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Dunatarh

Best AI and match engine in FM2006-2009

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Hi to all, newbie here.

Sorry in advance if I posted it in inappropriate forum section.

I'm a fan of older (VERY older) versions of FM, namely from 2006 to 2009 (until a new fashionable GUI appeared, in fact). Still (paradoxically) having not so much experience in them (I just recently rediscovered scratched-over CD boxes in a long-forgotten carton box).

So I'd want to ask the elders of football wars and hear from true veterans of the series, in which version from 2006 to 2009 the match AI and match engine (does not matter it being 2D or - as in case of 2009 - 3D) are the most relevant, realistic and similar to natural physics and mechanics of players acting, ball flying and goals scoring.

Thanks in advance.

 

 

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I don't remember what I did yesterday, so my chances of recalling which of the FM games from 10- 13 years ago was better than the others is somewhere between slight and nil.  I do recall loving CM 99 but whether that was the ME I don't remember:lol:

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My first one was 2008 (skipped the next to then bought 2011). But, whilst this is subjective somewhat, this is from one of the "veterans" of that time. It's not specifically adressing those Editions, but covers them up to the changes made towards 2011. As hinted at: The playing experience is not merely an experience of ME; but also how AI Managers manages Matches, inevitably. Except for if you're playing online, AI Managers after all make up the majority of the game world. This is apparent even in the current Editions. In particular top Teams as of the current Edition/s Play against AI Managers who would extremely shut up shop quite regularly, which naturally has an effect on Play and the amount of Goals typically scored… If this assessment is true that Players would have followed instructions in FM07 like "robots", and that the AI could do Little to disrupt the player's plan, that may explain why it appears still a minor fan favorite. Maybe worth a try.
 

 

Edited by Svenc

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Quite a helpful link, Svenc, thanks.
 

BTW, I may be wrong but isn't touchline instructions, shoutouts and the such just more convenient and easy-to-use presentation of measures to affect your team playing that had been already implemented in previous FM iterations? I mean am I not capable to change the same things in FM2006-2009 by pausing and messing with submenus, sliders and so on?

The new GUI was the first change that drove me off the newer FMs. The second was the step-by-step introduction of plenty of 'non-football' things like opulent media interaction and other babbling. Yes, I do realize it is a major part of manager's work and the like but I just prefer the purist strategic/tactical gameplay of older versions where your players act 'like robots' :) There's a delicate sort of perverted pleasure to find out the best way to make them acting like that, finally having your tactics tuned up and working like clockwork.

Edited by Dunatarh

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43 minutes ago, Dunatarh said:

BTW, I may be wrong but isn't touchline instructions, shoutouts and the such just more convenient and easy-to-use presentation of measures to affect your team playing that had been already implemented in previous FM iterations? 

At first it used to be that way, but things have moved on. The current Settings aren't merely "Oldschool slider interpretations". There is player role behavior that didn't exist in early Editions --- for instance the half-back slotting roughly inbetween the CBs in Possession. This Impacts the AI Managers also -- up until at least FM 2010ish they were using Pretty simple slider Combos. One of the most complained About IIRC was the reoccuring 4-2-4 aggressive mentality late-match AI switch, when it was About to lose. It was predictable as Clock-work, but as such naturally could be prepared for… The current FM Edition has introduced playing style "Presets" which the AI has Access too likewise. How well they translate into the ME and are utilized by the AI apparently seems a Topic of debate...

That said, in those Editions you Needed to tweak a lot and/or save a lot of stuff to have the same "reactivity" -- and there's a lot of myths and debate what exactly each slider did to this day. Currently the tactical Gameplay is still a bit of a puzzle box, mind -- as in, which mentality and which combination of roles+duties may be best suited to a Possession/direct/Pressing/etc based style of Football. Which the AI imo suffers from also. In my opinion there is still one vital final step missing, which is incorporating and embracing Football concepts proper -- not merely Player roles/instructions in Isolation.

Edited by Svenc

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2 minutes ago, Svenc said:

How well they translate into the ME and are utilized by the AI apparently seems a Topic of debate...

This exactly was ever my concern about FM games: in each next version they add some stuff that game AI seems to cope with harder and harder.

It's like the same old discussion on 'simulation or videogame' topic. Being a fan of old-school CRPGs and strategy games I'm rather in 'videogame' camp. Trying to imitate reality and simulate the real life of a football manager as wholly as possible is a wrong way IMO. There must be a distance between me and game world, a level of abstraction. If I'd want to play real football I'd play real football as I did in my long past teen years. So I look at my FM team as at some kind of a bunch of RPG characters with attributes and skills (which they shall - with my help - develop), and I have to play some strategic/tactical real-time game of consequent battles by the rules of football. Yes, I do want some quantity and quality of realism level but only on the pitch.

That's why I stick with older versions. The last FM I tried was FM2015, and it was just too overburdened and too inflated, just as FM2014 and all the 'modern' versions were.

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50 minutes ago, Dunatarh said:

This exactly was ever my concern about FM games: in each next version they add some stuff that game AI seems to cope with harder and harder.
 

I agree with that -- in particular on the tactical side of Things, the mechanics imo are too convuluted/complex. As your Opposition are AI however, I think the game would actually add in Depth if Things got more streamlined, also for the AI's sake. (that said, the slider tactical Gameplay of FM Early was anything but accessible… :D)

As of the perceived complexity of subsequent Releases -- I've Prior argued that if Fm actually were a Simulation, you had optionally capable assistants for everything, as various Managers delegate a huge load of stuff and recognize where they are lacking / not committed…. In a sense, SI actually can't seem to fully decide whether they are in the game or Simulation camp.

 

Edited by Svenc

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1 hour ago, Svenc said:

There is player role behavior that didn't exist in early Editions

Talking about 'realism', I can't imagine a manager telling a player "John, now I want you to be a trequartista" or "a deep-lying playmaker" or something:)

So these 'player roles' seem to be just the preset 'sets of sliders' anyway, just like a manager tells "John, now I want you to hold the ball more often as long as you can, looking for chances for more through balls" or "just look for Peter's head, he'll do the rest of the job" and so on.

 

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17 minutes ago, Dunatarh said:

Talking about 'realism', I can't imagine a manager telling a player "John, now I want you to be a trequartista" or "a deep-lying playmaker" or something:)

So these 'player roles' seem to be just the preset 'sets of sliders' anyway, just like a manager tells "John, now I want you to hold the ball more often as long as you can, looking for chances for more through balls" or "just look for Peter's head, he'll do the rest of the job" and so on.

 

You would be surprised how many coaches in Italy use the term trequartisti to describe Baggio as a player and as a role within a side.

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14 minutes ago, Rashidi said:

You would be surprised how many coaches in Italy use the term trequartisti to describe Baggio as a player and as a role within a side.

I would be even more surprised if the term trequartista would be as cleanly and thoroughly understood by players around the rest of the world as it is understood by players in Italy.

Edited by Dunatarh

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2 hours ago, Dunatarh said:



That's why I stick with older versions. The last FM I tried was FM2015, and it was just too overburdened and too inflated, just as FM2014 and all the 'modern' versions were.

This is exactly why SI released FM Classic/Touch alongside the main game since 2013. 

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Another representative fact for me is the growing abundance of 'super-winning tactics' in the later FM iterations. Posts like 'Killer 4-4-2 for Gil Vicente, 5 championships and 5 UEFA CL cups (we beat Real Madrid five times 5:0 in every final!) in five years!' are aplenty now. I do deeply respect Gil Vicente but the grade of realism (in terms of the impact of tactics on season results) is steadily decreasing every year, despite SI efforts to make it more 'realistic'.

Edited by Dunatarh

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10 hours ago, wearesporting said:

I loved 09. Why I've no idea. 

FM2008-2009 have the best GUI methinks. In every later version you are besieged and bombarded from all sides by megatons of excess information presented every time in more and more indigestible forms. FM2008-2009 have the last PC-friendly GUI. From then on, the tablet rectangular view comes to pester us. FM was always an Excel-game but since 2010 this growing Excel-ness began to kill the charm for me. Skins don't help much (the default ones are better as a rule), and it's not that skins being bad but about the form of presentation of information, the very layout of blocks, tabs, menus. And while 2010-2012 are bearable at least, from 2013 the things are irreversibly done tablet-way. The game now is cold and dead, and playing it is like copulating with robotic answer-machine (see Zelazny's 'Creatures of Light and Darkness').

Edited by Dunatarh

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As for tactics mechanics and match engine of older FMs (let's broaden the scope to 2005-2012, until tablet GUI and tablet philosophy as a whole finally swallowed us, chewed up and spat out for good), after having done some testing I found FM2011 very coherent and convincing, balanced between simplicity/accessibility and depth/realism. And no enganches and raumdeuters and other empty words that give hipsters the illusion they know football and have control. FM2010 looks truly ugly and still has the players role-system newly implemented and underdeveloped, while FM2012 is also very ugly and seems to start going down the casual way the series keep going till now (maybe the reason for FM2012 lasting popularity phenomenon lurks somewhere around here...).

And FM2011 GUI is still ergonomic and readable, and the default skin is may be the best of all FMs.

And of course, I play matches in 2D only, 3D matches look and play awful, players act much dumber like blind cripples that often makes tactical gameplay rather useless.

Edited by Dunatarh

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3 hours ago, Dunatarh said:

I play matches in 2D only, 3D matches look and play awful, players act much dumber like blind cripples that often makes tactical gameplay rather useless.

It's excatly the same match engine whether you watch it in 3D or 2D. 

I prefer 2D as well, but it doesn't 'play' any different. 

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1 minute ago, Dagenham_Dave said:

It's excatly the same match engine whether you watch it in 3D or 2D.

I know. The weirder it looks. I even tried to replay the same matches in 2D and 3D, and in 2D they look and feel more natural, logical and realistic. Maybe, 'feel' is the key word though :)

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On 30/09/2019 at 12:55, Dunatarh said:

Another representative fact for me is the growing abundance of 'super-winning tactics' in the later FM iterations. Posts like 'Killer 4-4-2 for Gil Vicente, 5 championships and 5 UEFA CL cups (we beat Real Madrid five times 5:0 in every final!) in five years!' are aplenty now. I do deeply respect Gil Vicente but the grade of realism (in terms of the impact of tactics on season results) is steadily decreasing every year, despite SI efforts to make it more 'realistic'.

The Consensus amongst "super tactics" communities seem to be that it was easier to do in early Editions. Which is no much surprise, as they had some structurally flaws. I think the lack of collision avoidance (players off the ball were able to "ghost" through markers as if they didn't exist) also played a role in the former set piece exploits of such Editions. As it was impossible to Always "efficiently" mark the movement inside the box from set pieces, players had CBs finishing the Season with like 15-20 Header Goals from the Corner each. The original "Diablo" had an AMC pushing Forward in between CBs in Acres of space due to a marking issue likewise -- it didn'T matter how often your side had the ball. Every time it went Forward it had a reasonably Chance of scoring. That said, yeah, still plenty stuff out there.

With improving AI Managers (and they ARE more tacticall sophisticated than in early Editions in parts because how the tactical picks have been "streamlined" over the sliders), the influence on actual results actually should be declining somewhat. It's becoming a more Level playing field. That is, Matches, as in Football are won by slighter margins (and often random Moments...) rather than a significant Edge. In real Football too after all Managers roughly see eye to eye. I mean, it's all cool if you could ponder for Hours About detailed set piece drill hardish to defend (and reap the rewards); or how to better defend the flanks if the Opponent is overloading both of them with players. However, if the AI you compete against would struggle for fairly Basic stuff, such as Setting up the Basics of a Possession based kinda Play, then that's neiter quite Football nor particularly compelling. However, you'll still find plenty of People who stop this from being like Football TOO much even in  the current Editions. However, as argued by me Pretty oftenly, I think most don't actually want the game to be "too realistic" even if that may help both players struggling as well as those being way head of the AI -- what I've said in the above About the game vs Simulation conundrum. :D 

Edited by Svenc

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24 minutes ago, Svenc said:

I think the lack of collision avoidance (players off the ball were able to "ghost" through markers as if they didn't exist) also played a role in the former set piece exploits of such Editions.

I think it's just the visual impression caused by peculiarities of 2D match rendering where 'circles' (or whatever the community accepted term for 2D players is - I even met 'ladybirds':)) may 'seep' or 'ghost' through each other. But I guess this 'seeping' or 'ghosting' happens when certain calculations are made, like RNG (or whatever mechanics rules it in FM) decides that in that certain moment the attacker's value for breaking free is more than defender's marking value.
 

42 minutes ago, Svenc said:

As it was impossible to Always "efficiently" mark the movement inside the box from set pieces, players had CBs finishing the Season with like 15-20 Header Goals from the Corner each.

15-20 header goals is too much of course but also there's no 'always efficient' marking in football, especially for set pieces. To boost your defense against it, try to get taller central backs with good Marking and Heading, isn't it?

My impression is that making the tactics system more complex and 'sophisticated', with player roles, shoutouts, philosophies and the like, made the game easier in both senses, i.e. more accessible and convenient (maybe) and more dabbler-friendly at the same time (for sure). I just see it now anywhere in gaming, not only in SI games. People want to win, and to win with no pain. Gone are the times of manuals of hundreds of pages and guidebooks. Games are pieces of art no more. They have to entertain, to please, to flatter. Everyone wants to be Guardiola, and now everyone can, just turn your smartphone/tablet on. And most people don't want to know deeper, and have no time for it. So there are fashionable colorful tags: raumdeuter, gegenpressing, transition phase, mixed marking...

What is 'transition phase'? Nonsense. There are only two states of possession in football, these being either your team has the ball, or opponent's.
What is 'mixed marking? Nonsense. There are only two types of marking, either you watch the man, or you watch the area.

But Patreon bloggers have to write about something 'new' and 'fashionable'. And games have to offer 'new' and shiny things too, to sell good. People don't buy stale, they buy shiny.

So I personally prefer games from that period of gaming industry when this 'chasing the shiny' trend was not so prominent to obscure the real things.

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20 minutes ago, Dunatarh said:

I think it's just the visual impression caused by peculiarities of 2D match rendering where 'circles' (or whatever the community accepted term for 2D players is - I even met 'ladybirds':)) may 'seep' or 'ghost' through each other. But I guess this 'seeping' or 'ghosting' happens when certain calculations are made, like RNG (or whatever mechanics rules it in FM) decides that in that certain moment the attacker's value for breaking free is more than defender's marking value.

That was an actual thing. The Forums were "flooded" with "Broken ME" Posts when collision "avoidance" between players was introduced. If players are forced to run around markers, that naturally has tactical implications. Up until 2013ish, there were loads of user tactics keeping an army behind the ball, then sending through balls to isolated Forwards. As those forwards would so frequently "ghost" through their markers, they weren't efficiently marked outta the game. Then the game introduced such, which required players to think About movement on the pitch (overlaps, runs between the lines, overloads etc.) rather than just bombing through balls to a couple Forwards, and the "game was broken". :D  As of now, the game has yet not intruced actually collision detection though. IIRC it simply Forces players off the ball to run around markers. However, they cannot "physically" collide as such.

As of the Manuals, I'm with you. However I've personally never been a big fan of the slider based tactical Gameplay. A Manual couldn't ever cover it fully as it was reasonably complex (actually, the first Manual I bought was full of stuff that actually didn't work like  as stated in the Manual, e.g. the old "counter attack" tick box). :DI actually think the process Needs to be "streamlined" even more -- also for the AI's sake. Specific styles of football for instance Need a specific mentality suited to a combination of roles/duties and TI's -- it's still too much of a "puzzle box" to get there. And the AI gets lost in Translation likewise on the occasion. This makes the game having less Depth than it could have, as the majority of managers in the game world are AI (the AI had naturally even more Problems with the Sliders, as that was ten times as complex). :D 

 



 

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1 hour ago, Dunatarh said:

Games are pieces of art no more. They have to entertain, to please, to flatter

And the most prententious post of the day goes to...

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