Soccer Gaming Catch-All

UCRC wrote:

I think that cities have something like 'maximum attendance' figure. That means that you can't expand it to, let's say, 185000, because there will only be 80-90k people max who will want to watch games.

Wolverhampton (pronounced /ˌwʊlvərˈhæmptən/ ( listen)) is a city and metropolitan borough of the West Midlands, England. In 2004, the local government district had an estimated population of 239,100;[2] the wider Urban Area had a population of 251,462,[3] which makes it the 13th most populous city in England.

well I'm going to find out in FM how many of those people want to come see my Wolves play If I can get to 70k I would be giddy.

IMAGE(http://img14.imageshack.us/img14/6154/screen9xhr.jpg)

New press release about PES 2010, full of great news:

360-degree control will be available on both the PLAYSTATION 3, Xbox 360 and PC-DVD versions of the game via the analogue sticks on the respective controllers. The system will allow players to spread the ball with ease, opening up new attacking and defensive possibilities. PLAYSTATION 3 owners will also benefit when using the Dual Shock’s D-Pad, but Xbox 360 and Win D-Pads are limited to eight-directional control due to technical limitations of the hardware.
(...)

Manual Goalkeepers: PES 2010 will be the only football title to offer users complete control of the keeper. Players can switch to their goalkeeper at any time, and will enjoy total control of his actions.

Also: a bit older video of sliders and lovely card system:

I love everything about this tactical overhaul. It really gives a variety of meaningful choices about how you want to play. (Video is from beta where most of animation is yet to be implemented)

Anyone buying it for PC? I'm looking forward to play some multiplayer. (Pred, I still hope I can convert you to PES ;])

It's not really a conversion, because if you talked to me three years ago, I'd have said that FIFA is utter dross and PES is the only game that matters. And PES really, really, really lost me. I just can't trust them until I see some more gameplay. The cards idea really sounds great, and I like what they're doing (although tactically, they're only just catching up to FIFA), I just hope the game doesn't turn into a stop-start affair with tons of pauses to tweak tactics. That's fine in FM.

Really, I'd still like to see a little more about the AI. Do I still have to worry that my LMF is going to be inexplicably on the right side, defending with my RMF? Are the ratings going to make sense now? Will they actually use the entire 1-99 scale? (This really bugs me. You have a huge ratings scale, and you pretty much just use 50-99, and only drop below 50 occasionally in Attack and Defense for Strikers and CBs. An aging, oft-injured 36-year old CB should have 50 speed. Maybe.) Do teams actually defend realistically now, or do they still do banzai runs headfirst at the ball that somehow end in inch-perfect tackles by everyone from Zambrotta to Michael Owen?

At least you have new gaming rig now, so you can get it for PC, right?
I'm asking because I'm in the process of selling my dying 360.

UCRC wrote:

At least you have new gaming rig now, so you can get it for PC, right?
I'm asking because I'm in the process of selling my dying 360.

I can, and I may, because Konami doesn't seem to understand this whole "Next Gen Console" thing, RE: Online play and features. In that respect, they're essentially still making a PS2 game.

Mmm, little experiment I did recently.

So, i've been bitching forever about PES's ratings, so I decided to put them to a test (of sorts). I took the Thai national team, and made the entire, the ENTIRE starting eleven 1 ratings in every single category. Then I played them as Brazil on Top Player (5*), and set the entire Thai team condition to horrible.

Now, my skill at the game notwithstanding, there was, and was not a difference. There was a difference largely on the physical level. Players fell when we insomuch as brushed them, but they weren't THAT much slower than their Brazilian counterparts. And mind you, this is a 70-80 point difference in speed we're talking about here. They couldn't keep up, but on a 1-100 scale, when the game's generally using only 50-100 for ratings, i'd expect a guy rated a 1 to be a pylon. Goalies were also absolutely useless, spilling shots hit right at them and watching anything that would've required movement fly past.

However, there were a lot of places where the difference just didn't feel pronounced. Thailand still snapped perfectly into tackles when needed, still managed surprisingly accurate slide-tackles (they committed their only foul when a defender just mistimed a slide tackle on Ronaldinho and gave away a penalty), and while the speed on their passes certainly was off, they never hit a single errant one. I've already stated that I'm not totally familiar with dribbling in this game, and that a lot of its nuances escape me, but they still managed to at least stay infront of Robinho for a few moments as he twisted around. Mind you, this is with 1 agility. I admit, I suck at this game, but c'mon.

Personally, this leads me to one of two (or, potentially, both) conclusions. One, PES seems to have a near-terminal case of "playing to the difficulty level and not the team". Which is to say, if you're playing Chelsea v. Sunderland on 4*, the game's taking into account the difficulty level first and adjusting the quality of opponent that way first, with the other team's quality and capabilities coming second. I vehemently disagree with this manner of programming.

Two, PES needs to stretch their ratings. I say this because so very many of their players have ratings that fall into that 50 (60 really) to 100 category. Now, by "stretch" I mean there needs to be a huge, colossal difference between 50 and 100. There needs to be a significant difference between 70 and 90. And there needs to be a difference between 80 and 90. Especially if they're going to continue doling out ratings the way that they are. Most outfield players in the game are given "Goalkeeper Skills" ratings of 50. Now, if you're not going to use the rest of the scale, they need to make 50 in ANY category FAR worse, or they need to actually use their entire ratings system and say that if you're playing Leo Messi in net, you're boned. Something like that obviously wouldn't be easy, especially since PES isn't representing the Finnish lower leagues, but top division clubs from all over the world, most of which feature players capable of moments of magic that you wouldn't expect. Every player playing at the top level has some technical ability, but they're all not Johan Cruyff. So obviously, there needs to be a little flex. But they shouldn't feel afraid to give an aging, 38-year old center back with bad knees a 50 speed, or lower, because his lack of pace should be exploitable and should factor into how you play/strategize. They shouldn't be afraid to give a tiny flea of a player (Bojan Krkic, for example) low ratings in the air (Bojan has a 75 jump, 68 heading, and 70 body balance. This is only 11, 23, and 19 points worse than Nemanja Vidic). Patrice Evra, who has been a fantastic left-back over the last few years, is inexplicably given a 64 defense, which puts his defensive capabilities (since the game provides no other way of evaluating a players defensive ability such as positioning, tackling, marking, et cetera) literally a point below the defensive rating of the starting Left Back for the UAE (I am not kidding, you can look this up yourself). Alternatively, explain how Michael Essien is rated five points better defensively than Deco, and significantly worse than Timmy Simons (no disrespect to the PSV captain, but he is not one of the best two-way/box-to-box midfielders in Europe at the moment).

I've said this before, and i'll say it again. The things I feel PES needs most desperately are...

1.) To stop playing to the difficulty level. Not doing this ties into #2, which is to...
2.) Vastly improve the AI, and....
3.) Overhaul the ratings.

This is about point #3, so i'll stick to that. I've already been over what I feel are the problems in the rating categories they have at the moment (We don't know exactly what L. Pass ability represents, we can assume it is both balls hit in the air and crosses, but we do know that the game rates DMFs Emerson and Didier Zokora better at it than Shaun Wright-Phillips and Aaron Lennon.), but as far as i'm concerned, they should A.) Use the entire 1-99 scale more frequently for ALL categories or just make it 50-100, and B.) Make a significant, meaningful difference between the ratings, ESPECIALLY in technical abilities.

tl;dr

edit: Oookay.

I'm not totally familiar with dribbling in this game, and that a lot of its nuances escape me, but they still managed to at least stay infront of Robinho for a few moments as he twisted around.

See, that's the point with your tackling problem. At higher difficulty you have to *trick* CPU into tackling you at wrong moment. Hell, that's why it's called higher difficulty. Players expect it to be that way.
But I agree with what you say in next paragraph: difficulty heavily imbalance way that stats are supposed to work. But once again, what's the way around this? Players have to get reasonably faster and more accurate as you up level of your performances. Highest difficulty calls for using new techniques and it's definitely nothing like a real football game. Play on normal difficulty or against human opponents (me!) if you want to escape it.
As for ratings: I think you're trying too hard to translate numbers into actual stats. We don't actually know what incremental changes in 'Speed' mean. After all, it doesn't matter what range of numbers from 1-100 scale they use to represent these differences. If they want to spread everything between 70 and 90, so be it, provided it's accurate and visible in game. Same applies to rest of stats, where they use half of the range. And for me it's very clear whether I use player with 70s or 80s.

Whoa. Faces. Whoa.
Animation and goalies still needs reworking, but from what I've heard that's exactly what they will be doing towards release.

For a balance, FIFA 2010:

(edit: oh, '-' in link)
Well, it's FIFA. It's better this year. I'm not going to play it anyway.

UCRC wrote:

See, that's the point with your tackling problem. At higher difficulty you have to *trick* CPU into tackling you at wrong moment. Hell, that's why it's called higher difficulty. Players expect it to be that way.

I guess that puts me at odds with players then, because I find it incredibly frustrating to play a sports game that, rather than trying to model the game and its own difficulties, arbitrarily makes things more difficult (for fairness, I'll note that FIFA is painfully guilty of this as well). I shouldn't have to "trick" Paul Scholes into making a bad tackle, that's quite literally all that he does.

As for ratings: I think you're trying too hard to translate numbers into actual stats. We don't actually know what incremental changes in 'Speed' mean. After all, it doesn't matter what range of numbers from 1-100 scale they use to represent these differences. If they want to spread everything between 70 and 90, so be it, provided it's accurate and visible in game. Same applies to rest of stats, where they use half of the range. And for me it's very clear whether I use player with 70s or 80s.

If I can't tell, that's their fault, not mine. Putting in a Byzantine rating method that makes it functionally impossible to get a good idea of what qualities each player has is their error. I should not have to make vague approximations and do guesswork to try and figure out who is a good crosser of the ball. Being that is a necessary gameday skill, figuring out who is and isn't good shouldn't be a "well I can't tell but i'll trust them to get it right" situation. Again, it's not just a matter of stats, it's overall gameplay and whether players act like their counterparts. Having put the games I have, i'll have to take your word on the ratings being accurate, visible and there being significant differences between 70s and 80s, because i'm just not seeing it. Is it that Konami purposefully made this game as intuitive and accessible as Deconstruction? Because if I have to put up with that again in 2010, i'll end up selling another copy back to Gamestop.

PES now announced for October

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/ko...

Pred:

Speaking to BBC Radio5 Live ahead of the 200m final at the World Athletics Championship in Berlin tomorrow, Bolt was asked if he’d chance to get out and see any of the city.

“I’m not one for sightseeing,” he confessed. “I prefer to stay in, chill out and play video games.”

When asked what he was currently playing, Bolt claimed: “Right now I like Pro Evolution football game and Call of Duty.”

Usain Bolt likes Pro Evo. Your argument is invalid.

edit:

Prederick wrote:

I guess that puts me at odds with players then, because I find it incredibly frustrating to play a sports game that, rather than trying to model the game and its own difficulties, arbitrarily makes things more difficult

On a higher difficulty level, I presume. Because that's what difficulty levels do.

UCRC wrote:

edit:

Prederick wrote:

I guess that puts me at odds with players then, because I find it incredibly frustrating to play a sports game that, rather than trying to model the game and its own difficulties, arbitrarily makes things more difficult

On a higher difficulty level, I presume. Because that's what difficulty levels do.

Which is why difficulty levels, rather than other methods of controlling game difficulty, are a outdated idea.

Also:
IMAGE(http://www.dula.tv/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/cat-pushing-watermelon.jpg)

I have put quite a bit of hours into Worldwide Soccer Manager 2009 this week and it is killing me. I went total Lower League. Four unknown and unemployed managers looking for work. I got jobs for all the guys after a few months. It is now february of season one and the constant losing is really wearing me down.

I've got two teams in the Blue Square South (England lowest league). One of them is in the playoff zone, but the other is towards the bottom of the league. I also took over teams at the bottom of the Welsh Premier League and Argentinian second division. Have't made significant progress with either of them.

Lots of transfer activity and loans, but not enough to overturn how crap these teams were. Lots of losses and drawn matches. It is really depressing me.

So, where is the 'win this game' button?

I am considering adding another manager to run Man United or something just so I can win some matches and cheer myself up.

mark

http://www.cmrev.com/fileplanet/plik...
2009/10 update for FM 2009 from Polish fan scene; I find Polish ones to be the best ones, you can find download links below news piece, next to 'mirrors' headline
edit: Oh, it has team and competition names translated to Polish. sh*te.

All Sega games are 50% off on Gamersgate, including FM 2009. That's 10USD, people, or 7.82 euro in real money I caved and went for it.

At least, based on last year, i'll only have to wait another two months for it to hit stores stateside. On the upside, that'll give me a full month to tool around with FIFA first.

Quick Notes:

The demos for PES and FIFA are out on XBL, and I gave both a shot last night. A few notes...

1.) FIFA has a few nice things. They've moved closer to real 360-degree dribbling, and letting a good player really put his foot through the ball with a shot on target is a bad, bad idea. Player momentum and jostling on the ball has also been deepened, although whether that's for better or for worse is yet to be seen. It was very nice to see that the overall success of tackles has been dropped (albeit from 99% to around 90%), but players do have a bunch of very cool defending animations, desperate headers, hacked clearances and all. That said, the demo plays on Professional, which still features two players closing you down at top speed all around the pitch (watching Cuauhtémoc Blanco chase down and tackle the ball from Ashley Cole was a eyebrow raiser, given that I can count the number of times I've seen Blanco run since joining Chicago on one hand), and the developers must have something against Peter Cech, because they rate him a 68 in the demo. Crosses are still a little static though, i'd like to see them whipped into the box a little faster with more bodies moving around, as there's still a little bit of "two players stand and wait to contest it" that was evident in FIFA 08.

2.) PES seems to have addressed a lot of my issues. Defending actually feels possible and intuitive now, rather than a hilarious experiment in bad programming and futility. Dribbling has been refined for the better, and I have to give them credit, as the Tactical system takes all the ideas that EA brought out in FIFA 09, and expands on them further. And, at least on Regular, I didn't see much more annoying game-leveling to keep things difficult, but i'm sure neither game will be leaving that totally behind any time soon. I can't honestly think of any huge gripes I had, maybe next year they'll tweak/explain heading a little bit more, as I do think EA's method of having you jostle for position while the ball is in the air is superior.

So the early impressions are good, although I said that about both games last year, and ended up utterly annoyed/frustrated with PES, so we'll see if one ends up giving me fits. The feature sets of both seem to be coming along nicely, although I'd say that when it comes to breadth/depth of Single-Player and Multi-Player options, EA has a clear lead. If nothing else, on the graphical end, both games really look absolutely fantastic.

I liked 'em both, though I thought it was too easy to simply outrun defenders in PES, even with evenly matched teams. I'm not well versed in actual soccer though, so maybe that's normal in a match. I don't think it's what I want to see in a video game though.

EA's amazing ability to build sluggish menus continues to astound and amaze.

Surprised to see it, but this month's FourFourTwo gave CM 2010 a very nice review. Looks like it may no longer be the redheaded stepchild to FM, although whether it's on the same level is yet to be seen. Wish I had the time/cash to play both.

in Championship Manager 2010 developer Beautiful Game Studios has created a game that has impressively rejuvenated the stuttering franchise. What's more, thanks to an array of new features and excellent refinements, CM2010 actually turns out to be a genuine and viable alternative to Sports Interactive's all-conquering Football Manager series.

I saw the demo and it's certainly a well-thought game but I can't help to hate UI. I just can't play it the way it is right now, it's hard to make transition after all these years with FM.

And in even more scandalous news, I don't think I'm going to bother with either this year, which would probably be my first CM/FM free year since 1992. I just don't seem to generate the desire to play it any more.

Media in Spain are all frantic because Ibra and Ronaldo both scored in every of five games they've played in until this weekend. That made me reload my MK Dons save to look at a run I had with my all-time FM favourite, Marquinhos: in his last 18 games in my save he scored 24 goals scoring in every single match.
During two seasons record is less impressive (ahem): 84(6) games, 73 goals, 20 assists

The new Gerd Muller, eh?

More like a new Pele or even Garrincha, he plays as a second striker. And to be fair, he was my penalty taker (missing only one over course of two seasons), but in fact he has also won most of those penalties.
And mind you, that guy has PA (potential ability) of 178, I've checked. It's not like he's some kind of researcher's joke. Not at all, tons of players have such high PA. But players like him and Miguel Veloso (that DM from Sporting Lisbon) are two most jarring proofs of FM's balancing issues. It's all due to distribution of those ability points into... feet.
Yep. You take player X set him to 'Right Only' and give him Y amount of skill points. You take player Z and also give him Y points, but turns out he can use either feet. Then look at stats: turns out player Y will be on average, let's say, 3-5 points below in every category. Huge difference. Still, the game sees two players as equals, because it believes that use of both feet compensate for such difference.

This chap a real player, or a regen ? Where's he from ?

davet010 wrote:

This chap a real player, or a regen ? Where's he from ?

He's in original database, plays for Internacional methinks. Here he is right after I've bought him (I'd say that on average every one of his attributes increased by 1-2 after this):
IMAGE(http://i40.tinypic.com/2qvqbf9.jpg)

So yeah, at that point he's at least as good as Robinho and still improving. And while it seems like just bad balancing (some researcher taking his favourite player and beefing him up etc.), flaw really is in FM engine. See, even if researcher is right about giving him 178 PA game messes it up by giving that player a bit too high attributes if he happens to use one foot only. Best example of this is Miguel Veloso from Sporting.

UCRC wrote:

More like a new Pele or even Garrincha, he plays as a second striker. And to be fair, he was my penalty taker (missing only one over course of two seasons), but in fact he has also won most of those penalties.
And mind you, that guy has PA (potential ability) of 178, I've checked. It's not like he's some kind of researcher's joke. Not at all, tons of players have such high PA. But players like him and Miguel Veloso (that DM from Sporting Lisbon) are two most jarring proofs of FM's balancing issues. It's all due to distribution of those ability points into... feet.
Yep. You take player X set him to 'Right Only' and give him Y amount of skill points. You take player Z and also give him Y points, but turns out he can use either feet. Then look at stats: turns out player Y will be on average, let's say, 3-5 points below in every category. Huge difference. Still, the game sees two players as equals, because it believes that use of both feet compensate for such difference.

Huh, I did not know that.

"Calling our Arab overlords.....calling our Arab overlords"

Speaking of Robinho, wouldn't be surprised to see him off to our good pals at Barca in January. They'll want to get shut of the oft injured Thierry Henry, but I can see a Yaya Toure in our future.

Prederick wrote:

Huh, I did not know that.

Yep, not many people do. But once you know it becomes pretty evident. All players with suspiciously high attributes have 'Right Only' or 'Left Only'.