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johnsie

So what are the plans to make FM more challenging?

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It's too easy to be successful, experiences to the contrary notwithstanding. Multiple anecdotes in this thread elucidate what I mean. Managerial "AI", which is a loosely used term nowadays, is identified as a culprit by more experienced players. Is incorporating higher difficulty/more challenge a part of plans for future FM editions or will FM continue to be a relatively casual and unrealistic game? Is there any willingness to accept that the game needs multiple sets of conditions for different saves or is the game destined to be either too easy or prohibitive depending on what team you play with and what goals you have regardless what direction is taken in future editions?

Hopefully the in-game editor allows mid-game cash infusions to prop up other teams but based on the Feyenoord example in the aforementioned thread the AI weirdness seems to make giving clubs more money a blunt tool. I'm taking a break from my annual FM save early in my second season and am not sure if I'll continue, although I'll probably come back to it. I don't want to feel downright stupid playing a game, and I don't accept managing bottom rung teams as an alternative. Seems like the person who managed Lincoln City for several seasons with further restrictions upon himself did incredibly well too.

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The plural of anecdote is not 'data', etc

The game is as hard as you make it. If you visit the Tactical/Good Player Forums here for advice, you're already making the game easier and giving yourself an advantage the AI doesn't have. Maybe try that?

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I think its pretty obvious that the game will not be made any harder. I myself dont think its very challenging, but I'm quite sure most people do. They wont be making a game for a small portion of the buyers. 

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There are no "elite tacticians"; the real options are too few. Sure there are things you can figure out to perhaps maximize performance but too often you aren't pressed into doing even that on your way to great performance. Rather than complimenting the people who do well in FM I would just refer to others as casual. I agree that making the game harder, i.e. more realistic in its results at least, is even more dangerous especially given its proven viability with past and current audiences. The problem is the game is also capped rather lowly as a challenging game or realistic simulator, which affects the people who want more than a casual experience. This is why I see part of the answer in multiple modes/difficulties, however unrealistic that may be deemed. Clearly the game fails in realism given how well teams perform and making it realistic could jeopardize its ability to make money. As far as realism goes it's a lose lose situation, so it's untenable to use realism as an argument for rejecting something like multiple modes/difficulties as an attempt to improve it and appeal to more players.

1 hour ago, Steewen said:

I think its pretty obvious that the game will not be made any harder. I myself dont think its very challenging, but I'm quite sure most people do. They wont be making a game for a small portion of the buyers. 

I also wouldn't be so hasty with a claim like this. There's a conflict in what I imagine is the game's natural development. SI keep referring to realism, and I have seen some corrections in that direction over the years. But as changes are made to make the game more realistic, and awful AI behavior is arguably an even bigger thorn due to its nonsensical nature, the game will naturally become more difficult. I very much wonder how SI would respond to that. Perhaps they have already made the decision to keep quiet on deliberately retaining certain unrealistic elements like a crippled AI to appeal to casual players. I don't believe that heavy compromise needs to be made, on the basis of a false pretense to delivering one realistic simulation.

PS

I have no idea what point turnip is trying to make.

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Get yourself down to the conference north or south that will make the game harder. No money no reputation, it’s a challenge. 

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Posted (edited)

In these kind of sport games, the GM AI is much more important than the game (tactics) AI. I have seen all kinds of stuff happen during a season with all kind of crazy tranfers that can make a lousy second division team win the PL during the span of three years. Fun but hardly realistic so this game wiil be harder for you only if you refrain yourself and don't abuse the moronic GM AI

Edited by gerry58

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Well I think I just abused the game somewhat. 

Situation:

League 2 club newly promoted has a wage budget of around 13k, I ignore it and go out and add players bringing it to nearly 17k. That’s almost a third. Never mind we get promoted, nevertheless, I did feel there should have been stories and warnings coming from the board that we were pushing it a wee bit too far. We ended the season 300k in the red. 

Realistically would this have happened?  Perhaps players failing to get their wages on time should have happened with a cascading effect on morale plus debtors should have started hounding the club. I was hoping to see something like that, but it never happened. Gonna push this more next season in L1.

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2 hours ago, SpikeHughes said:

 

Get yourself down to the conference north or south that will make the game harder. No money no reputation, it’s a challenge. 

With a side predicted to finish at/near the bottom, in debt and awful facilities/small attendances (for it's level) is always good fun too. 

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5 minutes ago, Dan_987 said:

With a side predicted to finish at/near the bottom, in debt and awful facilities/small attendances (for it's level) is always good fun too. 

Currently down there been there two seasons this might be my season. 

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2 hours ago, johnsie said:

PS

I have no idea what point turnip is trying to make.

 

5 hours ago, turnip said:

The plural of anecdote is not 'data', etc

 

That a threadful of anecdotes is a thread full of anecdotes, it's not data that can be used to support a hypothesis or claim of fact. Without being too critical that's how the opening sentence comes across, that it is fact that it is too easy. There are some good points made in the thread you've linked to, and in this one. I'm not being dismissive. It's just you've started from the premise that it is too easy when in fact there's not the data to support that.

It's an important discussion but to be honest for it to be meaingful and helpful we probably need to go back further. What do we mean by too easy? How do we operationalise that? And too easy for who? Then we can actually gather data that will help support/reject the notion of how easy it is, and for who.

It is something that could be investigated, either with self-reported metrics from users about their performance and perceptions of ease to actual game data (what is the average over/under performance in terms of X, Y, and Z for teams managed by the AI and teams managed by users across X number of seasons, saves, etc. broken down by other categories such as game type/level, user demographics etc.) That would be data and that would be useful.

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Posted (edited)

I think in terms of tactics the difficulty strikes a good balance. Not too hard and not to easy. But every year the ME has weak areas and many players exploit them. This year just sign tall defenders, a good setpiece taker and players with good long shots and you are set. The AI don't know/do that and therefore can't answer it. So it depends a lot on how you play. If you exploit ME weaknesses every year, don't be suprised you overachieve. But where is the fun in that?

Another big problem is, that it is far too easy to loan or sign players. You can get multiple consecutive promotions by only loaning players from bigger teams. Young players that are way above your squad talent and the AI don't care who you are, what facilities do you have etc. With many you don't even need to pay any wages.

Same with signing players. It's just too easy to get the players you want. It almost doesn't matter which club you play, you can get any wonderkids around the world as long as you pay the clubs valuation. I barely see a youngster that clearly says 'I'm not interested in joining you'. I recently played with Bordeaux in the french top league (midtable team in terms of success and reputation) and I could easily sign up any hot prospect from teams like
Corinthians, Sao Paulo, SC International and all those famous teams from South America. No issue at all, didn't even need to overpay. You sign them, build them up and sell from 10x times the money. Your budget shoots up and you can sign better players. Rinse and repeat.

It's too simple to build a good team, not challenge at all, hence I revert to homegrown challenges, playing with DOF in charge etc.

Edited by BadanieLuck

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Posted (edited)

This all will come down to whether you find the game too easy/too hard, for which there will be very different benchmarks, which is viable. There's lots of players for instance that in whichever way outperform the AI by ridiculous margins, and seek their "challenge" in fantasies such as dafuge's in the challenge forums. But as the Topic of AI has been touched -- quite a lot of players outperform the AI without realizing in generally, and tactically, it typically doesn't take any much tactical advice, as the AI oft ignores "common sense", let alone replicating "top class Football Management" on any much level. The benchmark as to the AI is and has Always been here how the AI does with a club and its players, and how do you do.

Btw, I generelly would prefer the game to shift away tactically from rewarding "common sense" -- as the UI for the AI as well quite frankly allows loads of bollocks a sane manager may never do. This hurts AI and the Players alike. And a "realistic" way to balance difficulty here was introducing intelligent assistants, which would need improved AI anyways. Tons of Reports where assistants even co-developed a club's playing style, etc. That said, the game is advertised as an experience where you "win anything with any club in the world" to generally Football fans. And that's what it's Always been. Anything deeper is just a Bonus over the AI, and likely Always will remain.
 

Edited by Svenc

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I always considered my starting club a sliding scale of difficulty. For instance, starting at a Prem team is always going to be easier than playing with a previously unplayable club - i.e. Dafuge challenge.

Is this not the case?

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31 minutes ago, RickH said:

I always considered my starting club a sliding scale of difficulty. For instance, starting at a Prem team is always going to be easier than playing with a previously unplayable club - i.e. Dafuge challenge.

Is this not the case?

I think difficulty is hard to quantify like that. I'd generally agree that in the long term starting lower down will be more of  challenge than being at the top, and things like Dafuge's challenge (or similar taking unplayable clubs) is quite difficult. Theres the poorer finances, players, training ground/stadium, lower reputation and smaller pool to recruit from.

But I also think difficulty is relative, at least in the short term. For example I'm playing as Ramsbottom United in the 10th tier of England. But I'm not finding it too tricky this season as I'm a big fish in a small puddle. If I was Huddersfield for example in the EPL I would likely be finding the short term harder as I'd be the tadpole then - even though Town are much bigger in everyway than Ramsbottom. The difficulty for me won't really ramp up until I've been promoted and then I become a small fish again comparatively as well as just generally being a small club.

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On the whole i'd agree its too easy.

Boards are too generous with money, there is no competition for top players, just pick yours and sign him, scouting makes it too easy to improve your team, AI tactics are very limited.

I handicap myself by only using my Academy players but i've still gone from non league to a Premier League European qualification spot in a dozen seasons. The only challenge is overhauling the 3 or 4 truly Elite Premier League teams full of Elite/World Class players, but i'm sure i'll get there.

Finances are too simplified and generous, small teams getting a £50m + transfer budget in the years they build a new Stadium.

 

A few options for toughening things up;

  1. Remove all visible player attributes, rely on scout reports only, make scouts fallible.   
  2. Make finances much tighter, mis-manage them > Administration > Points Deduction. Wage and Transfer budget appropriately tighter. Much greater day to day running costs.
  3. Make players more influential in the ME. World class player visibly more impactful than a premier league player rated as good. Make sure Top Class players only join Top Class teams, Isco's not signing for Burnley. 
  4. Allow prominent tactic creators to create tactics for use by Ai Managers. Give, briefs, formations, playing style, tempo (a managerial model) and see what nasties they come up with for use in game. (a few versions, Home/Away, protect lead, chase game etc).
  5. Everyone starts Unemployed, you wanna manage Man Utd? Earn it. (or manage Molde :lol:).
  6. OR make ELITE TEAMS only off limits until you've made an impression elsewhere and get an interview.

 

They could do it if they wanted to, but its comes back to the question as to whether this is a game predominantly for casuals or not.

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11 minutes ago, Mr U Rosler said:

A few options for toughening things up; 

  1. Remove all visible player attributes, rely on scout reports only, make scouts fallible.   
  2. Make finances much tighter, mis-manage them > Administration > Points Deduction. Wage and Transfer budget appropriately tighter. Much greater day to day running costs.
  3. Make players more influential in the ME. World class player visibly more impactful than a premier league player rated as good. Make sure Top Class players only join Top Class teams, Isco's not signing for Burnley. 
  4. Allow prominent tactic creators to create tactics for use by Ai Managers. Give, briefs, formations, playing style, tempo (a managerial model) and see what nasties they come up with for use in game. (a few versions, Home/Away, protect lead, chase game etc).
  5. Everyone starts Unemployed, you wanna manage Man Utd? Earn it. (or manage Molde :lol:).
  6. OR make ELITE TEAMS only off limits until you've made an impression elsewhere and get an interview.

You could add auto-sacking feature for save scumming, rage quitting and re-loading of Youth Intakes :)

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1 hour ago, Mr U Rosler said:

A few options for toughening things up;

  1. Remove all visible player attributes, rely on scout reports only, make scouts fallible.   
  2. Make finances much tighter, mis-manage them > Administration > Points Deduction. Wage and Transfer budget appropriately tighter. Much greater day to day running costs.
  3. Make players more influential in the ME. World class player visibly more impactful than a premier league player rated as good. Make sure Top Class players only join Top Class teams, Isco's not signing for Burnley. 
  4. Allow prominent tactic creators to create tactics for use by Ai Managers. Give, briefs, formations, playing style, tempo (a managerial model) and see what nasties they come up with for use in game. (a few versions, Home/Away, protect lead, chase game etc).
  5. Everyone starts Unemployed, you wanna manage Man Utd? Earn it. (or manage Molde :lol:).
  6. OR make ELITE TEAMS only off limits until you've made an impression elsewhere and get an interview. 

 

They could do it if they wanted to, but its comes back to the question as to whether this is a game predominantly for casuals or not.

To be honest I would like to see some changes here as well. You can get short term success with a team, run it financially into the ground but still get hired elsewhere. When really if other clubs got wind of the fact you were consistently over the wage budget, driving the club into the red with bonuses etc. they wouldn't touch you. At least not the ones with financial issues.

I think you should still be able to mis-manage but there should be consequences like teams not wanting to hire you, less likely to extend your contract or maybe even they appoint a DOF over your head and take away your contract/transfer powers.

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18 hours ago, johnsie said:

It's too easy to be successful, experiences to the contrary notwithstanding. Multiple anecdotes in this thread elucidate what I mean. Managerial "AI", which is a loosely used term nowadays, is identified as a culprit by more experienced players. Is incorporating higher difficulty/more challenge a part of plans for future FM editions or will FM continue to be a relatively casual and unrealistic game? Is there any willingness to accept that the game needs multiple sets of conditions for different saves or is the game destined to be either too easy or prohibitive depending on what team you play with and what goals you have regardless what direction is taken in future editions?

Hopefully the in-game editor allows mid-game cash infusions to prop up other teams but based on the Feyenoord example in the aforementioned thread the AI weirdness seems to make giving clubs more money a blunt tool. I'm taking a break from my annual FM save early in my second season and am not sure if I'll continue, although I'll probably come back to it. I don't want to feel downright stupid playing a game, and I don't accept managing bottom rung teams as an alternative. Seems like the person who managed Lincoln City for several seasons with further restrictions upon himself did incredibly well too.

Why not try this fron Cleon: https://teaandbusquets.com/blog/making-a-league-more-competitive

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10 hours ago, Peljam said:

 

That a threadful of anecdotes is a thread full of anecdotes, it's not data that can be used to support a hypothesis or claim of fact. Without being too critical that's how the opening sentence comes across, that it is fact that it is too easy. There are some good points made in the thread you've linked to, and in this one. I'm not being dismissive. It's just you've started from the premise that it is too easy when in fact there's not the data to support that.

It's an important discussion but to be honest for it to be meaingful and helpful we probably need to go back further. What do we mean by too easy? How do we operationalise that? And too easy for who? Then we can actually gather data that will help support/reject the notion of how easy it is, and for who.

It is something that could be investigated, either with self-reported metrics from users about their performance and perceptions of ease to actual game data (what is the average over/under performance in terms of X, Y, and Z for teams managed by the AI and teams managed by users across X number of seasons, saves, etc. broken down by other categories such as game type/level, user demographics etc.) That would be data and that would be useful.

If you finish the about two sentences he wrote you'll see that he failed to even stay coherent. He suggested that I visit the tactics forum to make the game even easier. Or perhaps he's trying to say that I should wipe what I've read from that fountain of knowledge from my memory, never mind he is unaware that I've never been to that section of the forum? The fact that post is the most liked one in this thread is deplorable. Likewise, I'm not interested in pedestrian abstract objections regarding "well is it too easy? how do we know?". It is too easy and the anecdotes are not the random outliers you imagine statistics warns you about, they reveal how the game works. My intention is to have a more forward-looking discussion, if there is to be one, than one bogged down in inanity. If you'd like to waste your time intellectualizing about data gathering and analysis when inducing that there is a problem is so obvious be my guest. Perhaps you'll make a survey to question all the casuals and conclude that there is no pressing issue whatsoever with the difficulty or fulfillment of the game. There have to be people smarter than this.

10 hours ago, BadanieLuck said:

I think in terms of tactics the difficulty strikes a good balance. Not too hard and not to easy. But every year the ME has weak areas and many players exploit them. This year just sign tall defenders, a good setpiece taker and players with good long shots and you are set. The AI don't know/do that and therefore can't answer it. So it depends a lot on how you play. If you exploit ME weaknesses every year, don't be suprised you overachieve. But where is the fun in that?

Another big problem is, that it is far too easy to loan or sign players. You can get multiple consecutive promotions by only loaning players from bigger teams. Young players that are way above your squad talent and the AI don't care who you are, what facilities do you have etc. With many you don't even need to pay any wages.

Same with signing players. It's just too easy to get the players you want. It almost doesn't matter which club you play, you can get any wonderkids around the world as long as you pay the clubs valuation. I barely see a youngster that clearly says 'I'm not interested in joining you'. I recently played with Bordeaux in the french top league (midtable team in terms of success and reputation) and I could easily sign up any hot prospect from teams like
Corinthians, Sao Paulo, SC International and all those famous teams from South America. No issue at all, didn't even need to overpay. You sign them, build them up and sell from 10x times the money. Your budget shoots up and you can sign better players. Rinse and repeat.

It's too simple to build a good team, not challenge at all, hence I revert to homegrown challenges, playing with DOF in charge etc.

I haven't read a word from the tactics forum and have played four editions of this game, stopping within five seasons every time due to a lack of challenge and eventually even stagnation. The first time I played the game, when I screwed up the most, was the five-season save. More recently I'm not sure I've passed season three. You can ask some of the people in the other thread whether they were aware of ME exploits, which I question you even know yourself as the tall defenders one strikes me as nonsense, and if they were whether they bothered using them and how much they thought they benefited from them. I don't think ME exploitation is what transforms the game from challenging and rewarding to boring.

The matter of loaning players has crossed my mind as I've seen AI teams recede after a very talented player they had on a loan was done. I've thought about an approach of relying on or at least getting a few key players on loan and what would stop a team from doing that. But it's not something I've done myself with a single player and have not seen other players comment on how their success was reliant on loaned players. I'm inclined to think many of us are averse to the idea and prefer to rely on our own players, and I don't think the game pressures you into trying to maximize competitive advantage. It's something to consider addressing in the future but I don't think presently it's what this topic hinges on.

With regard to signing players in my experience this has been improved, i.e. it's more difficult and in cases impossible to do what you could do before. But it's still a thing. Part of it may be a lack of competition from the AI on the market broadly speaking, and part of it may be valuations and perhaps player willingness. This is where we get into a dangerous area as when you tighten these things up the game can transform, which is not something most of you seem to appreciate, although let's be frank, most of you are skimming posts at best. I just don't see a way to incorporate different possibilities, ranging from stifling realism to the clown show some believe needs a scientific examination we're currently playing, under one set of conditions or game world. Of course I also don't believe either of these states is desirable exclusively, which is why I can't play this game for long despite wanting to and why I'm skeptical of a one world solution. Unlike some of you I'm not going to dignify this game with gimmicks like playing with only players from my youth academy, a certain divergent tactic, etc. As a developer I would be disappointed to see my game reduced to this state.

10 hours ago, Svenc said:

That said, the game is advertised as an experience where you "win anything with any club in the world" to generally Football fans. And that's what it's Always been.

Which I'm perfectly fine with. In fact, one of the most important things for me would be to retain the possibility that eventually I win the Champions League with Levski Sofia. Obviously I'm too bored with the game to do it over FM 14, 17, 18, and 19. But just because this is something that should be retained doesn't mean you throw your hands up and throw away all the potential the game has to be a much better and more realistic simulation, to challenge and reward players more substantially. And again, things are interconnected. Unless SI have decided they are deliberately crippling the AI to keep the game casual sooner or later they'll run into the dilemma of what to do with it given its huge effect on human players. If the AI starts to get tightened, even if certain things like players refusing to join certain teams or desiring greater compensation or something of the sort are implemented (which they are currently to some extent, it should be pointed out), the achievement of human managers can change a lot. The thing is this game gets little development on an annual basis and people keep buying it, hell I'm one such person, but sooner or later either the heart will stop beating in the developers' chests or the game will run into problems related to difficulty stemming from realism and improvement. Can you even imagine the day, by the way, when you'd be able to say that you had a fun 7+ season Arsenal save?

10 hours ago, RickH said:

I always considered my starting club a sliding scale of difficulty. For instance, starting at a Prem team is always going to be easier than playing with a previously unplayable club - i.e. Dafuge challenge.

Is this not the case?

Sure, tell that to the guy who picked a club like three divisions down and in seven seasons is competing at the top of the Premier League with an avoid foreign players handicap. Dafuge indeed.

9 hours ago, Peljam said:

I think difficulty is hard to quantify like that.

This guy really likes quantifying stuff.

9 hours ago, Mr U Rosler said:

On the whole i'd agree its too easy.

Boards are too generous with money, there is no competition for top players, just pick yours and sign him, scouting makes it too easy to improve your team, AI tactics are very limited.

I handicap myself by only using my Academy players but i've still gone from non league to a Premier League European qualification spot in a dozen seasons. The only challenge is overhauling the 3 or 4 truly Elite Premier League teams full of Elite/World Class players, but i'm sure i'll get there.

Finances are too simplified and generous, small teams getting a £50m + transfer budget in the years they build a new Stadium.

 

A few options for toughening things up;

  1. Remove all visible player attributes, rely on scout reports only, make scouts fallible.   
  2. Make finances much tighter, mis-manage them > Administration > Points Deduction. Wage and Transfer budget appropriately tighter. Much greater day to day running costs.
  3. Make players more influential in the ME. World class player visibly more impactful than a premier league player rated as good. Make sure Top Class players only join Top Class teams, Isco's not signing for Burnley. 
  4. Allow prominent tactic creators to create tactics for use by Ai Managers. Give, briefs, formations, playing style, tempo (a managerial model) and see what nasties they come up with for use in game. (a few versions, Home/Away, protect lead, chase game etc).
  5. Everyone starts Unemployed, you wanna manage Man Utd? Earn it. (or manage Molde :lol:).
  6. OR make ELITE TEAMS only off limits until you've made an impression elsewhere and get an interview.

 

They could do it if they wanted to, but its comes back to the question as to whether this is a game predominantly for casuals or not.

Your list omits the one about competition for players, which would pervade the market and on its own could go a long way towards transforming the game. I am very wary of constricting managers. This is still a game. You keep them starved of money for a long time with no realistic prospects for serious advancement and you might find the other side of the coin, albeit the more realistic one. Conditions like this may be more suitable in attempts to make top tier club saves worthwhile. Lower club saves virtually necessitate unrealism for progress, namely through the ability to dramatically improve squad quality. Again, I just cannot see a good solution within one game world/mode/difficulty. It may perhaps be possible but it would be complicated to figure out how and we can't even have a basic discussion where words aren't flying by people.

Back to the original point, I think reasonable AI behavior on its own can dramatically change things. Clubs start with money, and often you may be starting without much of it. Imagine if from the start all the AI teams sought players just like you and competed for them. "Prominent tactics creators" sounds laughably pretentious to me and I can't believe people see a lot of depth here, but also imagine if whatever boneheaded tactical behavior the AI displays is improved. Combine the two together. I'm not sure you'd need to remove visible player attributes (although this scout idea is interesting on its own merit), tighten finances, force players to start unemployed, etc. Point three I think I generally agree with, except for players not willing to join smaller teams which I'm wary of.

Another interesting thing I've noticed is that the values of similar players can vary dramatically, which enables human managers to get ahead by pouncing on such steals. If the AI were to do the same, and/or if something is done about them, there's another impactful change.

I also agree it's very feasible for the game to be made more realistic, an ironic use of this word against SI, and that the biggest obstacle is essentially casual players. For all we know the developers could already know exactly what they're doing and deliberately keep the game unrealistic and easy. Here's another thought. How much do casuals care for pace of development? I can picture them being accommodating and allowing some work on branching the game.

5 hours ago, robot_skeleton said:

Because I'd rather do a pound of cocaine and have my heart explode out of my chest like a birthing Alien than subject myself to FM with buying cheap players, developing my own players, and selling my good players. It's like try to make yourself lose and see how much you enjoy making the best of it. I've got the leather, who's bringing the whip and the choker on a leash? I really don't understand this mentality (I do to a certain extent but thumb my nose at it). Why bother playing the game at that point? If that's not unconditional love I don't know what is. Try Age of Wonders III for a while, see how you like that maybe? At this point you might as well look into playing other games. I figure something like Europa Universalis IV should be huge and all-consuming in this community.

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8 hours ago, johnsie said:

If you finish the about two sentences he wrote you'll see that he failed to even stay coherent. He suggested that I visit the tactics forum to make the game even easier. Or perhaps he's trying to say that I should wipe what I've read from that fountain of knowledge from my memory, never mind he is unaware that I've never been to that section of the forum? The fact that post is the most liked one in this thread is deplorable. 

To clarify I quoted one part of his post and explained that. It was the part that seemed to be issue so that's what I expanded on. I wasn't defending the rest of it. You've clearly read the response. What do you think to where I said there are some good points made and that I'm not trying to be dismissive, you know...where I was being part of a discussion? If you notice I've not said I disagree with some of the issues around it being easy in places, I've even responded about an area I would like to see get more difficult.

I'm not shouting you down or being dismissive. I'm not being combative towards points raised that don't fit my experience. I'm just saying anecdotes shouldn't be the sole foundation of an argument if you want to see actual meaningful change happen.

Quote

Likewise, I'm not interested in pedestrian abstract objections regarding "well is it too easy? how do we know?". It is too easy and the anecdotes are not the random outliers you imagine statistics warns you about, they reveal how the game works. My intention is to have a more forward-looking discussion, if there is to be one, than one bogged down in inanity. If you'd like to waste your time intellectualizing about data gathering and analysis when inducing that there is a problem is so obvious be my guest.

Anyway, you're right in saying anecdotes are not random outliers. They are not quantitative data and can't be outliers, that's part of the point. You say they reveal how the game works and to an extent they do reveal information. But they reveal what people have perceived and what they think they've experienced and don't form a good basis for an argument to change huge aspects of a game for the entire user base. There's a really good paper I could link to if anyone likes about a study of the placebo effect in gamers - where gamers thought the AI was making things harder for them when in fact nothing had changed - that demonstrates perceptions alone can't be trusted.

They might well, and I think they do, reveal potential issues, but ones that need looking at further and more objectively. You can see it in this thread and in the other thread - lots of different opinions and perspectives, many that suggest certain elements might be too easy, and then some opinions and perspectives that say they are finding it too hard or are still finding it challenging. An anecdote isn't generalisable. I could go on about what I find too easy as player of X many years and X many hours, based on playing mainly in leagues A, B and C but that only represents my experience and can't be applied to everyone.

You keep saying it's too easy and that it's a fact. A fact so obvious that it doesn't need more data or exploration. I'm sorry but you are wrong on both counts. It is too easy for you and for some users, it is not for others. Due to that we do actually need more data about the specifics if we want changes made to the game rather than how we play the game as individuals (the changes and challenges we apply to ourselves which you can see some people already do).

You may think that's pointless intellectualising, and that it's all abstract and inane but a discussion of the meat of it, and more data on those aspects would actually be helpful and if done would move the discussion forward. SI aren't going to makebig changes based on anecdotes from a small thread that doesn't even present a unanimous position of how hard or easy the game is. Especially not when (as pointed out by some) it could destroy the experience for some users. We might come up with some interesting ideas but we don't know if they would just be useful for those in the thread that agree, and we don't know if they would ruin things for users that might actually form a greater part of the user base than those in the thread.

You may think it's a waste of time but honestly there are plenty that would consider the tiny echo chambers these threads can become a greater waste of time - even when they agree with many of the points raised. You may not agree, and that's fine, but I was adding to the discussion.

Quote

Perhaps you'll make a survey to question all the casuals and conclude that there is no pressing issue whatsoever with the difficulty or fulfillment of the game. There have to be people smarter than this.

Just sending a survey to casual FM gamers wouldn't be a representative sample. That's not what I was suggesting. An investigation would have to have a sample that represents the population it is meant to be applied to. Then you would be able to determine if there any common issues across different users regarding difficulty. Whether there are any issues that effect specific types of users (the more experienced, those that managed in specific leagues, those that utlise certain game functions more than others etc.). Whether there are any issues that are specific to particular aspects of the game. And importantly whether any of these factors and demographics interact significantly.

Then we'd have a better of idea of what could be changed that would benefit the user experience of most users, what could be altered just for certain users or what modules within the game that would benefit from wholesale changes. We would have actual evidence for this rather than anecdotes from a small group of users on a big forum that still only represents a small slice of the users that play the whole game. That's what I'd do, because I am smarter than that.

So you know what, I think I probably will eventually put together a research project on it.

 

9 hours ago, johnsie said:

This guy really likes quantifying stuff. 

I mean...yeah. I do. Because of all the reasons above. Because it adds something objective to what we know rather than repeating what we subjectively think (that might be wrong, or might only apply to us). But taking a step back, if you look at my response to RickH and yours you'll see we are partially in agreement. Dafuge mode can be challenging but it isn't free from issues around difficulty. Starting at the bottom isn't the same as dealing with difficulty issues.

 

Anyway, I think there are some good points in the thread made by some of the posters. Not all I agree with or that would work for my FM experience but definitely some that would and some that are interesting. I do still disagree with the blanket claim that the game is just too easy. I don't think that represents everyone experiences, and I don't think it's nuanced enough.

 

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I'm sorry but I've graduated years ago now. I understand what you're posting but don't respect it. I'd rather have more interesting and less bogged down discussions over the obvious. You don't even seem to understand what "quantitative data" is given your dismissal of the information within anecdotes. But like I said, I'd rather not get into a pedantic exchange with people who are reactionary against change. One thing I should correct you on, however, is your claim that I want to change the game drastically for everyone. To the contrary, I'm well aware there are many casual players and do not want to drive them away. Hence why I keep repeating, and you strangely don't seem to have noticed, that I believe the big changes to make the game a lot more challenging should be isolated within separate modes or difficulties, and I've even suggested that they should be conceived with particular types of clubs in mind. Obviously I haven't suggested anything specific, was hoping people would add things, but it's why I don't have the interest to get bogged down with the sort of half-considered objection you bring up. Let's just say I believe some people know better and am content to leave you to your imperceptions. If the developers ultimately aren't those people, that's just too bad. I'm not here to coddle people. And if you're anything more than idle talk I'd certainly be interested in what data and whatnot you gather. Would also be very curious in seeing your approach to gathering the representative sort of data you're under the impression is necessary as well as how you analyze it. I'm starting to wonder how you'll even define the data, or conceptualize it in your parlance, but them's the fundamental necessities. If your response is that it's not for you to do or that it's too difficult, well, what a surprise. I'd rather not be bored to death on the forum too. That's the point of the thread in a nutshell. Just like there are different people playing FM there are different opinions too. Good for you that you find the game challenging and it keeps you around, I'd like it to keep me around too. I'm also amused by your lack of vision and imagination in how you want to induce everything from surveys. Developers aren't paid money to survey representative samples of a current playerbase and do what that type of "data" tells them to do. Having a personal drive, passion, and vision is sometimes better than acting like a machine. For all you'd know most survey responses might be framed by what FM currently is, and the creative ones might not be elicited or might get lost in the pile, if they are at all popular enough to be captured by a sample. You also wouldn't know if the current FM population is just a subset of what it could be due to the current deficient state of the game, which means your sample would be inherently biased toward casual players. There's a difference between a run-of-the-mill [social] scientist and a creator. I've taken a college course on your playbook. This isn't news to me and it's not hard for me to get intellectual too. It's just a waste of time. And I know you think you're smart, but there are people smarter than you.

11 hours ago, Peljam said:

So you know what, I think I probably will eventually put together a research project on it.

Well good. In the meantime in the second season of my Levski Sofia save I'm beating Olympiakos 2-0 in a Champions League group match with three youth players in my line-up and my best players off the pitch. God speed on your research project. For all I know it could lead to improvement and be useful. I'm inclined to take a shortcut for sanity reasons and not get lectured on basics by people who think they're showing me up. Speaking of nuanced and reading the thread well, you probably should've picked up on my "nuanced" opinion I've repeated ad nauseam about how I basically agree that the game isn't too easy for everyone. I suppose I didn't bother being explicit enough as I figured a normal reading would capture the "nuance".

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Well obviously we disagree agree a lot about a few of the issues. That's fine. As I said there are somethings we are probably pretty close to agreement on about the game but that seems to have been lost in the above which is a pity.

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Mate, you've labelled people pretentious and yet at the same time called out SI for catering to 'the casuals'. 

Have a word, eh?

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I don't see the contradiction. I'm also not the only one who has said that the game is catered to casuals across both threads. In fact, it's easier to be pretentious in a casual game, e.g. talking about tactical masters and experts. I think there's insufficient depth for that, and in the long run it's unnecessary for success.

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On 08/01/2019 at 15:54, Peljam said:

To be honest I would like to see some changes here as well. You can get short term success with a team, run it financially into the ground but still get hired elsewhere. When really if other clubs got wind of the fact you were consistently over the wage budget, driving the club into the red with bonuses etc. they wouldn't touch you. At least not the ones with financial issues.

I think you should still be able to mis-manage but there should be consequences like teams not wanting to hire you, less likely to extend your contract or maybe even they appoint a DOF over your head and take away your contract/transfer powers.

Harry Redknapp.

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I'd wager there are no such plans to make it arbitrarily more difficult. The game has increased in difficulty over the years, FM19 is much more difficult to succeed in than 10 years ago for example. SI has mentioned multiple times there is no plans other than making it as realistic a sim as possible. With added realism will naturally make the game more complex and difficult for some and probably easier for others. That's the nature of it, some people just "get" how football works and some don't.

Liverpool this year for example has been dubbed easy mode for some, winning the league at a canter. Yet there was someone here earlier this week struggling to get them to score goals. I found the game easy as Notts County precisely until the point we hit the championship, now it's a slog to get out of the league and hit the next level.

At the end of the day in FM it is (and always has been) a case of "it's as difficult as you make it" 

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3 hours ago, monkeywool said:

I'd wager there are no such plans to make it arbitrarily more difficult.

How did you turn this from realistically more difficult to "arbitrarily" more difficult? Which side of the equation are you unaware of, the game or reality? And you even imply you have specific awareness of the suggestions to make it more difficult. O my what a wager.

3 hours ago, monkeywool said:

The game has increased in difficulty over the years, FM19 is much more difficult to succeed in than 10 years ago for example. SI has mentioned multiple times there is no plans other than making it as realistic a sim as possible. With added realism will naturally make the game more complex and difficult for some and probably easier for others. That's the nature of it, some people just "get" how football works and some don't.

Clearly despite whatever improvements have occurred over a whopping decade the game isn't remotely realistic. Tell me, did you read the titles or did you read the threads? Don't try to claim that some people just don't get it when demonstrably you haven't gotten it.

3 hours ago, monkeywool said:

Liverpool this year for example has been dubbed easy mode for some, winning the league at a canter. Yet there was someone here earlier this week struggling to get them to score goals. I found the game easy as Notts County precisely until the point we hit the championship, now it's a slog to get out of the league and hit the next level.

At the end of the day in FM it is (and always has been) a case of "it's as difficult as you make it" 

No, that's just the banal excuse some people give. The guy who doesn't buy foreign players at Lincoln City needed seven seasons to compete at the top of the Premier League. I have taken a look at Dafuge's challenge thread and you see players reaching the Premier League, despite all those conditions, in under ten seasons, perhaps significantly earlier than that. I've described why I've stopped playing in only my second season at Levski Sofia. It's an unrealistic joke, to use your pretentious realism standard.

Not only is the claim that the game is as difficult as you make it false, not only is it ridiculous to want people to restrict themselves to arbitrary conditions in order to experience a challenge, it is so narrow-minded and blind to forget that FM players are football fans! Football fans who have favorite teams they'd want to manage. Most of these inadequate attempts at making the game challenging entail managing a team most people do not know exists. How did this become the mantra if not for irrational loyalty to the game as it is? What, is the only challenge in reality managing one of these unknown and incapable teams, whose meteoric rises in the game are also completely unrealistic?

It is astonishing to argue this on a realism basis.

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11 minutes ago, johnsie said:

How did you turn this from realistically more difficult to "arbitrarily" more difficult? Which side of the equation are you unaware of, the game or reality? And you even imply you have specific awareness of the suggestions to make it more difficult. O my what a wager.

Clearly despite whatever improvements have occurred over a whopping decade the game isn't remotely realistic. Tell me, did you read the titles or did you read the threads? Don't try to claim that some people just don't get it when demonstrably you haven't gotten it.

No, that's just the banal excuse some people give. The guy who doesn't buy foreign players at Lincoln City needed seven seasons to compete at the top of the Premier League. I have taken a look at Dafuge's challenge thread and you see players reaching the Premier League, despite all those conditions, in under ten seasons, perhaps significantly earlier than that. I've described why I've stopped playing in only my second season at Levski Sofia. It's an unrealistic joke, to use your pretentious realism standard.

Not only is the claim that the game is as difficult as you make it false, not only is it ridiculous to want people to restrict themselves to arbitrary conditions in order to experience a challenge, it is so narrow-minded and blind to forget that FM players are football fans! Football fans who have favorite teams they'd want to manage. Most of these inadequate attempts at making the game challenging entail managing a team most people do not know exists. How did this become the mantra if not for irrational loyalty to the game as it is? What, is the only challenge in reality managing one of these unknown and incapable teams, whose meteoric rises in the game are also completely unrealistic?

It is astonishing to argue this on a realism basis.

My point, which you misunderstood, was that SI won't arbitrarily increase the difficulty. That is to say they won't basically make the game more difficult for difficulty's sake, they've mentioned this in countless threads over the years when people have asked for things like difficulty levels.

The difficulty curve on this game is centred around how realistic it can be. The more realistic it gets, the more difficult it will be for people that don't get how football works. The game is more complex now than it was and more difficult as a result. I did not say the game is completely realistic currently, but that's the goal. SI want this game to be an accurate simulation of football, which is a noble goal but will never be fully achieved in a game setting, but they can get as close as they can.

People who are acing Dafuge's challenge have been doing it for years, they know the game and football inside out, this is why the challenge exists, mostly to give experts at FM a challenge. 

Now, if you want to debate this further by all means go ahead, but kindly drop the attitude a little please. Sarcasm and aggression is not warranted nor required.

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On 07/01/2019 at 23:59, johnsie said:

It's too easy to be successful, experiences to the contrary notwithstanding. Multiple anecdotes in this thread elucidate what I mean. Managerial "AI", which is a loosely used term nowadays, is identified as a culprit by more experienced players. Is incorporating higher difficulty/more challenge a part of plans for future FM editions or will FM continue to be a relatively casual and unrealistic game? Is there any willingness to accept that the game needs multiple sets of conditions for different saves or is the game destined to be either too easy or prohibitive depending on what team you play with and what goals you have regardless what direction is taken in future editions?

Hopefully the in-game editor allows mid-game cash infusions to prop up other teams but based on the Feyenoord example in the aforementioned thread the AI weirdness seems to make giving clubs more money a blunt tool. I'm taking a break from my annual FM save early in my second season and am not sure if I'll continue, although I'll probably come back to it. I don't want to feel downright stupid playing a game, and I don't accept managing bottom rung teams as an alternative. Seems like the person who managed Lincoln City for several seasons with further restrictions upon himself did incredibly well too.

Good luck with this; I've suggested the game needs difficulty levels a few times but encountered either:

 - people that are not very good at the game suggesting it's hard enough

 - people saying you shouldn't pick a decent team, even if it's the team you've supported all your life, and instead start in the 50th tier in Belarus

 - people saying it's too difficult to introduce some sort of difficulty (never tell these people that NASA have put men on the moon)

 - various other comments from idiots, really

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There are several ways to make the game harder. In fm 17, i did a czech save where i could only recruit players speaking czech and players on transfer market. In fm 18, i did a save where i recruited only players suggested by my scouts. In fm 18-19, an youth academy challenge in which you cant sign a player apart of your youth intake. It is very challenging/rewarding.

Also, simple ways to make the game harder is to create his own tactics, and not exploit ia over transfers and contracts. For example, i have a rule in my saves for when i buy/sell a player, i will never have bonuses representing more than a third of the total amount.

 

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I make the game harder by playing with a butt plug in... yeah, would LOVE to see SI work on the AI as priority for FM20 but i am not holding my breath (except from the butt plug of course).  Sometimes, I actually forget to make subs or shouts if i move the wrong way, i recommend butt plugs for all, it is the only way the game is the least bit challenging.

 

Oh.. and if SI can somehow coordinate with all the team researchers to have a unified rating system maybe that would stop the English teams from dominating all the cups.

Edited by weezy3313

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2 hours ago, monkeywool said:

My point, which you misunderstood, was that SI won't arbitrarily increase the difficulty. That is to say they won't basically make the game more difficult for difficulty's sake, they've mentioned this in countless threads over the years when people have asked for things like difficulty levels.

The difficulty curve on this game is centred around how realistic it can be. The more realistic it gets, the more difficult it will be for people that don't get how football works. The game is more complex now than it was and more difficult as a result. I did not say the game is completely realistic currently, but that's the goal. SI want this game to be an accurate simulation of football, which is a noble goal but will never be fully achieved in a game setting, but they can get as close as they can.

One, if you bothered to actually read as opposed to react to thread titles you would have seen that this very argument has been addressed in thread starting posts of short length. Two, what you misunderstand is that the game is easy largely because it is unrealistic, and the only arbitrary part of all of this are your attempts to make it harder. The game is not just short of being "completely realistic", which is such a predictable yet still rather unbelievable way to distort things in an argument by turn of phrase, it is patently unrealistic. Like I've stated before, your premise is entirely off. There is no debate here, the only thing there is is your refusal to acknowledge the obvious. The game is easy and unrealistic. SI can either continue to be backward for ten more years sustaining themselves on the hollow praise of people like you (mind you I've played since FM14 and this is FM19, I have some idea how quickly things change) or they will run into the predicament of what will happen when the game is made considerably realistic, which contrary to your amusingly pretentious belief will not make the game easier for someone like you who thinks he understands football. There's a big difference between real conditions and FM conditions (start with the state of the "AI"), and given the conservative mindset here I have my doubts innovation will be incorporated for possibly truly great managers to get ahead. The game will either continue to improve and resemble reality at a snail's pace enabling various degrees of casual play to result in completely unrealistic accomplishments or it will become much more realistic and difficult, stifling and futile might be more fitting words, and then you'll see how noble of a goal realism is.

Edited by johnsie

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Tuto of the day: How turn a thread into an ego fight no one cares about?

You guys are doing a good job.

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6 minutes ago, SpS_Zen said:

Tuto of the day: How turn a thread into an ego fight no one cares about?

You guys are doing a good job.

I challenge you good sir to an online draft with butt plugs in....

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20 minutes ago, SpS_Zen said:

Tuto of the day: How turn a thread into an ego fight no one cares about?

You guys are doing a good job.

You're just the inert beneficiary of things. That's ok, but to correct you, if no one cared about this sort of thing you'd be doing much worse personally.

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OK, Guys- general warning: happy to let the normal discussion/debate run on, but please stop the personal digs 

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The only positive I can take from this thread right now is that I now know what "elucidate" means. :D

As far as I can tell, FM seems to strike a good balance when it comes to difficulty. You'll always see loads of FMers blitzing through the leagues and winning everything, but you'll also see loads of FMers who really struggle (and some who really don't know what they're doing).

I'm kinda in the middle (as I am year after year, even after 20 years of playing CM/FM... as if anyone cares). On FM13, it took me 10 seasons after promotion from the Conference Premier to take Dagenham & Redbridge into the Premier League. On FM19, my Fiorentina team - always tipped by the media to finish 7th in Serie A - have achieved finishes of 6th, 6th, 4th and 2nd, and we have won zero trophies. The game is not ridiculously easy for me, but neither is it ludicrously difficult.

How would you increase/decrease the difficulty? Official difficulty settings are surely not the answer, especially not in a 'simulation' game. As your manager is considered just a small part of the in-game universe (rather than the centre of it, as in similar games), I don't see why the game should make things especially easy or difficult for your team. A mid-table Premier League club shouldn't turn into Brazil's 1970 World Cup winners or the Derbyshire Over-50s Sunday League runners-up when they play your team just because you picked a certain 'mode'.

Stronger punishments for financial mismanagement, on the other hand...

Edited by CFuller

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