The coming 1.4 update promises a number of major changes to the way FML is played, changes that will affect the way you play. Whilst some come amid a huge amount of expectation like the Youth Academies, others will appear at first to be less significant. The reputation system could possibly be seen as one of those, but on closer inspection it is the very cornerstone upon which many other changes rely. That makes it very important to understand in it’s own right, the future success of your club depends on that.
Your club’s reputation is the driving factor in determining how much income you can receive, both in terms of setting stadium income levels and also the amount of general daily income your club receives. To get a good understanding of how big a change the new system will be it’s worth taking a quick look at how the current system actually works, and then a clear look at the proposal currently being tested for the new system ~ it’s important to stress that it is still being tested and some modifications may yet occur.
The Current System
The current system uses a number of factors to determine your club’s reputation; matches in all FA competitions, the reputation and ability of players in your squad and your club’s financial status.
Matches in all senior ranked FA competitions over the last 28 days (suspended through the off-season) contribute to a hidden ranking which represents 50% of your club’s reputation.
A combined total of the average reputation of your best 16 players (75%) and the average ability of your best 16 players (25%) represent 40% of your club’s reputation.
Your financial state, generally weighted towards being debt free but also factoring in where you stand in relation to others in terms of wealth, represents 10% of your club’s reputation.
From that we can see the system has little significance in terms of how you perform in a specific competition (your main league), and is heavily weighted towards success being it’s own reward, even the cash you have already acquired goes towards making you more cash.
The New System
The first big change with the new system is that clubs will no longer be rewarded simply for being rich, the financial element as a factor in determining your club’s reputation has been completely removed. In addition to that the reliance on letting the star players do the work for you has also been affected, the new system is about performance on the pitch.
The first big step in understanding this change is recognising that not every FA competition will be relevant to your club reputation; many will simply become ‘organised friendly’s’.
Whilst the whole area of FA formats is in itself part of a large debate at present it’s not possible to explain exactly how this will work, but if we work on the assumption (for now at least) that FA’s will remain as they are then we can relate it to the current structure. With that in mind:
Your domestic FA’s main Senior Leagues will be considered major competitions.
Two of your domestic FA’s main Senior Cups will be considered major competitions.
The UFFA Gold, Silver and Cup Winner’s Cups along with the Game World Cup will be considered major competitions.
Each major competition will be assigned a minimum and maximum attainable reputation, which will enforce a range of reputation points a club can achieve based on it’s performance in that competition. So if you were knocked out in the first round of a cup, or finished bottom of a league then you would be awarded the minimum points. If you went on to win the league or cup then you would receive the maximum, finishing in between will award points based on the range provided by the competition.
Each season it is the best result you have achieved (in terms of reputation points) that is recorded in your club biography, and it is these results combined over the previous three seasons which go toward your club reputation.
Your competition performances over three seasons (60% for the most recent, 30% for the previous season, 10% for the season before that) will represent 70% of your club’s reputation.
A combined total of the average reputation of your best 16 players (75%) and the average ability of your best 16 players (25%) will represent 30% of your club’s reputation.
So the basic core ingredients of reputation haven’t changed all that much, apart from the removal of the financial aspect. But the focus has changed a great deal with not only more importance given to match performance, but by making those performances more specific to a smaller number of competitions. Whilst you may still be able to maintain or increase your performance after a shocking league run, by winning a major cup, you will have to focus more on which competitions are deemed major. All the extra little leagues and cups your FA might run become irrelevant to your overall clubs reputation, including all those run in the Super or Ladder FA’s.
By knowing exactly how your performance in each competition will affect your reputation, you can set your aims from the start of the season and focus on taking your club to the next level.
Competition Reputation Levels
Each major competition will be set with a range of attainable reputation points for that season, so how does this work? It follows a fairly simple set-up based on the amount of divisions in your FA, and some preset guidelines which define the most important competitions to win.
Each league will be awarded a range of reputation points from 1 point (for the bottom of the lowest tier) up to 18 points (top of the highest tier). Within that structure each league tier (or division) will overlap by 1 point. So if the bottom of the premiership is worth 15 points, then winner of the championship (one tier less) would be worth 16 points.
Main cup competition is worth 1 point less than winning the highest league level involved, so if your main cup is an all in FA Cup then the winner could achieve 17 points (one less than winning the Premiership) all the way down to 1 point for those knocked out at the start.
Secondary cup competitions are worth 2 points less than winning the highest league level involved, so if we looked at the Non-Prem Cup then winning would be worth 14 points (two less than winner of the championship league) again going down to 1 point for those knocked out in the first round.
UFFA competitions work slightly different to the domestic FA cups, these are considered the pinnacle competitions in the game world and as such reaching them carries it’s own guarantee of success, whilst going on to win one is likely to be far more valuable than winning your domestic league ~ this is the world stage.
The Gold Cup would start at 1 point below winning the top domestic league, guaranteeing a minimum of 17, and rising to 20 points (something unachievable through domestic competitions. Following on from that the Silver Cup is seen as 2 levels less than the Gold, so carrying 15 to 18 points, Cup Winner’s Cup 1 below that so 14 to 17 and finally the Game World Cup carries no minimum (as it’s open to all) and is considered slightly below the Cup Winner’s Cup so 1 to 16 points.
For the first time this system defines the value of these competitions, as well as making participation in them something valuable in it’s own right. Keep in mind it is only your best performance in any major competition that affects your reputation, as such just qualifying for the Gold Cup represents a big boost for your club and provides a safety net of sorts for that season in terms of club reputation.
Individual player reputations work in a similar way to club reputation, which is it takes time to build a reputation and this is affected by the average ratings a player receives and by the level of competition they play at. The other main factor that affects player reputations is that they are limited by the players current ability score. A player with poor attributes can never be a household name no matter how well he plays, so a player’s ability is used to limit both the maximum and minimum reputation a player can attain. This has had a small adjustment in 1.4 to allow players to achieve slightly higher reputations at the same CA level.
So how does all this talk of reputation points fit into the current 5 star reputation system? Simple answer is, it doesn’t! The current reputation grading of 1-5 stars is also removed and in it’s place a more defined system of 20 levels (along with a decimal place). So the points awarded to each major competition relate directly to reputation (although it will be weighted over 3 seasons), also the player determined aspect (both reputation and ability) will now be viewable in your club’s biography in a simple 1-20 number format.
Many months ago the implementation of stadiums led to a degree of panic across game worlds as many feared for the survival of their clubs under a new income system, as such the decision was taken to allow for a changeover period in each world to allow users not only time to build but also to understand the ramifications of that change.
Be Warned: The new reputation may have a big impact on your club’s financial strength!
But let’s not panic about it, the new system requires 3 seasons of competition data to be collected before it can take effect. The current proposal is to start tracking the competition performances of club’s prior to the actual roll-out of the 1.4 update, in order to reduce the waiting period before the new system can take affect. But that tracking is not in place yet, and as such there is likely to be a crossover period where you will function under your current reputation (and income) but be able to see what your reputation will be when the new system takes effect. Any new worlds started after 1.4 will utilise this system from the start though, with the lack of prior season data being used to slow the initial growth of club reputation much as the current system takes time to build.
As mentioned at the start the new reputation system will become a cornerstone of FML, not only in terms of how you run your club but also in it’s effect on other developments. Under the current system even the worst run clubs can maintain an average reputation (2.5-3 star) level if they have been in existence for a while, but the new system allows far more flexibility for clubs to slip back to lower levels. That will affect not only the income of some clubs but also the way in which their managers play the game.
Coming changes to Injuries, Prize Money and even FA structure will also be built on the focus of this change, some competitions are now more important than others. By linking many other developments to the new reputation structure it will reassert the importance of this change throughout many facets of the game.
Ongoing Beta Discussion
As mentioned above, there are some ongoing discussions in beta that may or not have a major impact on some of the above. But the basic principles outlined are fairly settled. Some of the ongoing discussion is as radical to suggest a complete overhaul of the FA system, effectively removing separate FA’s and replacing them with “Tier Levels”. Changing the reputation levels from 1-100, having FA’s that are optional (ie you could go through a more global competition structure or an FA structure), and many other ideas besides. Whether any of that stuff becomes added to the new system, or even the game, is too hard to judge for now. It is very much a conceptual discussion. Should that change I will certainly update those changes and explain how they fit into this system.
|Written By Mark Burton
A moderator since May 2008 in a number of beta worlds and now GW Fowler, he strives to highlight the community aspects of FML and inform new & experienced users about future game development.