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Ashez

The Difficulty Debate


The Difficultly Debate 

Since 2018 has released a hot talking point has been the difficulty of the latest release, in truth I've still yet to play 2018 but I've found the discussion rather fascinating. My own personal view is I've always been happy with a moderate difficulty as I like to place my own goals and challenges upon a save, I'll admit I've often been dissatisfied by the difficulty of taking a lower league club to the top but at the same time I know a higher difficulty level could kill off a lot of the challenges that I find make the game what it is. I'll freely admit the reasons I play FMM are due to the community and challenges that surround it so my views are somewhat biased. While I'd welcome a more difficult game the standard game by itself isn't enough for me and I need Vibe's challenges to give the game that spark that keeps me playing. Granted upping the difficulty would increase the challenge of said saves which isn't a bad thing but I've always enjoyed being able to set my own difficulty level by picking what challenge to play and how I play it. 

The thing we often forget as a community is we're the hardcore fans yet just as many people here are fans looking for help. For every comment I've seen saying the game is too easy I've also seen fans complaining that they can't get anything to work. Every year the tactics section of Vibe is one of the busiest and most viewed and that's people looking for help, maybe they could create their own tactics but for whatever reason they decide to use the tried and tested. However that's just the fans who managed to or bothered to find Vibe and as much as it kills me to say it FMM is a casual mobile game, yes we take it seriously but I bet a lot of the community don't. Even SI at times see FMM as more of a gateway game into FMT and full FM. In truth I'd say that's the exact reason why FMT was added into the mobile market as all it is is competition to our beloved series that has the depth most of us crave for FMM. 

At it's core FMM is a very complicated game, I've been playing the series since the start and I still find myself with unanswered questions or getting into debates trying to pin point why something works and why something doesn't. Honestly as a casual or new fan coming into the game I'd be so lost it wouldn't be funny, the game offers little help and it even tries to trip you up if you rely on it for assistance (for example scouts). That fact can't be dined and Vibe is living evidence of that as every day we receive help and advice questions which people couldn't answer without us or without doing plenty of frustrating tests. Seriously ask yourself why did you come to Vibe? I guarantee a large amount of you are here due to looking for help, tactics or transfer updates and that's why we pump out guides and offer the help we do.

If you've been with the series along time it's fair to say FMM hasn't changed much year to year and that could be a reason for our difficulty view. We've had the EME a number of years now and while it's had a few improvements over the releases we all know what works and what doesn't by now. We're going into 2018 with a massive head start as all the ground work has been done before hand. I complained somewhat last year that I thought the EME was easier than the OME if you knew what you were doing and I've had some of my best (and worst) ever seasons on the EME and it's an engine I don't typically use. The added options and control the engine gives us while removing the toss of a coin element does hit the difficulty level in my opinion. 

That brings me on to how do you increase the difficulty of FMM? Now this is a fascinating question! In simple terms the issues are we beat the AI too often and people claim the AI is useless. On a level playing field and if the AI didn't do it's little quirks like playing people out of position would that increase the level of the AI performance? Or is the issue a bigger problem? The thing is on a game like FMM the only way to win is to score goals and if the game started to decline us those I'd fear we'd soon get back into the OME problem of super keepers and the AI scoring from less and more stupid chances. The league table already has some kind of rubber band mechanic from my experience as I've often gone undefeated until January only to have an end of season collapse until the AI have caught up. I'm sure they'd package that as my team got complacent due to the lead but that's rubbish and it's clear to see if your second place rival stays within touching distance with you. 

If we aren't sure if the issue is with the AI and we're concerned about returning to OME levels of frustration what options do we have left? The last hope could be the tactical battles of the game but this in turn brings it's own issues. If the difficulty came purely from getting your tactics right that would mean we'd have to spend time setting up for the opposition, while many want this I'd argue it's against the point of FMM which is meant to be pick up and play gameplay. Ignoring that fact though we then have the issue of do we have enough information to really make these judgement calls for this type of gameplay to work? As it stands we have limited stats, MOTD style gameplay highlights and fan theories so I simply don't think we have enough information to support this type of play, especially for those who enjoy a text based engine. 

This is why I like to control my own difficulty as making the game too hard will put off casual fans and likely frustrate the more hardcore of us. Sure we'll often be frustrated if the game is too easy but I'd just say be careful what you wish for. If you're finding the game too easy I'd suggest you use your own formations, try the challenges on Vibe, don't use regens, don't use PA lists, find your own players, don't use the editors and just find something that works for you. 

The game is still basically in it's beta while we await patches and I'm sure the difficulty will be looked at in the coming updates. I know I'm personally interested in what SI decide to do so I thought I'd try and get a discussion going. There is a fine line between difficulty and cheapness in this type of game and for that reason I'd always lean for it to be more forgiving as that's usually less frustrating, especially for a game that like it or not is released for a casual audience. We also have Vibe and our fantastic careers and challenges scene to push the game for the more hardcore fans. 

As always thank you for viewing and your views and opinions are welcome.

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In the end it's just what we ourselves make of it. I've always enjoyed every version of the game, mind you not saying the game is perfect. There are indeed a couple things that have frustrated me now and again because I want the game to be tweaked according to MY preferences lol but that isn't reality of course. Every year and every new release I take the game as it comes and make sure I play it my own way to make it great, fun and challenging.

Great read, should give people some things to ponder over (y)

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What a read mate fantastic write up and I’m with you the game is as hard or as easy as you want it to be and while we’re still in the early bug filled days there are new options here (especially the tactics) that I hope will get sorted as I see them as a big step forward 

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Interesting read mate. I think the game is set about right, as you say many people want a more pick up and play experience. I don't think it's that much easier to get lower league sides promoted quickly compared to the pc version. Once you get that first promotion and start to build momentum you can gain promotions pretty quickly the same as on mobile. 

I think mobile version lends itself perfectly to the challenges we have here on Vibe many of which come with a high amount of difficulty and enhance the longevity of the game.

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Very nice read that @Ashez I agree with a lot of the points you’ve made especially regens I never ever use them until I’ve no choice.

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8 minutes ago, FuddledFox said:

 

I think mobile version lends itself perfectly to the challenges we have here on Vibe many of which come with a high amount of difficulty and enhance the longevity of the game.

 

Unfortunately I see the opposite with this latest instalment of the game. A challenge should be just that, challenging. I consider myself a complete newbie on the EME but 2 hours of playing had me going along at almost 4 goals a game and my striker had 20 goals in 6 games. Just looking around Vibe sees loads of members scoring 130,150 or even 180 league goals in first or second game seasons. At those kind if rates the challenges on here which are predominantly goal based, will be obliterated in record time. 

Something is very wrong this year :-(

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8 minutes ago, billy2shots said:

Just looking around Vibe sees loads of members scoring 130,150 or even 180 league goals in first or second game seasons

Funny you say that, I was just reading someone had scored 180 goals with Billericay in the National league. That really isn't right although I'm not getting near those number of goals so maybe I'm just jealous.

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I haven't scored 100+ in a season :laugh:

You have to avoid using certain roles/formations otherwise the game becomes too easy.

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1 hour ago, billy2shots said:

 

Unfortunately I see the opposite with this latest instalment of the game. A challenge should be just that, challenging. I consider myself a complete newbie on the EME but 2 hours of playing had me going along at almost 4 goals a game and my striker had 20 goals in 6 games. Just looking around Vibe sees loads of members scoring 130,150 or even 180 league goals in first or second game seasons. At those kind if rates the challenges on here which are predominantly goal based, will be obliterated in record time. 

Something is very wrong this year :-(

The amount of goals is all messed up and they do need tweaking, I'm not arguing that point at all. I do worry they'll hit the goals too hard though haha. 

I'm not 100% sure I link the goals to the difficulty though as the AI are also scoring a fair chunk from what I'm seeing? 

Thanks for the comments lads 

Edited by Ashez

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19 minutes ago, Ashez said:

The amount of goals is all messed up and they do need tweaking, I'm not arguing that point at all. I do worry they'll hit the goals too hard though haha. 

I'm not 100% I link the goals to the difficulty though as the AI are also scoring a fair chunk from what I'm seeing? 

Thanks for the comments lads 

 

You are right Ash, goals flying in for everyone including AI. 

I was going off on a tangent and commenting on the ease of scoring rather than ease of game. 

Edited by billy2shots

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4 minutes ago, billy2shots said:

 

You are right Ash, goals flying in for everyone including AI. 

I was going off on a tangent and commenting on the ease of scoring rather than ease of game. 

That's easy to do lol. Don't get me wrong I'm sure some of the issue come from the amount of goals being scored but it looks like a game issue and not a difficulty issue to me from the outside looking in. 

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The real question is whether the game has the tools to allow adjustments to difficulty without ruining the integrity of the experience. FMM does. I feel like most people who have gained mastery of the game can find something they like in the challenges created here over the years. 

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Is the game easier this year? I do feel so while playing it

Are goals flying in this year? Yes, and to me it's a bad issue. I won't complain when it's me scoring it , but when games that should have scorelines like 4-3 3-2 are having 6-5 7-6 then it's a problem

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Great read @Ashez 

I agree the difficulty is what you make it. I think between what you mentioned above about not using Editors, PA or regens you can make it harder for yourself without following specific challenges. Also other ideas to make it harder is to change things from season to season. Won the league with a blazing 4-2-3-1 formation change it up for a 4-1-3-2 etc or one I like doing is selling off  one or two key players and then start the challenge of trying to replace them etc 

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1 hour ago, veerus said:

The real question is whether the game has the tools to allow adjustments to difficulty without ruining the integrity of the experience. FMM does. I feel like most people who have gained mastery of the game can find something they like in the challenges created here over the years. 

This 100%. The game is so good because the ways to play it are limitless. 

49 minutes ago, Niall C said:

Great read @Ashez 

I agree the difficulty is what you make it. I think between what you mentioned above about not using Editors, PA or regens you can make it harder for yourself without following specific challenges. Also other ideas to make it harder is to change things from season to season. Won the league with a blazing 4-2-3-1 formation change it up for a 4-1-3-2 etc or one I like doing is selling off  one or two key players and then start the challenge of trying to replace them etc 

Spot on mate

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I find it very easy to score goals no matter how poor my forwards and midfielders are, however I give up almost as much goals no matter how good my defenders are although i did have a close to decent goalkeeper so that could explain the goals. I found it very hard on my first season as San Jose in MLS to hold the other team to less than 2 goals. I actually found that I give up the least goals playing in attacking or overload and the most goals given up playing counter or defensive. Also I score more goals away and give up more goals at home.

Edited by Jwill11

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4 hours ago, Ashez said:

If you're finding the game too easy I'd suggest you use your own formations, try the challenges on Vibe, don't use regens, don't use PA lists, find your own players, don't use the editors and just find something that works for you.

Add to that rolling over the money to wages at the end of the season for a much fatter transfer budget in the next. How many people are guilty of doing that?? I bet the fat majority here. 

It turns squad building into child's play. It's a massive advantage we shouldn't have, but instead of waiting for SI to remove this "glitch" we can choose ourselves to not take advantage of this in the game, just like many other features such as the absurd IT training etc. 

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Are people confusing the game being too goal heavy for being the games difficultly? The game is heavy in regards to scoring and conceding so I see that as purely a balancing issue more than a difficulty one. Scoring 5 goals a game might appear easy but that isn't the difficulty as such it's just the game being goal heavy. If the engine stayed the same but the high scorers for both sides were lower would this debate disappear?

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I haven't had a game where the score is extremely high except for my 11 - 0 win against a team in a lower league. I am actually happy about the goals in this game because in last year's version I got bored giving up less than 10 goals in a whole season in Serie A with Perugia. I think people are expecting there to be a lot of games that end with no goals to 3 goals combined.

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The challenge of this game is not AI. You will find many ways to beat AI

The challenges come from yoursel.

For me, I more focus on the tactics part. The difficulty is not to get a tactics to win the match. The difficulty for me is to know how the engine works.

The fun of game is to design a tactics which followed my expectation.

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7 hours ago, rseven said:

The challenge of this game is not AI. You will find many ways to beat AI

The challenges come from yoursel.

For me, I more focus on the tactics part. The difficulty is not to get a tactics to win the match. The difficulty for me is to know how the engine works.

The fun of game is to design a tactics which followed my expectation.

I have an element of that to my play when I'm experimenting. Whenever I create a new formation I'm doing so with a goal in mind I'm trying to achieve. Admittedly that's lead to more frustrations than anything but it's a fun way to play for sure. 

Some of the most fun I've had in years with FMM was when creating a formation with @PriZe last year. I found a flaw in the engine and we used it to create a formation that did what we wanted it to do, it took a lot of testing but the final results were ace and the formation was very different to how i usually set one up. 

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6 minutes ago, Ashez said:

Some of the most fun I've had in years with FMM was when creating a formation with @PriZe last year.

Do you have a link to that Ash? That sounds like something I would enjoy to read.

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12 minutes ago, FuddledFox said:

Do you have a link to that Ash? That sounds like something I would enjoy to read.

Unfortunately it's not something we talked about publicly as I'm rather protective of my formations :P. We also didn't want to bring the major flaw to light as it was a biggie and confirmed by SI as an issue, tbh I'm not even sure if it's still an issue in 2018. 

It did lead to this career thread though which shows what we were trying to achieve. 

Unfortunately due to various reasons the save didn't continue, everything was going fine but then Prize took his yearly I won't be long walk about and by the time he returned I was done with FMM haha. He tried to talk me into continuing it but I just wasn't feeling it and I didn't want to distract him from his 2k attempt. 2017 is the year of regrets for me haha. I've still not played FMM since my CC exit, I warned you all that stuff kills me hahahaha. 

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59 minutes ago, Ashez said:

I have an element of that to my play when I'm experimenting. Whenever I create a new formation I'm doing so with a goal in mind I'm trying to achieve. Admittedly that's lead to more frustrations than anything but it's a fun way to play for sure. 

Some of the most fun I've had in years with FMM was when creating a formation with @PriZe last year. I found a flaw in the engine and we used it to create a formation that did what we wanted it to do, it took a lot of testing but the final results were ace and the formation was very different to how i usually set one up. 

Great formation! Think it still works as well :P so... we've got a career to do @Ashez

and hush hush this one foxy @FuddledFox :P

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i think it's OK!it's a mobile game!There are not many players,What else can we ask for?

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