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[Suggestions] Lower League ideas

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As I'm sure you know, many of us love to play lower league games, much lower than the base game allows, using modded databases. It's great fun, but there are a few things that could be significantly improved with what I think are minor changes - and I'm sure the base game might benefit from some of these too. Apologies if these should have been separate posts, but I didn't want to clog up the forum...

Firstly, it would be great if, after agreeing a new deal with your club, a player on amateur/non-contract terms will then automatically reject further offers from other clubs for at least (e.g.) 2-3 months, perhaps with a contextual news item that he has only just committed himself to the club and will not entertain a move so soon after. As anyone who has played these lower league games knows, having to constantly re-offer contracts to the same player on the same terms gets very tiresome; he accepts the terms and the offers are cleared, and a week later a new batch of offers come in, and if you forget to offer him yet another new/same deal, he'll be off. Now, I accept that if the bidding club is offering a step up financially then fair enough, if he's on amateur terms and someone wants to offer him £50 per game, I don't blame him for leaving. I get that maybe it's not 'realistic' to protect an amateur contract, so maybe it can be tied to the player's loyalty stat, but the whole amateur shooting gallery gets a bit much.

As an aside while I'm on the subject of contracts, showing "Signed a new contract" in the player's milestones is something I've wanted for a while, even much higher up the pyramid.

Back to lower league. Next up, player movements for amateur and non-contract players (and even 'proper' part-timers I suppose). I propose that incoming bids be limited geographically by distance between the clubs. Let's say for example 30 miles for amateur players, 60 miles for non-contracts, calculated by taking the stadium co-ordinates from the database for both clubs and applying a Haversine formula to them to get the distance, and if the distance is too great the bid is not made. Perhaps even apply a modifier on the distance for the tier in the pyramid of the bidding club. As an example case, my Gravesend (Kent) born & based full-back decided to accept an offer from Sherborne in Dorset that slipped under my radar; over 160 miles away and a three hour drive, to play for no money (he at least got appearance fees for me), and on top of that he was only 17. I was also his favoured personnel, so there was no disharmony at work here. Quite why an amateur would spend three hours each way driving to play for no money, or physically moving to a new area, is beyond me. If this were an isolated case I'd shrug it off and say he fancied a fresh start or something, but the amount of offers I'm having to counter from Norfolk, the Midlands, the South-West and so on for players that couldn't afford to travel or move these distances is a bit silly.

Player attributes. As we know, players this far down the pyramid are pretty poor; If I've got a centre-back with 8 tackling, he's in the first team. We also know that underneath the hood the attribute rating is in effect 1-200 rather than the rounded 1-20 that's displayed, as seen by the decimals in the Attribute Changes development screen. An option to display attributes as either the normal 1-20 or a more precise 1-200 (or even just to display decimals) would allow us to more accurately measure the differences between players with such low stats, as well as noting their development.

On the subject of the quality of players lower down the leagues, a pet peeve is when I manage to get a decent player in whose comparative 5-star rating pushes everyone else down to 0.5 to 2, making it very difficult to get a quick overview of your 'better' players. I accept that star ratings themselves are subjective and prone to misinterpretation, but the addition of a 'squad status' star rating might be a good thing - a 5-star player (according to your assistant) being in the top 10% of your squad, a 4.5 star being in the top top 20%, and so on, so you don't end up with this:


Now a couple of wish-list items to round it off. Firstly, 'better' (i.e. worse) stadiums for lower league. One small stand and a rope or fence around the pitch is fine and realistic for ~500 attendances, rather than the four-sided stadium I currently have in the tenth tier. Although don't make the small expansions too expensive...

Finally, I'd request the addition of more lower leagues and teams into the default database, even if they're not used by the game and are in effect orphaned records, so that they at least have consistent IDs when used in the creation of lower league mods and logopacks etc. I accept that there has to be a cut-off point somewhere, perhaps around levels 10-12 as that seems to be a popular level of detail for modded db's. I don't know if there would also be potential licencing issues to even include these as orphaned records.

Thanks for reading.

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