Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Jakswans Lives

I've managed to increase the sub for Shearer, I'm curious to see how it all plays out more than anything. GW6 never got past season 6 so we're headed into uncharted territory. I don't really think we're going to be taking any major titles or being no.1 but I enjoy the whole experience.

Mad Idea That Made Sense: Daily Challenge

I'm not a fan of DYM but there must be a mechanic in the game that encourages you to log in and enhance your progression. DYM does do this but it's not very fair, top teams it's easy then gets harder as you work downwards.

Old Gameworlds are pretty easy if you don't have to play the top teams but finding opponents to play and win money off is pretty much impossible if you join an old Gameworld.

Finally an accusation that has been leveled at the game is that 'there isn't much to do'.

The Daily Challenge gives you three opponents to play, beat them all and win £10,000, games appear in the AI list and remain there until you have either beaten the team or midnight arrives, You can attempt to beat them as many times as you like. Only one challenge per day so the max you can win is £280k in 28 days. All money won is classed as competition prize money.

Opponents will be picked relative to your gameworld rank and most inactive teams will be selected as opponents.

What does that achieve?

1) Gets rid of DYM (if this cash is classed as Comp Prize Money the tax threshold will kill off the DYM comps)
2) You no longer have to play the best teams in a gameworld just those at your own level.
3) Something to log in for every day!

I posted it in the forums but didn't get much feedback on it so I guess it's a duff idea. One of the downsides of it is these games would be AI games and managers may go into sandbox mode and cease to play human v human games, surely one the main visions for FM Live is Human v Human games.

"reality check"
AI is almost a dirty word in FM Live, it's like AI has become the ref facing all sorts of abuse from the crowd. Come on lets take a reality check, most of my human v human games involve 'gl' and 'gg' as interaction with other managers in actual games.

The real human interaction, the one that keeps me playing is banter in the SFA chat in Shearer and doing deals or organising FA's.

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Just another Update

Erratic form in Shearer is the order of the day wins against top opposition and then poor performances for three or four games. I really need to get the sub for the Shearer account sorted or just cut lose.

The Beta team has three decent players and with two of them out we were dropping points fast, luckily we managed to aviod the drop into Division Three and a late surge meant that we crept into Divivion One, I don't expect us to have an extended stay but the slight increase in cash is welcome.

St.Johns team, well I'm just sat waiting for the bubble to burst, top of the CWA League and still in the top 300 with wages of under £40k a day!

SI continue with their launch of new Gameworlds which I've already vented on is a huge mistake imho.

Overall I have to admit apart from Beta and the ladders I don't find much to do with the other teams at the moment. Will try to spice things up somehow:)

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Round Up

The Jakswans in Shearer are on a dismal run keep creating bags of chances but then lose 4-1, 1-0 with the other teams keeper getting man of the match. Why the opponents keeper should play well as we're in a dodgy mood I don't know but maybe he gains confidence as we continue to fire shots which he than does miracle saves. Not sure about that one.

With all the youths gone during wage auctions I just filled the bench out, from a footballing point of view I'd have been better off signing a £20k a day player but from a financial point of view I got four / five players all 3/3.1/2 star so should really push the club rep up.

The St John team is doing ok naturally I don't expect much with wages at £30k a day but we should do mid table and get the odd result. Being on a strict wage budget for this season and with no one from my league logging in there isn't an awful lot I can do. It's amazing how many teams want to play me in a friendly though, I bet I don't asked too much in Season 3:)

Beta - the Ladder Leagues are going great, you log on and there is always something to play for, with a couple of games left we could have got relegated and could have got promoted in Stage 1. I don't really care which but it's miles more entertaining than waiting around for a month in St John on the off chance that there will be a mid table game to play. ZZZZZZZZ.

I know the NFA is struggling a little in Shearer and I did think about maybe reinventing it in the form of the 'laddered FA' but for two reasons I didn't 1) It needs to be trialed in Beta and 2) It could be my last season in Shearer so I won't be there to see it through.

Overall though I'm thinking six per league is ideal with generally two up / down but top bottom tier have three down / up (keeps the top and bottom leagues dynamic).

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

DYM a Dirty Word and St.John

Recently I was kind of bored and was thinking I didn't have much cash so I started to think of a way that I could get more cash and maybe there should be a way of being able to get a little more if you worked at it.

I really didn't like the idea of DYM comps but it does add some spice to games but also can see how it's getting exploited. If your a top team then it's pretty much autopilot just enter loads of them and off you go. If you've a rubbish team like mine then you have to more careful.

I think it works well you can pick and choose entering however one area that needs to be closed down is AI I really think this should a forced 50%.

One of my old cousins accounts which i paid for I moved from Fowler and wanted to start in an old GW St John going into Season 4 and it was open at the time I thought I'd give it a blast.

I wanted to play it properly and not just do a youth team so try and get a genuine 3star first team and then just chuck everything at the stadium. A bit of an exploit it go total youth £7k a day total wages so I wanted a proper senior team.

So I just signed a cheap youth team and went through wage auctions. It's a mish mash of a team make no mistake and I expect to lose a lot!

It will be casual mode so Casual FA but I'll log on and do the best I can for those games. Luckily lots of skills so I didn't have to learn any construction skills so two stands are already going up an Aziendale Two Tier and One Tier.

The players I signed are exactly as I expected their not going to set the world on fire and as a result didn't attract much attention. In two seasons time I will need bigger names and it will cost serious cash and be more competitive but for now a very soft start.

I've been banging on about this for some time but in a new Gameworld I doubt I'd have been able to put togather a team like this as everyone in the Gameworld would have been chasing these exact same type of players and working on the same budget.

Despite wages being £35k a day I even have 14 youth players! I think here is the biggest differeance to a new GW as I would have started with much better U17's.

Saturday, 11 April 2009

Ladder Leagues as the Main League

I really want to get the Ladder in Beta sorted for the NFA I suspect that long term, future FA's will be sorted this way.

First of all I need to settle on a name for the phases / term / stages.... I think stage seems to do the job. So to recap instead of having 20 teams to a Division there will be a much lower number, e.g. 20 teams in a FA would result in four divisions of five teams. Teams play other twice, 8 games, after which promotion / relegation of the top 2 / bottom 2 and we go again.

So taking this example we'd then have Division 1, 2, 3 & 4, as we can't run a competition twice in FM Live in any one season we then call these Division 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, so 1.2 is Divsion One Stage 2.

Once the first stage is complete the competition is reset you go to members page and you have last seasons position shown. So in the case of a team finishing 5th in Divivion 1.1 transfer them to Division 2.2.

How many stages?
I think this depends on two things the type of FA and the number of teams in the FA. The minimum is 20 ish for a FA so taking that as a starting point Divisions of five gives you four Divisions. The non Xtreme FA's play two games a day (Divisions of 20 teams play each twice = 38 games in a 21 day season)

So in the Beta we currently have 30 Teams in the NFA and I'm expecting to have around £18m to put into the Ladder in total. Six Teams with stages running every five days is ten games then there is prize money, a spreadsheet was the only way....

The Prize Money in each league is a thin spread, bottom team gets something like 15% of the cash and the top team 16.5%, the basis for winning cash is staying the league.

Other Points
With Six in each Division generally two go up two go down however the ladder needs to be kept dynamic as possible. In Shearer we've not really been able to challenge to win the top tier at all but we're kind of safe so as long as I finish top 4 I'm rarely fighting relegation. If Three go down from Division One and Three Get promoted from the bottom tier then it keeps all leagues nice and fresh.

Last thing what to do with the Shearer sub..... I'm already paying £10 a month and it's a lot although I really enjoy the macro part of the game, e.g. stadiums and long term planning. I just can't make my mind up it is the team I'm most attached to yet with Alonso being such a pansy :) it's possibly the worst managed team.

Saturday, 4 April 2009

Shearer: Where did it all go wrong

Or did it go wrong, I guess more than 10 FA Youth titles isn't bad in five seasons two 3rd place finish's in the Premiership isn't too shabby. There is something wrong with the Shearer team though, I think it's Alonso who's more icing on the cake player than a player who drives the team, by far the highest wage and really a total waste. It would have been fine in a few seasons as with enough players around him he'd have been fine at 32/33 but I won't be there in a few seasons, doh. Right Player Right Price WRONG TIME :(

Still good fun along the way which is the main thing. Really gutted I bought two subs as Hotshots now, still in another 24 months we'll be back!

Meanwhile in Beta we're back org'ing in the NFA and I have plans to ladder it up provided I get the vote from current members. The guys in Shearer can cope with everything so in my last season I'll just play the odd game. Although ladders are very easy to run once you've got it set I'm yet to run the FA and allocate prize money by ladder. Going to need my calculator for that one!

I'm shy of rep in Beta as the stadium is pretty much peaked out so I need to secure a player to increase the rep a fair bit.

As you can see only £2million to pay on stadium (way below my target of £3m) and wages of £124k a day. The next step now is to takes to £150k a day and keep putting money into the stadium. This is end of season 4 and by this stage I would have liked to have been well on my way to 4 star Team / Stadium but ealy mistakes and changes to contruction fee's held me back. We're moving the right direction though.

Thursday, 2 April 2009

If X = Y

I might be adding two and two and coming up with 5 but been reading on the forums and it does suggest that SI are thinking along the lines of making old GW's more attractive not by accelerating progression but by allowing more steps as you progress.

I agree with this as it does feel currently that you have to wait for 5/6 seasons to arrive should you take a long term approach, i.e. the game starts after 5/6 months.

One of the core issues at the moment is outside of the FA your forced to play high ranked teams as a new user. Often this will result in you losing 75% of your games which is understandable with wages of £70k ish. A system where you can play teams at your own level will help a lot, you should be able to play so you can get into a position that your winning about 50% of your games.

Consider this though, your a top 20 side the only opponent you might be able to find is going to be Top 20. This won't be popular with these managers.

The other thing of course is inflation, this must be kept low otherwise progression could be slowed too much. New users must be able to enter a gameworld and feel that they can improve their team in a few months.

Oddly too many new users would inflate a world too quickly especially given the short term strategy employed by many new users.

Overall a very tricky balancing act!


Jeez we're random at the moment and that winger I signed, Said, not a winger he's done fine and gets it done but he's not a £600k+ Winger, he's a £600k+ AMC so I'm now forced to play a variant of the awful 4-5-1 I suppoose though it's a variant of 4-4-2 as well. Still Said is a right handful in that position if you haven't a very good DM he's going to cause problems.

I have no idea what to do with my team, I seem to have the players and I suppose it could be tactics, yet if it what tactics I would surely lose at youth level a lot as well. I've tried to consider where I've gone wrong at senior level or what I do different at youth level and either I'm doing something different or the game is different, either way I think we're condemed to be ordinary at senior level.

Last night we went like this DDDDD so I'm thinking maybe I should stop fiddling with anything and just keep faith with the team as is.

Had a few Ai games on Beta to play through so thought I'd give the new tactics a good try. If you view my screen shots there is an option to change overall strategy, from stadnard, counter attack, defensive, attacking etc. This is one of those changes that once you start using you'll never know how you did without it!

Finally I've stepped down from the mod role, I didn't feel I was doing enough and didn't want to go through the motions if I couldn't really commit to it. I really like the whole stadium building thing which I view as sort of macro strategy so I'm going to carry on my cousins accounts which I bought for him and he's left pretty idle, so as I paid I'll take them over, he had few teams, so Hotshots features will follow.

I know there isn't too long left on the Jakswans sub and it'll expire in...... errrr soon, seems the account has been blocked, sometime in May anyway. I might just give it a four month extension but longer than that is out of the question.

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Boost to New Users to Old Gameworlds?

There was a thread on the forums regarding giving new managers into old gameworlds a boost. My argument was that with stadiums and the game being about progressing then there was no need of a boost, i.e. rags to riches or minnows to giants. In that thread Alexandra Harris put forward a case that maybe only a minority wanted to play that game.

I'm not saying what he says is untrue he might well be right. However if you are trying to design that game how do you do it?

If success or failure is say being in the top 100, of a thousand managers only 100 can be successful. So 900 will fail, so how can you possibly design a game where all 1000 are in the top 100, you can move the goalposts around a bit or even create new ones, ultimately though there has to be losers for there to be winners.

I'd say you'd fanny about on and on, going around in circles trying to make it fairer for everyone so every manager has a chance to be successful. If they were not successful they'd move on or give up.

Ultimately, bottom line, you can't design that game.

You can design a game where as long as managers follow some simple guidelines they can become a big club and become successful, enjoy their time in the sun as it were. Eventually though as many clubs progress you'd have to have a system in place to allow managers to move. Otherwise you become top heavy again.

So back to the thread if the game is minnows to giants or rags to riches why give new managers a boost? Then it becomes 'not quite rags' or 'a fairly average club to giants'.