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Goosewinkle

SI needs to fix the mid-season collapse

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Ok time for a rant:  I'll attach a screenshot, although I don't even need to because you've all seen it a hundred times.  It's one of the biggest sources of frustration on these forums, and it has existed in the game for as long as I can remember (my first FM was 09).  I have never played a save that didn't do this.

How on earth am I 6-1-0 at the beginning of the season?  It's obviously not because I'm a brilliant manager.  It's certainly not realistic and certainly bad game design to let the user think he's doing great only to later bash his ego to pieces without any explanation.  Not to mention all the confusion and forum rants it causes.

The explanation I always see is that the game underestimates my team at the beginning but catches on.  Ok fine.  So if SI knows what causes this, why won't they fix it?  

20170706010504_1.jpg

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So you're implying that SI have made a conscious decision to code in that you will have a good start to the season, purely for the cosmetic reason of boosting a user's confidence, and then deliberately code that that should all change mid-season?

Aye, ok then.

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There is a common misconception about this game (partly due to the type of feedback available in game and the fact it isn't made more obvious) related to these mid-season collapses. 

Essentially the problem is this. You are by the looks of your screenshot New England but this applies to a number of teams across the game. When you start the season you're not an especially strong team so other teams will look at you and think "They're not a great side, so we'll either retain a balanced or attacking formation/tactic/style against them".

You then play a number of teams and for whatever reason (difficult to say for sure without seeing tactical setups etc) you win a number of games. Having won six games in a row your team's morale would likely be very high. The seventh team comes along and the manager thinks "These guys are in great form, we should be wary against them, so we'll play a defensive or counter attacking formation/tactic/style against them". 

This is likely a formation you've not come up against before and your players struggle to adapt against it, going down 3-1. Now this continues against other teams who are likewise wary against you, plus the addition of a decreasing morale due to the defeats. 

This is a very simplistic way of looking at it, but one user managers often don't take into account. You occasionally need to tweak and adapt your tactics as the season goes on. Now I'm not saying this is 100% for sure your issue. Normally this happens later on in the season, and looking at your schedule it seems you scraped your winning run (not winning by more than one goal often) so aside from the games where you've conceded four, it's not a huge swing. You were just getting perhaps a bit of extra luck in the first few games and played a few of the weaker MLS sides. But it's certainly something to bear in mind and think about as the season progresses. 

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It's going to be most influenced by how you play the game. When I make new signings in the summer I struggle to get their dynamic within the squad established right away, this often leads to a frustrating first 5-10 game period in the league. By the time the middle of the season is around though I've got my central pairings all lined up, I've got it figured out who can best deputise for who when the need for rotation arises and results are at their strongest. 

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Just look at Orlando now. Started off so well in the first 5-6 games but they now only have 2 wins in their last 14 games. 

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What Neil said, I'd still add that AI going "more defensive" can have a few unfortunately knock-ons on FM 2017 (without them totally battering your side, let's just say that on occasion they can combine all the way goalside when previously their attacks were more easily intercepted). Unlikely to be the root cause of runs though. What's more likely to influence is better sides keeping more men behind the ball even in possession and dropping off rather than push up, and as such not as easily overrun when the ball is turned over. In particular if your attacking players aren't that uber class for the level and then come man against man against better defenders packing it some, rather than the bottom pile.

I'd also add to the feedback that the game is lacking in giving players a better feel for which runs (and individually, results), where caused/influence by bad luck / good fortunes, which is always going to be a toughie for as long as the game produces win margins mostly of +1 +2, e.g. matches eventually settled by few key moments. For improving such in the future, whilst the ME ain't football, similar to football it tends to be the side with the better chances who eventually nicks it (not alaways, naturally), whilst most of the feedback the game has is based purely on volumes (or subjective stats of limited use), including the post match reports. As decent as that 6-1-0 run looks, those are totally close results.

Once you're on a sreak, it is more likely to get onto a run, as good/lack of confidence  rubs off on performance. Bad confidence is supposed to be a bit of a toughie, how do you deal with it or arrest the trend to avoid getting into slumps? Similar, what do you do to extent runs. Is the game too streaky? Up for debate. Streaks are already influenced by far simpler stuff, which is pitting teams against better worse or equal sides home and away... and tactically you're not bad off to recognize when you struggle against a particularly formation/approach too to shape runs (I had a real phobic agains AI who switched to 3 central forwards mid-match a while ago, justified).

Edited by Svenc

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@Neil Brock your post should be stickied - there's circa 4789429472356236 threads of people having this mid season meltdown and thinking it's hard coded, despite the 546534785634 threads of people who've had unbeaten seasons (or close to).

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I tossed a coin once and got three heads in a row. When I failed to achieve the same result with my next three tosses I wrote a stern letter of complaint to the Royal Mint.

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Putting the tactical tweaks aside I think one of the problems in the current version is morale

Very imbalance, almost every season in PL I see one or two top 6 teams (IRL) fighting in the bottom half of the league, in the way like Chelsea did in the Leicester season

When high rep teams are in trouble you get low low morale. You can easily see how their players behave in a low morale. Basically GKs just do little dives and never reach their arms. And the managers would usually refuse to change until they got sacked...

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54 minutes ago, newmanagergotrekt said:

Putting the tactical tweaks aside I think one of the problems in the current version is morale

Very imbalance, almost every season in PL I see one or two top 6 teams (IRL) fighting in the bottom half of the league, in the way like Chelsea did in the Leicester season

When high rep teams are in trouble you get low low morale. You can easily see how their players behave in a low morale. Basically GKs just do little dives and never reach their arms. And the managers would usually refuse to change until they got sacked...

why is it a problem?

2016 - Leicester

2015 - Chelsea

2014 - i want to say qpr for the cash they spent

2013 - man u

2012 - newcastle almost go down (not sure that counts)

2011 - liverpool

you get the idea right? there is always at least 1 team that spends and doesn't live up to expectations. usually, but not always a top 6. i mean, man u, man c, chelsea, arsenal, liverpool, spurs is the top 6? all want to win league? and when they dont they crumble and miss europe all together. why fix some thing that is working like real life does?

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1 hour ago, newmanagergotrekt said:

Putting the tactical tweaks aside I think one of the problems in the current version is morale

Very imbalance, almost every season in PL I see one or two top 6 teams (IRL) fighting in the bottom half of the league, in the way like Chelsea did in the Leicester season

When high rep teams are in trouble you get low low morale. You can easily see how their players behave in a low morale. Basically GKs just do little dives and never reach their arms. And the managers would usually refuse to change until they got sacked...

The way in which morale works is that over time it always returns to a central point (Okay). So even if you're at low or very low, it'll gradually increase as time passes until it's back to okay. Likewise if your players have superb or very good, it'll slowly drop down again to okay. However yes, if you do keep losing then your morale is likely to stay low. Like real life. Even the best managers have had poor runs. There are certainly the tools in game to turn this around. 

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3 hours ago, lemeuresnew said:

why is it a problem?

2016 - Leicester

2015 - Chelsea

2014 - i want to say qpr for the cash they spent

2013 - man u

2012 - newcastle almost go down (not sure that counts)

2011 - liverpool

you get the idea right? there is always at least 1 team that spends and doesn't live up to expectations. usually, but not always a top 6. i mean, man u, man c, chelsea, arsenal, liverpool, spurs is the top 6? all want to win league? and when they dont they crumble and miss europe all together. why fix some thing that is working like real life does?

It is not about how much they spent. It is more about the quality of the players which can simply be measured by their attributes in FM. In FM it is so easy to enter a deadly spiral after you lose a couple of games. Even if your players are so good they just underperform.

From your examples I would certainly disagree on 2014QPR (yes spent a lot but look at the quality of the players, how many of their purchase could play in the top 4 teams at that time?), 2012Newcastle (again they did not have Champions league quality players). 2013United was not so decent, considering they are still rebuilding. Also 2013United as well as 2011Liverpool did not look like they were going down at any point.

I can certainly accept big-spending mid-table teams perform poorly because it is just like you said it happens all the time. But the top 6, they just don't fight relegation battles that often

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3 hours ago, Neil Brock said:

The way in which morale works is that over time it always returns to a central point (Okay). So even if you're at low or very low, it'll gradually increase as time passes until it's back to okay. Likewise if your players have superb or very good, it'll slowly drop down again to okay. However yes, if you do keep losing then your morale is likely to stay low. Like real life. Even the best managers have had poor runs. There are certainly the tools in game to turn this around. 

In the middle of a season you simply don't have the time to recover. Especially like EPL where there is no winter break. I am not saying I don't like the whole morale system it is just that maybe make it less of a factor would be a little bit more realistic.

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The game needs some improvements related to assistant manager (and coaches mybe) advices. And one of those improvements could be a warning : "take care, our reputation is increasing and all opponent teams can change their tactic approach in order to offer us less space to play".

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15 hours ago, Goosewinkle said:

How on earth am I 6-1-0 at the beginning of the season?  It's obviously not because I'm a brilliant manager

You are right. You were not winning because you are a brilliant manager. You were winning because teams were playing more attacking.

14 hours ago, Neil Brock said:

Essentially the problem is this. You are by the looks of your screenshot New England but this applies to a number of teams across the game. When you start the season you're not an especially strong team so other teams will look at you and think "They're not a great side, so we'll either retain a balanced or attacking formation/tactic/style against them".

This needs to be fixed. 

- If you are doing things wrong, you should never have a good starting run or the chances to get a good starting run should be the same than at any other random momennt of the season because it only (should) depend on lucky events.

- Teams going defensive acts like a rubberband/higher difficulty level. I'm not saying the game is scripted or there is a rubberband or difficulty levels. What I'm saying, and I know what I'm talking about because it happens en every single save I start, is teams going defensive are more difficult to play against and that shouldn't happen. Against defensive teams should be more difficult to score but not easier to concede. Results should tend more to 0-0 0-1 1-0 1-1 but NEVER what happened to the OP (and happens in any of my saves) which basically is conceding an outrageous amount of goals.

He scored 9 goals in first 7 matches and conceded 2.

Next seven matches he scored 4 (which is fine and understandable because he is playing against more defensive teams and probably  tactics need a tweak), but he conceded 13 which is outrageous by any standards and should never happen because teams are playing now more defensive.

 

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5 minutes ago, looping said:

This needs to be fixed. 

- If you are doing things wrong, you should never have a good starting run or the chances to get a good starting run should be the same than at any other random momennt of the season because it only (should) depend on lucky events.

- Teams going defensive acts like a rubberband/higher difficulty level. I'm not saying the game is scripted or there is a rubberband or difficulty levels. What I'm saying, and I know what I'm talking about because it happens en every single save I start, is teams going defensive are more difficult to play against and that shouldn't happen. Against defensive teams should be more difficult to score but not easier to concede. Results should tend more to 0-0 0-1 1-0 1-1 but NEVER what happened to the OP (and happens in any of my saves) which basically is conceding an outrageous amount of goals.

 

Re: Point 1: I sort of agree. But SI are probably in a tight spot here, if they make it so that ultra-attacking tactics or nonsense tactics fail straight off the bat then Steam's upload and the tactical uploads on here will basically die off and the rage will ensue. I have a friend who I've given advice on *balancing* his formation, and you know what he did? He followed it for a bit, got decent results and then he went back to his old habits, stuck his entire defence on defend, and the rest of the team on Support. He came up against a slump, but argued that he was winning initially with that whacky *unbalanced* formation, and I threw in the towel then, because sometimes people won't listen! His formation was nonsense, his roles wasn't thought out, he by rights, shouldn't have been winning at all, but he did initially anyway.

 

Re: Point 2: It is what happens IRL. In my United save at the moment, I'm getting frustrated because teams are turning up with 4-2DM-3-1 formations (with the 3 in the midfield strata) and basically putting 11 men behind the ball. That's because I've absolutely ruined them over the last two seasons, and it happened IRL, Sir Alex Ferguson had to deal with a four year phase of grinding out 1-0 wins until teams changed tact. I haven't changed my way of playing, or my tactics at all. I still win. I still grind them out, and the AI occasionally takes a risk because it cottons on that defensive football isn't really that much better than what they were doing before. My trick? I (think I) have a balanced formation with sensible roles, enough that it should ensure the quality of my players see me through. 

 

Personally I think more information/tutorials on formation building and such in game is needed to help the player base out, but I'm fully aware a lot of people will go through it and still come out of it none the wiser, with all the advice falling on deaf ears. 

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2 hours ago, isignedupfornorealreason said:

 

Re: Point 1: I sort of agree. But SI are probably in a tight spot here, if they make it so that ultra-attacking tactics or nonsense tactics fail straight off the bat then Steam's upload and the tactical uploads on here will basically die off and the rage will ensue.

 

Not the way this works either.... the game in a sense isn't even catered with you contributing in mind first. If you start with a higher rated team in the competition, you will face more cautious from the start either way. If you find that "hard", you can improve. AI managers are coded to assess their next opponent, any opponent, as tends to happen in football. How they do that, how that translates onto the pitch is for anyone to assess. At the end of the day, the core is simulating a reactive, virtual football world, which you can chose to be a part of. There is nothing that is meant to make the game "easier" when you start out and getting more progressively harder as you roll along. It's just your team being assessed, same as any other team in the game world by any opposition. If AI managed United underperform, the AI manager of overperforming Burnley at one point may demand no less than a whopping 3-0 win and put up his tacics accordingly. Besides, this is forgetting that there is players competing too. Unless the tactic put up would be horrible/completely unsuited, and the side mismanaged, you'll win matches. Maybe even go on a short-term streak. If your players are superior man by man, that individual dribble, through ball, long shot will settle some tight matches regardless, good luck containing Hazard on the other end though.

And as argued / complained by a few, you don't even need to genius much to ensure a certain level of results, basics will do -- a standpoint not shared by everybody, but that's what it is. Whilst defensive AI causes a few curious links in this ME, this a) didn't happen prior, and b) never by default lets you get into a slump / concede a load of goals. The balancing by ca. FM16 meant that high lines of attacking AI were pretty easy to exploit, but then again, prior such balls were hardly played. Same as on some iterations defending deep wasn't that robust, and sides found it hard to get out of heir half again, which was connected to decisions made, but also the ability (or lack thereof) of players holding up the ball long enough etc. In long-term saves, everything got progressively easier, as defensive AI was a zero threat (Bayern first season when managed by AI sometimes conceded no more than 8-10 goals itself from 34 matches). You could steamroll, as even somewhat decent sides would go defensive and effectively let you roll over. Things may (!) have tipped some the other way a bit, but some of it was/is necessary. Still don't like how some AI tactics link into the current ME builds (big concern). Also agree about feedback.

Edited by Svenc

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Apologies if I was a bit disgruntled last night!  You know how it is.

17 hours ago, forameuss said:

So you're implying that SI have made a conscious decision to code in that you will have a good start to the season, purely for the cosmetic reason of boosting a user's confidence, and then deliberately code that that should all change mid-season?

No I didn't mean to imply this at all.  I'm not one of the scripted conspiracy loons.  This would be a very counter-productive thing for SI to do.  Like I think @looping is saying, I think this behavior is an unintentional design flaw.  Why is the AI assessment of my team always so utterly and tragically wrong at the beginning of the season?  I think SI should fix that, thereby saving their poor mods from having to address posts like this "circa 4789429472356236" times.

And Neil to answer your question, I play with pretty vanilla tactics.  First games were generally standard or attacking 4-2-3-1.  Later games were standard/counter, sometimes 4-4-1-1.  No exploits, etc.  

 

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50 minutes ago, Goosewinkle said:

No I didn't mean to imply this at all.  I'm not one of the scripted conspiracy loons.  This would be a very counter-productive thing for SI to do.  Like I think @looping is saying, I think this behavior is an unintentional design flaw.  Why is the AI assessment of my team always so utterly and tragically wrong at the beginning of the season?  I think SI should fix that, thereby saving their poor mods from having to address posts like this "circa 4789429472356236" times.

 

Genuine question, how do you assess whether your run was caused by how the AI managers initially approached your side? That's not some universally magic on-off switch from one match to the next, this were a bit silly if United were to park the bus at home to Sunderland just because they had a good start to the season (in terms of WDL records anyway....) . That AI managers chose "wrong" tactics is a totally assumption at this point, and besides, after a few losses your odds go down again too. Even Neil made the point about your wins prior being by thin margins, it's just that a few individuals jumped onto tactics as the first cause immediately, some of which so that they can (wrongly) explain their own loops. That is an important question, as if you can't answer the specifics, then on that level you're back to your coin toss, thanks @enigmatic Probably up to the point of panicking because of a winless run of five, because........ RUN. Who knows, you could have else well started with a record of 0-2-4, all losses by similarily slight margins, and be absolutely none the wiser. It may be revealing what different players are actually looking for here in terms of the feedback that is there (I personally think some of it is misleading, some missing, but some also not up for the job).

Edited by Svenc

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Fair question @Svenc.  I frankly don't know what the explanation is.  Six consecutive wins seems like a lot to attribute to chance, particularly because almost every season I play in FM is a strong start followed by decline (see attached):

I must admit that these other seasons are not as bad as I was remembering :).  Definitely not as bad as the New England one.  And the Maidstone one is just steady mediocrity.

20170706215151_1.jpg

20170706215125_1.jpg

20170706214924_1.jpg

20170706214909_1.jpg

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5 hours ago, Goosewinkle said:

Apologies if I was a bit disgruntled last night!  You know how it is.

No I didn't mean to imply this at all.  I'm not one of the scripted conspiracy loons.  This would be a very counter-productive thing for SI to do.  Like I think @looping is saying, I think this behavior is an unintentional design flaw.  Why is the AI assessment of my team always so utterly and tragically wrong at the beginning of the season?  I think SI should fix that, thereby saving their poor mods from having to address posts like this "circa 4789429472356236" times.

i think if you ever agree with Looping about how season form works, then you have basic problems understanding how a football season works lol

12 hours ago, newmanagergotrekt said:

2013United was not so decent, considering they are still rebuilding.

erm, Fergie won the league season before? they didnt need rebuilding, they needed strong leadership and a plan going forward. unless you are saying Fergie was a real life save and reload cheat?

5 hours ago, Goosewinkle said:

 Why is the AI assessment of my team always so utterly and tragically wrong at the beginning of the season?

how often do you see a recently promoted team start strong and fall off when there players know they are safe, of teams work them out and there key players? every year or 2 at least. It is just how life works. reputation, familiarity and complacentness are real life problems. there is no problem to fix here

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9 hours ago, looping said:

You are right. You were not winning because you are a brilliant manager. You were winning because teams were playing more attacking.

This needs to be fixed. 

- If you are doing things wrong, you should never have a good starting run or the chances to get a good starting run should be the same than at any other random momennt of the season because it only (should) depend on lucky events.

- Teams going defensive acts like a rubberband/higher difficulty level. I'm not saying the game is scripted or there is a rubberband or difficulty levels. What I'm saying, and I know what I'm talking about because it happens en every single save I start, is teams going defensive are more difficult to play against and that shouldn't happen. Against defensive teams should be more difficult to score but not easier to concede. Results should tend more to 0-0 0-1 1-0 1-1 but NEVER what happened to the OP (and happens in any of my saves) which basically is conceding an outrageous amount of goals.

He scored 9 goals in first 7 matches and conceded 2.

Next seven matches he scored 4 (which is fine and understandable because he is playing against more defensive teams and probably  tactics need a tweak), but he conceded 13 which is outrageous by any standards and should never happen because teams are playing now more defensive.

 

Bear in mind no-one has seen any of the matches in any detail, nor their tactical setup or squad other than the user. What I advised was generalised advice for if a team falls off the rails mid-season. In the user's example they may have had injuries to key players, players sent off in key moments of have gone completely gung-ho when going a goal or two down. 

Why is teams going defensive like a rubber band? For every game you have a scouting report of the opposition which includes things like their last used tactic, their league position, player strengths etc. With the analysis tools you can look into the tiniest detail to get an idea of how they're going to play. From what you're saying it's almost as if you suggest if a user has a good tactic everything should click and just work from that point on?  

You're saying the game shouldn't be scripted in any way (and good news - it isn't) but then you go on to say it SHOULD be scripted to only produce close results when teams go defensive? And you're not even taking into account the strength of the opposition in the OP example. To bring it closer to home,  if you started the season with a run against Swansea, Sunderland, Hull, WBA, Crystal Palace, Watford and Stoke and were 6-1-0, then played Stoke, Chelsea, Man Utd, Man City, Arsenal, West Ham and Everton it wouldn't be completely unrealistic if you lost a few and conceded a few more would it? 

Not saying all those teams are amazing, but Dallas who helped start the losing run are a hell of a lot better than Chicago or Columbus. 

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19 hours ago, newmanagergotrekt said:

Putting the tactical tweaks aside I think one of the problems in the current version is morale

Very imbalance, almost every season in PL I see one or two top 6 teams (IRL) fighting in the bottom half of the league, in the way like Chelsea did in the Leicester season

When high rep teams are in trouble you get low low morale. You can easily see how their players behave in a low morale. Basically GKs just do little dives and never reach their arms. And the managers would usually refuse to change until they got sacked...

Another myth, morale does not cause your team to go on a downward spiral. I don't see this either in a game. I have seen sides that expect to win and then switch to incredibly attacking variations to hammer me, and we resist. I have managed sides that go on a bad run, morale gets hit. All I do is make sure I have the right players playing and then I shore the system up by going to be a more defensive variant. I don't change tactics just make sure I have defensive options. Grind out a draw here and there, and then climb back up. Morale is just a big punching bag people are using.

Personally I expect the AI to react if they see my little ol team overperforming. I do expect a bad run to happen, the challenge is making sure I can get out of it quickly before it gets into a downward spiral. This usually involves simple fixes like choosing the right player or making a slight tweak. It rarely involves a wholesale tactical change unless a few players are out injured.

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2 hours ago, lemeuresnew said:

i think if you ever agree with Looping about how season form works, then you have basic problems understanding how a football season works lol

If you ever turn looping, you will have a few interesting ideas full-stop, you'll find patterns in total randomness, even if it is caused by individual matches where the keeper has a total mare, happens, rather than anything tactical. When you see the patterns, which is bound to happen at such "requirements", you'll quit to re-start and over and over. I just wanted to say this before this turns into "one of those threads" again.

Goosewinkle had this since FM 2009. That includes versions were defensive sides were "push-over" in comparison, unless you left holes for them to break into upon the interception. Attacks of AI "parking the bus" were simply mostly intercepted, as they didn't push enough men up outside of set-pieces or counters to break defenses down except by individual brilliance (which worse sides typically don't have much of, i.e. wonder dribbler averaging multiple successfully "runs" per match. Agree that sides not "gifting" space by playing more cautious should be harder to break down, in particular if they have some better quality. Which is the kind of feedback/stat the game has been lacking, how about providing rankings as to the counters conceded/created per team. Goals scored/conceded are bound to fluctuate. Whilst there is rankings as to overall shots taken, what's missing is similar for shots conceded, likewise on target shots, averages per match and both combined for Total Shot Rates. Which still are simple stats in analysis.

The problem may be one of accessibility, people have shown to be confused by the stats that are in there. But a few of the stats won't tell you overly much until you do some additionally leg-work on your own. Did that side concede the most goals off direct free kicks because it was weak at defending those, or is it because it generally concedes the most kicks by far? Secondly, how useful is it to look at such stats over the course of a single season and then reset, as such numbers always fluctuate by definition as the sample sizes (e.g. free kicks converted a season) are small. Managers don't manage purely by stats (and certainly not of the kind provided by FM), but most of the ass-man feedback and post-match reports are linked to that, who likewise goes "we should focus on set piece preparation as we're winning a lot of them" based on that a side piles up set pieces at worrying rates, at which point he may sometimes better go like, "Boss, our play just isn't linking up to anything at the moment".

All of these questions tackle what's been truly underneath all this ever since. The perception and influence of randomness. Ultimately, what football managing boils down to is lessening its influence. Even if the game were to optionally spoon fed, and the feedback still is a lot more "in your face" than it used to, all of this will remain. In particular if somebody doesn't look further than WDL runs. Bookies would make a lot of money off anybody such quickly, on the flawed sim that is FM or real football.

Edited by Svenc

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There is a tactic test based on reputation,  the results are over thousands of games, and repeatable - the test team is worst in league.

1st test is with underdogs reputation, the 2nd test as favourites. It is interesting to note the effect of reputation as the AI have better results by +10%. against the test team with higher reputation.

If this is caused by the AI being more defensive then it is possible that this will lead to a collapse.

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12 hours ago, looping said:

- Teams going defensive acts like a rubberband/higher difficulty level. I'm not saying the game is scripted or there is a rubberband or difficulty levels. What I'm saying, and I know what I'm talking about because it happens en every single save I start, is teams going defensive are more difficult to play against and that shouldn't happen. Against defensive teams should be more difficult to score but not easier to concede. Results should tend more to 0-0 0-1 1-0 1-1 but NEVER what happened to the OP (and happens in any of my saves) which basically is conceding an outrageous amount of goals.

 

Wait, so you think that the AI responding to who they are playing is rubber banding of difficulty level? That they should not respond at all to how well/badly you are doing? Do you not respond to who you are playing? Never look at a team who on paper are not great but have won 10 in a row? I sure do. I expect the AI to do the same, because if it did not everyone would be rightfully angry. What utter nonsense you are speaking. Also, if you leave giant gaping holes when you are attacking a defensive team, and they can exploit them, then of course you will concede more. It does not happen against more attacking teams because you are not camped in the oppositions half when the other team is trying to attack you. Plus, an attacking team is not trying to counter you all the time, they have their own ideas for building attacking phases. If you lose to defensive sides who are countering you and do not make any changes to take away some of their counter attacking punch, you actually deserve to lose. 

To the OP. This can be frustrating, but the only thing I can tell you to do is to watch the matches and see what is going wrong. Compare them to matches where things were going right. What has changed in how you play? What has changed in how your opposition plays? Develop a strategy to combat this. It could be as simple as changing a couple of roles/duties. Adding or removing a couple of TIs. You do not need to redesign your entire tactical framework, but if you are losing there is a reason, and a solution.

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52 minutes ago, knap said:

There is a tactic test based on reputation,  the results are over thousands of games, and repeatable - the test team is worst in league.

1st test is with underdogs reputation, the 2nd test as favourites. It is interesting to note the effect of reputation as the AI have better results by +10%. against the test team with higher reputation.

If this is caused by the AI being more defensive then it is possible that this will lead to a collapse.

knap, out of interest, do you know whether this was done on prior editions? Asking in parts because FM17's "issues". What you fail to mention is that with the tactics "tested", that "worst team" still overperforms to huge degrees in each of them without any further ado, so that 10% is relative. Which is because it is "exploit" tactics typically filtered through these tests. The logics applied by AI tactics and tried to be rewarded don't apply. Whilst "tactic testing" still is trying to fit square pegs into round holes, would be more interesting if that wasn't done by TFF type tactics, but a typically AI/tester tactic. "Tactic testing" is still the definition of inviting some randomness, as expecting the same tactic to do the same against all opponents, same as never "managing", that is tossing the coin right there. On FM 2017 it is the narrow areas targeted by the TTF type, so keep it central, the rest will come, which unfortunately is also precisely how teams sitting deep should have it easier to defend. They compress the areas by default, contributing to it is illogical (but works wonders due to an engine/AI flaw, I've tried a few myself). Additionally, the more popular ones of those don't have much in a way of defensive shield, exposing every time going forward. It speaks to reason that a team sitting deep would lure those no defend duty midfield, flying wing back, expose the middle tactics out a few additionally times.


That aside, considering that this "is the worst team in the league"(!), that should be a pretty natural dynamic. Worse forwards against better defenders packing it. If they wouldn't have it harder, this were a concern.... same as the same approach producing the same results in fundamentally opposed "scenarios". Historically (we're going back to FM 09 types..) everybody who's ever had severe repeat issues with this on a tactical level, struggled because his tactics weren't that good at challenging packed defenses. That requires a "macro level of understanding of basic teams sports logics", which no micro tweak testing would solve (micro tweaking play to narrow keep it central because on average that can be very very effective currently, but is fundamentally opposed to how sports works on any level, and imo hopefully, the ME long-term).
 

Edited by Svenc

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Never seen this type of test before. Tightly controlled tests reduce these margins due to randomness. 

In reality these tactics also perform well if a top side playing against park the bus. The tests tend to imply that teams like Real Madrid get better results by Parking the Bus. 

Illustration of tactic tested apart from 3430 etc. However, if you consider a back 4 of WBS CD CD WBS with a DM as cover  then a 3430 with WBS CD CD CD WBS has similar cover.

oma2.thumb.png.d9047064b9e69679b1d8756a947db4fe.png

Edited by knap

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1 hour ago, knap said:

Never seen this type of test before. Tightly controlled tests reduce these margins due to randomness. 

In reality these tactics also perform well if a top side playing against park the bus. The tests tend to imply that teams like Real Madrid get better results by Parking the Bus. 

Illustration of tactic tested apart from 3430 etc. However, if you consider a back 4 of WBS CD CD WBS with a DM as cover  then a 3430 with WBS CD CD CD WBS has similar cover.

oma2.thumb.png.d9047064b9e69679b1d8756a947db4fe.png

Defensive 'top' teams have shown in the past they can be extremely successful at points. Look at Mourinho's career (especially the Inter CL final) and the numerous Italian sides from the 80s/90s. It's just most big clubs fanbases wouldn't stand for their team playing defensively for an entire season. They want to be entertained! 

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14 hours ago, Svenc said:

And as argued / complained by a few, you don't even need to genius much to ensure a certain level of results, basics will do -- a standpoint not shared by everybody, but that's what it is.

I agree, but I think a lot of people aren't getting the basics. I still feel the game could do more to educate the player base on this, sorry if I sound like a broken record! :p

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27 minutes ago, isignedupfornorealreason said:

I agree, but I think a lot of people aren't getting the basics. I still feel the game could do more to educate the player base on this, sorry if I sound like a broken record! :p

Yep, that's something I agree we need to help users with. Both through our community with helpful videos etc and within the game itself. 

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FM/CM has always thrown players in at the deep end. I doubt that will change - you learn by playing, and even with 21+ years under my belt playing every iteration going back to 94/95, I still have matches going against me for reasons unfathomable.

The game is incredibly, incredibly deep. It simulates the performances of thousands upon thousands of individuals in infinitely different environments. Take the 22 players, add your opposite number, the weather, the pitch, the referee, morale, form, injuries, confidence and then season with whatever you're doing on the touchline - and then repeat 40-50 times a season.

As manager it's your job to find your best team for every match, however that's determined, and then manage their performances. It's not easy, nor is it meant to be - it's a challenging game that gets more so (and more frustrating) with every season. In those 21 years, I'd say I've been able to 'beat' the game without help maybe half the time; The rest of the time I'm here on the forums, trying to work out why my carefully crafted tactics aren't getting the best out of my players (or just downloading pre-made ones that suit my players). Usually, it's because I'm overlooking something - and with each season, there's more to overlook.

You have a wealth of stats available to you: Player ratings, % chance creation (left wing, right wing, middle) and so on - Dozens of ways of finding out where your team is underperforming and why. Maybe your defenders aren't communicating enough, maybe they're ignoring your touchline instructions, maybe your right back is just awful at defending. Could be anything. You might want to try watching a couple of matches in real time (yuck) or similar if you don't already do so. It makes it much easier to work out where your team is falling down, but bear in mind that just one match won't be a definitive sample. Any team can have one bad match, but if you watch 2, 3, 4 matches and start to see patterns emerging, you can develop an idea of where your team is struggling.

It's a frustrating game, and bugs exist, but if you're having the same mid-season collapse year in, year out, then it may be that - like Arsene Wenger and Arsenal in real life - there are issues with your approach that need addressing, rather than the game being broken.

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1 hour ago, Neil Brock said:

Defensive 'top' teams have shown in the past they can be extremely successful at points. Look at Mourinho's career (especially the Inter CL final) and the numerous Italian sides from the 80s/90s. It's just most big clubs fanbases wouldn't stand for their team playing defensively for an entire season. They want to be entertained! 

One type of football or formation should not top another. All the tests I've seen using this reputation split give the same result, so the game appears biased towards defensive tactics. The game is not broken, but potentially the reputation element may be causing  frustration for players having a collapse in form, from a tactic that was winning games. This year I have seen many comments with players not understanding what has gone wrong with their tactic, and this testing has highlighted a potential cause.

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Just now, knap said:

One type of football or formation should not top another. All the tests I've seen using this reputation split give the same result, so the game appears biased towards defensive tactics. The game is not broken, but potentially the reputation element may be causing  frustration for players having a collapse in form, from a tactic that was winning games. This year I have seen many comments with players not understanding what has gone wrong with their tactic, and this testing has highlighted a potential cause.

This.

I'm not an expert and I can certainly be mistaken but in vast majority of the matches I play, the team (me or the AI) that uses a more defensive tactic wins (defend/contain mentality, additional defend duties....). Problems come when the AI goes extremely defensive. I still switch to defend/contain and the game becomes a 50-50 otherwise I'm defeated (conceding 2-3 goals).

That's what I think shouldn' happen. If my tactics are wrong (and certainly they are) I shouldn't have an excellent starting run only because the AI plays more attacking. Even if my tactics are wrong, I shouldn't concede outrageous amount of goals only because AI switches to more defensive tactic. The same that happened to the OP.

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15 minutes ago, knap said:

One type of football or formation should not top another. All the tests I've seen using this reputation split give the same result, so the game appears biased towards defensive tactics. The game is not broken, but potentially the reputation element may be causing  frustration for players having a collapse in form, from a tactic that was winning games. This year I have seen many comments with players not understanding what has gone wrong with their tactic, and this testing has highlighted a potential cause.

If you have hard evidence to suggest this is the case, you know what to do with it. Raise it in the relevant place on the bugs forum and we can investigate further. 

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11 minutes ago, looping said:

This.

I'm not an expert and I can certainly be mistaken but in vast majority of the matches I play, the team (me or the AI) that uses a more defensive tactic wins (defend/contain mentality, additional defend duties....). Problems come when the AI goes extremely defensive. I still switch to defend/contain and the game becomes a 50-50 otherwise I'm defeated (conceding 2-3 goals).

That's what I think shouldn' happen. If my tactics are wrong (and certainly they are) I shouldn't have an excellent starting run only because the AI plays more attacking. Even if my tactics are wrong, I shouldn't concede outrageous amount of goals only because AI switches to more defensive tactic. The same that happened to the OP.

Don't worry, you won't. You'll have an excellent starting run based on every single factor the game takes into account. To say you only have an excellent starting run because the AI plays more attacking is like saying the team with the best player in the world should win every game. There are so many additional components and aspects that need to be taken into account. that it just can never be the case.  

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4 hours ago, knap said:

 

oma2.thumb.png.d9047064b9e69679b1d8756a947db4fe.png

Are you saying that defensive tactics perform better than attacking ones when you put them through your tests? I ask so I understand, because the tactic you present here certainly should not be classed as a defensive one. 

Also, as noted, if you are building tactics designed to find flaws in the ME, then your results are meaningless anyway. If you stress something until it breaks, you cannot use that as a starting point to make general conclusions about the game. To do this, you would have to take a "standard" formation, which has not got 20 TIs or odd combinations of players. Then you can take the team as high and low rep and compare their results, with both aggressive and defensive tactics. Have you done this? It is the only way you could get meaningful data to back up what you are saying. 

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4 hours ago, knap said:

One type of football or formation should not top another. All the tests I've seen using this reputation split give the same result, so the game appears biased towards defensive tactics. The game is not broken, but potentially the reputation element may be causing  frustration for players having a collapse in form, from a tactic that was winning games. This year I have seen many comments with players not understanding what has gone wrong with their tactic, and this testing has highlighted a potential cause.

I googled a few to take a look, no idea how this is set up either, that's why I was curious if this was done on prior iterations as well. This is and remains a flawed test based on these facts: 1) It's mostly tested on tactics that try to game the engine. 2) It's used plug&play, whereas the engine/AI are coded in a way that means there won't ever be a 100% perfect tactic. 3) The team tested is the "worst in the league", therefore this should be an added struggle if they aren't "gifted" space but have to work some for it. 4) Even if this seasons "schtick" wasn't flooding the centre of the pitch and keeping play narrow which should usually completely play into the hand of defensive teams: All those would test was whether that plug&play tactic would perform a) when facing primarily sides that consider you an an underdog, and vice versa. Whilst this is an ineresting experiment, , I still maintain that this years TFF type tactics in parts simply aren't that good at dealing with stacked defenses (they shouldn't be). Indeed whilst the goals scored are consistently fewer on the favourite testing leagues, there seems little evidence at least with this one that the defensive AI would lead to more goals conceded (looks fairly equal). And that is a tactic that exposes like hell when going forward.

Would be interesting how this is overall balanced by SI, though. Whether it's just AI soak tests or similarly experimental saves to test a few things. A game engine will never be in perfect balance, probably not even close, so it's not outrageous to suggest there may be something a bit askew in general/overall. I've reported some weird bits of play with defensive AI myself (including a 3rd tier team "outplaying" a Premiership side, which isn't strictly connected to just going defensive, but also formations used). What is either way bad to suggest that any such runs are bound to happen no matter what, and everybody focusing only on players, WDL runs, morale, own tactics, opposition tactics in isolation does himself the world good to stop thinking like that. If more defensive AI would simply win more often than not, which is simplistic even on FM 17, as they have different bias, employ different formations, roles and duties, the tables should look lop-sided, at least the league favourite consistently struggle for consistency, as they face that regularly. There's more than that one factor at any point, this is of simply looking for an easy answer for what can be, a bit ambiguous (some if it may always be... as that's football). And I don't like some of the defending on this myself!

Edited by Svenc

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Neil

I am neither the owner of the test leagues or data. If interested you will need to contact them. I can provide a link but  it may be obvious from Svenc's post. I have tested the league with similar result, just as a check on the results posted.

A common answer to loss of form on this forum, is the AI have gone more defensive as a result of reputation increase, is this a misconception?

It is not a question of these runs are bound to happen but are the mechanics a potential cause of a good run ending. I would agree about being interesting to know how this overall balanced by SI.

However, if this is due to other factors how should they be addressed by the OP.

 

 

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23 hours ago, isignedupfornorealreason said:

Re: Point 2: It is what happens IRL. In my United save at the moment, I'm getting frustrated because teams are turning up with 4-2DM-3-1 formations (with the 3 in the midfield strata) and basically putting 11 men behind the ball. That's because I've absolutely ruined them over the last two seasons, and it happened IRL, Sir Alex Ferguson had to deal with a four year phase of grinding out 1-0 wins until teams changed tact. I haven't changed my way of playing, or my tactics at all. I still win. I still grind them out, and the AI occasionally takes a risk because it cottons on that defensive football isn't really that much better than what they were doing before. My trick? I (think I) have a balanced formation with sensible roles, enough that it should ensure the quality of my players see me through. 

What is working for others is dropping mentality down to counter and then defensive. Would be interested to hear how you get on if you try this idea

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Many thanks for the robust discussion regarding what I now realize was a rather inflammatory post :).  To be honest I expected more people to have experienced this, but I guess it's less common than I thought.  

Anyway to clear some things up, I wasn't saying that runs like this should never happen, and I wasn't looking for advice on getting out of them (but thank you though).  To those who asked, my tactics are very not special.  Sutton and Weston Super Mare were often something like:

FB-s CB-d CB-d FB-a

WM-a CM-s DLP-d WM-s

              AM-a

              DLF-s

Usually standard or counter with "short passing" (I like high possession), "pass into space". For New England I was more attacking than that (4-2-3-1) because New England's good players are attackers.   I always watch the games and tweak it.  It's always more attacking at the season start (because that's what works!) and less attacking later on (because it stops working).

My main point was that this same pattern happened in four of my five seasons: I peak at about the tenth match, followed by a decline by about 10 places, followed by a climb back up of about 5.  The goals I concede during the declines are usually counter attacks, which I think indicates the whole "AI underestimates my reputation" theory.  If that is in fact the reason, then my complaint isn't really about the decline (when the AI is adjusting to reality), it's about the freakishly good run that every season starts with (when the AI is mistaken).  

 

Edited by Goosewinkle
typo

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13 hours ago, Majick said:

It's a frustrating game, and bugs exist, but if you're having the same mid-season collapse year in, year out, then it may be that - like Arsene Wenger and Arsenal in real life - there are issues with your approach that need addressing, rather than the game being broken.

I like this point,

I also WILL point out the fact that most bigger teams start the season slightly underdone, in order to peak later in the season
and then you will get some bolters that start the season like a house on fire, only to then fade due to injury / tiredness later in the season (see Arsenal frequently IRL)

Looking at that Sutton United fixture lists (the one with the mustard colour above) it's VERY obvious to see that his form-line nosedives when he's playing a LOT of games in a short time period
take a look at his 2-1 win vs Gateshead to his 5-0 win vs Torquay after 21 days apart [and 7 games in that period - 3 days per game average]
then Chester to Newport County is 5 games in 2 weeks (average again of 3 days per game)
Is this a bad tactic? probably not - it's more likely to be a "failure to control conditioning of players" leading to these performances

in my saves, I'll start the season off poorly (like 2-3-1 from my opening 6) due to a lengthy post-season break and a short preseason, before firing around the next 3 months, and then kinda falling into a lull around the Christmas/January period (from Boxing Day - there's 3 PL games in 7 games, an FA cup tie [this is why there are MANY shocks in the 3rd round IRL], 2 league cup games, another PL game, and then another FA cup tie all in a 3-4 week period REALLY takes its toll)
I'll frequently have my star players underperform, so I'll try out some players in other roles (maybe give the bench-warming ST a runout) or maybe stick the DM into MC for a while - I'm happy with a dull 1-0 win at this stage

 

It won't be the tactic that falls apart (because not a lot will change from the AI, particularly as the team is rated as the CL favourites year after year) but it'll be the squad management that becomes heavily relied upon over this period
It's also why midtable teams tend to do poorly IRL the season after they make Europe, as their squad becomes tired due to the repeated fixtures (PL game on the Saturday, European game midweek, another PL game the next week) - or why you see them go out and spend the megabucks on new "depth" players, to cover for when they can't all play (a la Leicester signing Slimani who only played half the games, because he was there to provide cover for Vardy if he needed a rest)

Edited by samdiatmh

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9 hours ago, knap said:

What is working for others is dropping mentality down to counter and then defensive. Would be interested to hear how you get on if you try this idea

In itself doing that is pushing a lever in the game. The key, long-term in paricular, is understanding why you would do it (it's one way to approach this, the opposite would be to smash them to smithereens...... another more brute solution may be to expose those deep lines with a really dominant target man who flicks it on to a few other guys, though that's probably not overly effective long-term). Dropping mentality makes guys less aggressive/taking less risks, so can help to stretch play as there will be less forward passes made. Naturally if here won't be any guy staying deeper to help in that, that's a bit moot, so a guy in midfield staying deeper is key. Lower mentalities also may make the side play narrower by default, so something to watch out for is that is what you want... what's the bigger challenge (usually) for a defensive team that has to cover all that area, keeping the pitch small or big? What's the point of defending deep, anyway? Furthermore, by default lower mentalities encourage a side to win the ball less high up the pitch (lower defensive line, less closing down), which can open space when you win the ball back, rather than constantly pegging that team back into their half, which also visibly happens in high press vs low press games. On a tweaking level, switching mentalities is just switching a lever. Just switching this without a logical coherent goal is just further randomizing the matches/results.

The way the game is coded, there's not meant to be that "one solution". That there usually is something that is very effective, and found by testing, doesn't undermine this long-term ME development goal. However: The game assumes you to at least understand a few such "team sports basics", which may be tough to communicate outside of shipping with "Inverting The Pyramid" and then on a second step, how to implement them. Some options should be more obvious (the roles and duties...largely governing movement/forward runs when attacking), some may not (team shape....). That's also where special cases such as Mr looping to me start struggling sraight outta the bat (and always will...). They're aiming for fantasies such as endless strings of low scores, but then employ tactics that turn the wide midfielders into guys bombing forward at every minute of the season, basically playing 4-2-4s, which in itself makes for quite a few end to end action, so at some point the scorelines are bound to pick up. It doesn't matter when and where. All that micro tweaking is futile, as their macro doesn't add up.

I still think a few of that, purely tactically (there's more to this), could be given a few added assistent clues, given that he doesn't do stupid stuff anyway and can of do reasonably fine when taking over (it speaks to reason that you won't hugely outperform AI tactical decision making via going assistant, as he is an AI himself, but then in real football there isn't such a huge knowledge gap in between managers, i.e. lots of the more in-depth tactic forum stuff blowing anything the AI can muster out of the water when understoood).


 

Edited by Svenc

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21 hours ago, knap said:

What is working for others is dropping mentality down to counter and then defensive. Would be interested to hear how you get on if you try this idea

I'm normally on standard anyway, but on the few occasions I have dropped the mentality its led to halves where the highlights fly by and nothing happens. Which is basically just my team passing about trying to find an opening and getting frustrated. I can see why it would work, drawing the team out to attack, but I wager these guys are on contain, they have absolutely no interest even scoring tbh, seldom even on a counter attack. In those situations I've been wary of falling into a trap of being more aggressive. In one game I was a bit silly and played something like a 1-6-3 sort of formation (yes, just 1 CB) and won it 1-0.

 

That said, I expected the AI to have taken advantage of that, in that game (which was more or less a dead rubber for me) I was pretty much taking the ****. I didn't try it again though. >.>

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15 minutes ago, isignedupfornorealreason said:

I'm normally on standard anyway, but on the few occasions I have dropped the mentality its led to halves where the highlights fly by and nothing happens. Which is basically just my team passing about trying to find an opening and getting frustrated. I can see why it would work, drawing the team out to attack, but I wager these guys are on contain, they have absolutely no interest even scoring tbh, seldom even on a counter attack. In those situations I've been wary of falling into a trap of being more aggressive. In one game I was a bit silly and played something like a 1-6-3 sort of formation (yes, just 1 CB) and won it 1-0.

 

That said, I expected the AI to have taken advantage of that, in that game (which was more or less a dead rubber for me) I was pretty much taking the ****. I didn't try it again though. >.>

That's because you have to keep in mind your role choices when changing mentality or fluidity.  An attacking mentality with support roles will still see those players be fairly attacking.  A counter or defensive mentality will see support roles be more "support-like".  

Mentality an adjustment of risk.  In a counter or defensive mentality the attacking players still take risks, but the support and defensive players far less so.  You can have attacking players in a defensive mentality and still play be able to play in an attacking style, for example.  It will just attack in a slightly different way - risk-wise, positioning-wise, and transition-wise. 

This is all without yet considering fluidity.  Defensive players will act more like support players with more fluidity, and support players will act closer to attacking players with more fluidity.  When you change mentality, you change the way the system plays.  So when you change mentality or fluidity you have to account for the rest of the factors involved when you do that and reconsider how the roles and duties you've chosen are going to play.

Edited by Analog

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On ‎08‎/‎07‎/‎2017 at 06:42, Analog said:

 

Ok. Let's make a check list (tell me if I missed anything):

- Determination attribute. Covered. Italy, Serie B, nobody in my team has less tan 13 determination (and bravery and work rate).

- Formation. I'm using a 4123. No TI.

What's next?

 

 

 

 

 

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@looping He released the next video in the series after that one.  Go to his playlist.  He covers a lot of stuff, so don't get too distracted on specifics because they are just that, specific to situations and systems.  Stick with the more concrete stuff that can be applied to any system.   

But, as he demonstrates with that 4-3-3 in the 2nd video, you can play any formation in a lot of ways, and one thing you can bank on is that Rashidi knows the 4-1-3-2 inside and out, so if you have any interest in playing that shape then there's a lot that he's already written about for you to check out and draw upon, and he said that's the focus of the next video.  

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On 8.7.2017 at 21:51, Analog said:

That's because you have to keep in mind your role choices when changing mentality or fluidity.  An attacking mentality with support roles....
 

[snip]


Thanks for posing this, as this highlights how convoluted the thought process is / can be for players. :) I've mailed some possible concerns to SI before, still no reply, but I hope they got a point from this. One of the original co-authors of the options that are in this, wwfan, wasn't merely decent at understanding this on a mechanical level, he also translated it all into "football speak", and concepts. Example of this. (outdated, due to a few overhauls, partly subjective interpretation, but the point stands) If you were around, there were a few more, such as shout strategies (rather than explaining what stuff does on a mechanical level (which is what others excel at), how they could logically be combined to use in logical conditions and scenarios.  I tend to think there was a reason why he was picked to get involved.

No convoluted thoughts about possibly under the hood mechanics, no micro tweaks and dabbles in the abstract, just football. I am personally unsure where this is headed long-term, as a few overhauls in recent years have made this if anything more complicated. I think it started out with dividing play makers into two specific types, which you may no have even noetd unless you found a post made by a tactical mod on the boards coming fresh out of Beta. A few stuff seems to move away from their original inceptions too, even though if they oft still carry similar monikers. Without going into the micro detail, one of the prime reasons for picking duties was to have, as that name would imply "support" players encouraged to keep up with play, attack players who regularly get ahead of things, defend players to cover it all... (essentially, questions 4-6 from Rich in the above). Yes, you could tweak, and there are exceptions (no play maker neither support nor attack ever given the license to always bomb ahead ("get further forward as defaul") as then he couldn't make play), but without tweaks, this mostly applied. Nowadays it doesn't merely do that, but having loads of support players vs attack ones, also influences their general decisions slightly, and as such a team full of support duty players may slightly prefer ball retention passes over moving the ball forward quickly, all also interdependent on the mentality and shape.

Whilst there were always overlaps you may or may not have worried about depending on the level of micro-tweaking and control you aimed for, good luck breaking this all down to such simple questions for the audience FM is sold to (it can be real fascinating watching Tubers never having been a part of these boards playing this and musing about their choices.., and hey, there are players on these boards that make oddball choices all the time, randomizing their saves as they roll along ("Fix this mid-season collapse, SI!) I am actually not convinced all SI staff could do break it all down to simple questions, but I am ready to be shown otherwise! :D

Edited by Svenc

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On 07. 07. 2017. at 17:01, looping said:

This.

I'm not an expert and I can certainly be mistaken but in vast majority of the matches I play, the team (me or the AI) that uses a more defensive tactic wins (defend/contain mentality, additional defend duties....). Problems come when the AI goes extremely defensive. I still switch to defend/contain and the game becomes a 50-50 otherwise I'm defeated (conceding 2-3 goals).

That's what I think shouldn' happen. If my tactics are wrong (and certainly they are) I shouldn't have an excellent starting run only because the AI plays more attacking. Even if my tactics are wrong, I shouldn't concede outrageous amount of goals only because AI switches to more defensive tactic. The same that happened to the OP.

I would completly remove Contain and Defensive Mentality from the game. it's simply not how football is being played in last 50 or so years. match between Defensive vs Attacking Mentality produces completly strange looking football where Defending team will dominate posession and Attacking team will chase defenders like headless chickens. extra midfileder, fullbacks on defend and there it is, your Defensive tactic on 'Divisional' mentality. I would say all modern football is played on Control or Attacking mentailties, especially top level football. Defensive Mentality= Brazil pre - WW2.

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