Sep 04

An Issue With Regens & Player Development


In this recent post on The Fernandez GW Blog, Tanel Tursk comments on the crisis in quality regens in the live gameworlds and asks what that holds for the future of FML’s long-term playability.

I and obviously many other managers are quite convinced that for FML to be able to hold gameworlds that go on for more than 10 seasons, the regen model needs a huge fix: and that should really be the main issue for the game developers. In this recent post on the official forums, I gave my view on this issue.

It does not really take a Einstein to see how every gameworld gets fewer and fewer quality players over time. There are many reasons for that; but I think solutions shouldn’t be that hard to implement.

Fernandez GW is in middle of it’s 11th season, and while the situation now is not yet catastrophic (and it’s still a competition of who is the best team), I think by end of 2009 it’ll be more like who is the least worst. By now, the incoming crisis is inevitable, and that is proven by the gigantic fees tossed around for players yet to hit their prime as opposed to those who are actually in their prime.

The two main things causing it are quite simple – firstly, the gradually growing lack of quality regens; and secondly the fact that most managers can’t be bothered to build a youth team. And I guess even if my ideas might be worth a few pennies, it’ll be too late for our gameworld before they can be implemented (I guess it’d be 1.4…).

Regen Quality Issue

SI has continually looked into the regen quality issue, but working solutions are hard to come by it seems. It seems to me as if at the start of the gameworld, all the decent, good or high potential real kids end up fulfilling their potential (more or less), even if they end up in a team that plays only a few games per day. This is because they seem to have proper starting attrbutes to develop to be good for their position.

As time goes on, the potential of players remains the same – however, fewer and fewer of them are actually players that have the ability to fulfill their potential. And lots of them seem to have very wrong attributes for their position. With every season the ratio of good potential players actually turning into good players, even if given very good training, is worsening. I see a lot of guys around who have high acqusition fees in youth who look as if their AF should actually be three times lower, because they can hardly produce anything in their position.

This lack of regens with the abilty to actually “come good” for their position is heavily contributing to the future lack of quality players throughout the gameworld. You can see the proof of this issue whenever you have a real long term FM game, where, in the end, good players seem to be quite rare.

What can be done to solve this problem?

To solve this, I implore SI to make it easier for players to turn out accordingly to their potential, even if they might not be performing well, and make sure they develop in the right attributes. Maybe a system could be created where you could make a player concentrate his development in certain areas. And while I agree that good average rating should make players develop better, I also think that even with bad attributes, players with potential should still develop significiantly, being perhaps motivated to become a better player, instead of getting owned in every game.

However, also the quantity of regens should possibly be increased compared to the starting DB to still make it a risk to offer a player high wage. There would still be cases of high potential players not always turning out great. So basically, what I’d ask for is for, say, 15 5-star potential players instead of 10, 25 4,5-star potential players instead of 15 and so on.

I think working on these two ideas, alongside the youth academy system, would take care of the youth wage issues as well. It would make many more people stay in gameworlds for the long term because everyone could have a youth team where they might get a few players who are going to be very, very good.

It would also be another thing that could take and keep new users in established gameworlds, as they could start with a youth project; something that is hard with the current circumstances. At the moment, all the guys who might turn out good are snapped up by teams with money, skills and everything else – so with my solution, they could now get a few 2,5-3,5 star youth at least who’ll become quite nice lads. Unlike with the current situation where most guys with average potential will end up hardly developing.

Lack Of Youth Teams

The lack of teams without youth sides is also a major major issue, and it’s at least 50% of the cause for the player quality problem old gameworlds are going to face very soon.

I think one could say in a new gameworld, only around 20% or so of teams have a youth team, and in older gameworlds it’s about 30-40 percent. So it’s quite obvious the gameworld will run out of quality players at some point.

I’ve been guilty of not having a youth team myself at times, too. And why? The reason is simple – I found no point having a side full of those guys with 3-3,5 star potential because they hardly ever seemed to develop. The better potential guys had gigantic wages and I felt better off having that money invested in my senior team.

While I’m sure youth academies will surely encourage some of the teams who didn’t have a youth team before to get one, I’m convinced the vast majority of those that don’t have a youth setup at the moment still won’t have one with youth academies.

Tuning up the regens significiantly would inspire those teams to get them youth teams too, of course: but I also think something as revolutionary as youth income could be introduced. This would inspire teams to have even a youth team full of players who’ll just turn out decent/nice lads; and with it maybe make a bit of money too. Youth income shouldn’t be something large (maybe max 50k), but should be connected with the amount of youth games played as well as performances.

Now wouldn’t it make you get a youth side for about 5k wage if it’d earn you about 10k in return? It definitely would. And while at it, I’m sure people wouldn’t be snapping up some random 1 star kids, but they’d try to get someone who’ll turn out a nice player too. Youth development is supported in real life, and even if bringing real life into FML is bit wrong, why shouldn’t it be supported in the game as well?

I hope these two proposals are actually taken into serious consideration by FML development team, as they’ve been in my head for long time and I think they are very, very reasonable and do-able ideas. One obvious thing is that these ideas should be implemented alongside the youth academy idea, because otherwise the player wages would be even more crazy than they are now – because the big teams could get all the amazing talents in their side and, unlike now, have it almost guaranteed that they’ll turn out to be the next Diabys, Messis and Zapatas.

Written By Tanel Tursk
An active participant on the official forums providing valuable feedback for the developers, he also runs the Fernandez GW Blog at
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  • Tom Hales

    Great work, Tanel 8-)

    I think that's always been one of the major problems in my opinion. There are literally thousands of players who are just overlooked. Quite rightly too given some of their attributes ;)  But the fact that GWs aren't tiered in the same way as in real life will always mean that the average youths are less likely to develop. Hopefully, if a large percentage of teams decide to create a youth team when acadamies come in, this will be less evident.

  • Mark Burton

    One big area that i think needs addressing is the players that never get picked up as youth, and subsequently never develop. regardless of tthe other issues - these players will probably always be there to some extent and if they never develop they create a hole in the DB where the "average" players should be.

    A lot of this stuff has been discussed recnetly in both general and beta forums, and with the release of 1.3 close i'ts important many people voice there concerns on how they'd like this addressed for 1.4.

  • amg from nicholson

    Gr8 article Tanel,

    I believe all teams should get basic youth academies that can be upgraded later for money. The number of regens you get would be determined by the level of the academy; the quality and nationality of players would be determined by your scouting skills

    All the regens should appear in the first day of preseason. They stay at your club for a week long trail contract & you have the 3 options of protect, renew, or sell/release them. That way we solve a lot of problems: no more high wages, insure that all the good players will develop because more teams will have youth squads, there will be no more excess players, as the number of regens will be equivelent to the namber pf clubs.

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