Firstly, given there is a limit to the number of words your likely to read in these articles, I’m not going to make any comment discussing the decision to reset all Gameworlds! All I’m going to say is that I’m strongly against the decision, in fact, over the weekend I got my first ever warning issued on the Official Forums, for ‘Trolling’. I didn’t even know what this was, and a quick search on Wikipedia revealed that it is basically a message on a forum that tries to invoke an ‘emotional’ response.
These are emotional times in football manager live, and as far as I’m concerned it’s only reasonable to expect emotional posts on forums (and posts that invoke emotions). However, I have learnt my lesson after receiving a slap on the wrist, and I will be a better boy in the future.
Despite all my angry emotional posts, I think there is still a reasonable chance I will chose to keep playing on after the reset.
Assuming you are making the same choice to give the game another go, what can you do until your game world ends?
Option 1 – Have Fun
I’ve seen a lot of posts and idea’s about all sorts of silly and fun stuff. Like making World Cup FA’s (where all members must construct single nationality squads). Reset/Start Over FA’s (where all members must click ‘Start Again’). If you want to have ‘fun’ for the next few months doing something in FML you never normally would, then I suggest you go ahead and join one of these FA’s. However, if you want to improve your FML game over the next few months then keep reading.
So what can we do in the new crazy worlds we face in FML that can possibly help to improve us as managers? I can’t predict the future, and it will be a gameworld by gameworld case anyway, but I can assure you that given the countdown to doomsday that is now ticking, the rules have definitely changed. It already is, quite literally, the end of the world as we know it. I think anything that’s financial related is a complete waste of time as the economies are going to be crazy in the coming months since the world has literally been turned on its head. Gone is prudent financial planning, stadium building and youth development. In comes all sorts of crazy deals and wages as people realise there is no point in having a fat bank account if you’re not alive to spend the money.
So now that we’ve stripped out the possibility of being able to increase any of your abilities at the game in financial related matters, what’s left?
Option 2 – Youth Development
Why develop youth when the gameworld is about to end I hear you ask? Well, obviously not to see them blossom into senior players or sell them on for a huge profit. But given you now have a unique, once in a lifetime opportunity, to own any youth player your heart desires at a cost of next to nothing, it seems a little silly to give that up if you’re youth development skills are not up to scratch.
You will be able to select a team of youth players with little or no competition to get them. You will be able to see firsthand how much of a difference it makes if you actually build a youth team (rather than buy whatever youth players you’re able to, and fit them into whatever team/system you’re able to). I’m sure very few managers have ever built youth teams in the way that they build senior teams; with tireless searching for that much needed pacy winger, or holding midfielder. I doubt a lot of people even play their youth matches.
You could also try building a team not factoring in players potential ability (since you won’t be able to see this post update), and after a few seasons you should be able to learn certain things, like the fact that 3* potential players can develop into solid first team members if developed well enough.
You can try signing older youth players (20 to 23 year olds), and see how easy it is to develop them. Perhaps there’s a 23 year old 5* potential youth player who doesn’t look very good at all. Perhaps if you buy them and spend the next few seasons developing them they will realise their superstar ability.
Whatever you chose, with the youth market crashing in a way that makes the current world economic situation look rather rosy, you should easily be able to learn how to build a ‘proper’ youth squad, with players that complement each other, that play to a set tactic and system, and witness how much this helps their development. You should also be able to pick up high potential youths if you chose to, or ignore potential all together to be able to learn how much of a difference it actually makes.
I would suggest that whatever you try, varies from what you’ve been trying up to now even if it has been working well. If you try something different and it doesn’t work as well as what you’ve been doing, then at least you learnt what not to do.
Option 3 – The 3 season game plan
My first two articles – 5 Top Tips for Success and 5 More Tips for Success need to be modified a little to handle the current situation. From what I can gather we have around 3 seasons left before the reset. So this could be the perfect opportunity to test yourelf building a team to a 3 season plan. Work out what you want to achieve, and set about putting together a team that is capable of achieving it.
Senior players now have much more value. In fact the rules have now changed, a player who is 29 years old is in the prime of their career and are the most desirable players to have (as they will be playing in their prime right up until the very end). Even players in their early 30’s can be viewed very differently to before. 1 or 2 good seasons left in a player is an entirely different proposition when there are only 3 seasons left to be played.
Have a realistic plan and know what the steps involved are to be able to achieve it. Whether you succeed or fail in your plan, make sure you understand why you end where you do, and learn from the process noting where you did well and where you could have improved.
Option 4 – Start Again
Whilst I’ve seen this suggested on the forums, I personally don’t see this being hugely beneficial as a useful learning process. The conditions and rules of the gameworld are going to be so vastly different to what they will be after the reset, that I can’t see anything you manage to learn as a result of starting again is going to be overly useful.
With the exception of building a stadium from scratch but you can do this without starting again, simply ‘demolish’ your current stadium by replacing it with the original stadium we started with – and rebuild it from there. If you do this I suggest you place a realistic stadium building budget on yourself, and make sure you learn and understand that stadium building is all about optimisation, a trade off between shorter term pay back and longer term increased revenues.
However, it is perhaps worth starting again if you’re going to follow Option 5.
Option 5 – Become an Underdog
If you have had a highly competitive team for the past 10 seasons then you’ve probably forgotten what it’s like to manage a team that is never expected to win. Come post reset, if you choose to pursue long term growth as a strategy then you probably need to get a team of average players to win more than they should and with the 1.4 reputation system that is coming in which pretty much ensures in order to progress you need to perform on the pitch.
Sell your top players and bring your team down to the level amongst the relegation candidates in your division (or perhaps you can restart if you want to make it more challenging). Learning how to win as an underdog involves vastly different tactics to winning as a top dog. It could be invaluable knowledge learning how to get results against much stronger teams, as after the reset we’ll all be starting on a level playing field again.
The match engine has also changed a lot since many of us started out, so developing an understanding of which types of players are stronger in the match engine could be invaluable. I think this is actually a very worthwhile thing to do if you currently have a highly competitive team. I am strongly considering doing this for the last season before the reset. I also think that selling your top players won’t be too hard to stomach if the final season in your gameworld isn’t a complete one.
This plan of course, doesn’t have a lot of synergy with trying to qualify for the elite gameworld but the qualification procedure for that is yet to be finalised and it’s likely that your whole management career will be acknowledged and not just these last few seasons.
Tip of the Day
If you’ve been playing in a gameworld for any length of time, if you now take another look at the skills learning, you’ll probably realise that the majority of them aren’t worth learning given the amount of time they take to learn, combined with the fact that the gameworlds are going to end. If you’re like me, you’ve overlooked Physio Skills all this time, and now they are probably the only thing worth learning as they actually might give some benefit to you.
|Written By Nick Kakoschke
Nick is the infamous Little Badger on the SI forums and manager of the Little Badgers in the Clough game world. A very successful manager in his time on FML he now aims to pass his knowledge on to others.