely gutting Champions League final defeat.

Around the time FM 2012 came out I decided to download a tactic and I got spectacular results, but I got so bored so quickly because I knew it wasn't my work. It's so much more satisfying creating your own tactics than downloading a ready made one, even if you get better results.

I've kind of just gone completely against the point I was trying to make in the begining of this post, so I'm not really sure why I'm still going to hit reply.

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Not so radical idea as the OP, but still I think this is necessary:

Player Instructions

Attacking Mentality

|-----------------------------|---------------------------|

Defensive Mentality

|-----------------------------|---------------------------|

As it is now, the mentality slider regulates how eager a player is to take the ball from the opponent players, how much or little he backtracks to do so, his willingness to take risks with his passing and dribbling, his inclination to shoot and his willingness to do attacking movement contra covering defensive space.

That's too much for one slider to cover, and it creates a situation where defensive mentalities lead to passive behaviour in your own half which leads to the opponent getting to do whatever they want to do undisturbed, and attacking mentalities causes irresponsible defensive behaviour but better defending overall because of a much higher willingness to win possession back.

I believe that a two-slider mentality system like this will allow SI (and us) to better control what we want from a player regarding attacking and defensive behaviour, separating the willingness to go into tackles or challenges from attacking mentality (because that is really defensive behaviour). This way attacking mentality regulates off-the-ball movement; the willingness to ignore defensive work in order to lose his man so that he can become available for a pass, willingness to go on forward runs, willingness to shoot when the opportunity arises and general risk-taking. Defensive mentality regulates the willingness to ignore attacking duties for the sake of winning back possession of the ball, willingness to mark zones or men at the cost of being available for a pass, and general defensive awareness.

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I don't like the idea of mentality slider at all. Two main things which it defines are player position and his passing directions. IRL both these instructions are separated. I can't imagine RL manager telling his player "I want you to play with attacking mentality". He'll tell "I want you to push up on the pitch and pass more balls forward" instead. I think TC should be more realistic. One more thing I hate in mentality slider and slider system at all - you can't say exactly what means minimum/maximum slider value. If manager tells his player to push up, he can show him where does he want him to play on a chalkboard. The same refers to passing style slider. He can't tell the player "I wan't you to play medium passes with 70% probability" or "I wan't you to pass the ball rather on 30 metres" or anything else what passing slider means. He'll tell instead "I want you to play normal balls often, pass them sideways". So, what I mean with all these images - more realistic instructions and all instructions available to RL managers.

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I don't see what's really wrong with exploit tactics. The game should be smart enough to deal with exploit tactics, and that's where the issue lies.

We should be able to play Bielsa-like tactics with unusual formations and roles, and the AI should be able to counter it.

As long as users have an abstraction that makes it easy for tactics, but with the ability for advanced users to tinker, it is all good.

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