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Potential Ability: The "Jamie Vardy" problem

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One recurring topic on this forum is the question over how "realistic" set potential abilities are in the game. On one hand, they tend to do a pretty good job of setting out how good a player is likely to be able to become, especially at the top level, allowing for variation depending on attitude, management and coaching, with the potential to make it somewhat random too. On the other hand though, it is flawed in that it relies on researchers having crystal balls: unless they predict years in advance the next unknown player to become a superstar, it will be impossible for that player to do so in the game. This results in things being a little too stale and immersion breaking, without there being any way for the game to reflect that uncertainty, as well as with the potential for things to go the other way and the game to give a completely useless footballer a potential that makes him a superstar who will be instantly signed by every user that knows about him - hello there To Madeira :lol: Chances are the non-leagues do hold another Rickie Lambert or Jamie Vardy, but it's totally unreasonable to expect SI to have the faintest idea who that is.

As a solution though, I don't believe like some we need to abolish PA - on the whole the system works well. Instead, my idea is that for both CA and PA, standard deviation is added to the database. That way, for established players who are well-researched, it can be set to 0 and things remain as they are. But for lower leagues where clubs may not even have individual researchers and there's always the possibility of an undiscovered talent, a high SD can be set for PA and a lower one for CA. That way, even if each player only has a 0.5% chance of a PA up to the standards of Vardy, there's every chance there'll be a couple in the non-leagues, but a different couple with each save game - and no guarentee they'll have the attitude to make it to the top anyway. But if one of them does and the user or the AI can spot them, it could add a dimension to the game and scouting system not normally seen until newgens are predominant and more easily allow for shock events to happen in-game like the rise of Leicester City, as well as arguably being more realistic given the limitation of researchers who are a) mere human beings and b) evidently not established enough in the footballing world, in most cases, to become professional scouts and not particularly well-placed to do any better than them.

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Actually there are SI researchers who are also professional scouts, either as part of a network or employed by the same clubs that they provide research data for in FM, currently the data does allow for uncertainty in potential so maybe the solution is even simpler & is to widen the ranges of the minus PA values are the middle to lower end (-7 down) & allow for overlap so that as an example the top end of -5 PA can be the same or higher than the lower end of a -6 PA player.

Can't see that working for CA, if a scout/researcher is not willing to state their opinion on a player's currently ability they need to do something else.

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Actually there are SI researchers who are also professional scouts, either as part of a network or employed by the same clubs that they provide research data for in FM, currently the data does allow for uncertainty in potential so maybe the solution is even simpler & is to widen the ranges of the minus PA values are the middle to lower end (-7 down) & allow for overlap so that as an example the top end of -5 PA can be the same or higher than the lower end of a -6 PA player.

Can't see that working for CA, if a scout/researcher is not willing to state their opinion on a player's currently ability they need to do something else.

Some, sure, but the ones assigned to lower-league or non-league clubs? It seems doubtful in most cases. By no means an attack on them as they do a fantastic job, but it's madness to expect them to outperform every professional scout in the Premier League, given that each and every club there would've signed him without question whilst he was at Halifax Town if they had the foresight researchers need to give an accurate rating.

Widening the ranges would be a step in the right direction, but they generally are only used for young players and are just not flexible enough. It still doesn't allow for a possibility that the scouting network has totally missed a future superstar and written him off as your average non-league footballer.

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Some, sure, but the ones assigned to lower-league or non-league clubs? It seems doubtful in most cases. By no means an attack on them as they do a fantastic job, but it's madness to expect them to outperform every professional scout in the Premier League, given that each and every club there would've signed him without question whilst he was at Halifax Town if they had the foresight researchers need to give an accurate rating.

Widening the ranges would be a step in the right direction, but they generally are only used for young players and are just not flexible enough. It still doesn't allow for a possibility that the scouting network has totally missed a future superstar and written him off as your average non-league footballer.

Well, not they wouldn't, given that Halifax to this season is 4/5 years of development that a Prem team wouldn't have been able to invest. His first season at Leicester was so poor he almost got sold.

His record this season is due to the team being directly built and playing to all of his strengths. Not every team was gonna make that move, Leicester only started that this year. He went 34 games and scored 5 last season in the same league and team.

Vardy success is more down to playing the right man in the right system than him being underrated by the scouts. Is he a vastly different/improved player from last season to this?

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This is interesting, a good read. Yes there are great young talents in the game, i've had some myself but the question is which club were you at when you had a starlet. Honestly speaking i have not played a lot of lower leagues lately but has anyone had a player scouted or bought from the top rich clubs around europe whilst for e.g. playing 4th division in england or anywhere else. I'm keen to know this because when i come across youth talent or build them up it's mainly for popular teams. I've never managed to pickup a star player from say 4th division. I know it doesn't happen often but it does happen at times.

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Irregardless of the arguments going on about the scouting ability of lower league scouts, I actually think this is good a nice idea! Obviously this standard deviation would need to be coupled with a longer time to develop as I think a player usually reaches his max ability at 24 (though of course some of his stats redistribute themselves over the rest of his career). To have players like Jamie Vardy, Adil Rami, Ian Wright and so on develop in game I think there would have to be a longer window of development for players with a higher standard deviation of PA.

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The problem is always a case of how do you predict it? Adding a random chance isn't the solution. Few players have a truly random PA (the -Number is a range of numbers you feel it will fall in as a researcher) and in some cases there is certainty. Jon Walters was a 1 in 5 striker for Wrexham in League 2, and a 1 in 3 striker for Chester in League 2. It's almost a certainty at that point you feel Jon Walters isn't capable of going on to become a premier league footballer, you'd have to say that even under this model the sensible thing to do would be to set his SD to 0. But he did go on to become a solid Premier League footballer and is to this day, he never got to the heights Vardy did, and he never showed any of the same goalscoring so you'd either be purely randomising it with a low chance (which historically SI has never really seemed to favour) or just moving the goalposts for a slightly different system that would still function largely as it does now.

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and yet we have league 1 standard players at FC united in this game.

There's one League One standard player at FC United, and he was a regular in that division and in the SPL a couple of years ago. What are you on about?

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If you have two 70 CA 17 year olds, there is no reason why one of them should have the potential to become better than the other.

Sure there are things like professionalism and avoiding injuries and being at the right club at the right time, but all of those are already in the game in other ways.

The other issue I have a problem with is how the game world rarely give the player the chance to drastically improve above the age of about 23-24.

Perhaps a club signs tons of players, so player X improve due to having better team mates. Or he is sold to a club where he get the chance to play, and he starts to improve for that reason.

Or he just keeps improving throughout his career due to a high training ethics.

Jamie Vardy is a special case, but it is not THAT special that we cannot find semi similar cases. I find PA to be an outdated system, and a more “dynamic/flowing” system should be considered.

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This doesn't add up to me. In the lower leagues there are some clodders who, with enough research would definitely not become stars (this would be > 99% of players). Giving EVERY lower league player that SI doesn't have the resources to scout extensively a shot at being a PL player (even if 1 in 1000) is far less realistic than the scenario now.

I have had players in my Welsh/Lower league saves that I have been unable to integrate into my tactic despite them being better than the incumbent in their position that would then go on to be very good Championship players, a far higher level than I was offering.

I think Vardy would have been a solid player at Championship level 5-6 years ago (it's why Leicester were willing to pay a record fee from non-league for him), and it's entirely possible to have Championship quality players in a non-league team. I had one in FM 15 (forget the name, he was Aruban) who left me for Hull as they were getting promoted from Championship > Premier League. Not dissimilar to Vardy, he was late 20s as well, not some youth player. Sure he didn't score 20 league goals, but the Vardy story is miraculous, FM shouldn't design their game around unicorns.

While the overall point is true that CA/PA could be improved upon, this wouldn't be a suitable solution, nor do I have the brains to know what would be.

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Jamie Vardy: The face that launched a thousand terrible ideas about PA.

Has he got better in the past few years? Yes.

Has his potential to get even better changed in the past few years? No.

He was always capable of reaching this level, all that's changed is his current ability, much in the way it currently does in FM.

Not really sure what putting more randomness into PA and/or CA would really achieve.

And on the subject of Vardy, all that's really happened is that he was always capable of playing at this level, just now the system he is involved in is absolutely perfect for the way he wants to play. Nothing miraculous about it, it's just an immense work-rate, allied with talent and a very suitable system. Much like you can do in FM, as people will attest to when they put that player that every coach seems to think is rotten and he scores a hat-trick.

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Jamie Vardy: The face that launched a thousand terrible ideas about PA.

Has he got better in the past few years? Yes.

Has his potential to get even better changed in the past few years? No.

He was always capable of reaching this level, all that's changed is his current ability, much in the way it currently does in FM.

Not really sure what putting more randomness into PA and/or CA would really achieve.

And on the subject of Vardy, all that's really happened is that he was always capable of playing at this level, just now the system he is involved in is absolutely perfect for the way he wants to play. Nothing miraculous about it, it's just an immense work-rate, allied with talent and a very suitable system. Much like you can do in FM, as people will attest to when they put that player that every coach seems to think is rotten and he scores a hat-trick.

But he wouldn't be able to do that in FM. I challenge anyone to dig out a copy of FM11 or 12, and get Vardy to score 20+ Premier League goals and play for England. Because the current system relies on reasearchers having a perfectly accurate idea of a player's potential. If you're saying that is was always possible this would happen, it should always have been possible in-game - but it wasn't, and he isn't the first example of that.

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But he wouldn't be able to do that in FM. I challenge anyone to dig out a copy of FM11 or 12, and get Vardy to score 20+ Premier League goals and play for England. Because the current system relies on reasearchers having a perfectly accurate idea of a player's potential. If you're saying that is was always possible this would happen, it should always have been possible in-game - but it wasn't, and he isn't the first example of that.

No, not Vardy specifically, but then how does your system achieve that either? But you can find players playing in the lower leagues that have high potential but low current ability, with certain attributes, and turn them into a star in higher divisions. Hell, you don't even need high potential at times if they have the right attributes.

Basically, everyone gets hung up on Vardy specifically. But using a specific example like that is the same as laughing at Richard Keys because he said Ranieri would be sacked as Leicester boss very early on. He might be a ridiculous man, but he wasn't the only one thinking that back then. There is no point in looking at what's happening now, and then looking back to FM09 and trying to shoehorn changes into the next version to cover some outlying case. A case that happens with newgens anyway.

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Real life lower league players like Vardy could be better modelled in FM by having the technical & physical abilities of higher level players but being very much lacking in the mental attributes to the point that they are only useful in the lower leagues & much like any player tagged as a late bloomer will only ever make it at the top level when they sort out what's going on between their ears.

Getting mental attributes that are more accurate across the database would have a massive positive impact on the way FM simulates real life, by all accounts Vardy always had the talent but lacked the mental ability to apply himself to a level that is required to be a top player & only recently has he got the message that he was wasting his talent, it's the same with Luca Toni who is always trotted out in these debates as he was a complete waste of space until he grew up & sorted out his attitude.

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Jamie Vardy: The face that launched a thousand terrible ideas about PA.

Has he got better in the past few years? Yes.

Has his potential to get even better changed in the past few years? No.

He was always capable of reaching this level, all that's changed is his current ability, much in the way it currently does in FM.

Not really sure what putting more randomness into PA and/or CA would really achieve.

And on the subject of Vardy, all that's really happened is that he was always capable of playing at this level, just now the system he is involved in is absolutely perfect for the way he wants to play. Nothing miraculous about it, it's just an immense work-rate, allied with talent and a very suitable system. Much like you can do in FM, as people will attest to when they put that player that every coach seems to think is rotten and he scores a hat-trick.

The point is that the current system wouldn't allow a player like Jamie Vardy to exist for two reasons.

1) Let's go back a few years, look at him when he was at FC Halifax in 2010. As he is a player who has always had the potential to be as good as he is now that would mean that as a non-league player he would need to have been given a PA in the -7/-8 range, and that just doesn't happen in FM. You don't see non-league or lower league players given that kind of PA in the game.

2) Late bloomers are another thing that don't really exist in the game. Vardy has developed enormously as a footballer in the last 3 years, from age 26-29. In FM it's almost impossible for a player to undergo a big increase in CA at that age as the game very much biases development towards young player. If they're not the finished article by 23/24 then they're never going to improve much after that.

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See my previous post, the current system can allow for such players if the approach to rating technical, physical & mental attributes was tweaked, it is possible to have a 120CA 150PA player in non-league but have their non CA weighted mental attributes be so low that they are regarded as not being up to challenge by higher division clubs who scout them or are found wanting if they do get their chance higher up & only start to show their true technical ability if they are able to improve those mental attributes.

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The point is that the current system wouldn't allow a player like Jamie Vardy to exist for two reasons.

1) Let's go back a few years, look at him when he was at FC Halifax in 2010. As he is a player who has always had the potential to be as good as he is now that would mean that as a non-league player he would need to have been given a PA in the -7/-8 range, and that just doesn't happen in FM. You don't see non-league or lower league players given that kind of PA in the game.

2) Late bloomers are another thing that don't really exist in the game. Vardy has developed enormously as a footballer in the last 3 years, from age 26-29. In FM it's almost impossible for a player to undergo a big increase in CA at that age as the game very much biases development towards young player. If they're not the finished article by 23/24 then they're never going to improve much after that.

Number two is fair enough, as it's down to CA, not PA. CA should definitely be tweaked so that it grows - and falls - in a more intelligent manner, while PA remains static.

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Has his potential to get even better changed in the past few years? No.

Not at all, according to FM it has though. Which is the problem with potential ability. It isn’t that I want to put in FM12 and Jamie Vardy turns into a Premier League star.

What I want is for it to potentially happen. I want my sixteen year old, who I have no faith in to have the potential to turn into a world star. Show me any examples of a club not signing a player from the new batch of juniors and it turning into a “mistake”. Like Vardy at Sheffield Wednesday or Alba at Barcelona or Raul at Atletico. I want a player to come through the youth system at Terrible United and end up as a Premier League star, without being picked up by Manchester United already at the age of 16.

You talk about Vardy, who is a freak incident, but there are many others not so extreme ones. Benatia, Rami, Drogba, Lambert, Toni, Di Natale, Thiago Silva… The list goes on.

In the game it is basically “You are good at 16” = “You have a huge potential”. Without considering that some players develop earlier than others. No player in the world has ever been so good that there was no way for them to keep improving and the PA is a really artificially way of quantifying it. And for some reason the player PA is also available for your scout, which makes it way too easy to find out who is going to turn into a class player and who will fail. I am willing to bet that any 16-17 year old in Manchester Uniteds system has the potential to become a very good player. Having some wise guy tell me that they will never reach more than League Two level seems absurd.

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United's academy isn't magic. They take in just as many no-hopers as anyone (to put it in the harshest possible terms).

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The point is that the current system wouldn't allow a player like Jamie Vardy to exist for two reasons.

1) Let's go back a few years, look at him when he was at FC Halifax in 2010. As he is a player who has always had the potential to be as good as he is now that would mean that as a non-league player he would need to have been given a PA in the -7/-8 range, and that just doesn't happen in FM. You don't see non-league or lower league players given that kind of PA in the game.

2) Late bloomers are another thing that don't really exist in the game. Vardy has developed enormously as a footballer in the last 3 years, from age 26-29. In FM it's almost impossible for a player to undergo a big increase in CA at that age as the game very much biases development towards young player. If they're not the finished article by 23/24 then they're never going to improve much after that.

Also agreeing with point 2 here. There needs to be a smarter way of how CA can develop throughout the seasons in order to allow late bloomers to occur.

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You're all missing the point about what makes a player a late bloomer, irl it has nothing to do with their ability (CA) & is all about their mental traits.

Name a late bloomer & in each case they will be a player that has likely admitted to not having had the right attitude or focus when they were younger.

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Real life lower league players like Vardy could be better modelled in FM by having the technical & physical abilities of higher level players but being very much lacking in the mental attributes to the point that they are only useful in the lower leagues & much like any player tagged as a late bloomer will only ever make it at the top level when they sort out what's going on between their ears.

Getting mental attributes that are more accurate across the database would have a massive positive impact on the way FM simulates real life, by all accounts Vardy always had the talent but lacked the mental ability to apply himself to a level that is required to be a top player & only recently has he got the message that he was wasting his talent, it's the same with Luca Toni who is always trotted out in these debates as he was a complete waste of space until he grew up & sorted out his attitude.

This is what I have always thought, that the mental attributes should have more weight behind how good a player is.

Take Vardy for example. Aside from the fact that he is arguably playing in a perfect tactical system for him, can anyone honestly say (in FM attribute terms as well) that his First Touch, Pace, Acceleration, Finishing have improved since he was at Halifax in 2010? Doubtful. Maybe a point or two at most. What has improved is his mental game - in FM terms his Anticipation, Composure, Off The Ball, Work Rate etc.

How this translates into the game I have no idea. But generally if you took the average League 1 player and measured their technical abilities directly against an average Premier League player there wouldn't be much in it in most cases.

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For me it goes much deeper than that & is more linked to professionalism, consistency & ability to deal with the pressure of being a professional footballer, if you're lacking in those areas you can have all the talent (current or potential) in the world but you'll never make it as a professional player.

Edit: I've just created four such players at ages 16, 19, 22 & 25 in the editor & contracted them to AFC Telford, they all have 160PA & CA ranging from 88 to 124 but all four have been given appalling mental traits. I added a manager to a L1 club & in all instances the scout is recommending that they are not signed despite their obvious talent (Premier League potential). There are a couple of L1 & L2 AI clubs interested so I'll be putting the save on holiday processing to see how the players get on & if any of them improve their mental ability enough to make it at a higher level.

Edit 2: Realised that having them at the same club was a dumb idea so restarted with them at different clubs in the Conference North.

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For me it goes much deeper than that & is more linked to professionalism, consistency & ability to deal with the pressure of being a professional footballer, if you're lacking in those areas you can have all the talent (current or potential) in the world but you'll never make it as a professional player.

Edit: I've just created four such players at ages 16, 19, 22 & 25 in the editor & contracted them to AFC Telford, they all have 160PA & CA ranging from 88 to 124 but all four have been given appalling mental traits. I added a manager to a L1 club & in all instances the scout is recommending that they are not signed despite their obvious talent (Premier League potential). There are a couple of L1 & L2 AI clubs interested so I'll be putting the save on holiday processing to see how the players get on & if any of them improve their mental ability enough to make it at a higher level.

Edit 2: Realised that having them at the same club was a dumb idea so restarted with them at different clubs in the Conference North.

Have you set their loyalty quite high? I imagine low ambition should do a lot to prevent them from going waywardly demanding moves to bigger clubs but a bit of loyalty might ensure they don't. You don't necessarily want them marginalising themselves and that being an obstacle.

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I think a wider set of examples other than Vardy should be used, he obscures the debate at best. He's also only had one amazing season at Premier League level - he was a middling (though underrated) 'nuisance value' striker last season, along the lines of Shane Long. This could quite easily happen in FM - I've driven League 1 rated players to 7+ average ratings in the Premier League when I've been unable to sign a proper player for their position and designed systems that protect their weaknesses.

I would be more inclined to say the football manager scout 'got it wrong' with regards to Vardy's tools as a player (if the predicate here is go back to FM10 and make Vardy get signed by a PL team and play 20 times for England). Redeveloping an entire system that works save for one exceptional example is silly.

Also this idea that players can't develop beyond the age of 21-24 in FM is just nonsense. I tend to buy a lot of players based purely on scout reports in their mid 20s that still have room to develop and quite often I find they outperform the current rating that they were scouted as having.

I would suggest those players who've never experienced a 'late bloomer' in FM are probably selling all their players at 24 when they haven't performed as expected and they have a new wonderkid from Al-Ahly U9s they want to give minutes to. FM is a complicated game, and it's entirely possible that managers misuse a player horrendously for years and that a change of tactic could exploit the players strengths and make him a star.

Another tip is to try playing the game with bad scouts, you'll find they wildly underrate/overrate players. I think too much is made regarding PA/CA values - they are not part of the game interface, I'd be more willing to frame a players performance in terms of what they provide to a team instead of a number behind the scenes.

Could the CA/PA system be improved? Probably.

Has Jamie Vardy done anything to suggest the entire system is flawed and broken? No.

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Have you set their loyalty quite high? I imagine low ambition should do a lot to prevent them from going waywardly demanding moves to bigger clubs but a bit of loyalty might ensure they don't. You don't necessarily want them marginalising themselves and that being an obstacle.
They have been set to have poor mentalities to replicate the common issues with wasted talent.

Adaptability - 5

Ambition - 8

Consistency - 2

Controversy - 18

Dirtiness - 12

Important Matches - 2

Injury Proneness - 5

Loyalty - 10

Pressure - 2

Professionalism - 1

Sportsmanship - 3

Temperament - 4

Versatility - 5

Positions: ST - 20, all others - 1

Right Foot - 20

Left Foot - 15

Already had clubs drops their interest in all but one of the players, he's still got a few interested due to having 7 goals in 9 games.

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I think a wider set of examples other than Vardy should be used, he obscures the debate at best. He's also only had one amazing season at Premier League level - he was a middling (though underrated) 'nuisance value' striker last season, along the lines of Shane Long. This could quite easily happen in FM - I've driven League 1 rated players to 7+ average ratings in the Premier League when I've been unable to sign a proper player for their position and designed systems that protect their weaknesses.

I would be more inclined to say the football manager scout 'got it wrong' with regards to Vardy's tools as a player (if the predicate here is go back to FM10 and make Vardy get signed by a PL team and play 20 times for England). Redeveloping an entire system that works save for one exceptional example is silly.

Also this idea that players can't develop beyond the age of 21-24 in FM is just nonsense. I tend to buy a lot of players based purely on scout reports in their mid 20s that still have room to develop and quite often I find they outperform the current rating that they were scouted as having.

I would suggest those players who've never experienced a 'late bloomer' in FM are probably selling all their players at 24 when they haven't performed as expected and they have a new wonderkid from Al-Ahly U9s they want to give minutes to. FM is a complicated game, and it's entirely possible that managers misuse a player horrendously for years and that a change of tactic could exploit the players strengths and make him a star.

Another tip is to try playing the game with bad scouts, you'll find they wildly underrate/overrate players. I think too much is made regarding PA/CA values - they are not part of the game interface, I'd be more willing to frame a players performance in terms of what they provide to a team instead of a number behind the scenes.

Could the CA/PA system be improved? Probably.

Has Jamie Vardy done anything to suggest the entire system is flawed and broken? No.

Well said, Plachy. I have also experienced players have a late surge to their careers in previous FMs & iirc I posted details on a number of them when this subject came up for its monthly appearance towards the end of FM15.

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The whole idea of a potential rating in video games is ridiculous anyway.

Potential = Current ability and then factored for age.

Young players are signed, drafted, traded, whatever, based on how good they are right now, and how old they are. There's no "potential" skill. If two players are the same age, and the same current ability, then there is absolutely no reason one of them should have higher potential. It makes no sense.

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The whole idea of a potential rating in video games is ridiculous anyway.

Potential = Current ability and then factored for age.

Young players are signed, drafted, traded, whatever, based on how good they are right now, and how old they are. There's no "potential" skill. If two players are the same age, and the same current ability, then there is absolutely no reason one of them should have higher potential. It makes no sense.

Eh? Why would any club in real life sign any young player if any of that was true?

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The whole idea of a potential rating in video games is ridiculous anyway.

Potential = Current ability and then factored for age.

Young players are signed, drafted, traded, whatever, based on how good they are right now, and how old they are. There's no "potential" skill. If two players are the same age, and the same current ability, then there is absolutely no reason one of them should have higher potential. It makes no sense.

The way FM should work is that if two players are identical in every way then a scout/coach will view them both as having the same potential, this is called PPA (Perceived Potential Ability), the principle is that the NPC's in the game never know the actual PA value of any player as it only exists to ensure the code works to produce as realistic an output as possible.

Essentially FM is doing exactly what you want it do do because that replicates real life.

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This is what I have always thought, that the mental attributes should have more weight behind how good a player is.

Take Vardy for example. Aside from the fact that he is arguably playing in a perfect tactical system for him, can anyone honestly say (in FM attribute terms as well) that his First Touch, Pace, Acceleration, Finishing have improved since he was at Halifax in 2010? Doubtful. Maybe a point or two at most. What has improved is his mental game - in FM terms his Anticipation, Composure, Off The Ball, Work Rate etc.

How this translates into the game I have no idea. But generally if you took the average League 1 player and measured their technical abilities directly against an average Premier League player there wouldn't be much in it in most cases.

His finishing and touch have improved immensely.

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The way FM should work is that if two players are identical in every way then a scout/coach will view them both as having the same potential, this is called PPA (Perceived Potential Ability), the principle is that the NPC's in the game never know the actual PA value of any player as it only exists to ensure the code works to produce as realistic an output as possible.

Essentially FM is doing exactly what you want it do do because that replicates real life.

Is this definitely correct? I haven't tested this on 16 but the test I did on 15 proved the opposite. I created a 17 year old player with no 0 attributes and duplicated him 4 or 5 times, changing the potential for each. Report cards from two scouts (one JPA/JPC 20/20 and one 1/1) both reported the correct rank of potentials. With absolutely no differences between the players apart from PA, how is it possible that the scouts do not take the actual PA figure into account? There is nothing apart from the PA figure to suggest the players are in any way different.

This is just an area of interest for me because I think PA is quite a significant limitation on the scouting system overall. Personally I can't think of a way to make scouting realistic without some kind of extra step in between PA and the in game agents. I don't think PPA (which I think is a function of age, determination, ambition and professionalism? and PA of course) is the answer, and I think that development curves would be a more appropriate solution. This would mean scouts could "see" a certain number of years along the development curve and base their PA recommendation on this figure.

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I've ran a similar test a number of times & received satisfactory results, not done so since pre-release days of FM15 so it might be worth me doing it again.

One thing I am noticing from modified version of the test I mentioned above is that even with no level of consistency, an inability to handle pressure or any key mental elements of being a good professional footballer the players are scoring at a consistently high rate, this is potentially very disappointing.

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I think a wider set of examples other than Vardy should be used, he obscures the debate at best.

Could the CA/PA system be improved? Probably.

Has Jamie Vardy done anything to suggest the entire system is flawed and broken? No.

Plachy sums it up pretty well for me here. I think it's a debate worth having, but Vardy is an extreme example.

The example I'd use is Harry Arter. Without having FM16, I'd put good money on his CA in FM16, bearing in mind he was Bournemouth's Player of the Year when they won the Championship last season, being higher than his PA when we had him at Woking in 09/10 (so FM10) in Conference South. If proven wrong I'll happily go away with my tail between my legs...

But the point I'm trying to make is that PA is too rigid in that it sets an absolute upper limit on how good a player can become when there are so many variables, particularly for a young player. I agree that, as Plachy says, the system is not broken, but I'd be tempted to put PAs generally high and make it very hard for that to be 100% achieved.

For me it goes much deeper than that & is more linked to professionalism, consistency & ability to deal with the pressure of being a professional footballer, if you're lacking in those areas you can have all the talent (current or potential) in the world but you'll never make it as a professional player.

And I agree on the point that Barside is making regarding mental attributes when it comes to turning a faltering career around. My caution here is I seem to remember a good few versions ago now, these mental stats were too closely linked to achieving their potential. There are a lot of footballers whose professionalism, consistency etc is poor but they do stay at the top of the game, albeit not fulfilling their absolute full potential. Jack Wilshire springs to mind.

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The CA/PA ratings work fine. I really fail to see the need to incessantly make the game even more complicated.

Well, I don't think it would make the game anymore complicated, as all of this is happening in the internal mechanics of the game. The only extra level of functionality is one that allows late-bloomers to come through lower league clubs which I would welcome.

Is the current system broken? No.

Could it perhaps be slightly improved? Potentially.

I think the OPs idea of a standard deviation to PA to some players in the lower leagues could be nice to explore with regards to late bloomers. Does this idea need refining? Certainly ;)

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I believe he's referring to increasing the complexity of the code for little or no gain on the output.

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One of the best arguments I can think of for changing CA/PA is to make it so complicated that people just give-up on trying to decipher, understand and making periphery arguments to get it changed.

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One of the best arguments I can think of for changing CA/PA is to make it so complicated that people just give-up on trying to decipher, understand and making periphery arguments to get it changed.

Cue people complaining that it's so complicated, and wanting it changed to something simpler. Like, maybe, a static value for PA and a dynamic CA value that builds towards this static PA. That'd be nice and simple, wouldn't it?

The CA/PA ratings work fine. I really fail to see the need to incessantly make the game even more complicated.

Exactly. Not to mention, adding complexity without really changing the output adds more potential for things to go wrong.

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I believe he's referring to increasing the complexity of the code for little or no gain on the output.

Oh, my mis-understanding! My bad. I don't know much about programming so I can't say how complex it would be to implement such an idea. Standard deviation is simple, programming it in I have no idea?!

Originally Posted by Santy001

One of the best arguments I can think of for changing CA/PA is to make it so complicated that people just give-up on trying to decipher, understand and making periphery arguments to get it changed.

Ha ha ha, not a bad idea ;)

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Cue people complaining that it's so complicated, and wanting it changed to something simpler. Like, maybe, a static value for PA and a dynamic CA value that builds towards this static PA. That'd be nice and simple, wouldn't it?

Remember when your tactic option was just three bars? Remember when any input you got was a possession bar, and a few messages telling you if you had a scoring chance? Remember when they changed it to a 2D simulation and lots of people promised they would never use it as they liked the simple text commentary? That was nice and simple, wasn’t it?

The CA\PA functionality they have now might be easy, but it is also extremely arcadeish and two dimensional. The PA is just an arbitrary number that some guy has pulled out of their backside, and it makes absolutely no sense when trying to explain it in real terms. Do anyone really think a 25 year old suddenly stops improving because he has now reached his true potential and nothing he ever does will improve it more?

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In FM players can still improve once they've hit their PA value, this has been repeated many times in every thread of this nature.

The PA is just an arbitrary number that some guy has pulled out of their backside, and it makes absolutely no sense when trying to explain it in real terms.
This statement is totally unacceptable & pretty much undermines anything you have to say on the subject.

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Remember when your tactic option was just three bars? Remember when any input you got was a possession bar, and a few messages telling you if you had a scoring chance? Remember when they changed it to a 2D simulation and lots of people promised they would never use it as they liked the simple text commentary? That was nice and simple, wasn’t it?

The CA\PA functionality they have now might be easy, but it is also extremely arcadeish and two dimensional. The PA is just an arbitrary number that some guy has pulled out of their backside, and it makes absolutely no sense when trying to explain it in real terms. Do anyone really think a 25 year old suddenly stops improving because he has now reached his true potential and nothing he ever does will improve it more?

But here you're just projecting your own misunderstanding of it. There are numerous stats off the CA calculation, these are unweighted attributes within the sphere of CA and these can change throughout a players career. The actual development of players and such later in their careers is nothing to do with the CA/PA system.

CA and PA purely serve as loose reference points, with the nuts and bolts of how good a player can truly be, and how good a player truly is being nestled away much deeper.

I've just decided Oliver Shenton should have a PA of 190 for FM17 or FM18 though, inspired by Matshit (although I think Gripper might kick me off the research team if I seriously try to push this through)

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Ah, at one point I seem to recall you have Ryan Shawcross good enough to walking into that starting lineup most Champions League clubs? (huge) ;)

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Ah, at one point I seem to recall you have Ryan Shawcross good enough to walking into that starting lineup most Champions League clubs? (huge) ;)

His potential ability has never been, if I'm remembering rightly, above 151/152 (which is the level he's at now) I've campaigned for many a year that simple defenders are too effective in the ME though. I do maintain, if you have a system where all you need your defenders to do is the basics (much like Leicester) then Shawcross is one of the best in his field - as is Huth. It's when somehow you can use him as a ball playing CB and he still excels at it that it gets confusing for me because he doesn't have the attributes for it.

There were some good changes in the background though that stopped Barcelona from buying him every game and making use of him as a masterful ball playing CB without having to change any of his attributes.

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Just thinking out loud, trying to fit in to the late bloomer conversation and simpler ways of implementing. Without having to make it too complicated the back end could select random players every year to get a PA or CA increase, whether they are young players or older players.

This will allow for the potential of a late bloomer as well as young stars who have rapid growth spurts in skill. It will also allow for additional variance in each game.

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Just thinking out loud, without having to make it too complicated the back end could select random players every year to get a PA or CA increase, whether they are young players or older players.

This will allow for the potential of a late bloomer as well as young stars who have rapid growth spurts in skill. It will also allow for additional variance in each game.

That's not the ethos of the game though. All the players down the years that we've gotten wrong and over-rated in terms of potential ability are generally considered to be failings by researchers. There are genuine issues that come along as barriers to progression, such as serious injuries but if there is a player who one of us has rated as should almost certainly make it to the top and then gets no where near in real life subsequently that is collectively on us and so we strive to be better at researching.

It goes against it all then completely to throw in some random elements each season just to provide the game with some lower-league RNG mechanics for development. SI could do that, but based on everything that's happened so far it'd likely be a change in approach towards the striving for ever improving and ever more accurate player data.

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