Finally back to a normal and stable internet connection, after a month or so away from FML i have a fair bit of catching up to. The following article was actually written some months ago, but with the recent announcement about the relaunch of FML it’s still worth posting. The current choices between gameworld types will be a fairly important step come relaunch so make yourselves aware of the differences between the two major types. If you haven’t chosen as yet – or wish to change your selection you can do so via the official website.
Back in November 2009 the first part of the announcement dealing with the future of Football Manager Live talked about the different types of gameworlds that would be available. Followed up quickly with a Q&A in the forums on the returning stars gameworlds, but this area hasn’t received a lot of attention since then. With the release of the 1.4 update not far away, and the change of all current live worlds to the Returning Stars format, it’s worth taking a look at these gameworld types and what the significant differences are.
The most obvious point of difference for this world type is the initial player database, with real name players available from day one it’s clear this will be a popular choice for many and a good starting point (familiarity wise) for anyone beginning their management career in Football Manager Live.
Having a known player database will make it easier for people to identify with the players in their squad and also easier to identify the threats in the opposition, as experienced already it will also influence the market place with players having an increased value because of who they are, not just how good they are.
The big problem for older worlds under the original system of FMLive occurred with players aging, where was the attraction for managers to stay in (or join) older gameworlds once their favourite players had retired? This is the main area that the new “Returning Stars” type gameworlds look to address, and that will happen in a couple of ways.
The big change to the player database (and this applies in a similar way to the Newgen Worlds, but we’ll discuss that later) is what happens to players after retirement. Instead of disappearing altogether from a gameworld, a new “clone” version of that player will be created at the players starting age in the current FM database. An important note here is that this new version of the player will be based on the latest FM database and if the gameworld is old enough then that may not be the same as when the gameworld started.
“There will always be some variation as there is a random element involved in creating a player again, filling in any stats that might be missing from the research database etc.”
Ov Collyer – Sports Interactive
So who gets cloned? All real name players available at the start of a gameworld will be re-cloned when they retire (with the exception of any players who may retire in the first season), any newgens that come through later (and it’s important to note that this will still happen in these game worlds) will not be re-cloned when they retire. The next interesting step for these gameworlds is how these players are then factored back into the active gameworld and this is done in two different ways.
Player drafts start several seasons into a gameworlds life, players that retire during the first season are ignored (not cloned), players retiring during the second season are the first ones available for the provisional draft throughout season 3 and this draft happens at the start of season 4.
So who gets drafted? Players are drafted to teams based on Acq Fee (at this stage) and each active team in the gameworld (you must have logged in at least once in the previous season to be eligible), is allotted a player based on the teams reputation. New teams joining a gameworld get the best selections, followed by re-starters that season, and then it moves to team reputation so that the best team in the gameworld effectively gets the worst player.
The provisional draft beginning from season 3 is where you get to make your first decision in the process. Throughout the season you can see whereabouts on the list you are likely to receive a draft pick (this will change as your team progresses or other teams join) as well as the player you are in line to acquire. At anytime throughout this provisional draft you can elect to waive your draft choice for that season, and if you do you will be entitled to a better draft selection the following season.
An important note on this, if you waive your draft pick in one season it will guarantee a better selection the following season based on where you are in line that season. Not an automatically better choice than the one you waived. So if you’re a low rep team in one season and waive a high draft choice, the following season you are a higher rep team it will grant you a better choice than you would have otherwise been entitled too – not necessarily a better choice than the one you waived.
There is a maximum effective limit of 3 consecutive waivers, each increasing your position in the draft. If you continue to waive draft positions for more than 3 consecutive seasons it will not increase the benefit to draft position. So what happens when you accept the draft allocation?
After the draft is finalised you will be given an “option” on a specific player, at this stage that player is committed to joining your club ~ but not yet available for all matches. Players on options can be used in friendly matches and vs CPU teams, but they cannot be used in Major Competition (FA) matches until they sign a full contract.
With an option on a player you have a few choices still, you can hold onto that option and at the end of the current season that player will sign a full contract with your team with no additional charges (i.e. you don’t have to buy these players). You can sell your option, much as you would trade a player normally you can choose to sell the option on the player you received in the draft, and this aspect offers a great opportunity for newer teams to raise some early funds. Finally if you decide the player is not what you’re after, or just doesn’t fit into your team system, you can release the option sending the player to the free agent’s pool.
One very important aspect of this system is that players do not age until after they have signed a full contract with a club. Alongside the determining factors for who is cloned this should ensure that any player you receive through the draft system will play under a full contract for your side for at least two years.
As the name suggests, this world type will have no players whose names are based on real life. Each player in these worlds will be a generated player from day one, the other major point of difference is the player draft. Newgen worlds will not have the player draft outlined above, but they will have a semblance of the cloning system that the draft utilises. Why?
A common perception in the current gameworlds is that players generated throughout the gameworlds life are not as good as those available from the start. Whether that’s an accurate view or not is moot, the perception is there and with so many things perceptions tend to become accepted fact.
So, with newgen worlds the players set out in the original database selected for the worlds start will be treated in a similar vein to the real name players from the returning stars worlds, except here they will be given different names as well. So without a draft how does that benefit anyone?
It’s likely after the reset that initial squads will come from a set pool of 50 or so players, this system is still under development but the principle seems likely. But that will only apply to the first season of a gameworld, after that new people joining an older world will have a much greater range of players to choose from. One of the main issues from the old system though was that there was very little of value left in the initial pool for starting teams who joined a gameworld late.
So the big change here comes with the cloning system, on average there are around 2,000 players a season who retire in each gameworld. Even in Returning Stars worlds the draft will only utilise around half of those, which leaves a lot more players who have been cloned. These players are available to new teams only, separated from the general free transfer pool, they are held in reserve for those joining a gameworld later on.
In this way regardless of the world type there should be some decent quality players available for anyone joining a gameworld many seasons in, and for the returning gameworlds some known players for them to pick up. Once signed by a new team these players can be brought into a gameworld and sold on as usual, but it at least gives new players to old worlds an opportunity to sign an initial squad with a similar level of value to the squads those who started on day one had.
The third type of gameworld mentioned was that of an ‘Elite’ type, still no major information on what the qualifying for this will be. It will be one of the above two types of gameworld though (and possibly one of each), the only major difference will be the experience (ability?) of those that get invited. Last information on this suggested it would be based on the life of your team, not just the last few months, which would determine whether you get an invite.
However whether this type of gameworld ever comes to fruition may well depend on the numbers of people interested in joining, from what I’ve seen (heard) within the current worlds it appears the majority of managers would prefer to move with the community they know than join this type of world.
A number of important changes developed here for the restart, by ensuring a decent quality of available players for those joining later on it removes much of the objection to joining older gameworlds. Along with many of the other changes developed for 1.4 and under development for 1.5 Football Manager Live 2.0 looks like a far more successful prospect than where the game was 4 months ago.
|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.