Dave C

Lower League in FM - No scouting, no development, no money, no talent?

109 posts in this topic

[quote name='Ackter']Not one gap ;)
[LIST]
[*][URL="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Championship_Manager_series#Championship_Manager"]1 Championship Manager[/URL]
[LIST]
[*][URL="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Championship_Manager_series#Championship_Manager_.2793"]1.1 Championship Manager '93[/URL] [B]- Release July 1993[/B]
[*][URL="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Championship_Manager_series#Championship_Manager_Italia"]1.2 Championship Manager Italia[/URL]
[*][URL="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Championship_Manager_series#Championship_Manager_.2793_Data_Up-Date_Disks"]1.3 Championship Manager '93 Data Up-Date Disks[/URL] [B]- This was a database update only of CM'9[/B]
[/LIST]
[*][URL="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Championship_Manager_series#Championship_Manager_2"]2 Championship Manager 2[/URL] [B]- Release September 1995[/B]
[LIST]
[*][URL="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Championship_Manager_series#Championship_Manager_96.2F97"]2.1 Championship Manager 96/97[/URL]
[*][URL="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Championship_Manager_series#Championship_Manager_97.2F98"]2.2 Championship Manager 97/98[/URL] [B]- Release October 1997[/B]
[/LIST]
[*][URL="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Championship_Manager_series#Championship_Manager_3"]3 Championship Manager 3[/URL] -[B] Release March 1999[/B]
[LIST]
[*][URL="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Championship_Manager_series#Championship_Manager:_Season_99.2F00"]3.1 Championship Manager: Season 99/00[/URL]
[*][URL="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Championship_Manager_series#Championship_Manager:_Season_00.2F01"]3.2 Championship Manager: Season 00/01[/URL]
[*][URL="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Championship_Manager_series#Championship_Manager:_Season_01.2F02"]3.3 Championship Manager: Season 01/02[/URL] [B]- Release October 2001[/B]
[/LIST]
[*][URL="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Championship_Manager_series#Championship_Manager_4"]4 Championship Manager 4[/URL] [B]- Release March 2003[/B]
[LIST]
[*][URL="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Championship_Manager_series#Championship_Manager:_Season_03.2F04"]4.1 Championship Manager: Season 03/04[/URL] [B]- Release November 2003 - [/B]Gaming worlds first ever full title patch ;)
[/LIST]
[/LIST][/QUOTE]

Not the 2 years between titles that I remember but there were gaps longer than 12 months the longest being the CM'93 to CM2 at over 2 years if you discount the data update & from there it's 18 months when changing to an entirely new game.

I was however mistaken about the CM4 to FM2005 time frame, that was the start of the nailed on yearly release in November.

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You can't discount the data updates as they were a source of income.

A few of the titles were also delayed, but there's no way would that have been the original intended release frame.

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I only discount the chargeable data update as it was not a new title, if FM13 turned out to be as equally flawed in its ability to accurately simulate the different levels of football represented in the game could you imagine SI & Sega agreeing to release a data only update called FM season 13/14 in November 2013 & spending 2 years developing a whole new game?

I don't but & I'm thinking as I type it could be another angle to ensure more people buy a legitimate copy of FM13, announce that there will be a 2 year development gap for the next new game but to keep the FM addict going for that time they will release a 2013/14 season update in September as DLC for say £12.99, no original copy no DLC.

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Clearly they could survive a gap year, releasing only a data update (+ some bug fixes) in the mean time. It is lost revenue though and the company heads won't be having it. Especially when the game sells as well as it does as a yearly release.

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There will be a short term drop in revenue but I'd contend that in the medium term it would balance & a longer dedicated dev period for an entirely new game will ensure long term releases.

I wonder how many people did not purchase the latest FM because they were happy with the last offering? I know that a good number of FM playing friends & acquaintances are still playing FM10 or FM11 because they didn't see enough advances to justify ending their current games & buying the latest copy.

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It will still sell as well as the last one (at least) and that's the bottom line (for them). From a business point of view you can't justify a skipped year at this point. Which is sad, but it is what it is.

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[quote name='Barside']There will be a short term drop in revenue but I'd contend that in the medium term it would balance & a longer dedicated dev period for an entirely new game will ensure long term releases.

I wonder how many people did not purchase the latest FM because they were happy with the last offering? I know that a good number of FM playing friends & acquaintances are still playing FM10 or FM11 because they didn't see enough advances to justify ending their current games & buying the latest copy.[/QUOTE]

How many people buy FM just to play as a big team for a few seasons (i.e. finishing before the newgens take over), thus never really encountering a lot of the problems that blight both the lower league, journeyman and long-term saves? A fair few I imagine - and they'll buy the game year on year for the new squads, just like those who buy FIFA each year. Sadly I think that those people far, far outnumber those of us who do wish for the game to get a revamp/code started from scratch.

And as mentioned above, Sega's moneymen don't care about the game being any good or losing long-time fans unless it happens in big numbers - and unless a real, credible competitor comes up with something, I don't see it happening.

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Sega do care, seeing as this and Total War are the only games Sega appear to be making these days ;)

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I'm sure they care, they just don't care enough to sacrifice a chunk of their yearly income when the sales numbers with their current release schedule are as good as ever. They are a business after all and their decisions will be made with a view to maximizing the revenue.

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I reckon losing a chunk of the FM sales would scare the hell out of the moneymen at Sega. Where else is that money going to come from? Crazy Taxi on PSN?

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[quote name='Ackter']Sega do care, seeing as this and Total War are the only games Sega appear to be making these days ;)[/QUOTE]

"Sega" on some level may care lower down the chain, but as I say, the moneymen don't. And that's fair enough, because they have the power to veto games so they need to be kept happy - but it is at the cost of following the FIFA/PES model - evolution based on old code rather than revolution (the exception being when FIFA put another team on one release so the core team could start a new engine from scratch for the following year, IIRC). SI I'm sure don't have the staff numbers to allow a core team to do the same whilst a 'B' team gets something on the shelves for this year. I actually think Barside's idea of a data update this year (with perhaps some 'easy win' changes here and there) would probably still do ok, then we have something fresh for FM13. It won't happen though.

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[quote name='Apos']It's not only that,it's also the teams of the lower leagues themselves that make no moves,especially since on most countries they end up being below balance by the end of the first year.

For example,let's say I chose a swedish team of their second division and I have a player with really mediocre stats (aka,extremelly bad,mediocre for that level of football) who happens to carry the team to the trophy and promotion almost by himself.

Next year that I'll be on the first division,that player just doesn't cut it anymore,so of course I got to get rid of him,but absolutely no team will want him, not even the ones that stayed on the second division. That doesn't make sense. A player that proved to dominate a division is not wanted by any team of that division? A little too picky aren't they?

AI teams should be able to make mistakes as well due to performances instead of just CA and PA. Like getting someone who just had a good year only to find out that it's not exactly what they thought it would be. This rarely ever happens now.[/QUOTE]
This is very true.

I am playing in Russia and have just survived my first season in the top flight after promotion. Whenever I try to get rid of a player who is now surplus because he's been replaced by better players, I never get an offer, even when I offer them out for free.

One of these players was brilliant in the 1st Division, scoring 13 goals, and getting the same amount of assists as a wide inside forward one season. He then made an important contribution to my promotion. Last season he didn't play much, so I decided to sell to raise a bit of money for my own new signings, but the 1st Division clubs refuse to bid for a proven good player at that level who is in his peak years, and available for nothing!

A player I had last season I had to mutually terminate as I couldn't sell and he was becoming disruptive. I also have another player who I need to get rid of who the AI won't bid for. Again he'd be a good player for 1st Division clubs, and still has unfulfilled potential, and the time to improve.

These players aren't on massive wages either. Undoubtedly I'll end up releasing them, and then they'll retire. I really think the game was much better in this area in previous versions.

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I don't think Sega Sammy care as much for their consumer business compared with its other businesses... It provides much lower returns than its other businesses.

[url]http://www.segasammy.co.jp/english/ir/ar2011/today/finance/index.html[/url]

Look at the operating income (loss) section. FM falls under the consumer business, which makes way less profit than the pachinko and arcade businesses - despite the fact that its sales are much higher than the arcade business.

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I don't disagree that the AI is flawed, but it is possible to produce good newgens at that level. In my save with Guiseley, in 2012 England only produced 2 Newgens with PA over 160. The top one had Nigerian second nationality, was on Spurs youth team and had a PA of 175ish. The other one one the other hand surprised me. It was a 15 year old with a PA of 165ish who was contracted to Bromley! I have 5 scouts scouting the UK and Ireland, and they never saw this guy, so I don't think it's all that unrealistic that big clubs haven't come in for him yet (of course the probably won't come in for him even if he does start performing).

In FM 11 I did have West Ham and Napoli steal my star striker in the BSP (He was out of contract and wouldn't resign), but I agree it's something that doesn't happen often enough.

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It's more the stand-out performers than the prospects. If a player consistently scores 20 goals in non-league football, it's very likely he'll earn a move to or at least a trial with a league club. That very seldom happens in the game.

In real life, we (Forest Green) have a former Watford youth centre-half by the name of Eddie Oshodi, who is miles above BSP level. Now I know we won't hold onto him after this season, as he has used non-league football to get his career back on track after perhaps not being good enough for Watford, or perhaps he just needed that first team football to develop. Either way we're a stepping stone. If that was FM he'd probably spend his career at that level.

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[quote name='Barside']There are certainly some very strange goings on with finances in FM12.

I've seen clubs employing 30+ scouts (one low(ish) league club has over 40), there are a group of players in the English Championship on £90pw yet I see Blue Square North players on £1600pw, managers are getting tucked up by chairman with less than 10 managers in the entire global game earning more than £30k & a BSP club accepting £10k over 3 years for a player in January because his contract was expiring in the summer.

Much like the ME the financial modelling is starting to show signs of its age & is struggling to cope with the extreme differences in simulating the finances of the elite clubs, high turnover but generally broke clubs & the fodder at the foot of the football hierarchy.

I really think that FM has reached a peak of its current capabilities (iirc the core code is over 10 years old now) as it more or less applies the same principles to all clubs & leagues in the game yet it is obvious that other than using the same basic equipment the daily business of football at Ochilview Park has nothing in common with the daily business of football seen at the Camp Nou.

Any future investment needs to go on developing an entirely new game model that can handle the differences across football, if this means SI skipping a year then that is what they should do as I can only see FM13 being just as frustrating as recent versions.[/QUOTE]

+1

It seams that AI doesn't calculate the expanse of the whole transfer (transfer fee + player wages & bonuses + agent fees) when deciding whether to bid for certain transfer target or not. AI analyses first two elements (transfer fee + player wages & bonuses) separately and ignores agent fee altogether at this stage. This leads to absurd situation where AI will chose player that costs 10M in transfer fee + 3M in wages (over 3 years of contract) over a player that costs 1M in transfer fee + 6M in wages (over 3 years of contract). The fact that agent fee is directly related to transfer fee (and agent attributes which AI ignores as well) makes it even worse.

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it seems to me the AI are finding talent elsewhere
wigan just bought a fantasitc newgen from bulgaria, my scouts found nothing in bulgaria (found loads in turkey though), and man city constantly seem to empty france of decent newgens on any save.
to makes things more interesting, i had a brief look at SD3 players in first team, checked the available newgens, i found a player that has the potential to play in the premier league (granted not top of the league but still said premier league), seems to be noone looking lower then SPL in scotland.
i laughed when west ham tried to buy shaqiri (wtf... newly promted west ham buying him?) and didn't have the funds to complete the transfer

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Glad to see plenty of support on this. Shame no-one from SI has contributed. In the good old days when I was a regular here, they were great at contributing to these conversations.

I also noticed a few more examples in the last few days of non-league talent moving up for fees (e.g. Appiah and Prior that I mentioned in the OP).

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[quote name='Canaries Fan']I don't disagree that the AI is flawed, but it is possible to produce good newgens at that level. In my save with Guiseley, in 2012 England only produced 2 Newgens with PA over 160. The top one had Nigerian second nationality, was on Spurs youth team and had a PA of 175ish. The other one one the other hand surprised me. It was a 15 year old with a PA of 165ish who was contracted to Bromley! I have 5 scouts scouting the UK and Ireland, and they never saw this guy, so I don't think it's all that unrealistic that big clubs haven't come in for him yet (of course the probably won't come in for him even if he does start performing).

In FM 11 I did have West Ham and Napoli steal my star striker in the BSP (He was out of contract and wouldn't resign), but I agree it's something that doesn't happen often enough.[/QUOTE]

But that's the point. Nobody is saying there's no talent comes through in the lower leagues, the problem is the clubs just don't look at players at that level. In testing FM11 I ran a test with a bunch of high PA youths at non-league clubs. Every time I re-ran the test it was the same story, they barely moved.

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[quote name='SuperMeppen']That was all when SI were an independant company before Sega bought them, so I can't see it happening now sadly.

Getting back OT, why do so many lower league players have yearly increase clauses and obscenely high appearance fees? That can't be right, surely? It cripples clubs all across the board and has an affect on a club's ability to pay, thus further stagnating the transfer market at the bottom. Are wages and clauses generated on the fly when the game starts for clubs below a certain division (and how is it determined - reputation again)?[/QUOTE]

Contracts are definitely part of the problem. Default yearly rises for anyone under 24, even if they've been given the highest wage at the club. Long contracts. Wage rises after a number of games. Promotion rises but no relegation drops. High appearance fees allied to high wages.

I've seen a few lower league player contracts. None look anything like SI ones. It's common, as another poster said, to see a low basic wage with higher appearance and goal bonuses. You also tend not to see percentage rises, with there instead being specified wages for each level. There's often a clause that allows for a player's release if the club is relegated below a certain level. I've never seen an annual increase on anything other than a low-paid first year pro.

Again, humans manage those clubs and we negotiate hard and get better contracts. The AI just greenlights stupid deals. It *must* improve, or FM12 is my last ever FM. I'm just too tired of this rubbish.

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Have you logged those contract issues as a bug, Dave? I would, personally.

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Good post Dave, I concur with your assessment here, and wanted to post not only to keep it alive a bit longer, but also to suggest that bigger teams scouring downward through the leagues for talents seemed more prevalent in earlier version. I've been on CM since CM4, and it seems to me (anecdotal as it is) that talented youngsters on my lower league teams always seems to generate interest in bids. I am not sure when the drop-off happened. Maybe Fm09 or 10? At any rate, it does seem far less likely to get your promising young talent poached or purchased by bigger teams.

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[quote name='Dr. Hook']Good post Dave, I concur with your assessment here, and wanted to post not only to keep it alive a bit longer, but also to suggest that bigger teams scouring downward through the leagues for talents seemed more prevalent in earlier version. I've been on CM since CM4, and it seems to me (anecdotal as it is) that talented youngsters on my lower league teams always seems to generate interest in bids. I am not sure when the drop-off happened. Maybe Fm09 or 10? At any rate, it does seem far less likely to get your promising young talent poached or purchased by bigger teams.[/QUOTE]

I can tell you exactly when it happened (well, sort of). It was when the training model changed, around FM09 I think?
When that happened, they changed the development model, and had to change things about scouting too. That's when they wrecked it. Before, almost every player seemed to reach a high percentage of their PA. They went from one extreme to the other, and a lot of stuff got broken.

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That seems about right to me as I recall past versions. I hope they will take a look at it at the least and see what might be done to bring it back up to par.

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I'm doing an LLM save and one of the things i have noticed is that my star players who are performing well, have good stats have never recieved a bid, plenty of interest and media talk, but never a bid. I have been at 3 clubs over 4 years and have yet to be recieve an offer for a player who i have not offered to clubs. So no offers for transfer listed players, or my stars players, or my 17 year old regen who is rated as being a good premier division midefielder in the future my ass. manager. This has been raised by SI in the bugs forum as a possible issue:

[url]http://community.sigames.com/showthread.php/296975-Transfer-Test-Is-it-too-easy-to-keep-your-best-players[/url]

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[quote name='Dave C']I can tell you exactly when it happened (well, sort of). It was when the training model changed, around FM09 I think?
When that happened, they changed the development model, and had to change things about scouting too. That's when they wrecked it. Before, almost every player seemed to reach a high percentage of their PA. They went from one extreme to the other, and a lot of stuff got broken.[/QUOTE]

"One extreme to the other". That's the model SI operate on, it seems. Every time someone raises a problem and they decide to "fix" it, we just get a complete opposite extreme of the problem. It's easily noticeable if you look back a few years on all the big changes they made.

Btw. in older versions, like CM 01/02, players would reach their potential by the age of 20 or 21, so the game was full of young world beaters after a few seasons in.

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[quote name='JB1979']I have been at 3 clubs over 4 years and have yet to be recieve an offer for a player who i have not offered to clubs.[/QUOTE]
Into my fourth season now, and I think I've received one or two bids for players I didn't offer, and those were co-ownership offers for U20s. I have players who are now starting (and winning) in Serie A whom I signed in the fourth tier of Italian football. No one, at any stage, seemed to recognize their worth except me. Even in FM11, which was dogged by the same problems described in this thread, I would have had several of them snatched from me by now. Kinda silly.

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[quote name='Shake Appeal']Into my fourth season now, and I think I've received one or two bids for players I didn't offer, and those were co-ownership offers for U20s. I have players who are now starting (and winning) in Serie A whom I signed in the fourth tier of Italian football. No one, at any stage, seemed to recognize their worth except me. Even in FM11, which was dogged by the same problems described in this thread, I would have had several of them snatched from me by now. Kinda silly.[/QUOTE]

What are the reputations of the players now, given that they have won titles for you? Are they full internationals? Does anybody know how quickly player reputation increases (and is it ever enough to allow somebody to overcome a really low starting rep?)

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Bumping this as the £1m move of Jamie Vardy from Fleetwood to Leicester just emphasises how bad Football Manager really is in this area.

Real life: A non-league player can get a £1m move to The Championship
FM: Same player will bum around non-league, playing well, maybe nabbing a free transfer to an L2 side.


Fix it. No excuses. It needs fixing.

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[quote name='Barside']I think what ruined Reading was the Premier League TV money bug, I assume that every area of the game assumed they would receive the full TV income so overheads increased accordingly & the AI was unable to cope with the fact they do not receive the right income due to the daft database error.
[/QUOTE]

What error is that? You don't get parachute payments when relegated?

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[quote name='Sussex Hammer']I tried as Manager of West Ham to scout the Blue Square to find some hidden gems but without success which is such a shame. Back when football was football The Hammers signed Alan Devonshire from Southall for a pittance and he went on to be a great. In the 80's we signed Frank McAvennie from St. Mirren in Scotland who were quite low at the time and Mark Ward from lowly Oldham and they both made the step up effortlessly. However IRL I can't think really of the last time a Club did that and made a star out of a lower League player. I would love to find one or two from a Hampton and Waterlooville or a Maidenhead but have never got to do that. Is it because I am looking for the wrong things in a scout report or is the talent just not there?[/QUOTE]

Tbh I believe that it' no coincidence that we don't see these signings today anymore, or at least not as regularly anymore.
Imho this is due to the big clubs snatching a lot of young prospects at a very young age. Back in the days, this wasn't the case so much. Consequently some big talents went on to continue their development at small clubs and were picked by the big ones only at a later age.
Now the big clubs scout the country so thoroughly that they are less likely to miss a gem.

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[quote name='jayahr']What error is that? You don't get parachute payments when relegated?[/QUOTE]
On the default database they & a few other clubs have individual TV deals which result in them not getting the Premier League TV money, the AI thinks they do so spends accordingly with the end result being an inevitable financial collapse.

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All you people who rant take notice! This is the correct way to express your discord with the game. Great points Dave, couldn't agree more on everything.

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This is completely correct and I agree 100% with OP. However I would like to add a point. As a Norwich supporter I have seen a remarkable rise in our club.

However much of this is due to 'late bloomers' or lower league gems who do not realise their potential unless given a chance. The likes of Marc Tierney, Russell Martin, David Fox, Elliot Bennett, Andrew Crofts, Steve Morison and of course John Ruddy and Sir Grant Holt were just not given a chance in the game three years ago.

Now, I'm not saying that SI can predict the future in terms of PA but being so one dimensional in not allowing great improvement after the age of 24 or making those in lower leagues at that age stagnate due to reputation needs improvement. A lot of the time with these players the potential is there but they are not given a chance or played in the correct manner. I think the motivating and player improvement side of the game needs a big change. Even older players can perform well at a high level like Aaron Wilbraham at the end of this season when in FM he would have been released or sold at a reduced fee in the first window.

This does not mean I think that all players should have the ability to be world beaters when given a run in the team. It has to be a mixture of excellent man management to instill a work ethic or ambition, or a players personality being determined to get back to the top, good coaches and of course underlying talent. I have no idea how this can be implemented into the game but it is something I believe the game should strive for in the near future. There needs to be more player-manager interaction or even player-coach interaction which can be manipulated(i.e. not just training reports or the current team meeting set up which does not give enough options to be effective.) It would give a massive boost to the realism of the game and balance out the micro-tactical approach with a different perhaps Harry Redknapp approach. Then managers can manage differently according to preference of style and other managers in game can do this too.

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[quote name='galatasaturk']However much of this is due to 'late bloomers' or lower league gems who do not realise their potential unless given a chance. The likes of Marc Tierney, Russell Martin, David Fox, Elliot Bennett, Andrew Crofts, Steve Morison and of course John Ruddy and Sir Grant Holt were just not given a chance in the game three years ago.

Now, I'm not saying that SI can predict the future in terms of PA but being so one dimensional in not allowing great improvement after the age of 24 or making those in lower leagues at that age stagnate due to reputation needs improvement. A lot of the time with these players the potential is there but they are not given a chance or played in the correct manner. I think the motivating and player improvement side of the game needs a big change. Even older players can perform well at a high level like Aaron Wilbraham at the end of this season when in FM he would have been released or sold at a reduced fee in the first window.[/QUOTE]


Yes. Nothing wrong with PA, but there needs to be a little more variance in the development model so players can come through at different rates.

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[quote name='Dave C']Yes. Nothing wrong with PA, but there needs to be a little more variance in the development model so players can come through at different rates.[/QUOTE]But that turns "who develops well" into a pure lottery, when in reality it's a certain set of characteristics (i.e. Holt is a rugged striker who works hard and is a defender's nightmare) and a certain set of circumstances (managers at higher leagues gradually give him chances) coming together, which doesn't make it a pure random number generator. Certainly not one that can be defined at the start of someone's career.

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No certainly not, it needs a number of factors to come together. Just like real life.

So perhaps, PA could be given for talent. This is the base layer but can be boosted or reduced by good training performances and mentality. I know the current system of PA means it is a measure of talent that can be achieved if a number of factors come together BUT it does not allow a previous PA to be reviewed in light of these factors throughout a players career.

Now I'm off to grieve for the potential loss of Grant Holt...

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[quote name='Dave C']Yes. Nothing wrong with PA, but there needs to be a little more variance in the development model so players can come through at different rates.[/QUOTE]Agreed, the PA number as it is should remain but it needs to be hidden from everyone in the game.

The assessment of scouts, coaches & other managers should be based on CA, form, player mentality & in the case of the member of staff, experience. Using these areas they can then judge what they think the player's PA is & in theory this will allow for more mistakes in terms of buying & selling/releasing players plus players coming up through the divisions if their form & CA warrants it.

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This was really well written and I agree with OP :thup: :applause:

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First off, I have to say I was expecting nothing like what we have got in the OP and I congratulate you for a well thought out post.

I do agree with the OP, but right now i'm enjoying the fact that nobody is coming near my Chester players, despite one of them having the potential to be a Premier League player.

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PA, along with Reputation, is the nemesis here, as in pretty much every other perfectible area of FM...

Lower leagues or Top Divisions it's always about AI failing to realize a 120/125 striker with adequate key attributes and solid work ethic is a better choice than the 100/155 forward with single-digits workrate, composure and determination.

And if that's just a sligth annoyance for an EPL club (you won't be able to get good money for some decent backups who should and could be "wanted" by mid-table clubs or Championship sides) it affects lower leagues and smaller nations in a bigger way.

Some of your key players, who are ok but nothing spectacular for higher divisions, will think they have outgrown your club and will refuse to sign a new contract (or will ask for wages you can't offer) you'll be forced to let them go for free because no better clubs will want to make an offer for them (Club reputation > Player PA/Rep) and no same-division clubs will offer either (Club rep < Player Rep) so he'll just be unemployed until his reputation drops and he can start over in some average club, no better than the one he left.

This is a global problem, as it affect every league, from EPL to Finnish 3rd tier, but it's a major issue with human managers because we often end up losing BOTH the player and the money from the transfer.
And in lower leagues losing a 500k transfer fee is a big deal.

So I do think PA should NEVER be factored in AI scouting and signing players. There's no actual reason for, say, Tottenham, to spend 4M on a 19yo kid with passable attributes and with just a handful of unremarkable appearences at Genk. Much less when they're ignoring a guy who's been scoring for fun in Championship

PA should exist just to provinde a "best case scenario" and a "glass ceiling" of sorts, but that should be it. Also, I'd completely scrap fixed PA in favour of negative PA [more variety in different saves] for Under21 players.

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Just like to add that I agree with everything in this thread, well written OP. AI is the part I want to see revised the most!

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[quote name='Dave C']

[B]Scouting[/B]

The first is, bigger clubs in FM don't scout down the leagues.[/QUOTE]

I haven't read the whole post as I don't have time to right now, but I think this is absolute rubbish. In my current save, my scout discovered an unattached striker aged 16. He was good enough to go straight into my Conference Premier first team. He played well, scoring 20 odd goals in his first season and gathered the attention from scouts and managers of over a dozen Premier League and Championship clubs.
Manchester United came sniffing at the start of the next season and I agreed a deal for him to move to Old Trafford at the end of the second season which cleared my club's debts and left enough to improve the training and youth facilities. 45 goals and a season later he moved and having spend a his first season at Manchester United out on loan to Everton, now he is England's record goal scorer and shortlisted for the World Player of the Year.

His CA and PA must have been high for him to do that.

I've also sold other players of mine to teams higher up the league structure and to teams in the top two Scottish divisions.

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[quote name='Nobby_McDonald']I haven't read the whole post as I don't have time to right now, but I think this is absolute rubbish.[/QUOTE]

Next time you'd better read the whole post/thread before saying it's "rubbish" because you completely missed the point.

Your example is the ONLY case when AI makes a move for players in lower leagues, and that requires VERY HIGH PA (and possible CA too).
That's the exception, not the rule.

AI scouts will ignore players with adequate attributes/good stats if the CA/PA doesn't meet the "minimum requirement" for their division/club, no matter how great the players are performing.

You can have a 120CA/125PA striker winning the Championship Topscorer for five straight years and nobody will care, but rest assured they'll make plenty of offers for a mediocre 100CA/160PA even if he has the goalscoring skills of Heskey and the mental stability of Balotelli.

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[quote name='Barside']I think what ruined Reading was the Premier League TV money bug, I assume that every area of the game assumed they would receive the full TV income so overheads increased accordingly & the AI was unable to cope with the fact they do not receive the right income due to the daft database error.

Preston & Palace have no such excuse, I'm also keeping a keen eye on [B]QPR who are still paying Tarabt £38,000 per week to sit on the bench in league 1[/B], 2 starts & 4 sub appearances after 21 games is madness. I'm guess that the reason a club has not activated his modest release fee will no doubt be that he wants £50,000 a week.[/QUOTE]

That's not even an issue of scouting, or the financial model being broken. There's no way IRL a player of Tarabt's quality would stick with his club through relegation to two levels below. Maybe in rare cases where a player absolutely loves his club, like Le Tessier at Southampton, you would see it but it would be so rare that it'd almost be a black swan event.

IRL of course, you have very good players at mid-table Premiership clubs who say they want to move for Champions League football. The game should reflect not just on the reputation of the club and player, but also the circumstances he finds himself in. I just don't see how a player would stick with club from relegation from the Premiership to League 1, no matter how much money they threw at him.

In my current save (in which I've just been promoted to a professional league and we've made the change to full-time setup), I have a backup AMR who rarely sees first team action. He's basically my 4th option at that position. In his player info screen it even has the message "feels his chance at a professional career is over." He has one year left on his contract, so I offer him on loan as a way to get some first team action and maybe land himself a deal somewhere else (I'm a softy that way :D). Literally about 25 semi-pro clubs in levels below me make offers to take him on loan for the season ... and he rejects every one of them.

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[quote name='Nobby_McDonald']I haven't read the whole post as I don't have time to right now, but I think this is absolute rubbish.[/QUOTE]

Well, that was a bit silly of you, wasn't it.

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I stand by what I said, certainly in terms of my players as I have just checked my transfer history for the past ten seasons, which I have spent in Conference Premier, League Two and League One.
Seven players were sold to teams in the top two divisions in England.
Three players were sold to teams in the top two divisions in Scotland.
One player was sold to a team in the Northern Irish Premier League (while in Conference Premier).
One African player was sold to a second tier team in Spain.

I have now read all of the original post.
I do think the statement where bigger clubs don't scout down the leagues is rubbish. Why would I have sold twelve players in ten seasons to bigger clubs than me?

A couple of things I should add though...
This is taken from the 2020/1 season onwards and all the players in question are regens. A couple are players who came through my youth system, the rest I have signed after being scouted.
This save is on FM2011.
All of the twelve transfers involved fees of various amounts, with the record one for the now England star, which came to close to £3,000,000 after all clauses.

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[quote name='Nobby_McDonald']I stand by what I said, certainly in terms of my players as I have just checked my transfer history for the past ten seasons, which I have spent in Conference Premier, League Two and League One.
Seven players were sold to teams in the top two divisions in England.
Three players were sold to teams in the top two divisions in Scotland.
One player was sold to a team in the Northern Irish Premier League (while in Conference Premier).
One African player was sold to a second tier team in Spain.

I have now read all of the original post.
I do think the statement where bigger clubs don't scout down the leagues is rubbish. Why would I have sold twelve players in ten seasons to bigger clubs than me?

A couple of things I should add though...
This is taken from the 2020/1 season onwards and all the players in question are regens. A couple are players who came through my youth system, the rest I have signed after being scouted.
This save is on FM2011.
All of the twelve transfers involved fees of various amounts, with the record one for the now England star, which came to close to £3,000,000 after all clauses.[/QUOTE]

I believe that unless stated otherwise, you'll have to assume that whatever "FM" is discussed in a thread is the newest version, with the newest patch. I could say that I won everything with only lower division players in CM94, so that the OP is rubbish, but that wouldn't make much sense would it?

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[quote name='BiggusD']I believe that unless stated otherwise, you'll have to assume that whatever "FM" is discussed in a thread is the newest version, with the newest patch. I could say that I won everything with only lower division players in CM94, so that the OP is rubbish, but that wouldn't make much sense would it?[/QUOTE]

Yes except that nothing is changed from Fm11 to 12 in this regard. I happen to agree with Dave on this one, however. While it is not unheard of for clubs to buy players from down the leagues, it is not common, and once the players hit 23 or 24 big clubs generally lose all interest.

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