Soccer Gaming Catch-All

Godzilla Blitz wrote:

Would it make sense to start a Football Manager thread?

Might not be a bad idea. Lord knows, when 2018 drops I'm going to be blathering on and on about my latest game.

dejanzie wrote:

LichTstad. Licht = light(bulb), as Eindhoven is where Philips was founded.

/pedant

WELL FINE, I GUESS I'LL JUST LEARN SOMETHING ABOUT OTHER LANGUAGES THEN. ARE YOU HAPPY NOW?!?

kergguz wrote:

How many hours would you say it takes to play 3 seasons these days?

I think it matters on your play style/how often you play/how many leagues you're running. My friend plows through what seems like a season every 2-3 weeks or so, while I usually run way more leagues and have a slower, more methodical play style. FM can still go fast, I think, you just have to be looking for that specifically from it.

Meanwhile, FC Eindhoven have managed to ensure themselves another season of Eredivisie football by early April. We'll probably finish around 12th, which is pretty respectable, I think.

I'm just over half way into my 4th season and I've got 85 hours on the clock...

Prederick wrote:
Godzilla Blitz wrote:

Would it make sense to start a Football Manager thread?

Might not be a bad idea. Lord knows, when 2018 drops I'm going to be blathering on and on about my latest game.

Started!

Football Manager Series Catch All

I try not to get obsessed with licensing, but, whatever I say, it's not unimportant, and whooooof, does FIFA 18 look great on that front (starts at 8:25).

Hey! PES is back! Hooray! And the early word has been pretty much the same as you'd expect. All the same strengths, all the same flaws, the "purist's" game.

I'll probably wait a month or two for a good Option file to be released before getting it. I will say, though, they really need to do something about the fouling/AI defending, because there wasn't enough of it in 2017, and that appears to have continued. In 2017, the AI almost never went in for a tackle unless it was 99% sure it could get it, and I can't even remember seeing it slide in for one. Moreover, I honestly have a hard time remembering any free-kicks I'd taken vs. the AI. Kind of annoying!

Prederick wrote:

Hey! PES is back! Hooray! And the early word has been pretty much the same as you'd expect. All the same strengths, all the same flaws, the "purist's" game.

I'll probably wait a month or two for a good Option file to be released before getting it. I will say, though, they really need to do something about the fouling/AI defending, because there wasn't enough of it in 2017, and that appears to have continued. In 2017, the AI almost never went in for a tackle unless it was 99% sure it could get it, and I can't even remember seeing it slide in for one. Moreover, I honestly have a hard time remembering any free-kicks I'd taken vs. the AI. Kind of annoying!

In 2016, the ref would card you for looking cross at your controller, so my guess is that they overcompensated in 2017. Here's hoping they find the right balance this time, although the AI not committing fouls is an issue that dates back to 1995 for every soccer game ever.

Despite my cynicism, I'm slowly succumbing to the urge for some sweet sweet PES. Already downloading the option files

Don't I deserve this, after closing a major deal for my employer? Is a man not entitled to the sweat of his dualshock-gripping palms?

Spoiler:

I'm weak

dejanzie wrote:

Despite my cynicism, I'm slowly succumbing to the urge for some sweet sweet PES. Already downloading the option files

Don't I deserve this, after closing a major deal for my employer? Is a man not entitled to the sweat of his dualshock-gripping palms?

Spoiler:

I'm weak

I am still holding out, but if there are some genuinely decent option files out there.... yeah... I'm wavering.

Prederick wrote:
dejanzie wrote:

Despite my cynicism, I'm slowly succumbing to the urge for some sweet sweet PES. Already downloading the option files

Don't I deserve this, after closing a major deal for my employer? Is a man not entitled to the sweat of his dualshock-gripping palms?

Spoiler:

I'm weak

I am still holding out, but if there are some genuinely decent option files out there.... yeah... I'm wavering.

I'll let you know (playing on PS4, will buy it on Saturday) unfortunately, the option file still returns to default when another user logs in. Which sucks for local co-op.

FIFA was available 3 days early if you paid for the "special edition" which I believe was about £25 more. This, in turn, meant many retailers were warned by EA that they were not to send their copies to customers on the standard edition until today (many online retailers in the U.K. like to send games out a little bit early to garuntee you get it on release day as promised, thus many times you end up getting a game days before it's "officially" released). So they basically threatened them by saying they'd cut them off in future unless they waited to send.

I asked on the Madden thread and apparently they've done this with their other sports games too. Looks like EA has a new money spinner.

Was MUT and FUT not enough? (Which, from what I've seen from their online popularity, must be literally printing them money.)

I only played a couple of games, but I'm really liking PES 2018 so far. The slower pace suits my midlife reflexes, and the passes actually seem to go in the direction I intended. The option files already available are perfect, and easy peazy to install. And they actually have a whopping THREE Belgian teams now!

I've spent the weekend with FIFA 18 and I'm not sure what to make of it, I'd say the bad points certainly stand out over the good ones. To put it bluntly, they've made it, what I'd call, a lot more arcadey, which I'm guessing probably appeals to their core demographic, but for me who enjoys intricacies of tactical battles and well worked goals, not so much.

Defending is very hard this year, I've seen a few people say "you've just got to learn how to do it", for which there is some of that, but the balance between attack and defence is heavily skewed in the former's favour. This is largely compounded by the fact that shooting is easy; very, very easy. To put it in perspective, me and a friend regularly play co-op on FIFA, we always get to division one and are able to win it. We usually coast through the lower divisions, and we do beat quite a lot of teams heavily. But by heavy, I mean like 4-0, 5-0 or 6-0. Our very first game, we won 12-0. And I don't even think our opponents were that spectacularly bad, we even spent most of the time only half invested as we were chatting, having a catch up.

With regards to the shooting, me and another friend played as PSG against Man Utd in co-op, and we lost 4-2 with three of the opponent's goals coming from 30 yards out. Whereas in previous FIFA games you needed some element of body shape and carving out of chances, it appears to have gone away completely, with the ball just pinging about first time constantly.

On the plus side, the new crossing is quite cool and the CPU is no longer boring to play against, although pretty much does what is explained above on most difficulties from professional above. In Ultimate Team, squad battles are a very welcome addition, especially for people who don't have the time for weekend leagues.

But, in all, the game just feels more frustrating than any FIFA I've ever played due to the non-stop goals and pinging of the ball that can easily bypass entire midfields. I think in older games, you could get games where it was a fast pace, but it was usually down to how users played, whereas now it just seems to be the norm due to how easy it is to hit things first time. I'm hoping there is a patch that definitely reduces shooting, it appears to be widely acknowledged as OP. If not though, I'm a bit worried that this is a bit of a COD'ification of the series. I know it's one of those games like COD, but I've always been able to enjoy the game playing it with my own style and pace (I've always played a lot more defensively with a targetman up front), but it feels like you're forced to play at a relentless pace in all game modes now.

Sorry for double post.

To be fair, I don't think either game has ever taken defending 100% seriously. I haven't played this year's edition, but PES 2017 was jam-packed with AI players defending by running headlong at you and consistently making inch-perfect tackles without fouling you. I know everyone wants to be Ronaldo/Messi et al, but I'd love to see one of these games genuinely sit down and take defending seriously and figure out how teams actually do it and how players ACTUALLY defend.

I'm not arguing that the above video has any GOOD defending in it, but it's the way you're supposed to effing-well defend, mostly.

Anyway, my take has always been that FIFA has always been aiming for a sim-lite experience. I wouldn't call it quite Call Of Duty, more like Rainbow Six: Siege. PES, on the other hand, certainly isn't going for ArmA, perhaps something closer to Rainbow Six 3: Raven Shield.

dejanzie wrote:

I only played a couple of games, but I'm really liking PES 2018 so far. The slower pace suits my midlife reflexes, and the passes actually seem to go in the direction I intended. The option files already available are perfect, and easy peazy to install. And they actually have a whopping THREE Belgian teams now!

DAGNABBIT

Prederick wrote:
dejanzie wrote:

I only played a couple of games, but I'm really liking PES 2018 so far. The slower pace suits my midlife reflexes, and the passes actually seem to go in the direction I intended. The option files already available are perfect, and easy peazy to install. And they actually have a whopping THREE Belgian teams now!

DAGNABBIT

I had you at "three Belgian teams", didn't I?

I'll post again once the honeymoon phase is over, to save you some money

FIFA 18 patch is already live on PC which nerfs shooting and improves goalkeepers, so it looks a bit like they pretty much knew there was a bit of an inbalance. Live on consoles soon.

I'm enjoying I a bit more, but defending against players with the top players is extremely difficult, a lot of the time you can feel a bit helpless with it.

dejanzie wrote:

I had you at "three Belgian teams", didn't I?

It is insane that I have become enough of a footy nerd that this genuinely is a selling point for me.

"They got the license for the Eliteserien in the game? I'm in!"

Finally won the treble and the equivalent of the world cup in my PES 2016 master league game. Also signed a 95 overall rating (game generated not real person) striker, after earlier negotiations had broken down with his team demanding like 97 million spacebucks which was about my entire cash reserve (not counting salaries that are about to be due). I just retried negotiations a few weeks later and landed him for 45 million or so. Yay RNG!

If anyone actually plays that, I'll have you know I'm into 2018 and S. Coutinho, Giorza, Arcas, and Castledine (game created default Master League players) are all solid as heck and have developed to 84+ overall rating.

I'm not a big Twitch fan, but since they absorbed Curse, I occasionally view livestreams every now and then.

I came across several streams that were doing literally nothing but FIFA Ultimate Team pack openings, and I found it both curious and hugely sad, because it simply represents hundreds and hundreds of dollars being poured into EA's coffers.

Prederick wrote:

I'm not a big Twitch fan, but since they absorbed Curse, I occasionally view livestreams every now and then.

I came across several streams that were doing literally nothing but FIFA Ultimate Team pack openings, and I found it both curious and hugely sad, because it simply represents hundreds and hundreds of dollars being poured into EA's coffers.

Yup, I mentioned this is the gambling mechanics in games thread, as Ultimate Team is probably the biggest offender of the loot crate system. Someone said that they offered limited number packs that could only be bought with real world money for Black Friday, and they sold all within 3 minutes, making EA 1.8m.

I've went on Twitch a few times to see this and notce big pack openings results in inflated viewer count. It's almost become the actual game rather than playing matches.

Clusks wrote:

Someone said that they offered limited number packs that could only be bought with real world money for Black Friday, and they sold all within 3 minutes, making EA 1.8m.

Holy sh*t.

And yeah, it's the same on YouTube. Do a search for "FIFA 18 Pack opening". When I searched, two of the first five videos had 500K+ views, and none were under 60,000. All from within the last month.

And to be fair, it's not just them. NBA 2K has the same mechanic, as does Madden and MLB: The Show. It's just.... I do not get it. At least there appears to be some pushback.

On Reddit, FIFA fan SSROCK outlined a list of demands underpinning #FixFifa. "The packs are completely [random] and have terrible drop rates. You can either spend $1.50 and get the best player in the game, or spend thousands of dollars and get nothing. People with the best teams in the game have spent a whopping $8,000, which is absurd, especially for a yearly game."

Do. Not. Get it. But it's genius from EA's perspective, an entire subculture has been created around the subculture of giving EA lots and lots of money.

From what I've seen, on FUT profits alone, EA could buy a low-table Premiership team and operate it without taking a loss.

EDIT: It reminds me of why I don't really play War Thunder much, despite liking the game itself. The amount of time I'd need to grind to get the good tanks without buying a premium account is insane, and the sheer amount of monetization going on is nuts.

Yup, EA started Ultimate Team in FIFA and put it in all their other sports games, leading the other companies to follow. I'd hazard a guess that the Ultimate Team mode in FIFA generates more money than base-game sales at this point. I used to live with a lad who must've spent over £1000 on the game in the 3 years I lived with him. I don't think it would be too surprising if some of these streamers are given points for packs (or the funds for it) from EA in order to normalise it. It really has become normalised in FIFA, I think if there were more faces to put to the problem, i.e. more people in the news with stories such as "I've went bankrupt because of FIFA", then more governments may be forced to act. As far as I'm aware, there's no major news articles like that, despite the fact that there is almost definitely people like this (I've also seen threads on the FIFA reddit where people open up about their addiction to Ultimate Team packs).

I ended up doing a little digging today, and yeah, I am in no way surprised there are people who have developed something like a borderline addiction to it. Part of me wants to think a backlash is brewing, but it's so normalized and so popular, I don't know if it's ever going to actually be defeated. You hear some of the numbers people quote about spending on FUT this season alone, and it's absolutely nuts.

I think the Twitch and YouTube people play a slightly more insidious role in this too, although I don't think they're necessarily setting out to cause damage. Because, if your pack opening videos are clocking in 50K-100K or more views on YouTube, monetization means that even if you blow $100 on packs (I have no idea how many that'd buy) you're still probably doing a healthy profit, and since no-one's making a pack opening video where they don't get a bunch of rare cards they holler and scream about, it provides the audience with a false idea of how well they'll do. And then there's the incredibly murky and untrustworthy 3rd-party marketplaces where people can go to buy FIFA 18 coins from sellers other than EA.

And I can see how this stuff gets its hooks in you. You buy a pack, pull a great plater, your only outlay is $3-$5, it's the price of a Starbucks latte, so it's a wash. But the way it's structured, you're gonna have to keep coming back and keep coming back if you actually want to play long-term, and suddenly, a few $3 purchases here and there and you've spent another $60 on the game.

It's just all incredibly skeevy-feeling, and it's everywhere now.

Also, has anyone else noticed that the goalies in FIFA seem to try and make a lot of saves with the wrong arm? Like, diving to their left, and using their right arm, instead of their left which can reach further?

Prederick wrote:

And I can see how this stuff gets its hooks in you. You buy a pack, pull a great plater, your only outlay is $3-$5, it's the price of a Starbucks latte, so it's a wash. But the way it's structured, you're gonna have to keep coming back and keep coming back if you actually want to play long-term, and suddenly, a few $3 purchases here and there and you've spent another $60 on the game.

It's just all incredibly skeevy-feeling, and it's everywhere now.

I argue that for many players it's worse than this. Our high school son plays FIFA a ton, and fortunately we've been able to use it as a base for a conversation talking about different types of reward mechanics and addictive behavior, and comparing that to gambling mechanics. So he gets the bigger picture and how insidiously EA (and game companies) are behaving here. Even with that, he'll probably spend around $100 of his money over the course of a year on FIFA packs.

He can tell stories about his friends, however, who go through hundreds to thousands of dollars of their parents' money on the game.

I believe that Japan already has legislation in place against certain game mechanics like this, and it's interesting to see similar proposals coming up in the US now.

Yeah, I was trying to be restrained, but from what I'm gathering, the average regular FUT player is putting in... well, I don't want to think about how much money is being siphoned from them.

The ideal situation really would be to turn Ultimate Team into a subscription mode. I don't think EA can bank the same amount of cash, but that extra really is exploitive. Honestly, the mode is fun way beyond opening packs, which is what I think get lost in the conversation. And the average player is putting in much less than you think. It's the whales that inflate the totals.

For me, I usually buy one of premium editions that gives you a set number f packs. Although EA did alter that this year by giving you less packs, and dumping them on you all at once. In previous editions you get 40 packs, but they were distributed to you just one a week. That actually made it easier to avoid buying, as you got a nice infusion of players and cards to sell each week.

And, like an MMO, they are always adding content, which is not just cards to buy, but challenges to complete, and seasons to play. I don't think it is wrong to consider it worthy of a subscription.

Also, while you may not know what is in each pack, you are given the minimum hauls of silver, gold, and elite players. They even guarantee \ X number of players at X OVR or higher in each category in most packs. I use this information to assess the value of the packs, because what keeps being called worthless are cards that fill binders and earn you higher ranked players.

But I run all the numbers to see how many players I need to complete each tier, and what I get out of packs. It is almost never worth it to spend gold you earn playing on packs. I earn packs by playing MUT Salary cap, with the more wins you get in each "season" the most packs and gold you earn. Same goes for solo challenges if you don't want to play online. They also sell you packs at a large discount each time you level up, where you get a pack that might have cost $7.50 for $2. And again, I run the numbers to see what the real haul is and what I can expect to sell or earn when I complete a binder. Those cards aren't worthless, they are part of the management.

So yeah, I see cards going for 500K to multiple millions, while my current bank is around 20K. I'm not going to get those players, probably ever. I would have to get lucky, because I build my team incrementally. I'm identifying players to go after to improve certain positions, or to change up the sale of my offense or defense.

There is a season mode in that is wide open. If I try to play there, my 81 OVR squad is going too get wrecked by some guy with more money than cents who has a squad OVR of 97. But I just don't play that mode. Not only would my team get destroyed, but those are the cheesiest and worst guys to play in the game.

In salary cap mode, there is a lot you can do to increase your OVR under the cap, but it would take a ton of tweaking (activating certain "chemistries" to boost the OVR of certain types of players by having a set number of them in the starting line-up) just to move that to 82 OVR. I can't add a 99 OVR player, because I would have to cut a ton of players and use a slew of 70 OVR players to get under the cap. And that's where the strategy is. Where can you skimp by with a low OVR player so that you can have that awesome QB and such.

And in the salary cap mode, the % of players that are normal and play the game "right" is much, much higher. And the fact that you earn tickets to play each season (a season is 6 wins or 2 losses, whichever comes first), you are getting guys that are legit trying to win, not grief. The best games against randoms I have ever had in any sports game is in Salary Cap MUT. The teams aren't stacked with elite players, teams have strengths and weaknesses which makes sussing out how to approach each game more fun.

I get why the gambling claim is made, but I have hard time understanding why MUT is gambling, but buying packs of baseball cards, pokemon cards, or other CCG is not gambling. Do you really know what you are getting? Are you getting some "worthless" cards?

I'm not familiar with MUT Salary cap? Unless I'm just totally missing a mode in FIFA.

Saying that, I would like them to reintroduce things like silver and bronze only tournaments, I used to enjoy playing them, now those cards are worth no more than just collecting or trading in for SBC.

Jayhawker wrote:

I get why the gambling claim is made, but I have hard time understanding why MUT is gambling, but buying packs of baseball cards, pokemon cards, or other CCG is not gambling. Do you really know what you are getting? Are you getting some "worthless" cards?

I'm not sure that I'd define any of these as gambling, per se. I have a hard time understanding that claim as well, although for sure I can see how they are similar in that the reward mechanisms come straight from the psychology behind gambling payouts. Might just be a question of how you define gambling, I guess.

I do question the ethics of these systems though. Much more so than Pokemon cards or baseball cards, they are finely tuned behavior management systems analyzing reams of data to maximize how much revenue they can generate. And many of their targets are minors oblivious to what's really going on.