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An idea for helping strugglers get into FM - tactical understanding made more easy & intuitive


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I refer to my quote from another forum:

"......On the theme of "cheating" if it is possible (and is it?) it would be great if SI introduced a "cheat mode" wherein you have visibility pre/in match of all the opponent manager's settings (OP's, Team instructions, Roles, Duties, player instructions - the whole enschelada). Not so we can play by numbers and win every match but so we can more easilly work out for ourselves the why & wherefore of how to play the game - it would save a lot of heartache & work and should be an optional selected mode/function......."

This I see as a vital aid to learning the game, and it would help smooth over ME bug issues in part too. I honestly do not know how the players who do not use this thread get along, thier frustration must be incalculable.

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Dont agree with this, might as well get Miles to drive to their house and play for them. Its a game so people have to learn to work things out for themselves

What SI should be doing is giving more info in the manual and a free guide of some sort. Dont want the game being dumbed down tbh, there is a shed load of info in the tactic forum as well

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Dont agree with this, might as well get Miles to drive to their house and play for them. Its a game so people have to learn to work things out for themselves

What SI should be doing is giving more info in the manual and a free guide of some sort. Dont want the game being dumbed down tbh, there is a shed load of info in the tactic forum as well

Apparently its not a game (certainly not a puzzle game) but is a "simulator". I do agree that a comprehensive official manual would be good but still standby my suggestion.

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In real life, you know little about the opponents set up till the game starts so this would detract from the whole idea of the game IMO.

I made it clear this is an aid for those that struggle - so optional. Really the elitism attitude that thse who have figured it out are "the men" and that others should struggle on to work it out, if they can!, will ultimatly drive away the slightly more casual gamers that SI were trying to re-interest with FM13.

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If I buy it from a shop - its a game.. unless im a Russian Billionaire who can buy a club for entertainment, though I cant see Roman asking to see the OPP details before a game (we not in Italy) :D

From my use of the word "apparantly" you should have realised that I agree it is a game. I play adventure games but always use a walkthrough / guide for when I get totally stuck That idea would not work for FM but FM does not have a sandbox mode, you cannot just play, you either play well enough to meet expectation or get sacked and my idea (optional, remember) would be a big step foward for some, many I suspect.

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Not really keen on your idea, and don't have a better one myself, but maybe something needs to be looked at with regards do they want a CIV5 type fairly easy to make sense of what needs doing or whether at the other end a Paradox Hearts of Iron III type complex game. Or it's a choice as to whether FM becomes more in-depth or more user friendly; there are good arguments for both sides but don't think you can have both without trying to please everybody and pleasing nobody as a consequence.

Ass Man and scouts need to get a grip though, and this is maybe where the game makers could do a whole lot more in pointing out where and why you might be able to do better (depending on their attributes).

If you're new to the game and try to follow your Ass Man's advice, coaches advice etc right now you're up **** creek without a canoe as in their advice is worse than no advice at all because it's either wrong advice or so vague it becomes hard to follow what they mean, so either take it out altogether or improve the AI here enough so that make some sense??

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In real life, you know little about the opponents set up till the game starts so this would detract from the whole idea of the game IMO.

In real life you wouldn't get the manager's job at Altrincham either never mind the likes of Man Utd.

Some people spout "realism" but only so far as it suits them.

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However' date=' I don't think its going to help. If someone is struggling at FM then I'm not sure seeing the opposition instructions would really help them.

Now an assistant manager who actually ASSISTED properly...[/quote']

Nothing is for certain although in CM0102 being able to see thes details (though they were less in depth then) did help when setting counter strategies. Did it help too much?, maybe, but again you could chose whether to view these screens - or not.

You are right about the Ass Man but even assuming this aid tool actually works there is the quality of Ass Man issue (a L2 Ass Man will make mistakes, probably many which does not help So then you are looking for the option of a "super-ass man" who is 100% right with all his advice. This may not be a bad idea in itself for those that need the extra help BUT referring back to my all-visible suggestion, at least that is about learning what to do and developing as a tactitician.

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A guide? yes, long overdue.

Having ass man even giving you some tips as far as roles go? why not.

Seeing team's tactics? no way, any skilled player as far as tactics goes could simply counter their tactics every single game giving major advantage against the AI taking away all and any purpose to the game. Although it seems SI should remake the instant result button to a "instant 10-0 win button", that would make a lotta people happy it seems -.-

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A guide? yes, long overdue.

Having ass man even giving you some tips as far as roles go? why not.

Seeing team's tactics? no way, any skilled player as far as tactics goes could simply counter their tactics every single game giving major advantage against the AI taking away all and any purpose to the game. Although it seems SI should remake the instant result button to a "instant 10-0 win button", that would make a lotta people happy it seems -.-

I would rather lose 1-0 and be able to see exactly why than win 10-0 without knowing how ;). Of course it could be in active tutorial form so you can only play one match at a time away from any save / career game, but you could chos any team to be and any team to play.

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It's not something I think would work. You would just have people complaining that they lose a game where they have done nothing wrong because obviously the game is set up to make things drop of form happen throughout the season. As previously said in comments above, the staff need to be better with their advice because at the moment it is nothing short than useless an annoying

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I disagree, on the previous patch yes, you were pretty much playing against the ME to try to stop those dribblers and such, right now, you play against other teams. Still a few things to tweak and the game is def harder than 12, but the ME is also different and imo better and with higher potential.

I've been to the point of frustration some people or most people still are, but in the end it's all about the tactics ( not saying the ME is perfect, hardly ). I too was used to employ tactics where every single slide wasn't left untouched, and it took me a while to go against my curious nature and be more conservative. I now play a tactic where the only changes i've made was roles, 2 team settings, and some minor tweaks on individual ones and i have been quite successful. Sure it pissed me off when i lost 3-1 against arsenal that was sitting at 12th because ramsey kept scoring from outside the box every shot he tried, sure it pissed me off when i draw against man city while having 4 balls on the posts, but well things happen.

The ME has its flaws, but so do we, it's not all about the ME.

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I think that sums up half of people's problems on here. Trying to beat the me and not the team in front of them
I refer to my quote from another forum:

"......On the theme of "cheating" if it is possible (and is it?) it would be great if SI introduced a "cheat mode" wherein you have visibility pre/in match of all the opponent manager's settings (OP's, Team instructions, Roles, Duties, player instructions - the whole enschelada). Not so we can play by numbers and win every match but so we can more easilly work out for ourselves the why & wherefore of how to play the game - it would save a lot of heartache & work and should be an optional selected mode/function......."

This I see as a vital aid to learning the game, and it would help smooth over ME bug issues in part too. I honestly do not know how the players who do not use this thread get along, thier frustration must be incalculable.

The first post (which I quote) sums up my feelings. Why do people obsess with this idea that you need to spend hours upon hours figuring out this game? You don't. You can figure the game out using some common sense and intuitive.

Anyway, I don't like this idea. I like the fact that the game challenges you to beat the opponent.

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Now an assistant manager who actually ASSISTED properly...

This. This is the way to proceed with helping the human managers. This version has made some important steps along this road, so lets hope they put their foot down soon and get some real nice help features in.

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This. This is the way to proceed with helping the human managers. This version has made some important steps along this road, so lets hope they put their foot down soon and get some real nice help features in.

I agree but surely at lower league level poorer quality Ass Man will be all thats available and surely their "help" would be much less useful which means that either all Ass Men will have to have inflated qualities or managing at higher levels will be much easier than at lower levels (with a poorer Ass Man)?

I have always thought that really useful Ass Mans could provide a genuine and un-contrived "difficulty level" system.

Would still like to be able to peek at oppo managers strategy details though :)

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You can't have it all, managing lower leagues imo should be harder than managing barcelona or man utd. So yes your ass man's wouldn't be as skilled as a tier 1 ass man, therefore not pointing some things they should, or making mistakes, being that ultimately you are the manager and it's you who take the decision to take his advice or not. So yes, managing lower leagues should be a challenge directed to more skilled players, therefore i don't see why couldn't ass man give different help depending on their attributes.

Of course, while this is simply my oppinion, SI could always solve this by having an option where you could tick ass man to always give the right advice and make everyone happy.

Yet, i think if programmed properly, even lower tier ass man would give good advice to us human managers. Why? because most mistakes made as far as tactics goes are usually based on how unbalanced a tactic is. So let's say something like hm..

All ass man should be proned to mistakes as all managers, but the higher their level the less prone they should be.

low level ass man would help as far as formation goes being unlikely prone to mistakes on that, but would be highly prone to mistakes as far as roles and tasks.

mid level ass man would help as far as formation and tasks goes being unlikely prone to mistakes on tasks, and midlely prone to mistakes as far as roles go.

high level ass man would help on everything while being unlikely prone to mistakes on any of them.

Of course this is all very basic, higher level ass man should give you help as far as spaces in the pitch that you are not covering, weak spots on the defense due to roles and what not, or giving suggestions on how you could improve things.

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But isn't the actual problem all about how the ME "translates" the instructions we give (think we're giving) to the players in the tactics screen?

I can't say if it's the case in FM13 (judging by what people say in here I guess it is) but in past versions there often was a general feeling of the ME doing whatever he wanted, widely disregarding the tactical instructions.

So the difficulty lies in the complicated process of understanding what tactical options/sliders REALLY mean and how they affect (should affect?) the in-game actions.

When I said "we play against the ME", I didn't really mean "people try to exploit it instead of trying to outplay the other team", I meant more something similar to "due to the nature of the ME, it feels like we have to create a tactic that minimizes the weaknesses of the ME while trying to achieve something resembling the style of play we vaguely wanted"

Then yes, many would set ridiculous routines up just to grab some goals by taking advantage of notorious bugs (corner cheat, the "grid" etc), but more often than not I have the feeling it's just a byproduct of how the ME works...

E.g. you have to tinker a lot just to prevent your players from taking long shots, because the Long Shots instructions apparently doesn't work as you would expect.

Wide play has been a bit of an iffy matter for years, with issues going from lack of crossing, lack of cover, strikers drifting away from their natural position etc.

An in-depth tutorial/manual is long overdue, or maybe a different set of "labels" in the TC/tactics screen would help clarify a lot of debated points.

Assuming, of course, the ME will finally start to "obey" without the need of intensive and quite cumbersome tweaking

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You can't have it all, managing lower leagues imo should be harder than managing barcelona or man utd. So yes your ass man's wouldn't be as skilled as a tier 1 ass man, therefore not pointing some things they should, or making mistakes, being that ultimately you are the manager and it's you who take the decision to take his advice or not. So yes, managing lower leagues should be a challenge directed to more skilled players, therefore i don't see why couldn't ass man give different help depending on their attributes.

Of course, while this is simply my oppinion, SI could always solve this by having an option where you could tick ass man to always give the right advice and make everyone happy.

Yet, i think if programmed properly, even lower tier ass man would give good advice to us human managers. Why? because most mistakes made as far as tactics goes are usually based on how unbalanced a tactic is. So let's say something like hm..

All ass man should be proned to mistakes as all managers, but the higher their level the less prone they should be.

low level ass man would help as far as formation goes being unlikely prone to mistakes on that, but would be highly prone to mistakes as far as roles and tasks.

mid level ass man would help as far as formation and tasks goes being unlikely prone to mistakes on tasks, and midlely prone to mistakes as far as roles go.

high level ass man would help on everything while being unlikely prone to mistakes on any of them.

Of course this is all very basic, higher level ass man should give you help as far as spaces in the pitch that you are not covering, weak spots on the defense due to roles and what not, or giving suggestions on how you could improve things.

No, lower league levels should not be harder - just different!. In real life, and remember this is branded as a "simulation", there are many more managers who succeeded at lower levels but failed at higher levels than vice versa.

At any level, financial doping aside, the playing field should be level for most clubs, not harder challenges but different challenges.

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No, lower league levels should not be harder - just different!. In real life, and remember this is branded as a "simulation", there are many more managers who succeeded at lower levels but failed at higher levels than vice versa.

At any level, financial doping aside, the playing field should be level for most clubs, not harder challenges but different challenges.

Lower leagues give you far less flexibility to squad build because you rarely have a budget so ergo are harder. In real life and FM. Saying 'financial doping aside' when money is so relevant sounds wonky to how you manage a team. A half decent budget and being able to get far better players will gloss over, if not eradicate, FM difficulties with tactics because with money you can play the system a little.

I think. :D

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This. This is the way to proceed with helping the human managers. This version has made some important steps along this road, so lets hope they put their foot down soon and get some real nice help features in.

Yes but as the AssMan currently is, whether all his stats are on 1 or 20 makes no difference. He still does exactly the same things as does the DoF.

Basically he needs a complete overhaul as does all staff.

Then test them properly to make sure they work as intended.

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No, lower league levels should not be harder - just different!
I can't stress this enough - it's an abused argument by many on this forum.

It takes more skill to manage a top side (hence top sides hiring the likes of Mourinho and Ancelotti, rather than Steve Kean), but it is not necessarily more difficult (assuming your level of skill is on par with your peers). A top-tier manager facing daily pressure to get that last Champions League spot will find it difficult, just as a manager in the Bumfluff league (tier 193 in the pyramid) trying to figure out how they will field 11 players because the pub man is busy. But a stable side in the Premier League who is a boring mid-table candidate year-on-year would find it pretty easy, as would a manager in the lowest tier, with no worries about relegation and where promotion is hardly worth it. While skill does drive difficulty, you can have a mismatch between the two at any level (in either direction).

As for the assistant manager driving aid... I'm less sure. The assistant manager typically has a set of responsibilities and in reality, if he were to "oversupport" the manager, he would get annoyed and seek out a role that either pays him more for it, or a role he's more comfortable with by retaining his previous set of roles.

This aid would need to come from either "external" help (i.e. like the help system itself, or the advisor), or by increasing the "virtual knowledge/skill" of the manager. So, for example, if you were to make the manager more tactically capable, you might see red areas on your tactics screen showing hints where the weak points of the opposition are, for example. Or if you were to make the manager more capable at scouting, you might show them the PA of the player. Or if you were to make the manager better at team-talks, you might have hints on each of the options suggesting which is better.

Also, although top sides tend to hire better assistant managers, it's not necessarily because the manager needs more support, but also because the game requires more skill as you go up the ladder. Some managers take their assistants wherever they go. Some don't care and would take anyone who doesn't annoy them, as a hands-off type of assistant. Some sides, especially at lower levels, may not even have formal assistant managers - do they not get help?

Hence the idea of a "cheat" system, like a walkthrough mode (where the aid is not dependent on the personnel of your team - which is sort of the point of the OP), or even the angst-inducing idea of a difficulty level (maybe just one: "easy mode"), is not the worst idea in the world. Not everyone is wwfan, after all.

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IMO:

I think its a pretty decent idea. Lets face it, 99% of all people playing this game have no clue about football tactics, how things work, why things work, why things work sometimes while they dont in other times. You can only learn that in game the hard way (or out of the game on forums).

Why not add this option: (make it selectable when creating a game) during the preseason and for friendlies only your assman tells you about the opponents tactic and explains you how you can adapt to that kind of tactic. Like for example you face an opponent that uses a wide 442, your assman gives you a few of the strenghts and weaknesses and also tips on how to cope with these strengths and abuse these weaknesses. On this forum I learned that against that wide 442 it can help to play wider while focussing attacks down the middle, to stretch their MCs.

Now i can see the challenge in coming up with stuff like that yourself. In fact I never use full shout combos from other people. But...its a selectable option....if you want to do things the more challenging way or you already know the basic tactics you can just ignore the whole thing.

And because its only like 5 matches that are friendly anyway, who cares? I know it wouldve helped me and I am sure it would help a lot of other people too.

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Lower leagues give you far less flexibility to squad build because you rarely have a budget so ergo are harder. In real life and FM. Saying 'financial doping aside' when money is so relevant sounds wonky to how you manage a team. A half decent budget and being able to get far better players will gloss over, if not eradicate, FM difficulties with tactics because with money you can play the system a little.

I think. :D

You're forgetting the fact that whoever you compete against on whatever level will be bound by the exact same restraints.

It's far easier to squad build in the lower leagues in FM as well. At the highest level you will hit a wall because pretty much every team will have the same quality of player available to them. In lower leagues you can sign players whose ability is way above the level you're playing at.

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Let's get out of this "if the game isn't easy enough for you then be a big club" malarkey.

We are football fans and it is very hard for most to play as someone other than the team you support.

I never manage a big club and the only other clubs I will manage other than my beloved Bolton are the minnows at the bottom end of a country's bottom division.

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You're forgetting the fact that whoever you compete against on whatever level will be bound by the exact same restraints.

It's far easier to squad build in the lower leagues in FM as well. At the highest level you will hit a wall because pretty much every team will have the same quality of player available to them. In lower leagues you can sign players whose ability is way above the level you're playing at.

Hmm, fair one can see your point, not sure I agree though. If I was learning the game I'd go for as high a team as possible as it's more likely tactics and shouts will be followed surely??

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Hmm, fair one can see your point, not sure I agree though. If I was learning the game I'd go for as high a team as possible as it's more likely tactics and shouts will be followed surely??

Fiercer competition and high expectations at the top of the pyramid will mean more pressure though and man management will be tough for a novice. The best choice for a newcomer should be a mid-table team in whatever league takes their fancy. Not sure how well that logic works in FM as I mostly only do career saves starting from the bottom, but that's how it should be anyway.

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It requires more skill to manage a top side, but it doesn't mean it's more difficult. If Real Madrid went bust today, managing Barcelona would be one of the easier jobs in football despite the fact they are the best team in the world, since you have one trophy by default.

A very solid, boring mid-table side with no money woes would be one of the easiest jobs in-game, no matter what tier.

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It requires more skill to manage a top side, but it doesn't mean it's more difficult.

Why the distinction? Sure, for Sir Alex Ferguson managing Man Utd is probably no more difficult than Bolton or Wycombe Wanderers would be. Similarly to how running a 100m dash in under 10 seconds is easier for Usain Bolt to do than it is for you or me. Something requiring more skill is by definition more difficult.

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Fiercer competition and high expectations at the top of the pyramid will mean more pressure though and man management will be tough for a novice. The best choice for a newcomer should be a mid-table team in whatever league takes their fancy. Not sure how well that logic works in FM as I mostly only do career saves starting from the bottom, but that's how it should be anyway.
It requires more skill to manage a top side, but it doesn't mean it's more difficult. If Real Madrid went bust today, managing Barcelona would be one of the easier jobs in football despite the fact they are the best team in the world, since you have one trophy by default.

A very solid, boring mid-table side with no money woes would be one of the easiest jobs in-game, no matter what tier.

Have always wondered which side is the best to start with if introducing someone to the game for the 1st time, allowing for board patience/low expectation with potential to learn.

Any ideas?? Using say the top tier in England (or anywhere else); West Brom, Stoke??

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Why the distinction? Sure, for Sir Alex Ferguson managing Man Utd is probably no more difficult than Bolton or Wycombe Wanderers would be. Similarly to how running a 100m dash in under 10 seconds is easier for Usain Bolt to do than it is for you or me. Something requiring more skill is by definition more difficult.
"Skill" is in the sense that this is your raw virtual ability to manage. This feeds into "difficulty", which is the manager's experience of the job, but is only one of the many components. For example, if you have two clubs that are exactly the same, except that one club is on the verge of relegation thanks to the previous manager messing things up, this job would be more difficult, even if the managers are of the same skill level.

So it's something like: Difficulty = Skill required + Relegation fears + Title rivals challenging ability + Financial situation + ...

In the context of the OP, if you want an "easier" time, it should therefore not be necessarily easier to manage a top side, because that requires more skill. In some circumstances, it might be (i.e. the scenario where you are the Barcelona manager and Real Madrid go bust), but that is slightly independent of how good the side is.

Have always wondered which side is the best to start with if introducing someone to the game for the 1st time, allowing for board patience/low expectation with potential to learn.

Any ideas?? Using say the top tier in England (or anywhere else); West Brom, Stoke??

I would pick a side that is mid-table and therefore difficult to fail. A fairly solid, if unspectacular side, nearly-guaranteed to finish in mid-table - Stoke, perhaps - would be a decent choice. I'd've said Everton although I think their financial situation counts against them.
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Lower leagues give you far less flexibility to squad build because you rarely have a budget so ergo are harder. In real life and FM. Saying 'financial doping aside' when money is so relevant sounds wonky to how you manage a team. A half decent budget and being able to get far better players will gloss over, if not eradicate, FM difficulties with tactics because with money you can play the system a little.

I think. :D

To clarify by "financial doping" I did mean relative finances of clubs in the same league eg Man City/West brom, Forest/Barnsley, Bournemouth/Hartlepool. In these examples the job of winning is skewed for those clubs, relatively.

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You're forgetting the fact that whoever you compete against on whatever level will be bound by the exact same restraints.

It's far easier to squad build in the lower leagues in FM as well. At the highest level you will hit a wall because pretty much every team will have the same quality of player available to them. In lower leagues you can sign players whose ability is way above the level you're playing at.

This.

I have found Blue Square easiest/most forgiving but in another thread it was officially stated that Prem level should be easier that lower leagues. On the other hand, as the stats for players are generated through SI's scouting network it should be easier to know how to utilise a player in a team, or a team as a whole, purely through your real-life knowledge of said team/players that dealing with a bunch of amateur John Smith's at lower and unknown levels. But then, whilst you may come across a player on loan from 3 divisions above (eg L1 player in BSN side) you will not have to deal with a Messi/Ronaldo.

Without wanting to open a Sectarian debate surely if you just want and easy job you take Celtic in FM13 - but not everyone wants that (lack of) challenge.

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Fiercer competition and high expectations at the top of the pyramid will mean more pressure though and man management will be tough for a novice. The best choice for a newcomer should be a mid-table team in whatever league takes their fancy. Not sure how well that logic works in FM as I mostly only do career saves starting from the bottom, but that's how it should be anyway.

The easiest mode is to choose International Footballer with a large database and a professional club in a lower league. The quality of that team shouldn't really matter since the relative difference between teams down there is much smaller than in top leagues. With that many free players to choose from, it will be easy to strengthen the team, especially if the manager is from another nation than the one he manages in as this increases willing players.

However, recognizing a good player from all the chaff requires skill and experience. I spot a gem in seconds, a newcomer may be blinded by high irrelevant attributes or by a big name and price-tag. Or by following logic thinking that a player scoring 30 goals in 30 matches for Basel would be a certain top scorer for you in Serie A, or that a 7.90 av.r for an AI club would mean anything for you. There are many such traps in FM.

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Isn't that a trap even real life clubs sometimes fall into?

Yes, but good performances in real life are still good performances so if they are put into context they can be helpful. In FM any av.r or goalscoring stats in unloaded leagues are useless to determine anything. In loaded leagues they can be slightly useful, and they can indicate some skill in the league you are playing in (or have set as full detail manually). But as a rule I don't even look at stats when I search for players; what matters are the star ratings and attribute distribution (with weight on the latter). This is also why I don't bother using 3rd party software to find CA and PA of players; my evaluation of a player is more accurate for my purposes.

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