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Freddie Sands

[U.S.A.] (Official) League Specific Issues

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18 hours ago, kcox17 said:

I cannot see any functional way to use TAM other than involving it in a trade. There is a link above that is supposed to explain TAM but it says I don't have access.

 

In addition, There are numerous times where I get the message that a potential transfer "Feels that the club will struggle to meet his contract demands" even though i have plenty of Salary cap room and plenty (over 5+ mil) of salary room in general. 

It is used automatically if you sign another player to a 4th DP contract. Once confirming the contract, you are asked if you want to buy down your least earning DP's contract using your TAM.

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50 minutes ago, beans said:

It is used automatically if you sign another player to a 4th DP contract. Once confirming the contract, you are asked if you want to buy down your least earning DP's contract using your TAM.

Thank you for explaining that. I could not find an answer anywhere. 

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I got asked to manage the All-Stars for the MLS All-Star game. When I got the message of the squad for the All-Stars, I saw it was really unbalanced;

Defenders
- Only 1 centerback
- 2 rightbacks
- 1 leftback

Midfielders
- Only 1 center mid

Attacking midfielders
- About 7 wingers

Strikers
- 4 strikers

Imo that's at least 3 wingers too much, 1 striker too much, need atleast 2 more centerbacks and need atleast 2 more centermids.

Could this be fixed to make the squard more balanced?

 

squard mls asg.png

Edited by motdattan

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And to add to my comment above;

During the match, striker Ruidiaz got injured. Then after the match had finished, I got the message that Ruidiaz was replaced, because of his injury. But the MLS All-Star game is a one game event during the season. So a replacement wouldn't be necessary. To make this worse; Arsenal striker Lacazette was the one replacing him...

 

lacazette.png

Edited by motdattan

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On 11/11/2018 at 15:34, motdattan said:

I got asked to manage the All-Stars for the MLS All-Star game. When I got the message of the squad for the All-Stars, I saw it was really unbalanced;

Defenders
- Only 1 centerback
- 2 rightbacks
- 1 leftback

Midfielders
- Only 1 center mid

Attacking midfielders
- About 7 wingers

Strikers
- 4 strikers

Imo that's at least 3 wingers too much, 1 striker too much, need atleast 2 more centerbacks and need atleast 2 more centermids.

Could this be fixed to make the squard more balanced?

 

On 11/11/2018 at 15:59, motdattan said:

And to add to my comment above;

During the match, striker Ruidiaz got injured. Then after the match had finished, I got the message that Ruidiaz was replaced, because of his injury. But the MLS All-Star game is a one game event during the season. So a replacement wouldn't be necessary. To make this worse; Arsenal striker Lacazette was the one replacing him...

Hi there, do you happen to have a save game from soon before the All-Stars Squad was announced and/or soon before the match/injury? If so could you upload it/them to our cloud service please and respond with the filenames here? Thanks

 

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34 minutes ago, Freddie Sands said:

 

Hi there, do you happen to have a save game from soon before the All-Stars Squad was announced and/or soon before the match/injury? If so could you upload it/them to our cloud service please and respond with the filenames here? Thanks

 

I don't have one from before it, but I have uploaded the save game it happened in. It's called MLS Save.

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One day before the waiver draft, my scout will give me a list of players to scout that is in the draft,

however, it takes a week to scout these players so it isn't of much use when the draft already happened

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Given that MLS no longer utilizes reserve squads (i.e. a Reserve league) and instead either fields a team in the USL or affiliates with a USL team, should players really be able to reject loan moves to these teams?  I remember previous versions of FM had the option to make a player available for reserves to keep match fit...it'd be nice if we could send a player to our affiliate team for 5-6 games to gain/maintain match fitness.

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Seeing very poor roster management by the AI for MLS clubs. Many teams carrying 15-19 players.  Does not appear to be salary cap related.  

Anyone else seeing this?

Edited by meter

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Playing as Vancouver and LAFC initiated a trade with me.  They offered two picks for Joseph Mora.  I accepted the deal, but the news item has the teams mixed up:

 

Screenshot (18).png

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Transfer bug: I agreed to purchase Rhuan for a fee of $2.5 million.  About a month prior, I had adjusted my budget and switched $2.9 million from unused squad budget over to transfer, so I should have plenty of funds to cover the deal.  Even the screen says so:

File from two days prior uploaded as 

  • looknohandsvancouverrhuan.fm

Screenshot (19).png

Edited by looknohands

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On 16/11/2018 at 19:29, looknohands said:

Given that MLS no longer utilizes reserve squads (i.e. a Reserve league) and instead either fields a team in the USL or affiliates with a USL team, should players really be able to reject loan moves to these teams?  I remember previous versions of FM had the option to make a player available for reserves to keep match fit...it'd be nice if we could send a player to our affiliate team for 5-6 games to gain/maintain match fitness.

 

On 17/11/2018 at 15:40, meter said:

Seeing very poor roster management by the AI for MLS clubs. Many teams carrying 15-19 players.  Does not appear to be salary cap related.  

Anyone else seeing this?

These two things are very important and have been a problem with MLS for years.

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On 18/11/2018 at 06:08, looknohands said:

Transfer bug: I agreed to purchase Rhuan for a fee of $2.5 million.  About a month prior, I had adjusted my budget and switched $2.9 million from unused squad budget over to transfer, so I should have plenty of funds to cover the deal.  Even the screen says so:

File from two days prior uploaded as 

  • looknohandsvancouverrhuan.fm

Thanks for this save game, we are aware of this issue. The problem is that the wrong budget figure is being displayed here - General Allocation Money is used for non-DP transfers and so this is the budget the game checks against (of which there is $650K in this save game for Vancouver). Although the game correctly checks against this value the $2.9M transfer budget is incorrectly displayed on the Inbox item instead.

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On 18/11/2018 at 02:51, looknohands said:

Playing as Vancouver and LAFC initiated a trade with me.  They offered two picks for Joseph Mora.  I accepted the deal, but the news item has the teams mixed up:

Hiya, I've been unable to reproduce this bug internally. Do you have a save game from just before this happens by chance? Thanks

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Unfortunately, no...but I can confirm that the same thing happened with a second trade I made, as well (both were a result of the other team asking for a trade and were not initiated by me.)  I'll keep my eye out for the next season.

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I have uploaded a save file from the first screen (looknohandsvancouverefrain) where I have offered the player out and have received 5 bids; I have accepted the offer from Salt Lake but you can still accept the offers from other teams.  Continuing the game results in the second screenshot after the trade goes through.  

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Minor issue: the press always asks me how I feel about MLS squads playing in the Canadian championship, with one potential answer including, "...I'm pleased we've been joined at this stage by other American teams."

 

Screenshot (22).png

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On 17/11/2018 at 15:40, meter said:

Seeing very poor roster management by the AI for MLS clubs. Many teams carrying 15-19 players.  Does not appear to be salary cap related.  

Anyone else seeing this?

Just started my second season, and several teams are having issues:

1013411527_Screenshot(23).thumb.png.f6ac2a19ede6890a1279404dea51bcf5.png

Screenshot (24).png

Screenshot (25).png

Screenshot (26).png

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Not sure if this is a bug: Currently playing in the CONCACAF Champions League and, following the initial squad registration, haven't been able to register any players that I've brought in after that initial registration.  Screen says that the next registration date isn't until the following year, but also mentions that new players can be registered up to two days before matches.

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Not sure if this is a bug: Currently playing in the CONCACAF Champions League and, following the initial squad registration, haven't been able to register any players that I've brought in after that initial registration.  Screen says that the next registration date isn't until the following year, but also mentions that new players can be registered up to two days before matches.

Screenshot (27).png

Screenshot (27).png

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Sad to report that after 3 years into my MLS save, the allocation fund seems bugged like prior years since FM made the switch to it from general transfer funding (FM16 I believe? I've played every version since '14, and have put in at least a few hundred hours in each on an MLS save). In this case all my general allocation fund (~$2 million) disappeared after the game triggered the automatic allocation spending down to get one player's impact reduced to $10.5k/wk in the fourth preseason (in prior years, there was no automatic buy-down trigger. Instead, players have to manage this before the official registration date). I only had one player on the squad that needed the automatic spend-down however, and I believed we only needed to spend $340k to reduce his cap impact ($16.5k/wk to $10.5k/wk). Since allocation fundings are so hard to come by, you can imagine how losing so much after a couple frugal seasons can impact my ability to make better signings for the next season or two!

While the bug/error is not save-killing, it's done a number on game immersion and I'm currently debating putting a pause on FM for a bit out of frustration. Last year, general allocation fund had other errors that resulted in >$1 billion becoming available after some seasons, and yet the allocation spending slider got "stuck" so that you can't buy down some player's salary anyways. I believe I also reported those bugs, though it seems they were never resolved. Forgive my rant since I really want to enjoy an MLS save, but the general allocation funding feature has been an issue since it debuted. Due to it having so much impact on squad registration for the MLS, I wouldn't be surprised if this is also the reason why AI MLS teams end up with only 15-20 players other people are reporting, since they are basically knee-capped when trying to sign more players.

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Minor issue: selecting players in the Waiver Draft seems to result in them being assigned first-team squad status.  These players should likely be set to a backup role in light of the fact that were deemed surplus to their old teams.

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On 22/11/2018 at 16:57, looknohands said:

Not sure if this is a bug: Currently playing in the CONCACAF Champions League and, following the initial squad registration, haven't been able to register any players that I've brought in after that initial registration.  Screen says that the next registration date isn't until the following year, but also mentions that new players can be registered up to two days before matches.

This is one we're aware of and reviewing, the registration dates appear a year out of place incorrectly. Thanks

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On 25/11/2018 at 20:53, ChitownCch said:

Sad to report that after 3 years into my MLS save, the allocation fund seems bugged like prior years since FM made the switch to it from general transfer funding (FM16 I believe? I've played every version since '14, and have put in at least a few hundred hours in each on an MLS save). In this case all my general allocation fund (~$2 million) disappeared after the game triggered the automatic allocation spending down to get one player's impact reduced to $10.5k/wk in the fourth preseason (in prior years, there was no automatic buy-down trigger. Instead, players have to manage this before the official registration date). I only had one player on the squad that needed the automatic spend-down however, and I believed we only needed to spend $340k to reduce his cap impact ($16.5k/wk to $10.5k/wk). Since allocation fundings are so hard to come by, you can imagine how losing so much after a couple frugal seasons can impact my ability to make better signings for the next season or two!

While the bug/error is not save-killing, it's done a number on game immersion and I'm currently debating putting a pause on FM for a bit out of frustration. Last year, general allocation fund had other errors that resulted in >$1 billion becoming available after some seasons, and yet the allocation spending slider got "stuck" so that you can't buy down some player's salary anyways. I believe I also reported those bugs, though it seems they were never resolved. Forgive my rant since I really want to enjoy an MLS save, but the general allocation funding feature has been an issue since it debuted. Due to it having so much impact on squad registration for the MLS, I wouldn't be surprised if this is also the reason why AI MLS teams end up with only 15-20 players other people are reporting, since they are basically knee-capped when trying to sign more players.

Hi there, do you have a save game from anytime before the automatic cap buydown (or failing that, a save from after if the player in question has a contract lasting at least another couple of years)? If so could you upload to our cloud service for us to investigate please? Thanks

 

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On 22/11/2018 at 10:54, looknohands said:

Just started my second season, and several teams are having issues:

1013411527_Screenshot(23).thumb.png.f6ac2a19ede6890a1279404dea51bcf5.png

Screenshot (24).png

Screenshot (25).png

Screenshot (26).png

Happens every release. It's never fixed and I wouldn't expect them to solve it, I'd even say it's not even worth pointing it out to the developers as it's clear they've little interest / people to help in fixing the MLS (I've not purchased a copy this year for the first time for well over a decade because of their reluctance to produce a working MLS)

From what i can see it's quite obvious there's a cluster of issues causing this.

1) Bad AI. They seem to give bigger contracts to players they cannot keep on. As if they don't know there's a cap until registration day. Suddenly there's a host of big name MLS players on the waiver list. Sometimes they will not even use the GAM/TAM feature and just ignore it completely. Sometimes they've spent it all on one player. In general the AI makes the league a pointless feature, lacking any sense of realism and competitiveness. As a Human Player, you can make wise choices and juggle the salary cap with the GAM/TAM but the AI just cannot cope. Teams can start the game with players CA 115+ and when you reach the second season theres few of them left. just draft players. So the league get's instantly worse by the end of the first few windows and by the 2nd season it's so poor it will never recover to what it was when it started. 

2) The Editor files has the team reputation so high. This means the AI is only interested in higher reputation players, even though the majority of the league will waive them immediately because they can't manage a salary cap, of course. Instead of 2/3 players fringe players joining for the salary of 1 guy who might be backup, they'll continue to sign first teamers on big wages instead....so the AI simply opts to have just 1 or 2 goalkeepers. You'd have thought there's a code that helps identify this so teams sign a reserve or academy player to compensate...but no. You got a league where teams struggle to field a full subs bench when there's a few injuries. Nice...

3) SI have made it so the league will really only spend a small amount of money on new players because of the cap rules. In real life the league spends millions. In FM it's rarity to see MLS a club sign players for money. Any money means DP because of agent / signing on fees / transfer fees included. I'm not sure of the league / SI difference and what the actual issue is but you can tell it's not reflecting what is happening in the MLS. When you sign a player for 3,000 a week, it becomes 7,000 with the add ons. But players recently transferred in real life will not have that included on the cap....i can't work it out how the MLS clubs are coping in real life.

 

 

Short term solution. (As a work around)

 

1) Use the pre game editor to reduce the Reputation of the League. This means players will not be asking for so much as they won't grow too much in value. 

2) Reduce the reputation of the clubs. This helps the AI slightly as they will fill the squad with lesser quality of players but it's still better than not signing anyone.

3) Go to the nation and reduce the Transfer & Wage values. This helps the AI sign players on a lot less in salary and actually increases the squad sizes. (For example, i reduced it so much every team filled SMS / RES players and fringe players were around the $2-4k a week mark. This helps free up salary cap space.

4) Buy the in game editor. I found that the only way to have a competitive MLS is to manage the 23/24 teams squads myself. Players i transferred in would automatically be assigned sufficient contract types.

5) And this is my favourite and would advise anyone attempting to play the MLS on FM....use the editor to delete the league and create a new one without TAM/GAM/Drafts/Trades etc. It's really the best solution to an awful feature.

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13 hours ago, Freddie Sands said:

Hi there, do you have a save game from anytime before the automatic cap buydown (or failing that, a save from after if the player in question has a contract lasting at least another couple of years)? If so could you upload to our cloud service for us to investigate please? Thanks

 

Hello,

I have uploaded a file titled "MLS - 2020 Season Allocation Spend-down Bug.fm" to the cloud. The save is on January 1st, 2020. Unfortunately, the automatic spend-down has already kicked in literally just the day before (you can scroll down 2 or so emails and see that the event just occurred). The player in question is Katai, the only one in the squad who needed spending brought down.

I am playing the save currently (separate copy) on the Public Beta 19.02 patch, would be happy to make another save for your investigation as I approach the date for the 2021 season if more data is needed.

ON A SEPARATE BUT MLS-RELATED TOPIC:

Pre-superdraft scouting is broken. None of the players have any reports on them finished prior to the draft day. I'm not talking about 100% complete; just any amount of the scout's opinion at all. I've been picking players blind (based on my own read of their skills) for the past three seasons. I would also kindly request you resinstitute the "Drafted" filter back in so I don't have to lament over players already drafted by another team.

Thanks for the help in advance and please let me know if I can upload anything or provide information to help you investigate these bugs/fixes.

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6 hours ago, BuckSaddler said:

Short term solution. (As a work around)

 

1) Use the pre game editor to reduce the Reputation of the League. This means players will not be asking for so much as they won't grow too much in value. 

2) Reduce the reputation of the clubs. This helps the AI slightly as they will fill the squad with lesser quality of players but it's still better than not signing anyone.

3) Go to the nation and reduce the Transfer & Wage values. This helps the AI sign players on a lot less in salary and actually increases the squad sizes. (For example, i reduced it so much every team filled SMS / RES players and fringe players were around the $2-4k a week mark. This helps free up salary cap space.

4) Buy the in game editor. I found that the only way to have a competitive MLS is to manage the 23/24 teams squads myself. Players i transferred in would automatically be assigned sufficient contract types.

5) And this is my favourite and would advise anyone attempting to play the MLS on FM....use the editor to delete the league and create a new one without TAM/GAM/Drafts/Trades etc. It's really the best solution to an awful feature.

By point #5, why even play the MLS? The main appeal for me is that the Draft system and salary cap are meant to help you achieve a certain sense of parity (aka no super team bought and paid for, at least not in the long-term since allocation money is so hard to come by...minus the billion dollar bug from last year's version). Better AI usage of GAM/TAM money I can get behind, but I'm in favor of better AI budget use for any league in general. To your other points, I do regret having the In-Game Editor turned off in this save. A lot of dead wood that I'm sure the AI teams would like to move on from!

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The use of targeted allocation money (TAM) is still broken.  Given that this is one of the major ways in which clubs can spend money above the salary cap, getting this right in the game is paramount.  This is also really frustrating, as this is a known problem from last season, and it doesn't look like it was addressed.  A long post follows.

Targeted allocation money is extremely important to get league finances right.  Right now, the MLS salary budget is only $4,035,000/year.  There are different ways to spend more on salary above this, one being designated players (which is implemented correctly in the game).  The other ways to spend over the salary cap is via general allocation money (GAM) and targeted allocation money.

General allocation money can be used to buy down anyone's salary with few restrictions.  Because of it's flexibility, the difficulty in obtaining GAM, and its lack of an expiration date, GAM is a fairly precious resource in MLS, as it is difficult to obtain large amounts of GAM.  Each team only gets $200k/year of it, and the other ways to get GAM (transfer income, continental qualification, missing the playoffs, etc.) does not amount to large amounts of GAM.

MLS introduced TAM as a way to enhance the quality of league play.  This has been an important mechanism for increasing salaries in the league - as most teams have used it to develop a strong group of players in the $500k-$1m salary range. Furthermore, it's a significant amount of money relative to the salary cap. These are the amounts that have been given since it started:

2015: $100,000
2016: $800,000
2017: $1,200,000
2018: $4,000,000*
2019: $4,000,000*

* $1.2 million + $2.8 million in discretionary TAM; more on discretionary TAM later

Basically, TAM can allow a team to essentially double their salary cap each season!  Furthermore, you can take TAM money to buy down any new signing or contract extension, up to $1.5 million, down to as low as $150k.  This can make a huge difference in team quality.

There are four different ways that TAM can be used.  From the MLS rules and regulations page

Quote

1. Clubs may use the funds to sign a new player provided his salary and acquisition costs are more than the Maximum Salary Budget Charge.

2. Clubs may re-sign an existing player provided he is earning more than the Maximum Salary Budget Charge.

3. Clubs may use all or a portion of the available Targeted Allocation Money to convert a Designated Player to a non-Designated Player by buying down his Salary Budget Charge at or below the Maximum Salary Budget Charge. If Targeted Allocation Money is used to free up a Designated Player slot, the club must simultaneously sign a new Designated Player at an investment equal to, or greater than, the player he is replacing.

4. Clubs may use up to US$200,000 of currently approved Targeted Allocation Money (amounts through 2019) to sign new Homegrown Players to their first MLS contract. It cannot be used on Homegrown Players previously signed to MLS.

The third one is implemented correctly in the game, and I'm not sure about #4 (as I've never tried myself).  The first two, however, are by far the most common ways to use TAM.  And inexplicably, they are not implemented in the game.

If you try to sign a new player, or re-sign an existing player over the maximum salary cap charge for a player (about $500k/year), you should be given the choice to buy down any signing (new or existing) with TAM.  Instead, the game says that the excess money "will be subtracted from the club's General Allocation money in order to pay any salary exceeding the maximum salary cap impact allowed for Senior players."  This happens automatically with any new signing, or an existing signing - it is forced.  But what this does is forces the player to use the far more precious GAM funds, when they can use their TAM funds.  There is no way around this, and it makes TAM essentially unusable.

This has knock-on effects for the AI.  Most MLS teams have about 6-8 players that are paid more than the maximum salary cap amount, most that are not DPs.  Furthermore, most MLS teams are severely limited in the amount of GAM that they have.  So since the AI likely can't use TAM for resignings, they can't resign those players in the $500k-$1 million range, nor can they sign new players at these amounts.  This severely limits the AI, and is likely contributing to the amount of attrition that people are seeing in the league a few years down the road.

I have a few suggestions on how to fix this.  First, the easy way would be to treat all TAM as GAM until TAM is implemented correctly.  So each team gets $1.2m (or $4m, if they choose) of GAM (instead of TAM) each season, that they can use as they see fit.  This isn't completely accurate; but it's significantly better than the current situation.  Or, as a backup, allow players to edit GAM in the in-game editor!!!  Then users can simply implement the fix themselves.  While kludgy and time consuming, this will make the game playable.  And this will allow users to see if this fixes some of the AI-signing issues that are making the game nearly unplayable.

The long way would be as follows:

1. Taking out the automatic GAM deduction for any new signings, and creating a mechanism where new signings can be bought down using GAM or TAM.  This can be implemented with the same GAM usage warning box that is there now, but have it pull from TAM funding.  Or it can done after the player signs.  

2. Have the ability for teams to add $2.8m in discretionary TAM each season. This could be done with a simple prompt at the beginning of a new game and each subsequent season, and then have the funds taken from the team's coffers.

3. If doing it "by the book", have three types of monies - GAM, "normal" TAM (which expires after two years) and discretionary TAM (which expires after one year, see here for more information).  For new signings or contract extensions, provide the user with the opportunity to use the discretionary TAM first, then (if no discretionary TAM), normal TAM, then (if no normal TAM), GAM.

4. Have the game provide $1.2m in TAM + $2.8m in discretionary TAM to every team each season in 2020 and beyond.  I haven't simmed that far ahead, but if the mechanism disappears, then teams will forcibly need to contract (creating the same AI issues that are currently happening.


Also, there are some other MLS-related issues.

1. When you try to sign anyone to a contract above about $825k, it says that it has to be a DP contract.  This isn't true anymore...I believe you can go up to $1.5 million IF you have TAM to buy it down.  That should be changed.

2. In the game, Yamil Asad's rights are still held by Atlanta United, even though DC United obtained them.  So if you want to purchase Asad from Velez Sarsfield (as part of the loan deal) you have to trade for his rights first.

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12 hours ago, ChitownCch said:

By point #5, why even play the MLS? The main appeal for me is that the Draft system and salary cap are meant to help you achieve a certain sense of parity (aka no super team bought and paid for, at least not in the long-term since allocation money is so hard to come by...minus the billion dollar bug from last year's version). Better AI usage of GAM/TAM money I can get behind, but I'm in favor of better AI budget use for any league in general. To your other points, I do regret having the In-Game Editor turned off in this save. A lot of dead wood that I'm sure the AI teams would like to move on from!

Oh I agree. Personally after playing FM for so many years it's the most appealing league to manage now. Certainly it's the most challenging for a player to juggle the cap, spend wisely, bring through youth etc. I really like the draft stuff too.

But when there's just so many glaring issues that won't be fixed, it seems pointless being the only manager who can use the rules while the AI is making half the league unable to field a full subs bench at times.

I can recreate a league similarly to the MLS (without drafts) but has conferences, play offs, salary cap, even pro/rel but most importantly is the league gets better over time rather than instantly worse with what Football Manager currently offers so I find that far more exciting than keeping the editor on.

I did play a few seasons using the pre-game editor solutions I offered where I was able to reduce the reputation of the league, the reputation of teams and the weekly wages / transfer values so it created larger squads, and there was a lot of trade activity going on....but the league doesn't grow as the cap remains the same but its the only way to get around some of these AI issues.

I fully appreciate the MLS rules are complex and must be difficult to recreate but what they're producing every year, in my opinion, is a league full of bugs rendering it unplayable. I dunno how much they're paying for rights for the league but they should save their money and scrap it.

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1 hour ago, murmur said:

The use of targeted allocation money (TAM) is still broken.  Given that this is one of the major ways in which clubs can spend money above the salary cap, getting this right in the game is paramount.  This is also really frustrating, as this is a known problem from last season, and it doesn't look like it was addressed.  A long post follows.

Targeted allocation money is extremely important to get league finances right.  Right now, the MLS salary budget is only $4,035,000/year.  There are different ways to spend more on salary above this, one being designated players (which is implemented correctly in the game).  The other ways to spend over the salary cap is via general allocation money (GAM) and targeted allocation money.

General allocation money can be used to buy down anyone's salary with few restrictions.  Because of it's flexibility, the difficulty in obtaining GAM, and its lack of an expiration date, GAM is a fairly precious resource in MLS, as it is difficult to obtain large amounts of GAM.  Each team only gets $200k/year of it, and the other ways to get GAM (transfer income, continental qualification, missing the playoffs, etc.) does not amount to large amounts of GAM.

MLS introduced TAM as a way to enhance the quality of league play.  This has been an important mechanism for increasing salaries in the league - as most teams have used it to develop a strong group of players in the $500k-$1m salary range. Furthermore, it's a significant amount of money relative to the salary cap. These are the amounts that have been given since it started:

2015: $100,000
2016: $800,000
2017: $1,200,000
2018: $4,000,000*
2019: $4,000,000*

* $1.2 million + $2.8 million in discretionary TAM; more on discretionary TAM later

Basically, TAM can allow a team to essentially double their salary cap each season!  Furthermore, you can take TAM money to buy down any new signing or contract extension, up to $1.5 million, down to as low as $150k.  This can make a huge difference in team quality.

There are four different ways that TAM can be used.  From the MLS rules and regulations page

The third one is implemented correctly in the game, and I'm not sure about #4 (as I've never tried myself).  The first two, however, are by far the most common ways to use TAM.  And inexplicably, they are not implemented in the game.

If you try to sign a new player, or re-sign an existing player over the maximum salary cap charge for a player (about $500k/year), you should be given the choice to buy down any signing (new or existing) with TAM.  Instead, the game says that the excess money "will be subtracted from the club's General Allocation money in order to pay any salary exceeding the maximum salary cap impact allowed for Senior players."  This happens automatically with any new signing, or an existing signing - it is forced.  But what this does is forces the player to use the far more precious GAM funds, when they can use their TAM funds.  There is no way around this, and it makes TAM essentially unusable.

This has knock-on effects for the AI.  Most MLS teams have about 6-8 players that are paid more than the maximum salary cap amount, most that are not DPs.  Furthermore, most MLS teams are severely limited in the amount of GAM that they have.  So since the AI likely can't use TAM for resignings, they can't resign those players in the $500k-$1 million range, nor can they sign new players at these amounts.  This severely limits the AI, and is likely contributing to the amount of attrition that people are seeing in the league a few years down the road.

I have a few suggestions on how to fix this.  First, the easy way would be to treat all TAM as GAM until TAM is implemented correctly.  So each team gets $1.2m (or $4m, if they choose) of GAM (instead of TAM) each season, that they can use as they see fit.  This isn't completely accurate; but it's significantly better than the current situation.  Or, as a backup, allow players to edit GAM in the in-game editor!!!  Then users can simply implement the fix themselves.  While kludgy and time consuming, this will make the game playable.  And this will allow users to see if this fixes some of the AI-signing issues that are making the game nearly unplayable.

The long way would be as follows:

1. Taking out the automatic GAM deduction for any new signings, and creating a mechanism where new signings can be bought down using GAM or TAM.  This can be implemented with the same GAM usage warning box that is there now, but have it pull from TAM funding.  Or it can done after the player signs.  

2. Have the ability for teams to add $2.8m in discretionary TAM each season. This could be done with a simple prompt at the beginning of a new game and each subsequent season, and then have the funds taken from the team's coffers.

3. If doing it "by the book", have three types of monies - GAM, "normal" TAM (which expires after two years) and discretionary TAM (which expires after one year, see here for more information).  For new signings or contract extensions, provide the user with the opportunity to use the discretionary TAM first, then (if no discretionary TAM), normal TAM, then (if no normal TAM), GAM.

4. Have the game provide $1.2m in TAM + $2.8m in discretionary TAM to every team each season in 2020 and beyond.  I haven't simmed that far ahead, but if the mechanism disappears, then teams will forcibly need to contract (creating the same AI issues that are currently happening.


Also, there are some other MLS-related issues.

1. When you try to sign anyone to a contract above about $825k, it says that it has to be a DP contract.  This isn't true anymore...I believe you can go up to $1.5 million IF you have TAM to buy it down.  That should be changed.

2. In the game, Yamil Asad's rights are still held by Atlanta United, even though DC United obtained them.  So if you want to purchase Asad from Velez Sarsfield (as part of the loan deal) you have to trade for his rights first.

That's a great post and explains why the league is unable to make signings and the quality of teams gets worse after the first season

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MLS issue?

I'm currently using a custom database but haven't made any changes to MLS; the issue is the fact that MLS clubs don't show up any under all of the categories when looking at the USA tab.  They show up on the list of clubs + reputation, but none of them show up under the finances section (finances/season tickets/etc.)

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Minor issue:

During my pregame talks to the team (starting in about July) the option appears to comment on recent form--but it always go in alphabetical order.  Naturally, as Vancouver, it always says that "...we're in 23rd. It's time to start improving."  Where I actually stand in the league table doesn't make a difference--both the opponent and I are always ranked according to alphabetical order.

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Possible bug?

MLS teams that propose a trade with me almost ALWAYS ask for general allocation money in return.  Whether it's a player (give us X player and GAM in return for one or two draft picks) or international roster spot (one spot for one year and GAM in return for one or two draft picks) they seem to feel as though they have a right to GAM, even though they're the ones instigating a trade.  

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Some draft issues:

1. When the Superdraft comes, the game asks you if you'd like your scout to scout the draft eligible players for two matches.  However, for some reason, the scouts aren't successful in scouting all of the combine players...so you end up with anywhere from 6-10 players scouted out of the eighty or so in the group.  The only way to do it is to manually scout...which is a little annoying, given that the game says it will do it for you.

2. If you try and make a draft day trade, it does not happen (this has been an issue for a while). This leads to an exploitable bug.  For example, my second round pick came up in the draft, and there were no interesting players worth drafting.  I offered my 2nd and 3rd round picks for $250k in general allocation money to Orlando, and they accepted.  However, the trade would not happen, as there is typically a short delay between when the other team accepts the trade, and when the trade actually happens.  So I then picked players w/my 2nd and 3rd round picks.  After the draft is completed, I am asked if I want to approve the trade.  I accept, and then get to keep both the allocation money AND the draft picks.

This is quite exploitable, as it allows you to get GAM from other teams for nothing in return.

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Superdraft was completely skipped for me in 2020. It asked to scout 2 matches but the date came and went with no draft actually happening in Jan or Feb. I supposed 3 first round picks. 

Edit: found a save before the draft was supposed to happen.  Below is the draft with Cincinnati getting 3 picks and only 1 eligible player.  Any ideas on how to fix this or if there will be a patch? Without the superdraft, MLS isn't worth playing long term, multiple seasons. The whole reason I bought this game in the first place.

image.thumb.png.bb431b9fb37ea6e0702fbb5bee91dd2c.png

Edited by sinnerjo

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On 09/12/2018 at 21:43, sinnerjo said:

Superdraft was completely skipped for me in 2020. It asked to scout 2 matches but the date came and went with no draft actually happening in Jan or Feb. I supposed 3 first round picks. 

Edit: found a save before the draft was supposed to happen.  Below is the draft with Cincinnati getting 3 picks and only 1 eligible player.  Any ideas on how to fix this or if there will be a patch? Without the superdraft, MLS isn't worth playing long term, multiple seasons. The whole reason I bought this game in the first place.

image.thumb.png.bb431b9fb37ea6e0702fbb5bee91dd2c.png

Hi @sinnerjo can you please upload the save from before the draft  using below method and we can investigate the issue, thanks

 

 

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On 09/12/2018 at 15:32, murmur said:

Some draft issues:

1. When the Superdraft comes, the game asks you if you'd like your scout to scout the draft eligible players for two matches.  However, for some reason, the scouts aren't successful in scouting all of the combine players...so you end up with anywhere from 6-10 players scouted out of the eighty or so in the group.  The only way to do it is to manually scout...which is a little annoying, given that the game says it will do it for you.

2. If you try and make a draft day trade, it does not happen (this has been an issue for a while). This leads to an exploitable bug.  For example, my second round pick came up in the draft, and there were no interesting players worth drafting.  I offered my 2nd and 3rd round picks for $250k in general allocation money to Orlando, and they accepted.  However, the trade would not happen, as there is typically a short delay between when the other team accepts the trade, and when the trade actually happens.  So I then picked players w/my 2nd and 3rd round picks.  After the draft is completed, I am asked if I want to approve the trade.  I accept, and then get to keep both the allocation money AND the draft picks.

This is quite exploitable, as it allows you to get GAM from other teams for nothing in return.

Thank you for the information @murmur these issues are under review

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On 03/12/2018 at 16:27, looknohands said:

Minor issue:

During my pregame talks to the team (starting in about July) the option appears to comment on recent form--but it always go in alphabetical order.  Naturally, as Vancouver, it always says that "...we're in 23rd. It's time to start improving."  Where I actually stand in the league table doesn't make a difference--both the opponent and I are always ranked according to alphabetical order.

Thanks @looknohands this has now been logged for review

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3 hours ago, kcox17 said:

Could we get a response to the TAM issue?

It's not going to be an easy fix, believe me.  I know they've tried really, really hard to make MLS a fun, playable league and they've certainly come a a long way from where they were 5 or 6 years ago.  As we've seen, it's very, very difficult to get a system that not only functions as it should by human players, but is also able to be used somewhat predictably by the AI.

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On 13/12/2018 at 15:52, looknohands said:

It's not going to be an easy fix, believe me.  I know they've tried really, really hard to make MLS a fun, playable league and they've certainly come a a long way from where they were 5 or 6 years ago.  As we've seen, it's very, very difficult to get a system that not only functions as it should by human players, but is also able to be used somewhat predictably by the AI.

For implementation, the logic is fairly simple.  For any non-DP contract signed (new or extension) where the cap figure is above the max salary figure ($504k in the first season) AND the contract itself is below $1.5m/year, provide the user (or AI) with the one-time option to buy down the cap number (as low as $150k).  If the user/AI runs out of mandatory TAM (which they get $1.2m/year), give them the option to purchase additional (discretionary) TAM, with a cap of $2.8m/year that they can buy.  (The discretionary TAM can come out of the team's coffers, like a transfer fee.)

As for how the AI would handle this, the default behavior should be to always use TAM to fully minimize the cap hit for these players in the $500k-1.5m salary range.  On average, MLS teams have about 6 players that make more than $500k/year.  Reducing the cap hit on, say, three of these players in a season can open up about $1m in the salary cap, which is hugely important.  Furthermore, if the game limits these big contracts (and TAM money) to key players/first teamers, then it shouldn't cause too many problems down the line. 

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Right before the waiver draft and re-entry draft, the game asks you if you want to scout the players in the draft.  However, this request happens the day before the draft, which means that your scouts never have enough time to scout the players.  Minor issue.

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I have the bug that after completing the December Waiver Draft 2018 the squad registration rules changed. Now the only requirements are "minimum 5 international players" and "maximum 30 registered players".

Some infos to the save: - I created my own club (took Cincinnati and renamed them, new kits etc., removed all players at the beginning)

- with the FMRTE Editor I renamed the chairman, made myself unsackable (I made the chairman my father), edited a little bit the number of allowed scouts and coaches

I´ll upload two savegames to the cloud. The first is named Oehli 27 - MLS - before international bug and the second Oehli 27 - MLS - after international bug.  But it could take a little while with my bad internet until it´s finished. I guess 20-30 minutes after I made this post.^^

 

EDIT: In an older save with Gladbach where I´m already in September 2019 and the MLS is on view only, the rules are right. 

EDIT 2: A played again from the first savegame until the Waiver Draft and the rules changed on the 17th December, before I entered the draft.

539754761_fm2018-12-1821-35-56-835.thumb.jpg.19aa94fadbb9bd482720f8f6eb7e32a0.jpg1408113169_fm2018-12-1821-41-42-988.thumb.jpg.0b038c0cfada27989a6c79b2e11babc6.jpg

Edited by Oehli27

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7 hours ago, murmur said:

Right before the waiver draft and re-entry draft, the game asks you if you want to scout the players in the draft.  However, this request happens the day before the draft, which means that your scouts never have enough time to scout the players.  Minor issue.

The actual MLS draft needs work, too.  At the very least, we should have the option of sending our scouts (either as a whole, or a select number) to watch the players play in the draft combine.  The game asked me who I'd like to send, but by the time the draft rolled around, I didn't even have 20 of the players scouted.

Ideally, the game should prompt the user for the option of either scouting ALL of the players made available in the draft, or to focus on the ones participating in the combine.

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12 hours ago, looknohands said:

The actual MLS draft needs work, too.  At the very least, we should have the option of sending our scouts (either as a whole, or a select number) to watch the players play in the draft combine.  The game asked me who I'd like to send, but by the time the draft rolled around, I didn't even have 20 of the players scouted.

Ideally, the game should prompt the user for the option of either scouting ALL of the players made available in the draft, or to focus on the ones participating in the combine.

This is already under review @looknohands Thank you for the information

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13 hours ago, Oehli27 said:

I have the bug that after completing the December Waiver Draft 2018 the squad registration rules changed. Now the only requirements are "minimum 5 international players" and "maximum 30 registered players".

Some infos to the save: - I created my own club (took Cincinnati and renamed them, new kits etc., removed all players at the beginning)

- with the FMRTE Editor I renamed the chairman, made myself unsackable (I made the chairman my father), edited a little bit the number of allowed scouts and coaches

I´ll upload two savegames to the cloud. The first is named Oehli 27 - MLS - before international bug and the second Oehli 27 - MLS - after international bug.  But it could take a little while with my bad internet until it´s finished. I guess 20-30 minutes after I made this post.^^

 

EDIT: In an older save with Gladbach where I´m already in September 2019 and the MLS is on view only, the rules are right. 

EDIT 2: A played again from the first savegame until the Waiver Draft and the rules changed on the 17th December, before I entered the draft.

539754761_fm2018-12-1821-35-56-835.thumb.jpg.19aa94fadbb9bd482720f8f6eb7e32a0.jpg1408113169_fm2018-12-1821-41-42-988.thumb.jpg.0b038c0cfada27989a6c79b2e11babc6.jpg

Thank you @Oehli27 this has now been logged for review

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First of all, I enjoy the game despite the many bugs that plague our overly-complex league in the various iterations of FM. One thing that was small but totally helped draw me into the game was the presence of regional cup competitions between rival MLS clubs (El Capitan for Dallas/Houston, Heritage Cup for San Jose/The Flounders, Cascadia Cup for Vancouver/Portland/The smelly smelly flouders, etc). I've noticed since FM2018 that they have been removed however, which may seem like a small thing but takes away from the immersion and overall impressive detail the game otherwise displays. Why would that be removed from the game when it is already information in the database? It is a bummer to see awesome details like that removed with no explanation. Can we expect to see that feature return when expansion stops screwing with the league schedules? That's the only rational reason I can come up with as for why  this was removed. Thanks for any insight into this.

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