Continuing on from yesterdays announcement, The Future of FML (part 1), today saw the rest of the long awaited announcement on the official forums. Again as this one has a big impact on the future of all those playing the game we have decided to reproduce it in full. Any comments or questions you have today are best placed in the original thread (linked below) where a number of Sports Interactive and Sega staff will be standing by to answer as many concerns as they can.
Millie has released his first reaction to the announcement, Let There Be Light – The Big Announcement First Reactions now that the NDA signed at the FML Council meeting earlier this month has expired, and of course next weeks podcast will continue to address the vast number of questions people may have about the future direction of football manager live. If you would like to submit a question for the podcast you can do so by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or simply add a comment below.
As originally posted by Marc Duffy on the SI Forums – The Future of FML (part 2)
In yesterdays announcement we talked a lot about what gameplay changes we’re making to the game. Today we concentrate on showing you what we plan to do with your gameworld and how we came about making some of the key decisions.
Too many gameworlds
As has been widely reported on the forums the amount of subscribers we have in the game is spread far too thinly across too many worlds. Fundamentally, our strategy for gameworld management wasn’t good enough. We saw that people wanted new gameworlds and, because the statistics for new orders and traffic on the website, backed that up, we didn’t foresee the long term effect.
As FML stands, we’ve been churning subscribers from the 34 worlds and we’re now unable to fill them back up because the perception is that people feel like they are not capable of competing in an existing world. This means that our subscriber base is now spread thinly and it continues to thin daily. This then has the snowball effect of more people deciding to leave because of the emptying gameworlds, which only worsens the situation.
During our analysis we evaluated a number of different options as to what we should do.
• Option 1: Keep everything ‘as is’ and attempt to fill up each world.
• Option 2: Keep active gameworlds and close all others.
• Option 3: Don’t close any worlds but encourage people to move to the active worlds.
• Option 4: Reset everything and start again.
• Option 5: Full merge of gameworlds
We came to the decision that the cleanest option, which was made with the best long-term interests of the game, will be to go for a full reset. This would involve the closure of all worlds and the opening of a set of concentrated new worlds. This will happen in March 2010.
We fully accept and understand that many of you will be unhappy with a reset as you’ve invested a lot of time and effort into your team and your community. We did explore Option 5 in a lot of detail (this was many of team’s preferred option) however there were a number of gameplay hurdles such as if we merged, how we would deal with two copies of the same player and how we would deal with the varied economies in both worlds. On a technical level we also had to consider the timescales and challenges involved in merging two or more databases together. Although not impossible, we decided that it would have taken too long to be able to do this.
The reset will involve you losing your skills and stadium. However, you will keep any reward points that you’ve earnt between 1.4 and the reset as well as any shortlists, tactics, views, filters and match plans that you have saved.
We understand what a major decision this is and of its implications but we feel that it’s the right thing to do in order to provide a stable, long term base for the game. As part of this base, we are also in the process of reviewing the price plans with a view to reducing the monthly cost of playing. A further announcement will be made on this before we reset.
We also hope that many people might be more in favour of a reset if we manage to do a few of important things:
Yesterday we talked about the different flavours of gameworlds that we will be launching after the reset. Once 1.4 arrives, all managers will be given a choice as to which gameworld they’d like to participate in, after the reset,when signing into the game. We’ll advertise in advance of this how many gameworlds there will be and what they will be called but you will be able to control where you go. We will also try to group people logically based on their current gameworld.
As part of this choice we are also looking to introduce an invite-only, elite gameworld. This will be new-gen only and to get an invite you will have to be doing very well in your previous gameworld. You don’t have to take up the invite if you don’t want to, but if you do, you’ll be competing against the very best that Football Manager Live has to offer. Want to see how good a manager you really are? Then this is the place to be.
By being full of the most hardcore, dedicated and active managers, the elite gameworld should remain incredibly active with lots of managers online at any one time and have a buzzing transfer market and community.
Is this something you are interested in being part of? The original elite managers will be chosen depending on how successful your team is at the time of the reset in March, so there is still a lot to play for in the meantime.
A full reset means that all the gameworlds will start balanced but for us recognising the efforts of managers, especially those who are long term subscribers is vitally important. Many of you will have built up a club with a great history and will want to save a record of the many achievements you have made over the last 12 months. Well that’s where our brand new “celebrating success” features will come in.
Whenever you change gameworld (not just over the reset), you will be able to take a record of how well you have done in your previous home in two ways:
1) Portable Manager Biographies
Every manager already has a biography in their gameworld, which in a few paragraphs, gives an outline of their achievements over the seasons. It will be improved and transferable with you to your new gameworld.
2) Manager Medals
In addition, we’re looking to expand on the current achievements system and create a brand new set of manager achievements in the form of medals. Many of you have been in your gameworld since the start, hopefully some of you feel like you’ve done really well, you’ve probably won a few competitions, been near the top of the rankings and maybe once upon a time you were the game world champion. The manager medals will recognise and reward all your efforts. These medals will again be portable between gameworlds and aim to serve as a reminder, to anyone you come across, that you’ve got an FML history behind you.
2 Free Months
In consideration for the above which we accept are major changes to the game, we would like to offer every single paying subscriber 2 months free. Starting immediately, if you are paying monthly for Football Manager Live, you’ll find that your next payment date will have been delayed by 2 months whereas if you’ve paid up front, you’ll find that 2 months playtime will have been added to your account.
We’ll be online and on the forums all day today and we’ll do our best to answer all the questions you have about these announcements. We’ll also be appearing on next week’s Gameworld One podcast where Jordan and Millie will no doubt be grilling us on the plans and trying to put forward the main concerns from the community. Feel free to send any questions you have to email@example.com.
November 2009: Free play
We are giving all existing subscribers 2 months free play.
Version 1.4 Release: Features include
No more prize money for friendly competitions
A brand new injury system
NEW : Returning stars
NEW : Improvements to the achievements system
Version 1.5 Release: Features include
NEW: Celebrate success
Gameworlds are reset and FML is re-launched.
NEW : Regen only gameworlds
Version 2.0 Release: Features include
· 3D match engine
|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.