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Surferosa

Squad Management (An Easier Way)

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As background, I have always tinkered with the default panels- adding certain attributes into different views. What follows is a much broader, improved layout for a large number of Squad Management panels (see below). They’re not cosmetic in nature (in that they do not alter the look /styling of FM09 or whatever chosen skin you maybe using)- they simply rearrange information presented elsewhere in a (hopefully) better way.

They do this by and large by maximising the amount of data presented in the available space: so, better is a subjective term- you may not like too much information. However, if you're like me- you just want everything in one place- and in a logical order (its called OCD :p). And, if you don’t like ‘composure’ being shown as a relevant attribute for ‘penalty taking’- change / move / ignore it as you see fit!

Following on from the amended OI panels in Opposition Instructions (An Easier Way), I have restructured the Squad Management Panels. The panels presented here display more detailed squad information in a smaller number of views and, in some cases, create new views to give an improved overview of certain other squad information.

In deciding attribute relevance for individual panels- I have tried to use accepted or published wisdom wherever possible; in the first instance the FM09 manual, but where that left a gap I have used Cleon’s thread Player Criteria - The Stats (which is probably due an update- if any of you T&TT gurus are wondering what to write about next). Inevitably, when faced with choices it comes down to my own individual bias and, well, FM knowledge- as I really started building this for solely for myself (I do like to play the game too sometimes :rolleyes:). Either way, if you feel I’ve got it wrong- tell me! I need to know :eek:

As a principle, I decided that I wanted people to have the ability to view the standard / default panels at any stage- to retain the comfort blanket of familiarity. Therefore, rather than remove anything, I have created sub-menu’s labelled ‘Original Menus’ which contain all the default views so that the user can drop back into them at any stage.

Finally- feedback is most certainly welcome and requested. If there are screens that you think can be improved- let me know, I’d welcome the input.

Cheers

Surf

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Squad – ‘Players’ Panel

This is perhaps the largest revamp in the set. The 6 default main views have become 3 (General, Transfer & Selection):

playersgeneral.th.jpg playerstransfer.th.jpg playersselection.th.jpg playersattributes.th.jpg

......General Info............ Transfer & Contract.......... Selection.................. Attributes........

General Info now holds additional information on players, as well as your assman’s feedback and assessment on the players. The aim was to create a true ‘overview’ panel; one that gave a much broader assessment of your squad.

Transfer and Contract is basically 3 panels smashed into 1: it holds all the relevant information from the old ‘Transfer’ ‘Contract’ and ‘Contract Offer’ panels.

Other Info holds final pieces of information that couldn’t be held elsewhere but existed on the 6 originals. Personally I don’t use it- but sticking to the principle of adding information rather than removing it, anything from the original 6 not included in the 2 above is in here.

Selection now holds everything you should need to select your match team- form, stats, condition, fitness, position, etc. This was the first view I modified as I found I had to move around 5 screens to finalise pre-match selection. Now I just use this: a one-stop-shop for pre-match team selection.

Attributes are now arranged according position rather than type. So rather than having to move between ‘Physical’ and ‘Defensive’ to work out how good my DC’s stats are- I use the ‘DC’ attribute view. Simples.

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Squad – ‘Tactics’ Panel

Very similar to why I originally redesigned the OI panels it irked me that when I wanted to (for example) choose which of one my squad was going to take an inswinging corner from the left- Id have to manually check their footedness to find a right footed corner taker. So, the changes here reflect that thought-process: getting as much relevant information on the screens as I could.

The first change was again to turn 5 views into 2 (Position & Stats):

tacticsposn.th.jpg tacticsstats.th.jpg tacticscaptaincy.th.jpg tacticscreativefreedom.th.jpg

Posit’n, Cond’n & Morale………Stats & Form……………… Captaincy……………Creative Freedom……….

‘Position, Condition & Morale’ and ‘Stats & Form’ hopefully do exactly what they say they do. Personally, because the ‘Selection’ panel (above) now holds more information than previously- I find I don’t really use these views except for a final check that I haven’t missed anything, before hitting the ‘Submit Team’ button.

All of the views on the Tactical Player Instruction Views have changed to include more relevant attributes. So (for example) where before we had ‘Influence’, now we have ‘Captaincy’- which includes personality, age and determination- as well as the original primary stat (influence). Under ‘Creative Freedom’, we now have flair and decisions (as well as creativity). And so on.

However, screen space is at a premium on some of these panels- therefore I’ve had to make some ‘decisions’ on which attributes are most important (see what I did there?...) I have, on the whole, used the manual to get the primary stats for each instruction- so rest assured its not my own tactical ineptitude choosing the attribute - it’s the writer of the manual’s…

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Squad- ‘Search’ Panel.

searchshortlistgeneral.th.jpg searchplayersgeneral.th.jpg searchplayersstats.th.jpg searchplayersatts.th.jpg

...Gen Info (Shortlist)…….Gen Info (Players)……...……..Stats…............……. Attributes.......

This panel changes both the shortlist and player search views. Like the other panels- General Info gives a broad range of Scout, Personal, Transfer and Contract information.

Stats has been rebuilt to allow for details to be examined as per the squad panel (in terms of league, continental, international, overall, etc).

Attributes have the same range of position specific attribute panels as the rebuilt squad panel has (so a screen for each major position type as well as a Captaincy, Set Pieces and Penalties panel).

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Issues, Bugs and a Cheat!

● On the panels with the attribute views, I would like to be able to control the filters so that as well as seeing the position attributes- I could also pre-filter the positions shown. At present you have to do this manually- I do not think it’s possible to influence their values.

● Also on the attribute screen, I would like to group them into similar attributes (physical, mental, technical). To do this I would like to put a floating header against each type set (floating because it would change in display position on the view for playing position). My guess is that this is technically feasible- but I ran out of time to research & put it in this release.

● Reputation is currently Coaching Reputation (as opposed to World or Home Reputation). Unfortunately, this appears to be a blocked ID (in error I should think as player reputation displays correctly on the player profile).

● Strangely, whilst Reputation appears to be blocked, another field (Asking Price) is not! Now, whether you consider this a cheat or not is irrelevant to me. Some people will think it is: some people will think not. I’m not here to judge- if you want to remove it, do the following:

Open “person search list.xml” in Notepad or similar

Search (CTL-F) for the word ‘CHEAT’.

Delete the entire row that this word appears on.

Save the file.

It’s now gone forever- you are now holier than thou again!

● Finally, (nothing to do with this panel, but its a project I want to do but can’t): I cannot edit the in-match tactic panel to show the attributes as per the pre-match tactic panel simply because the ID’s are completely different: and it appears none of the player attribute ID’s exist behind that panel. Therefore, you can’t call them, and can’t show them! Go figure…

Installation

Basically....

-download Squad Management Panels from FileFront or zSHARE.

See here if your not sure where your user data files are kept!

-If you are not using a skin at all at the moment (your using the default) then you just need to put the 3 xml files in the 'panels' folder of your default FM09 directory (which you may need to create). So you'd put them in:

\My Documents\Sports Interactive\Football Manager 2009\panels

-If you are using a skin (not the default) then you need to put them in the panels directory of that particular skin (Im using Steklo)- so Id put them in :

\My Documents\Sports Interactive\Football Manager 2009\skins\steklo\panels

See here for where to put the files if your struggling!

-The final thing- you need to make sure the xml's / skins are loaded (and that the skin isn’t loaded from your cache):

Go into preferences, display & sound, uncheck 'use skin cache' and check 'always reload skin on confirm' then hit confirm. You should get a 'loading image data for the new skin' message appear.

See here for loading the xml files!

-Obviously you need to make sure the 'skin' setting is the one where you have copied the files to (so if Ive copied them into 'steklo' I need to load the 'steklo' skin- otherwise I won't see them!)

Note: these panels were designed for running in 1280x1024. If you run at a lower resolution, not all of the fields may show up (you effectively have less screen space).

Credits

All the other skinning people at Skinning Hideout for all their top work: special thanks to michaeltmurrayuk and radestock for putting up with my dumb questions. Also to fratz for getting a couple of things raised on the beta forum.

Finally- all the tactical gurus on T&TT forums: without whom I wouldn't still be playing FM.

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Well done, Surferosa! However, I'd like to see the personalities added to the team-talks screen which would make it easier to point out those players who are determined and profesionals and therefore would be more accepting towards a verbal beating.

Also, the asking price, any way of adding that to the players profile screen? Putting it behind the players value in a ( ) or displaying it something like this, Value/Asking Price, i.e. £22,000/£75,000.

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Just wondering if there was another way of arranging the attributes for each position, perhaps by importance, or by category. EG for striker, finishing should be first, or all the Technical attributes, then the Mental attributes followed by the Physical attributes.

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Guys this probably reads as a teaser- but my corporate filewall is blocking connections to filefront and a proxy isn't getting the upload through. Will upload from home after work- about an hour & 30 from time of posting.
Oh you big tease :p

Some great tweaks there - can't wait for the download ;)

Alright, alright- its there :D.

Hope its worth the wait :o

-download here from FileFront.

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Nice work, I'm very pleased on first impressions... not sure about the order of the attributes/age etc/attributes on the captain, peno, f/k att panel, but that's being uber picky. Also, Natural Fitness on there? Is it really needed - I'm not sure. I'd also suggest, if it's possible, shifting all the 'original' menus to the bottom of the list - it's great that they've been kept, but I think it would be neater if you did so :)

I can see it being very handy though, I thoroughly commend you for it!

The asking price - is it a cheat? Maybe, but it sure is helpful and really saves some time :D

The tactics screens - again, very nice. Have you fixed the width of the 'Fitness' column? I've got a widescreen monitor, so it may just be me, but I've got oodles of spare space for the players' names, and then the fitness column crammed in with only the first five characters visible.

All in all - 9/10, a very nice job. You did ask for feedback... ;)

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Cheers for the feedback Super Bladesman- its appreciated (and very happy with a 9/10 for 1st release:))

To answer some of your questions:

not sure about the order of the attributes/age etc/attributes on the captain, peno, f/k att panel, but that's being uber picky. Also, Natural Fitness on there? Is it really needed - I'm not sure.

Tis' a very personal thing, the order of the attributes. I've used most of these screens in their completed verions for the best part of 2 weeks on my mighty Witton Albion save at the moment >shameless plug for the dafuge challenge<. Now, I wear those screens like a pair of old slippers; but that has only come through time and familiarity. Give it a while, and then tell me what you think- you may not change you're mind- but equally you may learn to like it...

As for Natural Fitness- well, its my personal bugbear. I want my players to be fit. I hate having to 'Benitez' the team selection every other game, just because I made me best player last a whole 90 minutes! And a certainly don't want one of them to be my captain. But, I can understand what you mean- its a personal choice. I'm open to change on any of the screens, so its noted.

I'd also suggest, if it's possible, shifting all the 'original' menus to the bottom of the list - it's great that they've been kept, but I think it would be neater if you did so
..funny you should mention that- I really wanted to do this but stopped myself because of the whole familiarity thing. If the meticoracy that is these forums decide its the right thing to do, I'll do it. One for 1.2 I think.
The asking price - is it a cheat? Maybe, but it sure is helpful and really saves some time
The million dollar question. SI blocked a whole heap of ID's with 9.3- but they didn't block this. Still means it could be a cheat- but I think it comes down to how you play the game. Personally, I don't get a warm-fuzzy feeling on a player until I've scouted them at least 3 times (OCD again :rolleyes:)- by then, my scouts have told me what the asking price is anyhow. So, I say- no; but equally I feel its also yes because they probably mean't to block it. Thats why its a personal issue for me- so if you don't want it- delete it!
The tactics screens - again, very nice. Have you fixed the width of the 'Fitness' column? I've got a widescreen monitor, so it may just be me, but I've got oodles of spare space for the players' names, and then the fitness column crammed in with only the first five characters visible.
Most of the ID's I've set as fixed width. This is simply because I wanted to cater for everybody: not just the fancy-dans with their widescreen monitors :p (obviously excluding people with low very resolution monitors- who are clearly peasants!)

Seriously though- you can change the width or make it flexible to stretch- its easy to do, and when I get some time I had thought about making different res versions either by better coding or by making specific widths. I coded it at that res ( and widths) because I thought that most people have at least that. For now, I'll note it down as a bug- so keep them coming.

Once again- cheers for the feedback- always good to get- warts and all :thup:

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great work, looks like a definitive keeper. Really saves some click-time and especially for guys like me with bad numbers memory ...

Works like a charm on a lower resolution as well (1280X800) with only the asking price on the team menu screen missing, that´s fine with me ;)

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This is superb i wish Sports Interactive/Sega done something like this a long time ago. All your hard work is most appreciated

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Excellent. That's what I'm talking about :thup:
Just wondering if there was another way of arranging the attributes for each position, perhaps by importance, or by category. EG for striker, finishing should be first, or all the Technical attributes, then the Mental attributes followed by the Physical attributes.

Just to say- I've taken on board what you've both said in the skinning thread. I tried to get something together on attributes today but simply ran out of time (I am taking the wife & kids away for a rainy bank holiday weekend to Wales- so will be under FM-detox for the next 4 days. Hence why I wanted to get it released tonight).

Needless to say its top of my list for 1.2 when I get back- keep me posted with any ideas!

Cheers

Surf

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This is superb i wish Sports Interactive/Sega done something like this a long time ago. All your hard work is most appreciated

Cheers buddy :thup:

Like I said- if it all goes quiet on this thread for a few days- keep the bugs / suggestions coming as you live with the screens. I'll be picking it up once I've dried-out my tent on Tuesday ;)

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Thanks a lot Surferosa - keep up the good work!

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This looks excellent, Surferosa. I also got your OI panels and really appreciate the work you put into this type of thing.

For some reason, Filefront isn't working for me tonight - regardless of what browser I use. Can anyone who has downloaded it place it on Mediafire or some other place for me please?

Thanks!

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:thup::thup: to Surferosa and the skinners. The effort is appreciated, both with this and the OI panels.

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Thanks, this is great!

Only thing I would change is removing the height and weight from the players panel to make room for the full status. I suppose this tweak is easy to do?

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Very easy Miksu:

Firstly, make a backup of your panels in case they go wrong (copy them somewhere else)

In the 'team squad.xml', do a search for "geni" (thats the name if the General Info group).

Find the rows with height & width on (should be easy to spot).

Change one of them to "Pnfa" (full player status, I think), and change the width setting to equal the sum of 'width and height' combined (this makes sure you'll still be able to see it).

Now delete the row you didn't change.

Save the change & reload xml (as in Instructions).

A word of warning- thats from memory (I dont have the xml in front of me) so if any of its wrong its likely to be me, not you! :)

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:thup::thup: to Surferosa and the skinners. The effort is appreciated, both with this and the OI panels.

Likewise with all the tactical work you've done on these forums over the years isuckatfm :thup:

Cheers.

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Hi, just found this post, and all of the new views look fantastic.

The thing is, filefront doesn't like me at the moment, it just will not download.

Is there any chance anyone could provide another link? Would be much apprechiated :)

Thank you

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small miscue : Sorting the stats doesn´t work when you choose to look at one competition (league, cup etc) or rather it then still sorts for the overall stat in all competitions. Not a big deel, but thought i´d let you know in case it is easily fixable.

Definitely keeping it, really more fun and easier to browse through shortlists and search results know, big thumbs up.

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Surferosa- another brilliant tool- cant wait to get using it.

One request/query- in the main squad screen, there is a column for information called "inf"- Is there any way to expand this to show if there is any more than one piece of information relevant to the player e.g if he is wanted and has a slight concern ( only one of these would normally show and I usually miss the "slt" one because it doesnt show on the squad screen as the "wnt" one takes preference )

Great job again:thup:

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What luck - to run across Surferosa's two threads of gold! :D

Might as well give back with some feedback. On Shortlist/Player Search: Seeing that the Player Rep column doesn't work (yet!), I replaced it with Days Old which IMHO very important as the scouts' ratings need to be updated whenever you buy a player, setting a new target for the season, or youth's rapid progress. Also, I replaced the Int Apps and Int Goals with Overall Apps and Overall Rating since I believe it gives more info on how good/valuable the player is.

I'll give some more later as I play with them!

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What luck - to run across Surferosa's two threads of gold! :D

Might as well give back with some feedback. On Shortlist/Player Search: Seeing that the Player Rep column doesn't work (yet!), I replaced it with Days Old which IMHO very important as the scouts' ratings need to be updated whenever you buy a player, setting a new target for the season, or youth's rapid progress. Also, I replaced the Int Apps and Int Goals with Overall Apps and Overall Rating since I believe it gives more info on how good/valuable the player is.

I'll give some more later as I play with them!

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Man... I don't like cheating, but I must say that the little trick you got us (asking price) saves a lot of time. I'm not taking that off. Your editing helps us players of the game a lot. Thank you.

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i think the reputation in the search players page is not working well, it is different from the profile. anybody facing the same problem?

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These panels are excellent and really helped me to sort out something I've always wanted.

I like to set up set pieces on a game by game basis, so I've altered those screens to include helpful attributes like jumping, heading, etc.

I also want to include a "long shots" column under attacking corners, but the record ID "Plon" isn't recognised. Does anyone have any ideas what I should be using?

Cheers.

ie:

<record id="atco">
           <string id="text" value="Attacking Corners"/>
           <record id="view">
             <flags id="Ppkd"/>
             <!-- picked info -->
             <flags id="Pnfo"/>
             <!-- status info -->
             <flags id="Pnam"/>
             <!-- person name -->
             <record id="Pjum" width="35"/>
             <!-- player jumping -->
             <record id="Phea" width="35"/>
             <!-- player heading -->
             <record id="Plon" width="35"/>       <------------------Does not display any data, so I assume Plon is an incorrect ID.
             <!-- player long shots -->
             <record id="Pfin" width="35"/>
             <!-- player finishing -->
             <flags id="TPac"/>
             <!-- att corneres -->
           </record>
         </record>

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HectorSpector

Long shots is Plsh

Also be aware of what fits as a field might not display due to size limitations (maybe they auto resize?)

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They do but as you can see from that record, it has its width set to "35".

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HectorSpector

Long shots is Plsh

Also be aware of what fits as a field might not display due to size limitations (maybe they auto resize?)

Cheers, that'll fix it. The sizing is fine... I checked that first.

edit:

Another thing I've just noticed when actually playing a game... my changes don't work for the tactics panel during matches. Could someone tell my the panel I'd need to alter for ingame tactics?

Thanks.

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Quick note to say I'm back- I'm going to try and get round to addressing anyone's issues over the next day (or so)- so if you've been using it and have any other bugs or such to report let me know :thup:

Cheers

Surf

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One request/query- in the main squad screen, there is a column for information called "inf"- Is there any way to expand this to show if there is any more than one piece of information relevant to the player e.g if he is wanted and has a slight concern ( only one of these would normally show and I usually miss the "slt" one because it doesnt show on the squad screen as the "wnt" one takes preference )

This is something else that frustrated me. It would be much better to have some sort of (small) icon for this so that the various different pieces of player information could be displayed in a much smaller area (say a small green 'W' for wanted, red 'I' for injured, orange 'L' for listed, etc, etc). If I was spec'ing this to SI, I'd have a floating icon the hovers just above the name- or at least a small series of icons that can be easily contained in a small field size (rather than at presnt- which is a huge field- see below).

What we have to work with are two fields- 'Pnfo' (as you highlight) that shows you the a single piece of information: but there is also the full player status (Pnfa) that displays every status. The problem is two-fold:

If we display the full player status (Pnfa) on the main screen- to fit it all in I'd have to drop several other fields. However, if you are on a widescreen / large res monitor you could try changing the line (under the 'General Info' section);

<record id="Pnfo" width="20"/> <!-- player status/info -->

to this:

<record id="Pnfa" width="140"/> <!-- full player status/info -->

You could of course try using 'Pnfa' with smaller 'width' sizes- but either way my suspicion is that you are going to miss what you are trying to see.

The other problem I have is that there is no way (I know of) to autosize this field depending on how many things are listed. To be honest, Im not sure it would help in any regard- in testing some of the players have 4/5 things- so you still wouldn't fit much else.

I should add- the full player status is listed on the new 'Other' tab- so you can still get it if needed: though not on the General screen you want it on :(

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Got this one down as a bug- I shall try and sort for 1.2.

small miscue : Sorting the stats doesn´t work when you choose to look at one competition (league, cup etc) or rather it then still sorts for the overall stat in all competitions. Not a big deel, but thought i´d let you know in case it is easily fixable.

Definitely keeping it, really more fun and easier to browse through shortlists and search results know, big thumbs up.

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i think the reputation in the search players page is not working well, it is different from the profile. anybody facing the same problem?
On Shortlist/Player Search: Seeing that the Player Rep column doesn't work (yet!),

Answer to this is in the OP:

● Reputation is currently Coaching Reputation (as opposed to World or Home Reputation). Unfortunately, this appears to be a blocked ID (in error I should think as player reputation displays correctly on the player profile).

I did think about dropping it all together- but in play testing I found it still useful (the coaching rep is 'fairly' similiar to the actual Rep. I find it quite useful to get a look at those unknown / local rep players (even if they differ slightly- its usually only by the odd level). Therefore- I kept it in: but change it if you don't find it useful :thup: (and, for the record, I would guess this is omitted in error. I've tried around 20 similiar named fields to see if its just named as samething else- but they didn;t work- so thats all we have).

I replaced it with Days Old which IMHO very important as the scouts' ratings need to be updated whenever you buy a player, setting a new target for the season, or youth's rapid progress. Also, I replaced the Int Apps and Int Goals with Overall Apps and Overall Rating since I believe it gives more info on how good/valuable the player is.

I'll give some more later as I play with them!

I agree with you :) I'll include Days Old in 1.2 :thup:

I'll prob drop Int Goals- Int Apps is useful (to me at least) becuase it gives you an idea (for non-EU players) of how likely they are to get a work-permit.

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I like to set up set pieces on a game by game basis, so I've altered those screens to include helpful attributes like jumping, heading, etc.

Again- agreed :) I didn't change the set-pieces attributes: another one for 1.2 :thup:

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Another thing I've just noticed when actually playing a game... my changes don't work for the tactics panel during matches. Could someone tell my the panel I'd need to alter for ingame tactics?

I've actually had a post from SI over this panel. For some reason, the in-game match tactic panel uses different ID's (its also coded differently- but that isn't a problem). It appears that the query behind the panel only has the id's you can see on the default (eg corners, set-pieces, etc). Every other panel uses the 'person list table.xml': very frustrating for me as a tactic tinkerer that likes to change player instructions in-match for every substitution / tactic change as it means clicking through players to get attributes again :( Don't think there is a solution to this- but I'd be very surprised if it stays that way for FM10 ;)

Issues, Bugs and a Cheat!

● Finally, (nothing to do with this panel, but its a project I want to do but can’t): I cannot edit the in-match tactic panel to show the attributes as per the pre-match tactic panel simply because the ID’s are completely different: and it appears none of the player attribute ID’s exist behind that panel. Therefore, you can’t call them, and can’t show them! Go figure…

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Final couple of other points to make.

Firstly, thanks to everyone that has left feedback (good or bad). I'm not a code-monkey, I have no background in programming- I'm simply a long-term FM'r that wanted to set things up for myself- but also wanted to give something back to the community that has kept me playing the game for far too long (just ask my wife :o). So the words of encouragement and requests for changes have defintely kept me going- many thanks :)

Secondly, filefront has worked everytime I go to it. However all these sites can be a bit flakey- so I'll try and find a second upload site for those that are struggling (though my advice- keep goiing back to filefont- it'll work eventually).

Cheers

Surf

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I have always wondered what the Asking price referred to when you are looking at your own squad. It seems to reflect the asking price you set, up to a point, in which case it would not go up further. Also, there is still a value when you do not set a asking price for the player.

Would anybody know how that works? For example, does it reflect how much others are willing to pay?

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I dont think it ever reflects what others are willing to pay. I've always suspected that it reacts to offers made in some way (so, the obvious example is if someone offers 1m and you ask for 2m, this gets set as your players asking price- even if you haven't manually set it). There may also be less obvious ways this occurs (through rejected offers)- but I confess I haven't looked into it more than that.

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Surferosa, thanks for your work. It works greatly . ONly one question: the attribute "teamwork" and "workrate" can't appear in every attribute panel. how should i tinker it?

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Do you mean that you don't want them to appear on every attribute panel? If so, for the record- workrate seems to be instrically linked with so many different roles (including the speed at which a player will reach his pa from training)- along with natural fitness and determination- its a minimum requirement for most of my players.

However, thats the way I play the game- not necessarily the right way :) So- if you want to change it, simply edit the 'team squad.xml' / 'person search list.xml' to include the attributes you want (open it up in notepad) and change it to the attribute you want- you should find instructions to do that either in this or in the Opposition Instructions (An Easier Way) thread :thup:

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