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Potential Ability debate

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The reason I don't think the current system is best is that, for example, a player at his max cannot improve his passing, but if he gets an injury and his physics drop a bit, he is now suddenly able to improve his passing with those spare PA points. This doesn't make any sense to me.

In theory the current system would allow you to reduce a player to a CA of 0 and then retrain him into a totally different player. In practice this is only possible on a much smaller scale, but in my years of playing FM I have had a few newgens reach their max and have 19 or 20 pace/acceleration, and I've been able to make them a custom training schedule, get their pace/acceleration down to say 17/18 and then had loads of spare CA to use on attributes I thought were more important. One of the main benefits of the new training module seems to be that intentionally negative training is a thing of the past, which I am for for the reasons above, but still believe it is masking rather than solving a problem.

Obviously the time a player spends improving at x is time he can't spend improving at y, and given the finite number of days in a year this is fairly easy to replicate in game. But why should getting faster mean that in future you will be unable to get better at passing? Until of course you get slower, in which case you suddenly can become a better passer. What if I have a highly technical player who reaches his PA by 21, at which point he has awful mental stats. In the current system it is impossible for this player to improve his mental stats, but this makes no sense. suppose he plays 150 games over the next 5 years at which point he will be 26. Is it in any way realistic that he has no greater understanding of the game after those 150 matches? Fair enough he has reached his "potential" but these situations are far from realistic.

In terms of suggesting improvements, I think one huge one would be the separation of CA/PA for Physical, Mental and Technical Attributes. Of these, I would say that Physical PA should max out the fastest, followed by Technical PA, with Mental PA often needing a whole career to max out.

My second idea is a bit more drastic but it would involve ditching PA all together and effectively replacing it with BA or "Base ability." The greater the difference between CA and BA the greater the effect on the "development rate" or "tendency to improve." Imagine BA as being a force of attraction on CA. For example, take a newgen with CA 50 and Base Ability 100. He would experience very fast growth up to a CA of 100, with the growth from 50 to 60 taking less time than the growth from 90 to 100. Now, the more the player improves above his BA of 100 the harder (or slower) the improvements are, because of the gravitational pull of his BA. What this means is, that although in theory any player could reach CA 200, most will not get anywhere near this because their BAs will be too low, and the work they have to do to maintain their physique, skills etc grows with each CA point they earn.

To use real life examples, a player like Giggs would have a high BA, enabling him to have a long career at the top, whereas a player like James Beattie would have a low BA, meaning that although he was able to reach a high CA and be a top player for a couple of seasons, he wasn't able to maintain it, as it was more work for him to stay at that level than it was for Giggs. I also think BA would be a better decider than Natural Fitness as to how fast an old player declines, not to mention how much more fun it would make buying and selling players, for example choosing to sell someone because you think they are performing above their real level.

I think this would bring a lot more dynamism and unpredictability into the game, and would definitely do a better job of replicating real life.

Excellent suggestions if they would be workable

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That said, the real probelm has always been that the development model for players is a bit too linear, which means PA estimates have to be conservative.

What's needed is a more optimistic approach in research, allied to a new model that makes it far less likely a player will fulfil that potential. One that allows for 'late bloomers' and emerging talent at all levels. You get all the benefits of dynamic PA that way, without the unrealistic concept of changing potential.

This is almost exactly what I was going to say.

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I honestly don't think it is. None of the players you mentioned gained new skills, they just started using their existing skills in new ways, to combat their decreased physical presence. Do you believe that a slow Michael Owen should be able to train up to 20 for penalties while a fast Michael Owen should find it impossible to improve at penalties? There is no sense in that - it is a failure of the game's mechanics, pure and simple.

I would also like it if you could explain in a bit more detail why exactly you believe that "Dynamic, fluctuating values would turn the game into chaos." This just seems like scaremongering with no real foundation. There are many, many ways this could be prevented, and I've suggested some already in this thread.

You may well be right but is there really any need to be so arrogant about it? I personally believe that it would be very possible to implement unlimited or dynamic PA successfully, as long as the system was well thought out. Why exactly do you think any arguments or ideas I have along these lines are "doomed to failure?"

I have a third idea as to how the CA/PA system could be changed. Imagine a line stretching from 0 to 200 to represent a players CA. Now imagine a second line with 3 points: the middle one being the player's CA, and to the left and right two more points that represent the limits on that player's CA at that time. Something like this:

0 ------------------------------------------------- 200

--------------- 115---125-------150

This shows that the player in question is currently CA 125, and that their "frontiers of development" are a decrease of 10CA and an increase of 25CA. This would mean that in the next x days (where x would be a constant like a year or 6 months) the player in question is almost 100% certain to be somewhere between 115 and 150 CA, depending on if he trains well, plays well etc.

Consider these development frontiers and think about the type of player it would be. (Pretend the 0 - 200 line is always there, and remember the middle value is the current CA)

50--60----------100

To me this is most likely a very young player, hence their close lower limit and much further upper limit.

120-----------160--163

This would be an aging star in the last years of his career.

168--170-171

This would be a player of around 26/27 years, who isn't likely to improve or get worse over the next year.

The key thing about this system is that it is a measure of possible improvement against time. The philosophy behind it is that ANY player can improve at ANY time, just to severely varying degrees. The only time a player CAN NOT improve at all is when they reach a CA of 200.

For youngsters, the development frontiers will be much wider and with a much greater bias in the upward direction. This bias changes to deterioration as a player gets older.

In effect, by the time a player is 25/26 they will have a PA, albeit a slightly dynamic one (within 5-10 points or so), that they are almost certain not to exceed. The balancing comes from the fact that players are more likely to improve as youngsters, and more likely to decrease as old players, but either is possible. Imagine a 33 year old who looks like this: 150---169-170. This means that over the course of the next year he is almost 100% certain to be between 150 and 170 CA. In this next year he could either gain 1 or lose 19. However, there is much more room to the downside than the upside, and so while things go right (he trains well, plays well, stays fit and happy) he could improve 1 after a year, but if things go even slightly wrong (injury, bad form) then his career could quickly start to come to a close. On the other hand, if he is managed perfectly and has a lot of luck then by the time he is 35 he could be CA 172.

Very difficult to implement, code wise I would imagine, but a good approach for player development to marry with the post above advocating fixed PA

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I disagree with OP strongly. I think PA is fine as it is. IRL, Every athlete's peak potential is fixed. As long as it's a hidden value, and you're not snooping around editors to see everybody's potential, then everything should come off great.

"Fluid" Potential makes absolutely no sense. Dirk Kuijt always had that potential in him to be unlocked and with some fair luck along the way, it was realized. Very few could do what he did. The game is perfect in that regard. Again, shutting down your silly editors and stop looking up which youngsters to sign cheap, you solve your problem with the PA feature instantly.

Nope. The solution might not be 'fluid' potential, but some changes to the developmental model are vital, due to the game's complete inability to produce top class 'late bloomers', or in the light of the documentary i watched last night, the likes of Ian Wright, Charlie Austin, Stuart Pearce, Drogba, Giroud etc. ie those who were behind the 8 ball in terms of physical or technical development (CA if you will), but whose work ethic allowed them to make massive strides forward in their mid 20s (or late 20s in the case of Drogba and Ian Wright), to the degree that players who were unwanted by any remotely decent clubs at 21 could become world class strikers at 29-33. The game's current development and scouting model doesn't allow for this. Has anyone ever playing CM or FM found a top player who languished undiscovered in non-league football until his early 20s? I'd venture not, because their CA ceiling would be crippled by then.

As Ian Wright said, he went from Sunday morning football in parks to the Palace first team in 2 months, finishing as their second top scorer, and couldn't believe how easy it was for him to adjust. He then spent hours doing extra training every day to improve himself, which paid off!

While ultimately, I like the idea of a dynamic PA system, particularly with the freedom to work on certain attributes without sacrificing others (particularly for those close to their maximum already - sort of like a perks system in an RPG), I can understand why this may not be possible without completely re-working the mechanics of huge swathes of the game.

I think the same net result could be achieved a lot more easily by allowing the age at which CA can increase to be significantly later, reducing the effectiveness of AI and player scouting outside of the major leagues, increasing overall PA values, but also increasing the number of factors that influence development and the importance of hidden stats in said development. I'd love to see a hidden stat for 'work ethic' (slightly different to work rate, ambition or professionalism), as this would highlight those players who would do extra training (a la wright, drogba, cantona or beckham), use their initiative to improve their weaknesses or take up early morning yoga like Phil neville. These players should improve for longer and retain their top level for longer.

If possible it would be great to increase the number of events that can give a CA boost or decrease...such a player 'giving up' after a run of injuries like Michael Johnson (such a shame, could have been brilliant), or suddenly raising their game having moved to a bigger club, or a boost due to early international appearances, or a decrease for a France toys vs pram incident. I know this sort of thing is getting tiny bit football RPG, and maybe for legal reasons some could only apply to newgens!

Equally I would love player events such as getting married or having a baby improving a players mental/hidden stats

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In short the difficulty in trying implement a dynamic potential system could be practically resolved in terms of player experience, by introducing a more varied and complex player development system that would last longer into a players career, facilitate more leaps and falls in CA for reasons other than just injury or mentoring, and in tandem with increasing PA across the board, increase the importance of hidden stats and on pitch performances on player development. This, combined with a less exact scouting system (particularly the lower down the pyramid) and an increased probability for high level newgens to appear at smaller clubs, would pretty much resolved the deficiencies in the player experience.

I am also fairly certain given the existing set up that the vast majority would be very easy to implement, with by far the most arduous part being play-testing to ensure balance.

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This debate has been done many times, and the consensus in the professional sports and medicine fields is that there are physical and mental limitations to people and thus the idea of a fixed potential is correct.

I am sorry but working in football myself, I can say that there is no consensus like this. The top example of this is Messi himself, if anyone knows anything about his mental state when he was a young boy in Spain and his Physical state this alone quashes this theory.

It is the same 1990's theory which held back UK players for years. FACT

Furthermore to say there isn't a potential ability is just wrong and proves your statement as rubbish, every player, ever person has potential, however defining it is the point I am making.

So what you're really saying is that if I go out and train I can be as good as Messi. Sweet, I'm off to play some football...

Your genes play a large part you know.

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And people seem to forget a 140CA player can easily outperform a 165CA player depending on his attribute distribution.

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I agree that potential ability should be dynamic.

The potential ability should change taking into account the following things:

- If a player have a world class mentor, for example if a player is mentored by Messi his potential ability should increase, turning for example an average player into a good player;

- Player personality is very important. If Mario Balotelli can't improve his personality, he never be a good player, even with his very good football skills;

- Player injuries. If player is constantly injured his potential should drop, because won't be able to reach his potential and will miss his best years for development.

If the Football Manager can consider these situations and made the potential ability dynamic, that will turn the game more realistic.

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The main issue I have is the random potential ability shouldn't be set in stone at the start of the game, at the very least it should be more dynamic with factors such as games, coaching level, facilities. form, fitness, injuries, and mental attributes constnatly changing it.

There should also be more scope for players to change a bit later, thus the dynamic PA could still be there at 27, 28 to allow for late bloomers. You should be able to buy a player at 24 who's maybe struggled to get games but you recognise certain key attributes in him that means you can make him more than he currently is with the right nurtuting so you average layer at 24, can become a good or very good player at 27. I don't feel we have that option currently, when you get your youth intake you might as well release half them right there and then because you know from day one they aren;t good enough.

I'd like to create a James Beattie, a player who probably in his Blackburn days would have had a very low CA/PA but he came to Southampton and it was the right fit for him, for 2/3 years he was a top premiership striker, before injuries and loss of form look their toll.

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I don't know if this was discussed before, below is an example why I think that PA shouldn't be fixed:

In real life if Real Madrid really wanted, it can make any young player with poor potential in fm db(PA = 50) to be mediocre player(PA = 100), this is a fact and this game can't simulate it.

What I mean is, say I really like some 3rd league youngster with PA=50, and I want him to play for my 1st league club in the future. In real life we will be able to make him a solid player with the help of right specialists and right training regime. But in fm only because he has predefined PA, I will never be able to do that. Why people with PA 50 can NEVER reach CA 100? Are they invalids or disabled?

Between, many psychologists believe that most geniuses can be trained, and people have unlimited potential. That's why I think that most players should have potential to be Messi/Ronaldo/Zidane/Pirlo/Ibrahimovic... but to do that should be very very hard for most players and little bit easier for others. It comes down to how to design it. I read some bright ideas here and I am sure that this can be implemented not affecting the overall game performance.

PS: Current fm is like a caste system: there are wonderkids, and there trash players, and no matter what trash do they remain trash.

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I don't know if this was discussed before, below is an example why I think that PA shouldn't be fixed:

In real life if Real Madrid really wanted, it can make any young player with poor potential in fm db(PA = 50) to be mediocre player(PA = 100), this is a fact and this game can't simulate it.

What I mean is, say I really like some 3rd league youngster with PA=50, and I want him to play for my 1st league club in the future. In real life we will be able to make him a solid player with the help of right specialists and right training regime. But in fm only because he has predefined PA, I will never be able to do that. Why people with PA 50 can NEVER reach CA 100? Are they invalids or disabled?

PS: Current fm is like a caste system: there are wonderkids, and there trash players, and no matter what trash do they remain trash.

this is a fact

...hahahahahahahahaha...

Why perform thread necromancy?

The PA debate is very simple. You aren't meant to be looking at the under the hood numbers. CA isn't the be all and end all of performance, a 130 CA player can be very decent at Premier League level and a 160 CA player can be rubbish. PA is just there to facilitate a change in CA and prevent unrealistic situations in game. It's just a limit factor. Despite claims otherwise, regens with high PA are produced in many clubs you wouldn't expect, the biggest issue that could be argued is that there aren't enough high PA players in smaller clubs in the starting database for whatever reason.

There are players out there who just aren't that talented. There are players who no matter how they were trained just won't be that good. Players in game rarely reach their PA, that's how the difference between being trained at Real Madrid or Sheffield FC is modeled.

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Thats pretty much how I think about it beka, the quality of training should change things.

Lets say you took 10 kids from Bhutan and put them in a top youth academy they would probably develop into OK players. In the game all of those kids have embarassingly low PA in order to mirror the quality of the national team but really its to do with the quality of football training and opportunities in the country. You see this a lot with players who in real life have moved to Europe at a young (Pre-FM) age and then represent the country of their birth. Had they not moved somewhere with better training they would never been assigned such a high PA but they are the exact same person.

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While in terms of realism I disagree vehemently with PA - "potential" is a function of nurture and genetics has very little to do with it; you cannot be innately good at football as it is wholly learned - in game terms I have the complete opposite opinion. Purely because I know that there is simply no way to make it "realistic" without making it possible for clever human managers to thoroughly game the system and produce Leo Messi 52 times a save.

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While in terms of realism I disagree vehemently with PA - "potential" is a function of nurture and genetics has very little to do with it; you cannot be innately good at football as it is wholly learned - in game terms I have the complete opposite opinion. Purely because I know that there is simply no way to make it "realistic" without making it possible for clever human managers to thoroughly game the system and produce Leo Messi 52 times a save.

This is a decent way of putting it. PA is there to produce a realistic game world, not because someone gains an innate potential. Though I think PA is less about "Potential At Birth" and more about "Potential at 14-15", which are very different (as players have learned the basics by that age). Having a hard cap is a philosophical issue for some, but a good method of modelling to produce a realistic game world.

Thats pretty much how I think about it beka, the quality of training should change things.

Lets say you took 10 kids from Bhutan and put them in a top youth academy they would probably develop into OK players. In the game all of those kids have embarassingly low PA in order to mirror the quality of the national team but really its to do with the quality of football training and opportunities in the country. You see this a lot with players who in real life have moved to Europe at a young (Pre-FM) age and then represent the country of their birth. Had they not moved somewhere with better training they would never been assigned such a high PA but they are the exact same person.

Again, you're making multiple assumptions about what PA is, and how it is generated.

PA is a limit put on to prevent unrealistic situations. From my knowledge it's meant to represent the very peak a player could get to assuming perfect development (most players don't reach their PA). It's not meant to be potential at birth, but rather potential at the time they are generated in game. The modelling of the difference of clubs beyond academy level is done through how close they get to their PA, not how high it is. The PA itself takes into account the effect of, as you call it, "Pre-FM" development (that is, before the age they appear in the game).

It is well worth noting that some truly exceptional players can and do come form nations you wouldn't expect. I've seen Burmese World Player of the Years. I've had a North Marianas Islands superstar, a World Class Zanzibari player and even a Papuan World Team of the Year player. The best defender I've ever seen in an FM game was Zambian. They are rare, but they can and do appear in game.

The key to PA is that it's there to produce a fluid and realistic game world, and largely works on the law of averages. I've seen players in game be a mid league one level player around 24, and by 30 be a World Player of the year (post game checks showed he had 190+ PA, but was only around ~110-120 CA at 24, seems he had a change of attitude later in his career). It models the real world quite well. The biggest issue is the way that PA is given to real players much of the time (mostly as people get a bit emotional when their favourite player "hits the ceiling").

At the end of the day it's just a modelling method, and an effective one that produces realistic results on the whole.

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This is a decent way of putting it. PA is there to produce a realistic game world, not because someone gains an innate potential. Though I think PA is less about "Potential At Birth" and more about "Potential at 14-15", which are very different (as players have learned the basics by that age). Having a hard cap is a philosophical issue for some, but a good method of modelling to produce a realistic game world.

Yes, true, I suppose, although I hold to the idea that anyone can achieve anything with the correct attitude/effort/etc, provided they don't have debilitating limitations. Such as having crippling asthma etc.

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This is an issue that I've thought a lot about over the years and I think the problem of PA is not something that can be solved with 'dynamic' PA, due to some pretty serious repercussions that would arise.

If PA is dynamic, that means, as many have stated, anyone can theoretically become Messi, or at the very least vastly improve beyond what a static PA would allow them to become. That sounds awesome on paper, but huge problems would arise in the execution. Number one on that list being it does have to be possible. World Class players have to be able to be created with some kind of frequency. Many have suggested it should come down to some kind of formula of training + coaches + facilities etc.

The problem with that is that SI would have to come up with this forumula, then hard code that into the game. Once someone figures it out, it would be easily replicate, especially at a top club. If I'm playing as Real Madrid and have vacuumed up all the top coaching talent, kept my facilities at 5 stars while giving all my newgens a lot of playing time at various levels with optimal tutors and training regimes, what is stopping them all from being messi? Is it natural fitness? Personality? Work rate, determination? If any of those are the answer, all dynamic PA has done is shift the one number God stat to a different attribute.

With the way these forums operate and the amount of people that play and post online about FM, theres no way whatever the algorithm or equation that SI would code into the game to govern a dynamic PA would remain hidden for long. Someone would figure out the optimal development path, post about it, then everyone would know what to do.

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The PA argument is possibly the most fascinating discussion you can have about FM. Everything almost always comes down to the Gareth Bale example.

I think a lot has improved on FM15 with the introduction of black stars to show your coaches uncertainty over a players future, but it still doesn't quite solve the problem of a player exceeding all the expectations of them. I don't think Gareth Bale was ever considered a player capable of becoming one of the top 5 in the world, a very good player perhaps but I'd be surprised if any coach or scout had ever seen his ability coming. I agree with what others have said; if you train hard enough and are committed enough you can succeed at almost anything, even when you're not expected too. Bale is an example of a player who put so much effort into improving his game that he actually ended up better than anyone expected. FM doesn't really replicate that right now, but hopefully one day it might.

I'm not suggesting a feature that allows anyone's PA to move around from 60 to 190, we don't want anyone becoming Messi or Ronaldo. Currently the game takes minus numbers at the start and translates them into a specific fixed number. However I don't see the problem in keeping a players PA as a minus number until he hits a higher age, say 22/23, therefore a players ability is still set but is way less specific. I think that would be a start, in future I'd like a player capable of having a Pa between -7 and -9 for example to show a greater uncertainty.

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There should always be a ceiling on a player...

What I've always thought SI should move to is an elastic model of the CA/PA system.

By that I mean, a player should certainly be given a PA, but this could be shifted slightly up or down as events develop throughout his career...

Example 1. Lower league player with set PA of 100 gets given a long run in the team, he is in the form of his life and his club have hired a specialised coach for his position and put him on a good training regime.. this, and taking into account his determination and hidden attributes, give him the chance to push that up say 10-20 points to PA - 120 or so.

Example 2. Top prospect at Charlton in the championship with PA 160 gets picked up by one of the big boys in the premiership due to brilliant scout report, but doesn't get much playing time + injuries etc... his PA slowly drops a few points to 140... and unless he's sold to another club where he gets playing time and changes attitude, he stays at 140.. but of course he can lift that up again with some work.

All within certain parameters of course based on attitude, determination etc...

It fits easily within the model already in place, allows players to be more dynamic in their development with no defined ceiling on their potential, but also doesn't allow everyone to train to be messi's and ronaldo's...

Having said that, the current system would be simple and perfect if it wasn't for everyone inevitably knowing every players PA after a while.. it's a shame, but a fact really.

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So going by beka's logic, anyone one of us could go to Real Madrid, participate in their training, and become a player? Anyone want to go in on a taxi from the airport?

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I don't know if this was discussed before, below is an example why I think that PA shouldn't be fixed:

In real life if Real Madrid really wanted, it can make any young player with poor potential in fm db(PA = 50) to be mediocre player(PA = 100), this is a fact and this game can't simulate it.

What I mean is, say I really like some 3rd league youngster with PA=50, and I want him to play for my 1st league club in the future. In real life we will be able to make him a solid player with the help of right specialists and right training regime. But in fm only because he has predefined PA, I will never be able to do that. Why people with PA 50 can NEVER reach CA 100? Are they invalids or disabled?

Between, many psychologists believe that most geniuses can be trained, and people have unlimited potential. That's why I think that most players should have potential to be Messi/Ronaldo/Zidane/Pirlo/Ibrahimovic... but to do that should be very very hard for most players and little bit easier for others. It comes down to how to design it. I read some bright ideas here and I am sure that this can be implemented not affecting the overall game performance.

PS: Current fm is like a caste system: there are wonderkids, and there trash players, and no matter what trash do they remain trash.

No.. Beka is just falling into the same trap as most in here. His example shows exactly why we should never know PA.

In reality, the player Beka is talking about always had that 100 pa, but just wasn't in a place he could ever reach it without Real's training and specialists... that's how the system should work, it's just a shame the training and development model isn't aggressive enough at the moment, it's too easy to get players to their potential really.

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There should always be a ceiling on a player...

What I've always thought SI should move to is an elastic model of the CA/PA system.

By that I mean, a player should certainly be given a PA, but this could be shifted slightly up or down as events develop throughout his career...

Yes! A dynamic PA system. I had also been considering this for the past few years but never got around to putting idea on paper (and hadn't noticed this thread either). In previous FM games I hated the idea that a young player's future is capped by fate, or a hard number. There should be a ceiling as you said, but I would love to see some flexibility in terms of a player's long term PA. There are many players IRL who may not be the most talented, but ended up becoming a late bloomer because of their determination and attitude to succeed. I would love to see that in FM.

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So going by beka's logic, anyone one of us could go to Real Madrid, participate in their training, and become a player? Anyone want to go in on a taxi from the airport?

Me :)

In all seriousness though, I kind of get what he's saying. Let's say for arguments sake you (or me) have a current PA of 25, if you we're exposed to Reals coaches / nutritionists / physios etc for long enough, you would be a better footballer (still never, ever, ever good enough to play for them) but you might be able to double your potential.

If you were already a modest pro footballer (League 2 for example) you would benefit less from the facilities, i.e you couldn't double your ability, but you might still be able to have a more modest increase.

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There should always be a ceiling on a player...

What I've always thought SI should move to is an elastic model of the CA/PA system.

By that I mean, a player should certainly be given a PA, but this could be shifted slightly up or down as events develop throughout his career...

Example 1. Lower league player with set PA of 100 gets given a long run in the team, he is in the form of his life and his club have hired a specialised coach for his position and put him on a good training regime.. this, and taking into account his determination and hidden attributes, give him the chance to push that up say 10-20 points to PA - 120 or so.

Example 2. Top prospect at Charlton in the championship with PA 160 gets picked up by one of the big boys in the premiership due to brilliant scout report, but doesn't get much playing time + injuries etc... his PA slowly drops a few points to 140... and unless he's sold to another club where he gets playing time and changes attitude, he stays at 140.. but of course he can lift that up again with some work.

All within certain parameters of course based on attitude, determination etc...

It fits easily within the model already in place, allows players to be more dynamic in their development with no defined ceiling on their potential, but also doesn't allow everyone to train to be messi's and ronaldo's...

Having said that, the current system would be simple and perfect if it wasn't for everyone inevitably knowing every players PA after a while.. it's a shame, but a fact really.

Yeah, this is what I meant :D

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Yes! A dynamic PA system. I had also been considering this for the past few years but never got around to putting idea on paper (and hadn't noticed this thread either). In previous FM games I hated the idea that a young player's future is capped by fate, or a hard number. There should be a ceiling as you said, but I would love to see some flexibility in terms of a player's long term PA. There are many players IRL who may not be the most talented, but ended up becoming a late bloomer because of their determination and attitude to succeed. I would love to see that in FM.

I would also like there to be a random element in the elasticity of their given PA too, so you aren't getting the same every game.

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I too have thought about this but I cannot honestly think of another way it could be done. I do agree that it is quite annoying though. I think while Bale and Smalling are decent examples, there are better examples of things that cannot be done in FM.

Swansea City and Southampton are two teams which this is true for.

Both teams have players that helped them through the divisions but are also still top quality premier league players. The likes of Leon Britton, Ashley Williams, Adam Lallana, Ricky Lambert, and so on. You could also look at players like Charlie Austin, Grant Holt, Danny Graham, Ashley Westwood, Danny Ings, and so on. Players who can just cut it at what ever level they are playing at (although some of the examples have gone off the radar a little now).

But this type of thing doesn't happen in FM, that I have witnessed. The way FM works is usually a player with have a low PA, and then they'll do well IRL and then the next game they will just get a PA increase. You can't really fault SI for this, as no one knows the future. But it does mean that say a youth player you think is going to be amazing, his in game PA is low and is a "rot in the reserves" player in game, then shows more potential and is a useful player in the next years game.

I understand the issue, but I don't think there is a better way of doing it. Since if all players are well coached and play games then wouldn't all players in game be incredible?

This is why I personally play on a custom DB. I often make amendments to players PA, even if I don't plan on signing them. I also use the in game editor now for this too. I don't think of it as "cheating", it just keeps things more interesting and means that some players will be good, even if their original PA says other wise.

But yeah, it's a complex issue and I can't see a real way around it.

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Me :)

In all seriousness though, I kind of get what he's saying. Let's say for arguments sake you (or me) have a current PA of 25, if you we're exposed to Reals coaches / nutritionists / physios etc for long enough, you would be a better footballer (still never, ever, ever good enough to play for them) but you might be able to double your potential.

If you were already a modest pro footballer (League 2 for example) you would benefit less from the facilities, i.e you couldn't double your ability, but you might still be able to have a more modest increase.

But that's where the debate is, not the facts as he stated. Personally I believe that everyone has a potential. It's very woolly in real life and not really relevant. It's a Schrodinger's Cat - a number that no-one can actually observe anyway. But in FM, suddenly this becomes something that people get quite obsessive about, and can actually rank players by, unlike real life. That, in my opinion, should be a completely fixed number. The leeway should come in reaching that number.

Joe (or Jose) Bloggs, with his PA of 180, could be lucky to reach 140 when he spends his entire career at a League 2 club, but then could reach that magic 180 if he gets his move to the Premiership. Or it could go the other way around completely if the Premiership side wastes his talents. But for me, the absolute certainty is that PA should be static.

The only "non-staticness" I'd support would be the currently used minus PAs, where it's randomised within a range. That's fine, and gives variation between saves, but it's still a fixed number once you press continue that first time, and becomes a goal for you to reach. I can't imagine people would be too happy if they knew that, potentially, their 200PA striker only ended up being a 150PA because of randomisation. It should be solely down to how you, or an AI manager, can nurture him, rather than putting some shifting ceiling on it.

I too have thought about this but I cannot honestly think of another way it could be done. I do agree that it is quite annoying though. I think while Bale and Smalling are decent examples, there are better examples of things that cannot be done in FM.

Swansea City and Southampton are two teams which this is true for.

Both teams have players that helped them through the divisions but are also still top quality premier league players. The likes of Leon Britton, Ashley Williams, Adam Lallana, Ricky Lambert, and so on. You could also look at players like Charlie Austin, Grant Holt, Danny Graham, Ashley Westwood, Danny Ings, and so on. Players who can just cut it at what ever level they are playing at (although some of the examples have gone off the radar a little now).

But this type of thing doesn't happen in FM, that I have witnessed. The way FM works is usually a player with have a low PA, and then they'll do well IRL and then the next game they will just get a PA increase. You can't really fault SI for this, as no one knows the future. But it does mean that say a youth player you think is going to be amazing, his in game PA is low and is a "rot in the reserves" player in game, then shows more potential and is a useful player in the next years game.

I understand the issue, but I don't think there is a better way of doing it. Since if all players are well coached and play games then wouldn't all players in game be incredible?

This is why I personally play on a custom DB. I often make amendments to players PA, even if I don't plan on signing them. I also use the in game editor now for this too. I don't think of it as "cheating", it just keeps things more interesting and means that some players will be good, even if their original PA says other wise.

But yeah, it's a complex issue and I can't see a real way around it.

You actually raise a good point - the mismatch between, say, the FM15 db now, and the real life data in 9 months time. There is no way around this, unless SI are going to do some kind of live updates system like EA do with FIFA (except theirs would have to be much more complex etc etc). If you're someone who yearns for the "real" players, that is seeing youth team players you know well develop, then I guess you may end up seeing problems with development. I don't play that way, and personally don't give PA a thought beyond the knowledge that a ceiling exists.

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to me, it would seem that potential ability for all players is too low, and reaching the height of potential is too easy. How many players in fm reach their full pa? People say it is rare, but to me in the real world only one percent of the one percent of players ever reach their max potential. If I'm in game searching for regens, im looking for the 5* guys, that is usually it. I argue that there should be a ton more guys rated with 4-5* potential, but only a fraction of those guys ever reach their max potential, based on a number of factors. It is just too easy now to look at a 15 year old and see that they could be good enough for the championship or good enough for the premier league with far too much accuracy.

My issue could be addressed by either altering how scouts look at young prospects or by increasing pa as a whole, while making it harder to reach at the same time.

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The only truly genetically limited skill set is physical. I will never be able to run 100m in sub ten seconds. However with enough repetition I will be able to control the ball like Pirlo, or strike a ball like Becks.

I Urge you all to read Talent code by Daniel Coyle. 10,000 reps seems to be the "rule" to develop world class skill set in anything, literally learning a language can be broken down to this 10,000 hour/rep "rule". Some of the tripe here is insane. I was very similar in thought process when I lived in the UK, if you aint born with it you aint gunna get it. Then I moved to the US and began to coach College Soccer as well as run College recruitment camps it was then my eyes were widened to the potential we all have.

Yes there is a cap in how far someone will progress but that cap I think; is more to do with the mental side. No matter how fast Bolt is, if he didnt have the determination to work hard at his craft he could just running along the beaches in Jamaica winning money through bets. Or, Messi in the wrong location, may never have been able to get the medication he needed to overcome his medical condition.

Side note, Look at the average height of ALL players considered to be the best of their generation, Pele, Maradonna, George Best, Gasgoine, Garincha, Messi, they are all under or at 5'10. So no Ronaldo will never be as good as Messi as he is at a natural disadvantage. Ronaldos Center of gravity is considerably thrown off by the extra what 5 inches in height. Anyway.

This is not, and should not be a ******* contest, but do we have any ACTUAL Pro scouts or coaches that can shed some light onto the world of pro scouting? I see alot of people reference stats or research but no piece of research has been linked.

There has been some papers linked that refute the 10,000 of deliberate practice. This is a passage from a paper, "In it, Johansson argues that deliberate practice is only a predictor of success in fields that have super stable structures. For example, in tennis, chess, and classical music, the rules never change, so you can study up to become the best."

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/new-study-destroys-malcolm-gladwells-10000-rule-2014-7#ixzz3HZWGbG4u

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Or factor in a possiblity of error on the researchers side. 20% decrease of increase for example. Would also add variety latter in the the games

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...hahahahahahahahaha...

Why perform thread necromancy?

The PA debate is very simple. You aren't meant to be looking at the under the hood numbers. CA isn't the be all and end all of performance, a 130 CA player can be very decent at Premier League level and a 160 CA player can be rubbish. PA is just there to facilitate a change in CA and prevent unrealistic situations in game. It's just a limit factor. Despite claims otherwise, regens with high PA are produced in many clubs you wouldn't expect, the biggest issue that could be argued is that there aren't enough high PA players in smaller clubs in the starting database for whatever reason.

There are players out there who just aren't that talented. There are players who no matter how they were trained just won't be that good. Players in game rarely reach their PA, that's how the difference between being trained at Real Madrid or Sheffield FC is modeled.

thread necromancy: The act of posting in a thread on an Internet forum, that is already considered dead or/and out of discussion.

Sir, you use interesting words.

I noticed the date of the last thread just after I posted.

You give a good argument, but still I disagree with you. People didn't know much about Dortmund team before 2012, but in 2012 they already knew their squad and already knew most of their star players. And people began to say, actually Dortmund players are world class. Now not many say that AC Milan players are world class, but if they win the treble(same team but new coach), everyone will say they are world class. So IMAO it should also be implemented in FM.

What I want to say is, if you won the PL with Sunderland without buying stars, most of your squad in FM would have the same PA. But in real life all of those players would get big gain to their reputation. I think you should get some reward for players for achieving big things.

So I agree with people saying that players should get more maximum potential, either static or dynamic, but only be able to achieve them passing certain milestones.

For example being top 5 in the league player ratings or top 5 in goalscorers or winning the league etc. that way not everyone will become Messi, because only 1 team wins the league. If some first league player consistently scores 30-40 goals per season( or have 8.00 rating) no one should argue that he's world class, even if he has 120 PA. This way you can start with midtable team and actually produce world class players within the team in couple of seasons.

Well it's up to SI whether to alter PA or not, but I am sure they always want to improve the system, making it more realistic and also more enjoyable for gamers.

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I agree somewhat with what beka says. I feel like players should get a small boost to their ability when winning a championship or getting promoted.

I, however, disagree with the whole PA debate. PA has absolutely nothing to do with the game of FM in my opinion, and high PA or CA doesn't determine whether you are a good or bad player in game. There are many players with low CA/PA in FM 2014 who will perform equally or better than their counterparts with higher CA/PA because they have better attribute distribution. Or sometimes, players with low PA just happen to have more attribute points than other players. I will focus on central defenders for my argument, because I feel like it's easier to tell which is a decent center back and which one is rubbish.

For example, in FM 14 I discovered a young CB/DM from Tenerife called Alberto. This player starts around 100 CA if I'm not mistaken, with a PA varying between 125-145. Still, his attributes are extremely good for his low CA/PA and if you get lucky and end up getting his 145 iteration in your game, can become a world beater with 16s in Jumping, Strength, Anticipation, Bravery, Composure, Concentration, Positioning, Work Rate, Heading, Marking, Tackling. This guy is an absolute monster in the game! except. . . AI managers and scouts think he's garbage.

And that is the problem with Football Manager in my opinion. As a player, you can build a team of stars based on their attributes. Players in FM 14 like Lamine Sane, Kara, or Cheikhou Kouyate are amazing CBs and can easily set the Premier League alight, but your scouts and other AI managers will not rate them in the least bit due to their low CA/PA. Even worse, in the case of Alberto, despite him averaging 7.4 for about three years straight in my game, he is not called up to the Spain National team. Instead they prefer to call up Iñigo Martinez, that one horrible CB with 13 Jumping/Strength/Pace/Acceleration who somehow has earned a high reputation/CA number.

For future versions of Football Manager, I feel that scouts and AI managers need to guide themselves on player form and their actual attributes in order to make purchases/national team call ups. I understand that the player isn't supposed to look at these values, but the AI does check them and falls into a trap because of it. In a long game, you will see many regens being created with high PA, and the AI will pounce on them. Then you end up with Chelsea playing the 180CA/190PA center back who is 175cm tall and has Strength 11 Jumping 9, but my Derby team gets to sign a 145CA/150PA guy with 17s in all of the key stats for a center back.

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I agree Carlos and I've said similar things in the past that IMO the single biggest thing needed to improve long term games in FM is to develop an AI that is much more intelligent rather than almost entirely based on (perceived) CA/PA & reputation. That's what'll get me to buy a future iteration, not endless tinkering with the match engine and tactical side of things, because I enjoy playing FM as a squad building challenge rather than a tactical one. Unfortunately unless you artificially constrain yourself, over the long term it's too easy to outwit the current AI on squad building and the over focus on CA, PA & reputation is a big factor in this.

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thread necromancy: The act of posting in a thread on an Internet forum, that is already considered dead or/and out of discussion.

Sir, you use interesting words.

I noticed the date of the last thread just after I posted.

You give a good argument, but still I disagree with you. People didn't know much about Dortmund team before 2012, but in 2012 they already knew their squad and already knew most of their star players. And people began to say, actually Dortmund players are world class. Now not many say that AC Milan players are world class, but if they win the treble(same team but new coach), everyone will say they are world class. So IMAO it should also be implemented in FM.

What I want to say is, if you won the PL with Sunderland without buying stars, most of your squad in FM would have the same PA. But in real life all of those players would get big gain to their reputation. I think you should get some reward for players for achieving big things.

So I agree with people saying that players should get more maximum potential, either static or dynamic, but only be able to achieve them passing certain milestones.

For example being top 5 in the league player ratings or top 5 in goalscorers or winning the league etc. that way not everyone will become Messi, because only 1 team wins the league. If some first league player consistently scores 30-40 goals per season( or have 8.00 rating) no one should argue that he's world class, even if he has 120 PA. This way you can start with midtable team and actually produce world class players within the team in couple of seasons.

Well it's up to SI whether to alter PA or not, but I am sure they always want to improve the system, making it more realistic and also more enjoyable for gamers.

Again, if a team has performed better than expected, and the players are upgraded in future versions, it's a sign that the database producers got their PA wrong, not that that winning titles magically made them better players. They won title because they were good players, not the other way around. Gaining PA for winning things would be the gameiest thing they could possibly do.

Reputation in the game plays a huge role, there are high PA players who go for nothing in the game, and that scouts entirely right off due to low reputation, the game models situations like Dortmund quite well, I've seen in happen in multiple versions.

You also keep confusing performance with CA/PA. High CA players can be rubbish, whilst low CA players can be brilliant. I usually check over games when I'm done with them to see exactly what CA/PA shaped up for key players around the world, and it's bizarre to see my top end striker having a PA around the 150 mark, having torn the world to shreds over their career. If the player is already performing at that level, they are World Class. You aren't even meant to see the PA, if they're scoring 30-40 per season, averaging 8.00, they are by definition World Class, even if their PA was 19.

Again, PA is meant to be an invisible system to prevent the constant creation of Messi level players, and offer a realistic feel to player development, and it does exactly that. It's one of the most solid parts of the game. To be completely honest I've seen it create some brilliant game worlds, and throw up plenty of surprises, from Luca Toni type players, to the Francis Jeffers of the world. It's a well worked system.

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I Urge you all to read Talent code by Daniel Coyle. 10,000 reps seems to be the "rule" to develop world class skill set in anything, literally learning a language can be broken down to this 10,000 hour/rep "rule". Some of the tripe here is insane. I was very similar in thought process when I lived in the UK, if you aint born with it you aint gunna get it. Then I moved to the US and began to coach College Soccer as well as run College recruitment camps it was then my eyes were widened to the potential we all have.

But that's probably because you've been exposed to the narrative all vastly unequal societies need to promulgate constantly, that "success" is a matter of hard work, determination, persistence etc, thus justifying (often through spurious research) the social hierarchy. It's probably truer of sport than most disciplines, but still insanely myopic.

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There should always be a ceiling on a player...

What I've always thought SI should move to is an elastic model of the CA/PA system.

By that I mean, a player should certainly be given a PA, but this could be shifted slightly up or down as events develop throughout his career...

Example 1. Lower league player with set PA of 100 gets given a long run in the team, he is in the form of his life and his club have hired a specialised coach for his position and put him on a good training regime.. this, and taking into account his determination and hidden attributes, give him the chance to push that up say 10-20 points to PA - 120 or so.

Example 2. Top prospect at Charlton in the championship with PA 160 gets picked up by one of the big boys in the premiership due to brilliant scout report, but doesn't get much playing time + injuries etc... his PA slowly drops a few points to 140... and unless he's sold to another club where he gets playing time and changes attitude, he stays at 140.. but of course he can lift that up again with some work.

All within certain parameters of course based on attitude, determination etc...

It fits easily within the model already in place, allows players to be more dynamic in their development with no defined ceiling on their potential, but also doesn't allow everyone to train to be messi's and ronaldo's...

Having said that, the current system would be simple and perfect if it wasn't for everyone inevitably knowing every players PA after a while.. it's a shame, but a fact really.

The thing is, your new system is effectively the exact same thing we have now. Assuming that there is a maximum amount of 'PA boost' he can get for being in form, a maximum amount for having the theoretical best coaches and facilities, a maximum amount for his mental attributes etc, he will still have a hard cap on his PA. All you are doing is going from a system where the fixed maximum PA is stated in the database, to a system where the fixed maximum PA is a function of a bunch of fixed values .In both cases there is a fixed PA, your new system just obscures it behind a bunch of other values, making the database and research much harder to balance.

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