Thursday, 31 December 2009

Youth Academies Almost Again

Do you want the short version or the long version?

The short version, you know the lottery right?

Still not sure what we can say but they always were going to akin to buying a lottery ticket. One of the most anticipated features coming soon anyway.

I'm dead set against them.

Monday, 28 December 2009

The Wonderful Match Engine

Normally I'm moaning about something or another but the reason I'm still chugging away is down to the database and match engine. I'm no tactical expert but the players seem to have a character that is in excess of their stats.

Never more was this demonstrated the other night pretty much coasting to a 3-1 win I look at my player mentality's and one player is 'looking complacent'.

I took him off, now is he looking complacent from any stat on the screen? Is it because he's young or his ability is so high that he's over confident or is just built that way? I suspect it's his age I don't know that for certain but I think it's that. That's what makes the match engine and database so good it simply isn't case of looking at a set of stats and game over.

I bring on one of my value players who I know at 31 will be mentally strong and give 100%, we carry on to win 4-1. Complacency can spread like a disease in a game!

Oddly enough I went to watch the Swans today and we get a player sent off after 16 mins, duff ref (was using more colourful four letter words at the time :) ) a few minutes later and Joe Allen commits a shocking foul, he's a great player Joe Allen but he's too young, the Swans manager took him he knew his head was gone. Swans held on to draw 0-0.

Sunday, 27 December 2009

Happy Thoughts

Had a great Christmas, my 6yo daughter it's magical. Watched one of those films you forget about and yet it's amazing, if your in business or into IT at all, Pirates of Silicon Valley, one of those films I've watched it's been open mouthed through the entire film. If you wrote a book you wouldn't believe it.

Anyway to FM Live only Miller these days....

I suppose in a way Miller is more interesting than Shearer as the shortage of players has forced me to use some 'value' players. I mean the Shearer team pretty much picked itself in the end. So I'm often left not really knowing who I should play some of time.

GK Sommer - Very solid at 33 still showing some green and no major wrries about the age kicking in this season.
DR - Curbelo Owned him man & boy pretty solid nothing too fancy. Got his chance 3/4 seasons back as I couldn't secure a megastar.
DC - Sidnei got him fairly cheap at 30yo's very solid DC in his final season
DC - Congia Has the touch of wonderkid about not so much in that he's amazing ability or potential but that he plays like a man despite being a boy.
DL - Simon triple A player
MR - Ismodes play a low ranked team and he's not too bothered but when it really matters makes an impact.
ML - Traore at 32 has a seasons left (kind leave all outfield players go at 32 now) fantastic winger.
MC - Hansen well the market is inflated in Miller at 22 world famous looks dam fine despite the kind of low Aq Fee, so clearly hidden stats are dreamy. Still £1.8m not cheap but 22 so.
MC - Fornasari Not quite triple A but cheap wage auction signing.
FC - Esquerinha Great stats can be a little lazy but had him for 12 seasons!
FC - Welbeck a flair player, at times breathtaking, others frustrating should revel in the players around him.

Strange team in many ways recently has risen to 1st in rankings after an amazing run in the NFA Pre Season Cup (played 8 w7 D1 L0, conceded 1 goal!). I don't expect that to last but I'm hoping we can stay well away from relegation. Last season in the ladder we did 2nd / 1st / 2nd / 2nd.

I'm going to try and stay upbeat from now on, I do disagree with the way some things are done but I'll say me piece and leave it at that. I don't think they want beta testers who just sit back and say everything is wonderful and whilst I might be many things I'm not a 'yes man'.

Monday, 21 December 2009

The FA's & Community Input

If SI do go down the road of curing inflation one the biggest complaints will be that teams can't compete.

In my opinion, it is therefore vital to ring fence the various tiers within a GW, sort of a gameworld in a gameworld. Been some awesome ideas floating around beta on how to do this most notable is T-Bags's stuff.

Community Input
As an active beta tester I naturally get involved in debates on the beta forums etc. I really felt my idea to rotate top teams out of a gameworldd was a runner, then my youth draft youth system in newgen worlds. I think the most important thing a beta tester can do is contribute try and put forward ideas and hopefully help improve the game.

Very few end up in the game but that's not really the point all you do is give your perspective it's really upto the developers to take it or leave it.

Marc Duffy Said
We're dipping our toes back in the water when it comes to involving the community in the game and it's direction, it's why we set up the future developments forum. For a while the mood of the forum (which was our own wrong doing) dictated it wasn't a good idea.

Now you would maybe think I'd see that as bad thing, I think it's an excellent idea. I thought the higher wage demands that appeared in beta were a good move, I felt that the regression we saw in 1.3 was fair enough. Too often in my opinion they have caved in to pressure from the vocal minority.

It's already in the air that the next focus is going to be on the economics which fits in well with my recent posts.

I think the hardcore will resist a low inflation model mostly because if you spend long enough on line you can bag an inflation busting deal and make a huge profit. So the point I'm making that it might not even matter what the community thinks, which overall is the way it should be.

Saturday, 19 December 2009

Inflation Again

I was wondering how a GW should be structured if you had zero inflation this is what I came up with....

It's quite shocking really, very rough and ready I admit. To explain it a bit lets take say a 3 star team so they should have 11 players on around £5k a day £55k total, six subs on half that and get a provision for three new players per season. So overall £72k a day.

Now then exactly how that cash is spent is entirely up to them, if they want one world famous and a bunch of lower rep players then it's their call, want to go all youth, their call etc etc. Heck they don't have to save they could gamble and go for promotion.

Exactly how stadiums all fit into that I'm not sure.

FM 1.5 The Make or Break Release & Skills

Well I've said before I really don't get what all the fuss is over skills so I wasn't really bothered either way.

1.4 is now well on it's way to seeing a release date on live servers so I think attention now will switch to 1.5.

1.4 is a great update and it's a pity it won't really have it's time in the sun as a stand alone release, overall it makes FM Live a better game, injuries, rep system being my favourites.

The basic game design is what next needs attention, nothing at all confirmed yet but the way things are being talked off it's very promising. A bit vague and never really sure what I can and can't say about beta.

I think the economics of the game and FA's will get a fair bit of attention and by the time it's all road-mapped out it'll be fairly clear why a reset was needed. Although I would say that at the time of the reset announcement I got the impression that this wasn't really finalised.

Hence my reaction to it at the time. You read the posts and do 2+2 =6 and get way off track.

Anyway on the FA front I'd like to see it structured in such a way as the tiers get fairly isolated, sort of mini-GW's inside a GW. The top teams lets be honest have a fairly easy ride, I had a team in Whiteside and for two seasons didn't play another top 50 side, WWWWWWWWWWWW. Very nice for me but not so good for everyone else.

The podcast interview was great and Sega / SI did use the term 'sticky' a lot. So where do we go from here, my guesswork:-

Early Jan - 1.5 publicly road-mapped - cue mass hysteria from some on the forums:)
Mid Jan - First beta builds of 1.5, expecting beta Gw's to be reset
Late Jan - Beta GW's launched with bulk of 1.5 done and dusted
Feb - Tweaks to 1.5
March - Release 1.5, reset servers.
April - Subject to GW's remaining active the FM10 freebie's rolled out into existing servers.
May - Version 2 released, subject to GW's remaining active mass marketing campaign
June - July - FM Live becomes a massive success!

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

All Quiet on the FM front

Well not much to report recently, all you can do in beta is forward views and opinions when asked and hopefully catch a few bugs.

Playing wise we're now limited to inflation ridden beta which is fun to play in courtesy of the NFA ladder. So far finished runners up twice and won it once. Fair play to Nick of Inter as he took this stage, winning his first Div.1 title.

Shows how competative the thing is that Osvaldo's Magneto who's been really dominant at times had a bad run and found himself relegated.

A couple of seasons back I was a point from going down. Still the title win combined with runners-up spot should secure Gold Cup so banking another 17 rep for a season.

The GW is pretty much b0rked and I'm sitting on £7m with nothing to spend it on. Still it's a beta so can't expect too much I suppose.

No GW1 podcast this week, gah.

Saturday, 12 December 2009

Inflation Was that it?

After bouncing ideas around the beta forum mainly with Alex and Ov, who're both pretty sharp so I don't know why they converse with the likes of me:) I came up with what I think is a killer argument.

Zero Inflation = Your £500k starting balance should be worth the same in Season
24 as it is on Day One.

That's it no boosts, drafts, returning players, etc needed you want 100% fair play then zero inflation ticks all the boxes and then some.

Will it happen?
Well it's a simple case of it has to. If Si don't go in this direction then it's inevitable that GW's will become unbalanced as they get older. Then we'll be back to where we are today and that doesn't mean another reset it means the plug gets pulled.

That would be a sad day FM Live has massive potential and fingers crossed it would never come to that.

What does it mean?
Simple, either less money or more top quality players in the databse.

One idea not yet fully explored is more top quality players that would also lower inflation. Increase supply...

Going to be interesting couple of months that's for sure!

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

FM Live Moving forward

YA ramble snipped.

Here is my Current Grand Scheme fix FM Live Total Solution
Lots of idea put together from beta forum posters so not my ideas but scheme:)

5star FA
The top 50 teams in the GW go into this FA. The only way to progress is to play teams in this FA (ends the n00b bashing). Not sure how it works something along T-Bag's FA idea. The bottom 25 are relegated.

Four Star FA
Next 100 teams in a GW. Bottom 50 go down. Same principle.

Three Star FA
Next 200 teams in GW.

The 5star FA results in a massive increase in Corp Fans. Stadium Income cap & wage tax are removed. The opposite of parachute payments are paid.

Teams in this FA can earn massive amount of cash upto £20m a season. Fans are quick to jump onto the next new thing i.e. promoted teams. The only way to sustain your cash is to be winning always, if you start finishing 10th season after season they start to get bored and leave.

Other FA's are more stable, no so much glory hunting fans but similar sort of principle.

Tier One - £20m - £15m a season
Tier Two - £6m - £5m a season
Tier Three - £4m - £3m

etc etc.

You can with the bottom tiers go with CPU clubs, nice easy ride for a season or so.

Very rough figures but should be based on the players in the databse and should ensure that there is zero inflation.
I actually tidied those figures up a bit £12m - £10m for top tier, basically ties in to supply/demand of players. It's all based around a concept of, play with 2star players with 2star budget against 2 star teams, promoted, 3star players 3 star budget against 3star teams, promoted and so on.

The top tier whilst giving loads of cash relies heavily on corp fans who bugger of at mediocrity at that level and jump onto promoted teams, glory hunting bunch they are! The effect is that promoted teams get a handsome boost whilst the teams that did finish middle struggle unless the kick on and start winning things.

You don't have to play with 2star players sign one megastar if you want and have a bunch of kids running round but you get the idea I hope.

Such is your average managers love affair with winning (managers play U17 games all day if they have great U17 squad) I rather fancy the effect would be that once a lot of teams got to the top level they'd hop GW's much the same way they hop FA's. Bit tough it would be in that top FA I fancy.

Which overall is rather desirable as it ensures.... progression! Crafty eh?

Anyway it's kind of gone down like a lead balloon on the beta forums, but hey I try.

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Inflation, inflation inflation

Inflation is in my opinion are very bad thing. If GW's are to remain attractive and you are to progress then it needs to be kept low!

Well I have gone on at length about a deeper pyramid and to be fair Millie put this forward quite strongly at the council. It all started with one of the beta guys posting that a 3.1/2 star team should be able to afford 3.1/2 star players and a 4 star team etc etc.

I got to thinking (danger!) hang on as a 3.1.2 star team with stadium or without I can afford a much better team than that! Yet there are not enough players to go round!

So you put 1000 managers in a GW all with the means to secure top players but these are in short supply. So you end up with a situation where demand outstrips supply and then inflation.

So is inflation bad? Oh my yes, it's immensly frustrating, you save up to get your £1m for your striker and whats this by the time you have the cash he's £2m. To a new manager in an old GW inflation is a nightmare, his cash is worthless.

In a very busy GW things rapidly get out of control, everyone gets annoyed that they can't seem to get anywhere, youth wages go through the roof, it just ends in a mess.

By season 3 or 4 though so many managers have left that inflation comes back down with a bump, less demand.

So bottom line I've tried to suggest that if there are enough household names in a server for 5 teams then give just 5 teams the means to support his wage, world famous enough for 20 teams then give 20 teams that sort of cash there are 300 3.1/2 star players then give 300 teams that sort of cash etc etc.

The teams at the top need pressure on them to perform so any faltering and bang the money goes and they have to sell up.

Of course this is a radical change but errr hello did anyone hear reset, radical changes are needed!

All Change

I do actually work on Saturday but Friday is the day that means that one more and I get two off. So in a much happier mood all round seemed like a good time to do a post.

It has been a doom and gloom weak with the reset news and although I don't mind a reset as SI kind of half revealed their vision of the game it did make me feel a little despondent. Might have got the wrong end of the stick with some promising things on the beta forum.

In the meantime I think I'll shuffle the accounts around, it's a bit depressing looking at youths and thinking ohh he'll be great. Then looking at my wage bill and thinking yippee long term I'm all set:) Besides I have tried to get my money back on remaining subs so seem a bit cheap of me to carry on logging in.

I think it's far better to take a break whilst SI hopefully fix the game come back nice and fresh to it all. Still have the beta account so will mess about in there.

Thursday, 3 December 2009

360 Controller Drivers for XP

Back to Trackmania for me, had a spare 360 controller but had the bug where the driver doesn't load.

After quite a bit of goggling the link seemed to fix.

Use at own risk etc.

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Eve On Line Review

I've seen this game getting rave reviews and it runs ok on my laptop. Fired it up looks dam fine but complex. Ok tutorial time, 'you must be docked at a space staion', ok errr muddle through end up travelling a lot and finally luck my way onto a space station.

Tutorial controliing your ship. 'You must not be docked to use this tutorial', grrrrr. Undock, tutorial controlling your ship, 'You must be in rookie system to use this tutorial'.

Delete game.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Lets be upbeat!

Well all we can do now is be upbeat. I was on long contracts with two subs so I had to cancel a credit card to get out of it. I have a long account for Shearer (a year left) and I've asked for my money back on subs remaining.

I'd much prefer to be on a 1 month rolling payment plan as things stand. I'm also planning on buying FM10 at some point so will use that to get back in.

So moving forward Si / Sega take a gamble on their being enough LLM managers out there to survive. Hopefully there are and gameworlds will be very busy and keep going for a long time. Sounds good.

I'm expecting a nerf to stadiums to come soon, if managers are to keep up with top teams in a short space of time then having something which gives a massive advantage over everyone else staying in.

The first draft ever took place in Beta and I think it worked well, couple of tweaks needed but overall it worked.

I think it'll drive the middle managers nuts but that's off topic at least the actual code worked.

1.4 might not take so long to get out there which is great news.

On the pitch I have to be honest I've kind of lost interest, Clough has £4m of stadium payments laid out (doh!) and Shearer feels a bit flat. Beta thankfully is really busy and season has started ok, waiting for the new players hitting the database to have an effect on prices before using cash.