FUT 14 Why scripting and handicapping don’t exist

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FUT 14 Handicap & Scripting - FIFA 14 Ultimate Team

Most FUT-player have experienced the frustration of conceiving an undeserved defeat. No one likes losing, and especially not when it’s caused by external factors. Sometimes, it feels like the AI is doing it’s best to ruin your play, the referee acts like he is watching another game and the controller works as if it is broken. A lot of players have similar experiences, and this have nurtured the widespread perception that something known as ‘scripting’ or ‘handicapping’ exists within FIFA. 

Only yesterday, I lost a game on penalties. Within the last 5 minutes of the game, I was awarded a free kick on the edge of the box instead of a penalty, even though the replay clearly showed that my player was pulled down inside the box. 4 minutes later – in the absolutely dying seconds – the opponent gets a corner, even though I could swear that none of my players touched the ball. Of course, he scored.

Annoying as these kinds of losses may seem, I find it very unlikely that they are the product of scripting or handicapping. I will broaden this view in the following sections…

What is scripting and handicapping all about?

 

For a start, let’s take a look at what the proponents of scripting and handicapping are claiming. There are different stories around related to this subject:

According to these accounts, EA is behind this scheme, and apparently they use scripting and handicapping to increase our incentive to buy packs. This works, because  the game becomes more exciting via the introduction of a certain bias in edgy situations. In addition, some proponents argue that a few cheap wins will make people come back and get addicted to the game, whereas others claim that losing in certain situations will give people an incentive to improve their teams and thus buy extra packs. 

It’s important to state that although the people behind these claims share the common belief that something is wrong with the game, their stories are quite different and also somewhat contradictory. They do however agree about two things:

  • FUT matches are subject to scripted events, and results are to a large extent a product of scripting
  • EA has an incentive to fix matches because it will increase their profit somehow.

Are we really experiencing scripted results?

 

Let’s start with the accounts of people experiencing far too many goals being scored in the dying minutes, strange defeats / wins in decisive matches and unexplainable losing / winning streaks.

If we look at real life football, it’s perfectly normal that teams get into a winning or losing streak. Take Man United and Cardiff  as two examples of teams who have suffered a serious decline in form over the past season. To get a full picture of the depth of this decline, please take a look at the following graph showing the total number of points per previous 10 matches calculated per match for the last two seasons:

Points per 10 matches, two last seasons final

If we translate these data into FUT seasons, it is clear that there is a significant chance of being relegated if you cut your point average by 30 % as has been the case with Man U this season. Cardiff are even worse off. And yet, you haven’t heard anyone from Cardiff or Man U claim that their results this season are the consequence of a conspiracy.

Next, people claim that they are hit by last minute goals far more often than they ought to. In order to evaluate that claim, it has to be considered that the 45th and 90th minute includes stoppage time. It’s quite common to have 4 minutes of added time in the 2nd half, meaning that the 90th minute lasts 5 minutes in total. This alone will lead to a natural increase in the number of goals scored in the 90th minute. Furthermore, football statistics confirm that last minute goals are more likely in real life as well. For example, 23 % or Premier League goals were scored in the last 10 minutes (that is the last 14 % of the game if we include the average stoppage time). Other scholars have documented that the likelihood of scoring increases minute by minute towards the end of the match under certain conditions. This happens due to fatigue, tactical changes or perhaps plain and simple players getting nervous. If you start believing that your opponent is going to catch up with you, his chances of doing so increases significantly.

Given that these phenomena happen to real life footballers for completely natural reasons, it appears reasonable to assume that they could happen to FUT players as well.  After all, we are humans. And this is a key point.

So, to me it appears as if the handicapping or scripting proponents are claiming that EA has spent money creating an experience which most likely would have been part of the gameplay for completely natural reasons. Why would EA want to do that?

Making money out of happy losers

 

Does EA have an economic incentive to fix matches? Perhaps. Could we assume that EA thinks and therefore invests like most other profit driven companies? Probably.

In that case, they will be unlikely to spend money unless there is a high probability that it will be profitable. If the possible profit is low, the likelihood of succeeding is low, the required investment is likely to exceed the expected gain or other ways of investing the money look more profitable, then it simply won’t happen.

In real life, no investments are made without a convincing business plan. A business plan is a formal statement of a set of business goals, the reasons they are believed attainable, and the plan for reaching those goals. 

Just as an experiment of thought, what would EA’s business plan for the whole scripting and handicapping scheme look like?

First, the plan would need to present a convincing argument to support that it is possible to incite people to buy more packs, not less, by scripting or fixing games. That is: If Peter wins his next game, it becomes more likely that he will buy another pack than if he loses. Obviously, Peter then has to be matched with an opponent who doesn’t get the reverse incentive by losing against Peter, as football has the unfortunate trait of producing the exact same amount of winners and losers. 

Now, how do people normally react when they experience unfair losses? Is it most likely that they react with happiness and joy and go on buying more packs – or – that they throw the controller into the wall, shut off their console, promise that they will never play FIFA again and go to bed? Based on the numerous threads about scripting and handicapping around the internet, it appears to be the latter rather than the first. Why would EA run a risk of making people angry? Do they have some kind of magic formula for turning customer anger into money? Probably not.

Moving on to the concept of handicapping, people claim that their teams are being ‘leveled’ when playing against lower ranking teams. The obvious question is whether EA really does have a commercial incentive to level teams. Based on pure common sense, it appears more likely that EA would have an interest in exaggerating the importance of expensive and rare players, as this would create a stronger incentive to buy more packs. Besides, it seems somewhat unclear why EA would need to level up teams with different stats when they simply could ensure that people are matched with opponents with similar ratings. After all, the matchmaking system is already there.

Second, the business plan would have to convince the management that EA possesses the required skills and data to make the entire concept work. We have to assume that this will involve developing an algorithm which can depict whether a win or a loss is required to push a specific person closer towards his next pack purchase in a given situation. At a first glance, this concept may resemble what companies like Google and Facebook do when they match specific ads with specific users based on meta data.

One could argue that if Google is able to match granddad with a cigar ad, then EA is also able to match specific players with specific gaming experiences like winning / losing, conceding / scoring last minute goals, thereby pushing the players towards buying more packs.

However this is far from simple. One has to understand that Google has significantly more knowledge about it’s user than EA will ever have. EA doesn’t have a clue who you are, what your mood is right now or what your shopping personality is like. When looking at the actual data EA may posses about you, it doesn’t appear very likely that EA is able to calculate which match result is most likely to push you towards your next pack purchase with a reasonable degree of precision. Besides, whereas Google runs a small risk by showing you irrelevant ads, it appears as if EA would run a significant risk by matching players with the wrong fixed results. After all, the difference between winning and losing is somewhat sharper than the difference between a cigar and a dental treatment.

Is it likely that EA is unaware of these issues? Probably not.

Third, think about the alternative means available to EA in it’s endeavor to get us to buy more packs with real money. If EA has basic knowledge about macro economics, EA would adjust the balance between supply and demand. In this case, demand is made up of FUT coins and real money, whereas supply is controlled by the card weights, as this will decide the number of players in circulation. I would be surprised if EA didn’t tickle the card weights once in a while. Besides, it is clear that EA has many other options available. I’m pretty sure they made money during that 5-year celebration for example. 

When considering the much cheaper, simpler and more effective options, why would EA throw money into something complicated like scripting or handicapping? It simply makes no sense.

Concluding remarks

 

You may have heard about the principle known as Occam’s razor. It states that among competing hypotheses, the one with the fewest assumptions should be selected. Other, more complicated solutions may ultimately prove correct, but the fewer assumptions, the better.

One hypothesis says that EA is working just like any other company, and that FUT players are subject to the exact same human traits as real footballers.

The other hypothesis says that EA has spent an unknown amount of money developing something, even though nothing indicates that it will work, and despite the fact that EA already has cheaper means of obtaining the same goal.

Feel free to share your thoughts.

crlarsen

FUT addict since FUT 12.
A master of economic science and data analysis professional.
Lives in Copenhagen, Denmark

  • M

    So, the reasons why this article is bullshit. EA let more inexperienced players get results so that they will invest more time and money into FUT. If they get beat 5-0 in their first game they will stop. The 45th and 90th min goal subject. I’ve been playing against the A.I. and have been winning 1-0 after about 10 shots on target. Then injury time lasts 5 minutes. 5 actual minutes. The same time as the half was supposed to last. After the A.I. have kept possession and passed it about impossibly for this time they get one shot on target and score. With no way to stop them. Those graphs are pretty and everything but have no relation to FUT whatsoever. Also, the games are designed to be competitive to create drama, or the illusion of drama, just like any poker computer game is designed to create action with unrealistic flops and bad beats. Giving novices wins that they don’t deserve. It’s a good effort at lying, but please try harder.

    • Baseketball

      I beat the Team of the Week on ultimate dif just yesterday with only 2 total shots and 1 on target. You certainly feel the momentum shifts and have to play accordingly and can be frustrating but I have also managed 5 goals against them. Its cool, its a challenge but losing to someone who plays mostly Madden and has a handicap is not lol!

    • Nick

      I agree with the point about the graphs.
      So because teams CAN have a losing streak in real life I MUST have a losing streak on FUT? …and then he expects you to commend them for making it realistic!

      • Crlarsen

        That’s not what I’m saying. My point is that just as well as losing streaks happen to real life footballers, real life tennis players and real life chess players, it also happens to real life FUT players. Why would EA want to script this into the game, when it will be there for completely natural reasons?

        • harrison_92

          Yeah, sports psychology is a big thing right now, no reason why it couldn’t apply to people using a console.

          • Crlarsen

            And no reason why it wouldn’t happen more often than in real life. Pro footballers are chosen because of their mental strength and they receive mental training during their career. The exact purpose of that is to make them able to withstand the pressure when playing decisive matches, when taking decisive penalty kicks and when defending a corner in the last minute of a decisive match.

            How many of us can brag about similar mental abilities after all?

    • Crlarsen

      Thank you for your response.

      You are saying that EA let more inexperienced players get results. I can only speak for myself here, but I lost my first 50 FUT matches. I surely wasn’t getting any help there. Besides, I believe the easiest way to help people get to a reasonable difficulty level is to match them with someone with similar skill or perhaps just similar team stats. There is absolutely no reason to complicate this by tangling with the gameplay.

      Regarding injury time, I agree that it appears as if the average duration (measured in game minutes) is somewhat higher than in real football. On average, the 90th minute lasts just about 3.5 minutes in real football. In FUT, this would mean less than 20 real seconds added. Given that the opponent’s goalkeeper is allowed to hold the ball for 6 real seconds, it appears as if it makes good sense to add a little extra.

  • Mehdi

    It exist no doubt about it, this is a game not real life football to include other factors in the equation!

  • tawa

    Yes it is scripting, you can konw with the first pase on the game if u are going to have a bad macht.

  • MethoDSuX

    Handicap is real. I own a pdf document from a developer that explains handicapped games. It’s called “Fifa emotions”. A lower rates team will act like they have nothing to lose. While a highly ranked team will play lazy, like they are expected to win. Passes will be slightly off. Traps will bobble. Shots will hit posts . Goalies will react slower. Defenders will not care to mark runs… Ect

    • Crlarsen

      I would advise you to read the document you are referring to.

      The concept of FIFA emotions is definitely real, but the document does not confirm the existence of the phenomena people are describing in relation to handicap / scripting such as last minute goals happening way too often, finals being harder / easier, leveling of team stats etc.

      According to the EA document, FIFA emotions is about enhancing our emotional experience via sound and animations. It also affects gameplay by for example preventing people skipping goal celebration scenes etc.

      The document directly states that FIFA emotions isn’t “a predictable system where the end result is seen as decided by the AI in place of controlled by user actions on the pitch” or “a system that changes gameplay attributes forcing users to play in a certain way.”

      The document can be reviewed here: http://gdcvault.com/play/728/Understanding-Emotions-in-FIFA-07

  • JJ

    Scripting has another bigger issue that was not taken into account in this article: Momentum.

    Momentum is when the players get a noticeable boost in pace, strength, awareness and decision making. When IA controlled players get this boost you can’t hold the ball and your players won’t take it back from the opponents. This is the most frustrating thing. Yes, this also happens in real life football but in the game is an overpowered feature.

    I could care less about 90th minute goals, but when I can’t get the ball because my players are retarded then that makes me rage since its something I can’t control.

    • Mikel

      As well as the shooting and passing becoming more accurate. In normal exhibition matches you can adjust things like shot error, speed of the game etc. I believe in FUT it adjusts automatically.

    • Crlarsen

      Thanks for your comments.

      I understand where you are coming from when you state that some opponents appear a lot faster than others playing with almost the same lineups. Sometimes, teams that look mediocre on paper appear to be fast.

      I do however believe that we have to consider human skill as part of the explanation. If you react quicker, with better precision and are better at predicting the opponent’s next move, you are going to appear faster.

      Additionally, I find that some FUT-players assume that fastness is all about pace, which is only partially true. Pace only covers sprint speed and acceleration, whereas it doesn’t include agility and balance.

      A player like Rosicky only has 74 pace, but with 81 acceleration, 82 agility and 85 balance, he actually feels pretty fast in many situations.

      And on top of that, there is the before mentioned human aspect, which sometimes means a lot more than stats.

      • JJ

        I know there’s a human aspect in terms of reaction time and skill playing the game. Maybe I didn’t explain myself clear enough… My point is with the other 10 players controlled by the IA. They press extremely aggressively and mark all of your players, making it almost impossible for you to keep ball possession.

        I have played UT long enough to know that my point has to be true or at least most of it. I hope they do something about this because I stopped playing UT and do not plan to play it until this “scripting” is toned down. It is so obvious that I can tell it when it’s on my favour. With out me doing anything different than pressing “X” to apply pressure I can pretty much dominate my opponent.

        • Crlarsen

          I fully understand your position, and I agree that the AI is critical in relation to positioning your players when off the ball. But I believe you are underestimating the importance of skill, including skill in relation to the design and usage of custom tactics. To me, it’s obvious that certain tactical setups from the opponent’s side just ruins my style of play.

    • Henners

      I agree – stupid things like when it seems that you can’t properly clear the ball out of your box because it keeps taking stupid deflections which always land it at the feet of the opponent, or when you full on slide tackle a player 2 or 3 times and they still keep the ball and go on to score really annoy me. I know that the “change player” thing is messed up but I sometimes feel like it deliberately changes to a different player to the one I want to do as much as it can to stop me from preventing a goal.

  • minges86

    You lost me when you said “Lets look at real life football” because this is a game. Players should react/control/move the exact same way in particular situations in fifa exactly because its a game, not real life. Handicap/scripting is a method to involve ‘real life drama’ into a match.
    Personally, when I loose I feel like buying packs to pull better players. Not instantly but soon after.
    There is definitely something wrong with the game if for instance, pacey strikers get chased down by slow, lumbering centre backs… and those same pacey weak strikers out muscle the strong slow centre backs… in particular scenarios during the game, you can feel exactly what is going to happen next. Inexplicable bad touches, wrong player switching, frozen defenders… Im sorry but the arguments against this in this article prove nothing. Handicap/scripting is the exact reason I’m not buying anymore FIFA’s

    • Crlarsen

      Thanks for your response.

      I understand your point of view regarding the differences between a computer game and real life football. But I think you have the burden of evidence if you want to argue that the psychological factors affecting real football matches or other athletes for that matter aren’t present in a computer game. I believe they are, and maybe even more so than in real life pro football, given that it does require mental strength far above average to succeed in professional football.

      So, my point is this: If you start fearing that you will have a bad first touch next time, that you won’t score next time you shoot etc., then guess what: You likelihood of failing increases. It has been like that since the dawn of time, including since the earliest computer games.

      Additionally, you argue that players should react/control/move in the exact same way each time they face a specific situation. But is this really true? I believe two things are relevant to mention here:

      The first is that you are holding an analogue controller, which means that even minor differences in stick direction will lead to significant differences in passing etc.

      Secondly, it is certain that random numbers are at work in FIFA. Many attributes work like probabilities as Markh510 explains in guide on this site. Let’s take strength as an example. You have a justle between a CB with 90 strength and an ST with 40 strength. Add these two numbers, and you get 130. Let the computer find a random number between 1 and 130. If that number is between 1 and 90, the defender wins. If it’s above 90, the striker wins. I believe this is how it’s done in FIFA as well. Combining probabilities with random numbers is a common way to simulate real life in computer games.

      Therefore, I disagree that we should expect players to move in the exact same way. But random is not the same as scripting. Scripting is by definition not random.

      • harrison_92

        I think that most people expect their players to do exactly what they want regardless of player’s attributes and the situations that the players are in. For this reason I think that many players overlook the mental attributes of a player which I believe are key to the game.

        However, when players are in a good situation and you are exploiting their best attributes they can still appear useless and do something that is completely different to what you have pressed on the controller.

        I think that they have got the passing all wrong on FIFA 14. Vision in particular makes some players very OP although that’s only because they can pass the ball where you actually want them to. How many times has there been acres of space behind the defence only for your player to play a through straight at the defender? it’s ridiculous.

        I also get frustrated when my players prefer to pass the ball to someone in an offside position when I am obviously aiming for a different target.

        “Given that these phenomena happen to real life footballers for completely natural reasons, it appears reasonable to assume that they could happen to FUT players as well. After all, we are humans. And this is a key point.”

        In this quote you blame the players rather than the game. I agree with your point given that I don’t think people understand the game properly. It is not a football game, and it is not realistic. You don’t have to use any form of tactics or skill. In real life the centre backs would be able to head the ball and people would have to construct real moves rather then use first touch passes diagonally up the pitch.
        In conclusion I think that people just expected a better game that they have more control of, and is obviously, more like real football.

        • Crlarsen

          I fully agree to most of this, and I share your frustrations regarding passing. Obviously, you are supposed to get the exact right angle with the analogue stick. Trouble is that sometimes you have two players standing in the exact same angle. In those cases, it does get a bit annoying when you find yourself passing to the guy in the offside position rather than his onside colleague.

          In general, the AI isn’t very good at positioning your teammates when you are in possession. It happens quite often that you find yourself without passing options. But it’s just a game…

          • harrison_92

            Yes I agree with the positioning and thank you for your reply. I tend to use possession and attacking as the tactical commands but I find this just gives you more options to pass the ball backwards.
            Like most games there will be certain knack to it, which I guess most people will find through practice. Perhaps some people get angry when their style of play doesn’t come off, which is why I have Pato on the bench for all my squads ( sorry everyone!).
            Have you noticed a difference in using players that you have through packs or have the loyalty bonus? I certainly feel that makes a difference.

          • Crlarsen

            I can’t tell.

          • Dimitri Baas

            I have the feeling it matters.
            I have had the feeling players play better in my team till they get their loyalty bonus

          • ronjeremy

            Basically heres a script, if your opponent cannot create his own chances his keeper will punch you in the face and then the ball will be launched on a counter attack for a 1 on 1 rocket handicap shot, i am not a allowed to score this way ever yet my opponent can only score this way or from a corner unless it was in 45 or 90th of coarse

      • Dimitri Baas

        Isn´t this then something like everything you are discussing.

        You say random numbers are at work here.
        Who says fifa gives you something that will make the numbers against you.
        That everything you do you will lose because they are giveng the numbers in favor of your opponent and this there is nothing random about this.

        I have stopped playing FUT because of this B**sh*t.
        I have had times where i had almost had the same team as the opponent For example: I shoot 28 times and he shoots 0 times.
        But i still lose 0-1.
        Same keeper mine does nothing just stand and when the ball is alread in the goal he dives(ball went so slow that even a baby could save it).
        defenders controlled by the AI run in directions where there is nothing sometimes even of the field.
        The keeper that shoots the ball so far that is reaches my goal and my keeper then doesnt hold it but punches it over the goal.

        Thing that are happening in FUT you cant say they are realistic.

        • Crlarsen

          Over the last 12 months, I believe I have played around 1500 games. From a statistical perspective, strange things will happen if the sample is large enough.

          In addition, I believe most people are better at remembering those few games which were exceptional in some way. Sometimes, this leads us to believe that exceptional events happen more often than they actually do.

          • Christopher Anderson

            Let me tell you what I do… I fight fire with fire lol. When someone scores on me in the 90th minute where I have been in the lead the whole game I do the following. After the goal u still have time to do the following: upon first touch I do a give and go pass back to my inform modric. Then I run him at an angle to just inside the midfield circle. By that time either my inform benzema or Neymar are just breaking the defensive line and I do a long L1 pass over the top. Result: I can score this as often or more often than people can score a 95th minute header. If it’s timed right two things can happen. 1- The keeper will run out to punch the ball and run into the defender or striker and the bAll will float into the goal. 2- the striker will get a first touch still onside just past the defensive line and you are 1 on 1 with the keeper. Point being… Scripting or not scripting. I wouldn’t call it scripting… Just people knowing how to use the game improvements to an advantage. Heck yeah I’m gonna cross the ball in on the 90th minute and even sub in cavani, benteke, benzema, etc to improve those chances of scoring.

          • Christopher Anderson

            By the way…. If ur not fighting for position after a cross or corner and using the SHOOTING button to clear the ball with your defender…NO WONDER PEOPLE ARE SCORING ON YOU!

          • Bob

            what do YOU do lol? ppl score against me when I DONT hit SHOOT to clear

          • Dimitri Baas

            Ok I have had matches where everything goes wrong.
            But i also have matches where everything i try works.

            My point was that the Ai always doe the strangest things.
            They will make the most amateuristic mistakes.
            I have it in at least 60% off my games where it happens and then the game becomes annoying.

            I also had proof that the game isn’t right sometimes.
            for example: I had a replay where you see Benteke head a ball trough the chest off my defender.
            Or the strangest thing was a corner he heads the ball.
            The ball goes out and it was a goal(the ball never came close to the goal).

          • Crlarsen

            Neither the number of bugs or the AI’s lack of intelligence proves that the game is “rigged”. But I agree, it’s pretty annoying. There is plenty to become annoyed about when plyaing FIFA online.

            Teaching a computer to play football is quite complicated, and of course it won’t be perfect.

          • Fraser M

            Match events are blatantly rigged. And these things don’t just happen from time to time they happen all the time if you’re good enough at the game. If you’re naturally just good at these types of games it’s fucking torture and makes the game almost unplayable.

            And yeah I’m a guy that used to play these sorts of games and have records of like won 2000+ lost 2…

            And yes they would go teams like Real Madrid but I would still beat them using ANY team.

            But you see, this was at a time when gameplay was genuine though.

            Can the sleazy assholes not just admit to it for fuck sake so we can get to the part where we ask “Can we have a mode without it?”

          • Charles Clarke

            You would say that look at people play good and lose every game and then win lots when you play shit I am Fifa 53 mate not as fast with me hands or mind and I thought being cards and being better players would make my team play better I have two teams one rated 85 and one rated 79 and I win words with my lower team and a Faust better teams I no mean I am going to lose before I kick the ball cos when I but my best team out I lose to teams rated lower than me at the end of the day if I pay more for a higher rated player I expect that play to out run the slower player

          • Charles Clarke

            May be not but we pay high prices for the computer and game and to bye cards so you would think you got a 50/50 chance of winning but you just do nut I am starting to think that if you are not a good player than most of them you got no chance of winning so I am others that can’t play as good as others should not start a ultimate team anb savet are money I am 53 mate disabled and was told to start a ultimate team by my family etc and I have played £300 on being cards and fell let down bye it all I am old school and take things as face value so if I see a player at 96 speed etc I exspet that player to out run John terry as he would in real life it may on be a game to to die hard fans of football you won’t the best team you can get and if you go for all the high rate prem team players you awould think you win more than you lose to lower t teams and ultimate team should be like on line season tyou can’t play a lower rated team we are not mining about loading we expect to lose sometimes but not 8 out of 10 games to all lower rated teams not even that happens to man utd this year yes you can loose 3 on a run but not to 3 lower teams how many times you seen man utd lose to say southhamton séance Cardiff one after a other I am don’t be tend to best player in world but ultimate team makes me look shit cos there somethingfisher out it iI was in div one in 2013 yet I can’t get out of teen

          • Crlarsen

            Regarding your complaints about the difficulty of the game, I simply have to advise you to practice. As mentioned elsewhere, I lost my first 50 FUT-games(!) even though I had the better team in many matches. I’m not a quitter, so I decided that I would go on until I had won twice as many games that I had lost. My approach was to evolve my play, taking on new features one at a time.

            So, although I fully understand your frustration, I can only say that this game is extremely competitive, and you won’t get many cheap wins.

            Regarding pace, I believe your experiences are a result of feature by design / per request from the players.

            It has been a complaint since the earliest computer football games that it was too much about pace. In earlier versions of FIFA, a lot of people were complaining about pace abuse. In FUT 12, I had a silver squad with 10 players with + 90 pace.

            In earlier versions of the game, players like John Terry were worthless which of course isn’t very realistic. In real life, a player like Walcott won’t be able to outrun John Terry in every match, as John Terry will know how to position himself to avoid getting into a pace duel with a faster counterpart.

            I believe that EA put a lot of effort into making the game less about pace. Firstly, most defenders appear to have been upgraded pace-wise to make them more equal to the strikers. Secondly, strength matters more than earlier. Thirdly, the speed loss when running with the ball appears to be bigger than earlier, meaning that even very fast players may be outrun by less pacy defenders, if the defenders are positioned correctly from the beginning. This resembles real football to a large extent. Of course, you can attempt to knock the ball forward with the right stick to increase your pace.

            An additional note: In real football, the actual difference in top speed between attack, midfielders and defenders is less than a percent. In some countries, the top speed of the players are measured in every match, and as it turns out, the top 20 lists contain an equal number of defenders, midfielders and strikers. So perhaps, FIFA is getting closer to the reality.

        • Charles Clarke

          It says if you win you are likely to byemore cards I think that’s were that are wrongs and I think if there was a poll on weather you are likely to bye more cards if you win or lose on Fifa you would relies how a human brain thinks when I or family friends win were are happy not to bye cards but as soon as we lose we bye more cards toget a stronger team why would you bye a new car if your happy with the one you got to show of and if you go on the open market and check before you say it up to you what you pay for a player 95% of all players are set bye people who bye all the players at cheap prices and then set the price on the maker and if you compare prices before you sell you then tend to price yours bye there’s. Am I right so you end up in the end selling that player on open market but don’t get any offers so you lower your prices so you can get coins to bye your next hope that will help you get your next win .I lose 3 times to a silver team with my high rated gold prem team yet I beat two all back cards to tons team with my low rate silver time and for them to say every team goes on a loseing street yes that are right but how many teamed lose 20 games or 10 games in a row all to low rated teams I was in div 5 3 days ago I am now in div 10 and can’t win one game Beck’s I am playing lower games and acan you tell me if I am playing people in my own div meaning 10 as I have been told that I am not and could beplaying top players with low rated teams in div one even tthis I am in div 10 as that pick closes player to were you live

      • VladimusMaximus

        No scripting only implies that there is code or “a script” in the game which intelligently determines based on certain criteria, scenarios and statistics that it’s going to alter the game play dynamics and physics to either handicap you or give you an aid advantage. This may be in numerous ways based on the way you are playing; it may simply handicap your AI players so they make less runs, don’t position themselves as well as usual or fumble on accepting passes; or it may become more aggressive actually moving you out of the way of the ball so that it can go into your net, sliding/warping your defenders or pausing them for a split second to allow runners infront or even completely handicapping any chance you have to score during that match. I said I have had 20 attempts on target before and lost 1-0 because he had 1 attempt and 1 goal from some ridiculous scenario while being pressured!

        • Jizzentuck

          WHAT YOU SAID is the most accurate description for what I experienced until I did the naughty…its very sad but i’m proud that I beat so many lil fawkers with the handicap so aggressively going against me. EA has created many different delicious handicap scenarios and then they switch it up on you and feed you another scripted pattern of game play.

    • Jonathan Fair

      I think I get more annoyed about how specific leagues play different. La Liga teams are so quick to close you down and always in the perfect position to intercept a pass, Serie A teams always bull you over, just knock players flat on their ass and somehow always recover the ball when you tackle them, bundesliga teams always get away with blatant fouls, epl teams are always lucky. But if you mix leagues the same players play differently. Perfect example last night Serie A team, Giovinco trucked John Terry, knocked him on his ass and beat Cahill on a 50/50 ball in the air…..SMH

    • pickle

      spot on i am sick of it.only yesterday i was playing when twice the rapid ricky lambert outpaced my centre back sergio ramos the second fastest defender in the game and ramos had a two yard head start its a joke.

  • Nunes Figueiredo

    Lets face it, EA and FUT is just winning against us, there is nothing we can do to stop it, everything said on this article is true. This game just became any nonsense entertainment.
    This is ridiculous, anyway I have been thinking to stop play this game forever, no more FUT or wherever similar to it. From me they wont ever get any more money, that’s enough. Too many bullshit on the game. fuck it………..

    • FIFA Millionair

      I want so badly for FUT to be awesome but its seriously flawed. Ever gone from div 8 to div 1 and thought, “damn, I’m good!”. Then turn off your console and come back the next day and proceed to fall back to div 8 ? You were no genius when you went to div 1 and no hack to fall back to div 8. I have experienced this effect so many times its ridiculous. I don’t care about explanations of why/how/etc. I have played 1000’s of fut matches and can see it coming like a freight train. Either I’m blessed or screwed and it really pisses you off that you can only ride it out until it changes back in your favor. Play a couple thousand games and get back to us with your thoughts on whether there’s scripting/handicapping. Honestly, are u paid by EA?…. nonsense

      • Crlarsen

        Thanks for your comment.

        You certainly aren’t the first person to tell this story of relegation across several divisions. Of course, this sort of thing would never happen in real life. But seasons is quite different from real life divisions.

        As opposed to real life, the composition and overall skill level of the teams playing in Division 2 changes all the time.

        It appears to be a common perception that the level of difficulty varies during the day and week, meaning that division 2 at 4:00 in the morning may be easier than division 6 12 hours later.

        So, to me it is pretty obvious that players that may be able to progress far on certain times of the week will risk being relegated just as far if playing the same number of matches a few hours later.

        Additionally, the precise details about how the matchmaking works are somewhat unclear. Among the open question are, whether you can be matched with a player from a different division if no players from your own division are around. I guess this could be tested easily by asking the opponent, so maybe someone can answer this.

        From what you are saying here, you have played approximately the same amount of matches as me. And I’m fully aware of a number of flaws in the gameplay, but this doesn’t lead me to the assumtion that I lose for other reasons that the opposition being luckier or perhaps even better than me.

        I’m unfortunately not paid by EA.

      • Nunes Figueiredo

        Same things appended to me thousand times, always back to divisions 8 after been on divisions one, and I have pretty good and solid Team. I believe that I am a pretty good player as well with a very versatility way of play on many different formations but none of this things come in your favor on FUT games anyway. There is something very uncomfortable on this game, I don’t know any shit about scripting/handicapping, all I know by fact is that too much shit is going on on this FUT game. The question is, “How to stop it or change it”?…..

  • ChaelSonnen

    “Do they have some kind of magic formula for turning customer anger into money?” Yes its called Fifa Ultimate Team. Depending on who you are and your perspective it can be seen as “handicapping” or not. You would imagine something like this exists in most video games but is heavily exploited by rabid or “passionate” people in Fifa.
    People make teams to exploit the game rather than play it (for some a bronze bench make the game so sloppy no self respecting adult would want to play it that way), I don’t know if I can sum it up any better than that. I believe this article is trying to relate a lot of the emotions or swings that we call “handicap”/”momentum” to real life events in soccer and how Fifa tries to emulate those conditions.
    I am college educated which does not mean anything to me but I don’t even understand half of the article, the game is actually a form of spam in my most humble opinion lol. I have been playing this game for a long time and when I booted up random pro clubs drop in I noticed something odd. It names the computer AI opponents as names I created 10 years ago when I used to mess around with the old creation center, I’m not even sure what else this game is capable of. I assure you i’m not one for conspiracy but the game can certainly could store data about its customers and does.

    • ChaelSonnen

      Are certain players more likely to receive momentum swings or handicap hook ups, you betcha! The actual fan of the game should just stop playing it so they can drain money from the younger generations parents, that is what a consumer is for. Sounds like a rather common business model.

  • WanderlaiSilva

    I’m sure I am biased but isn’t the American Business model to make something that is broke so its customers will have to replace it by buying another one lol or to make someone addicted to something? You just stick rainbows on the box and pretend to be doing the world a favor but it has nothing to do with anything but greed.

  • the truth

    It’s not “out to get you” but it is there. if you go into a clubs game 2 vs 2 with an ‘any’ on each side and one side holds the ball in the corner…… you will notice that at the very end of each half it becomes almost impossible for the 2 players not holding the ball in the corner to keep the AI away from the ball while earlier in the game it is relatively easy.
    this proves that AI players have an increase in something (perhaps energy levels/determination/aggression) at the end of games.

    on another point inform players in fut clearly make your team play worse….i have replaced informs with regular gold cards of the same players an the improvement is dramatic…..i don’t believe this to be ‘planned EA scripting’ but more likely a bug with the chemistry or the game mechanics where ‘informs’ are involved.

    if you play enough Fifa and have spent she money/time with informs you will know it is there…..i didn’t believe it for the longest time but i can’t deny what happens repeatedly and how easily the problem is solved by replacing informs with regular gold players.

    • SuperTruff

      It’s not “out to get you” but most people playing FUT are lol, and it outweighs all the wonderful things about the game!

    • Markh510

      Could the IF handicap argument not be simply explained by matchmaking?
      For example, your team with IF’s is 86 rated. Their team is 84 rated, surely you should win? What if the matchmaking system takes into account that you have IF players and only matches you against a player with a good record or a player with good form, thus hoping to cancel the advantage of the IF’s and create a more even match.
      I am not saying this is what happens but there are much, much simpler and less expensive ways for EA to achieve these results.

      • Crlarsen

        I have 8 different silver teams, and among them a Liga BBVA team with only two non-informs. I do not feel any difference in the match making between IF-teams and non-IF teams, except for maybe that most IF teams tend to be higher rated due to more 74-rated players.

        • Christopher Anderson

          I have a crazy inform team (mix of Brazil and bbva players worth about 4 million coins today but I probably spent 6 million on it). All informs including 3 toty with 100 chemistry. I have never lost to a silver team and mostly win by 3 or more goals. I have a 50/50 win-loss against other gold or inform teams. Most times I lose are when my opponents capitalize on a “glitch” in the game. For example the give and go lob pass or shooting from a tight angle to the far post. People even master using the defender to pull the player a number of times in succession and letting go just in time to not get the foul but causing the player to lose balance or fall over. This style of playing is similar to abusing the over the top lob pass to make a goal over the keeper in earlier fifa games (now almost impossible). These players will win most games against their opponents by abusing these glitches. When I lose to these players it makes me hate fifa. On the other hand when I lose to a player that beats me with pure skill moves and long shots it makes me want to get better and I enjoy the game even if I lose 5-0.

    • Crlarsen

      I believe that I have reviewed and tested some 60 different informs in total this year. Some of them are better than others, but I have never experienced anything which resembles what you explain here. In general, the informs I have tried, work according to their stats.

  • TadPole

    I got only one claim to support the idea of their not being a “handicap.” A intelligent player should be able to navigate around it and with a brand new controller i’ve seen improvements, specifically in my ability to use the r stick to switch with great accuracy but eventually my controller broke in. ;(

    • harrison_92

      Yes I have also felt this was an issue, PS3 controllers are crap :(
      What platform are you on?

    • SoCorrect

      The correct use of tactics were supposed to be the savior against the handicap because the intelligent player used to be able to fight off the handicap by using them but now the person with the handicap is bronze benching with exploiter tactics, case closed, EA will not invest to fix it.

  • staybla

    I got one real question for the writer or the article, when you say “card weights” you are referring to the amount or rather number of a particular card in the game? To someone who does not browse all kinds of dogma about this game, personally I like your website. I see “card weight” as meaning something else, literally the card has a number of stats and bronzes have less and for certain players less stats mean more handicap for them and less manually playing the game. This is why certain players claim their IF’s feel clunky and it has something to do with too many stats not being aloud to enter into the field of play and compete in balance with the handicapping system. Personally I don’t let my teams reach a super high number like 85 without meticulous balancing so this year if I slip in a IF they always seem to be useful but last year some not all felt clunky.

    • Crlarsen

      Card weight is the probability of finding a specific card in a pack. I don’t know why this term is used, but I didn’t invent it though.

  • BigWillyStyle

    Its almost as though EA does not want the beneficiaries of the “handicap” to know whats going on yet they totally know at this point whats going on but if they just continue to hide it they won’t have to fix the game for Fifa15…shocking. Big data or data mining whatever it is can suck it. Stop shoving these ill patterns in our face we do not need a microscope to acknowledge or see them repeating year after year. Yea sure if people did not know how to exploits these faults then its cool but now people literally play to enforce the flaws.

  • Markh510

    Really glad there is another person that doesn’t think EA would bother to spend the time and effort developing an incredibly complex system of ‘cheating’ players.
    I agreed with pretty much all of it :D lol

    • Gaeymar

      I don’t think he is 100% agreeing with you but has said why using the word “scripting” to describe the phenomenon such as momentum shifts is dangerous as all video games are scripted but this one is very flawed as it exploited far too often. Back to the article…

      EA does not have to look for a correlation between losing or winning as it relates to buying packs. Why do people collect baseball cards or anything in the first place? A hobby or addiction? Ultimate Team reinvented trading cards.

      They collect information so they can give you a handicap rating and try to balance out the chances for a less experienced opponent to win. How does this benefit EA’s already filthy pockets pertaining to packs is almost irrelevant, being the winner, looser, experienced, inexperienced does not matter, do not double think it. People like opening packs of trading cards especially with the functionality of using them in a video game. Before the the matchmaking system was overrun with “spammers” both players would have likely had the impulse to grab a pack.

      I think they have fixed matchmaking so the spammers play vs each other now but everyone once in a while they cant find anyone equal but a rabid bronze bencher and I guarantee If I drop down a bronze player on my starting 11 they go from rabid to quit. It’s not just packs but the addictive quality of the game that challenges the experienced player yet favors the inexperienced that keeps people coming back.

  • War Eagle

    Your entire argument falls apart when you start comparing a video game – a SIMULATION of football – with “real life football”.

    You can’t compare “real life football” with this game because this game is an artificial construct. Otherwise you wouldn’t get laser-accurate offside calls. And you wouldn’t get a ratio of 100 to 1 offside calls against the player versus the CPU. And you wouldn’t get a ratio of 25 to 1 fouls called against the player versus the CPU. (The ratio of fouls called against the player versus the CPU is actually probably higher than that, but I wanted to err on the low side.)

    Similarly, your argument about 45 & 90th minute goals being about the “extra time” fails. The first reason is that the “stoppage time” has no real relation to “actual time” in the game. In “real life football” two minutes of stoppage time might be anywhere from 1:45 to 3 minutes of actual time. In this video game how much actual time is given is totally random (and seems to be dependent on whether the player needs to score a goal to tie or win or whether it is the CPU that needs to score – which is ACTUALLY an argument in the reality of “scripting”). I’ve seen one minute of stoppage time (when the CPU needs to score) turn into 5 minutes of actual game play. And I’ve seen 5 minutes of stoppage time turn into one possession (when the player needed the goal) before the whistle blows.

    The second reason is that you can look at any actual “segment” of time in the game (let’s call it 5 minutes to account for “stoppage time”), and you’ll see a spike in the number of goals in that block from 45/90 minutes to the whistle. FIFA (the game) used to have a section where you could see statistics about every game you had ever played – and one of the things you could see was how many goals you scored in the first 15 minutes, the second, the third, & stoppage time. Do you ever wonder why they don’t give you that screen anymore? Is it because it would give every player evidence of exactly what EA is, as of now, plausibly denying?

    I’ve always hated the term “scripting” because it denotes that EA is deciding that things will progress in exactly a certain way – in some “scripted” set of events. What EA is really doing is changing the parameters of the game at certain points (the 45th & 90th minutes being the prime examples) in order to facilitate an artificial sense of drama and excitement. The entire game is programmed. That’s why it’s called a “simulation”.

    The AI – artificial intelligence – again proves my point, just by reading it’s name. “Artificial” is exactly what the entire game is. It’s just a series of variables, and loops, and case statements – completely arbitrary & completely artificial. There is no real “intelligence” to the computer controlled players, any more than there is real emotion associated with them. Which means, in effect, that the entire game is “scripted”.

    The problem doesn’t lie in the fact that this artificial construct is “scripted”, the problem lies in the fact that it is both poorly & clumsily executed, which ruins the “fun”. A game like Grand Theft Auto or Bioshock Infinite is just as scripted as FIFA 14 – the difference is when you get done playing either of the former you feel a sense of joy and fun, when you get done playing FIFA you are totally dispirited and frustrated.

    If EA could fix that problem (the sense that most have that the game just isn’t fun & the sense of frustration most players feel at the end of a match) then the “does scripting exist” argument wouldn’t even matter anymore.

    • Crlarsen

      Thanks for a very long and thorough reply.

      Let me start with your considerations regarding the comparison between FUT to real life football. You argue that I can’t compare real football with a computer game. Although I fully agree that there are many differences, this doesn’t automatically imply that there are no similarities.

      And while I fully recognize that there are differences, I will maintain that there are also similarities. One of these similarities is that, no matter whether we are talking chess, football or a computer game, the player is a human being who is subject to certain psychological factors like mental fatigue, stress, nervousness, lack of concentration, which will impact the result. My argument is that the experiences people have been describing are very similar to what you would expect, if you were under the assumption that this game was completely under human control.

      I cannot rule out that some people see last minute goals far more often than in real life football, but this could simply be a consequence of differences in mental strength. After all, top professional footballers are the product of a long chain of selection events, which ultimately will lead to that only the strongest players are left at the top level.

      Regarding the duration of stoppage time, I fully agree that it appears to be somewhat randomly chosen. But there is a fundamental difference between randomly chosen and scripted.

  • Sam Hill

    I don’t believe scripting is real, but I KNOW that chances are sometimes weighted against, and sometimes for you by the code, and the game becomes like playing a dice game, where the stakes are equal, but you have to throw a 6, and your opponent only a 2. So, winning is not impossible, but also not very likely.

    I remember this was first introduced in one of the PES games, about 10 or so years ago, and I remember the developer explicitly admitting this was the case, because the top players were beating the game every time. Fifa was nowhere at the time, but has done the same thing since it got good (in about 2010?)

    I remember it being a very noticeable difference when they changed it, because I always liked to play with weaker teams, and this new HANDICAP made this impossible.

    Personally, I find the handicap BORING, and not particularly emotional, and just sit there and wait for the computer to stop playing silly buggers, I think the longest I’ve had to wait is about 10 matches, which can be dispiritng. I also find it a bit embarassing online when the computer loads the dice in my favour, and my poor opponent is struggling away, only to hit the post 12 times!

    I’d rather not have handicapping, but I do recognise it has benefits for top players and inexperienced players

    • Crlarsen

      Thanks for your time to participate in this debate.

      The is no doubt, random numbers has an effect on the outcome of FIFA games, as it affects each situation / event in the game.

      As described elsewhere, many computer games simulate reality via statistic methods. In a one-on-one situation with a defender chasing a winger down the flank, the probability of each player winning the duel could be decided by their individual strength stats. If one player has 30 strength, and the opponent has 90, then the latter will win in 3 out of 4 cases. Of course, this may be implemented differently in FIFA, but I know that this approach is common in other games.

    • VladimusMaximus

      So essentially what you said is you don’t believe scripting exists, but that you know that it exists..

  • hewbler66

    I’m sorry but there is just no question that *sometimes* the game will decide the result and not the players. Generally this is caused by a ‘weaker’ team facing a ‘stronger’ team but not always…. I have experimented with pretty every possible squad combo you can get-there is no doubt that the addition of IF’s or superstars of any kind instantly drops the performance of your other players…..this also works both ways….I leap for joy if my oppo has an IF player, Aguero, Ibra etc because I win 99/100 of these games with my standard golds any day. Yes the stars may score a great goal, but their goalie and defense turn to putty. If you play enough, experiment enough and spot the patterns all is clear…….scripting of a sort DOES exist and you’re only fooling yourself to deny it. The trick is, not caring and just enjoying the good games and ignoring the bad.

    • Crlarsen

      Thanks for your sharing your views.

      I agree that games will be decided by computer intervention on some occasions. The big question is whether this is happening due to deliberate action from EA’s side or simply random factors at play.

      As already mentioned, I find it hard to believe that EA is leveling the attributes of expensive players, as this will reduce our incentive to buy packs in our search for these players. But of course, no one can rule out that there could be yet another bug in the game, causing informs and other start players to under perform consistently.

      Personally, I have never felt that the use of informs or other great players reduce the performance of the rest of the team.

      • hewbler66

        I can tell from hands on experience they 100% affect the performance. I’m a pretty good player, not great with skills but a demon passer and solid defender. Add an IF or superstar and suddenly all my shots hit bars, defenders let balls go through, keepers make big howlers. I understand why you’d find it hard to believe, so do I. In fact it beggars belief but my own gaming experience is that the better the squad, the worse the performance 80% of the time.
        I can’t imagine that with the level of work that goes into the game that these will be random factors-there are obvious times when your team plays like dufus’s e.g straight after promotion. I can see why they would want to inject an element of realism but as far as I can tell, we gamers just want a fair fight, and realistic gameplay, NOT a realistic football experience (if they want to provide me £20,000 a week I’ll happily play the footballers experience game!)

        • Crlarsen

          Can you then please explain why adding superstarts doesn’t affect my gameplay negatively in any way?

          • hewbler66

            I really wish I could-it’s not just me, but it’s not everyone…go figure!?

          • VladimusMaximus

            Maybe the people “you” think are superstars aren’t as highly rated, we’re speaking players like Iniesta, 85+ Ratings.

            Take a screencap of your team and post it here. I made a Liga BBVA team with TOTY players< IF's 87+ ratings. Guess what, online it was like they were all 5 year olds; simply could not win a SINGLE, SINGLE game with them. When I switched to a much lower rated 79 gold team I started winning ALL the time. Explain that? Couldn't win with them even if I went back to using them had Neymar and Messi!

  • mufc-james

    out of all the games i have played, no matter what score the game is (for example winning 5-1) i always concede a 90th minute goal. And whenever i get the chance to score a 90th minute winner or leveller, I 99.9% of the time miss the chance (for example keeper saves it or hit the post or bar from an open net) weird as fuck??? or i will be attacking in the 90th minute hit the bar with the scores drawing and opposition goes up other end and score. MASSIVE JOKE EA

    • Crlarsen

      I have no reason to believe this is incorrect. All I’m saying is: It isn’t happening to everybody.

      I almost never concede 90th minute goals. I do score quite a few in the 45th and the 90th minute, though. In most cases, it’s a pure case of the opponent losing his concentration towards the end of a match that he may be losing anyway.

      So either it’s happening inside our heads or my copy of the game is different than yours. Given that it’s an online game involving two different copies of the game, the latter explanation seems very unlikely.

      • wangchung

        I got to be honest and I don’t think it is placebo, I almost never concede a goal if its not in the first 4 minutes, 45, or 90th or a instant comeback goal. I can also says that I will only score during those minutes in 3 out of 10 games. There is no way for me to comprehend this other than I am indeed being hindered by some handicap, if there was some stat to look at about what minutes I conceded you would see a pattern to obvious to ignore considering I have a much lower chance to score in those minutes. Still score , still win but the game is spam inside and out.

        • VladimusMaximus

          Same, I pretty much NEVER concede a goal unless it’s from a really good play which has happened but rarely; unless it’s from a quick come-back equalizer, this happens ALL the time! I mean all the time; it’s like I can barely stop it, because my team will completely go to shit so that the opponent can do it.

      • VladimusMaximus

        It’s 100% happening to everybody but not in the same amounts and at the same time. It’s an intelligent algorithm based on your skill, in-game stats, team etc. So if you’re being aided you psychologically will tend to think that you’re just awesome and a good player, if you’re being handicapped you obviously will notice; some people are aided more because they have shittier teams and actually don’t play as well.

      • gettothetruth

        you rarely concede in the 90th minute, the guy above you rarely scores in the 90th minute, cant you see whats happening here? This is why there is so much confusion and people arguing! the guy above you who is not allowed to score in the 90th minute, is getting matched up with guys like you, who are allowed to defend in the 90th minute!

  • Stokecitysb

    Total bullshit ea, always has been, players like mertersaker used to catch bale! Now terry catches up with eto, just had walker score from 30 yards with left foot in 90th minute, get a grip ea.

    • Crlarsen

      Sure, Terry catches Eto’o. You may not like this, but it’s one of the official changes in the gameplay this year to reduce the importance of pace. It has nothing to do with scripting or handicapping, though.

      • VladimusMaximus

        It does when ETO will make a pause on purpose as he’s running in order to let him catch up. That’s what people aren’t seeing; it’s not that they are actually slower or faster it’s that faster players when handicapped will actually STOP running, pause, and do weird things in order to allow them to catch up.

        • smilegal

          YOU ARE CORRECT ONCE AGAIN. Its like magnets repelling your players or attracting the ball in some cases for others. It is like even the goal net can attract the ball lol.

          • VladimusMaximus

            Exactly and all physics go out the door. I have replays saved where the ball will actually out of nowhere, move from my defenders feet (while in full contact with them) through to the oppositions feet, like a magnet. The defender does not kick it, fumble it or do anything wrong; the opposition doesn’t even make a contact tackle! Yet, the ball magically moves in between their feet to the opposition; so that the opposing player who’s getting aided can simply walk NEAR you and take the ball. Happens ALL the time.

  • jkhey

    i agree w/ chris 1000%…. ppl are SORE LOSERS and make scripting up – its a convenient excuse for losing.

    • hewbler66

      So not true…I have no problem at all in losing if the oppo is better or if I make mistakes…..it’s when the game is so obviously pre-determined that it becomes an issue. i.e I have 30 shots, hit posts, miss from point blank range-oppo gets 1 chance and the keeper drops it etc. The bottom line is that in order to get the realistic experience EA seem to be after there needs to be much more finesse in the coding….it’s just too heavy handed as is.

    • Nunes Figueiredo

      ye ye ye…………you right, probably that’s you when you lose. I don’t see anything wrong when you lose against someone better then you. Probably you didn’t understand what everyone is talking about here or maybe you don’t play this game online, enough to understand it.

  • Pingback: FIFA 14 News |

  • ed

    and another EA trick is never return losing items and losing coins

  • John Elliott

    Man, just shut the fuck up, if your gone piss on me just tell me it’s piss, don’t tell me it’s raining.

  • ratpack

    Ok what is with the 45/90 min goals from the AI on world class mode? I would say 8/10 times a game will go on for like 4/5 mins if the AI have the ball. That happens so much it must be scripted because not once have I managed to have half that time while looking for a winner. You know they are going to score too by either one of two ways. My players will tackle but all will run through to opposing players or the bobble of the ball while under challenges will all favour the opposition. This can go either way in normal time I grant you that but in the 45/90 minutes it is unbelivable. In addition tackles by my players are awesome near sidelines lol and always go out. Sometimes I have also noticed when I sprint through towards goal and shoot there is a serious delay and 8/10 times when I avoid a slide tackle by the defending team, my player seems sluggish and unable to move allowing the slidetackler to get back up and tackle me before I can actually get any momentum to go forward. However if I myself slidetackle and miss he stays on the ground for a second while the opposition skips away. These are a few of really annoying aspects of the game for me.

    • VladimusMaximus

      Happens all the damn time or how about even receiving a lob through ball or a normal pass, your player will just stand there allowing a defender to run by him, turn around run back and intercept the pass all in the time before he’s had a chance to accept the fucking ball.

  • SXL FC

    Personally I have spent over 4000 pounds on fifa 13 and 14 combined, and please believe me the moment you have more than one toty player in your team you will be handicapped. Hence, why I have named my squad handicapped FC.
    Although scripting does not occur in every match, if you have a team consisting of say 40-50% totws then you most certainly will feel the handicap, as it is noticeable from comparing myself in the matches where I’m not handicapped and in those where I am. When I’m handicapped it is most noticeable from running where toty dani alves gets outpaced by rafina, a player with 90+ shot accuracy such as tif hazard managed to miss two one on one finesse shots with the keeper, my own keeper makes about 3 saves and concedes 5, whereas the opponents Diego alves saves 15, conceding 1.
    This is the first review I have ever written about fut, because the article above angers me.

    Regards,
    SXL FC

  • SXL FC

    And match making does not explain the inform handicap because trust me I have a better chances of winning against a team with cr7 and messi, neymar, than some worthless team with bent eke and Ibarbo, probably conceding 7 in the processes.

  • SXL FC

    Personally I have spent over 4000 pounds on fifa 13 and 14 combined, and please believe me the moment you have more than one toty player in your team you will be handicapped. Hence, why I have named my squad handicapped FC.
    Although scripting does not occur in every match, if you have a team consisting of say 40-50% totws then you most certainly will feel the handicap, as it is noticeable from comparing myself in the matches where I’m not handicapped and in those where I am. When I’m handicapped it is most noticeable from running where toty dani alves gets outpaced by rafina, a player with 90+ shot accuracy such as tif hazard managed to miss two one on one finesse shots with the keeper, my own keeper makes about 3 saves and concedes 5, whereas the opponents Diego alves saves 15, conceding 1.
    This is the first review I have ever written about fut, because the article above angers me.

    Finally I would just like to add that when I play my friends Ibarbo squad with my team of the year hybrid square consisting of ibra he always beats me, and when I use a simple bpl team I can thrash him. Having been in division one up until march, upon the introduction of my toty ibra.i have now been relegated to division 6, and trust me that is not a coincidence. Amazing ibra maybe, it become much easier to concede when you have toty or totw player in your team. For anyone whose capable of critical thinking this loosing with a good team will upset most players and they will won’t to change their squad to an winning one, EA makes money from this because there is the 5% tax. This may not seem to be a lot but the ibra I have has been traded 17 times, at 5 mil coins this means the tax taken be EA is almost the value of the players, this takes coins out of the system and allows the healthy cycle of their income from players opening packs.
    And match making does not explain the inform handicap because trust me I have a better chances of winning against a team with cr7 and messi, neymar, than some worthless team with bent eke and Ibarbo, probably conceding 7 in the processes.

    SXL FC

    • Crlarsen

      Thank you for your contribution.

      I have teams with 11 TOTW players, and yet I never felt the slightest bit handicapped.

      From my own experience, player stats are a lot less determinant than personal skill. A lot! It requires a significant stat advantage to make up forjust a minor disadvantage in terms of player skill. 90 % of the times, you will lose against a more skilled oponent, no matter whether your team is rated 10 or 20 % higher than his team.

      Besides, you aren’t the first person to complain about star players like Hazard missing chances, being outrun by slower defenders etc. To me, this sounds completely normal. A player with 90+ schot accuracy will and should miss a significant percentage of his attempts. I hope we can agree that +90 finishing doesn’t mean: “Will score on +90 % of his chances”. The outcome of a scoring chance is decided by a combination of striker finishing stats, the goal keepers relevant stats and the situation in question (shooting angle etc.). Of course, there are chances where a player with 99 finishing will miss 99 % of the time.

      When you talk about losing more often in seasons with a stronger team, I have to mention that this may be down to match making. Neither of us know how match making works in detail, but it would appear quite likely that they stille try to match you with an opponent with similar stats when playing seasons. If so, I would expect that the risk of being matched with a very skilled opponent is higher if your own team rating is very high. If you play friendlies, you may have noticed a difference in opponent skill when playing with bronze, silver and gold squads respectively.

      Finally, you argue that EA make money out of the 5 % tax. I agree, that taking money out of the equation will make trading harder, which may create an incentive to buy packs. But I don’t really see a connectioon between the 5 % tax and the scripting / handicapping debate.

      • VladimusMaximus

        It’s not the “sometimes” games where a player might miss an attempt here or there that we’re speaking about. When scripting/handicapping happens it happens for the FULL game generally, or at least 1/2 of the game.

        During these times, you can have 20 attempts on target and score 0, because even goals right in front of the net, OPEN with Suarez will either hit the post every single damn time, or go way out of bounds. That sounds realistic to you? I think not.

        Watch any of these > https://www.youtube.com/user/Cliver101

        p.s: TOTW players aren’t as scripted as TOTY or IF

        • dirk

          literally the day after this article was posted i noticed the 4 45 90th treats dying down but the handicap was still raging strong just in old new ways.

  • burneaburn

    ELO scripting is so real I honestly can no longer play the game…there is not even a shred of joy left for me in the game.

  • ytyrte

    its rather simple, the ways in which the talented player is to get around scripting has been converted and exploited by the players with large handicaps completely destroying the game. lowering your bench is cheating, dont get it twisted, “skillers” are evolved handicappers, the game is ruined.

  • tempospampacefights

    No awful players using a bronze bench is not blatant proof of the “handicap”…o wait no it is. Skiller wtf is that you mean you spam the game?

  • Judas

    I have a 2 million squad with perfect chemistry and a few legends that plays like junk, but occasional plays like their stats represent and then I destroy people. But the majority of the time I play against lesser teams even teams with 50% chemistry and get destroyed. Iniesta looses his passing skills completely and first touch control goes out the window with every action resulting in error. So I had some non rare gold players sitting around and have put some non rare teams together with chemistry far from perfect and am loving every team, hearing the other player cursing down the mic cause they have just conceded a bullshit goal. Best win by far was against a German team with tots players every wear robben and ribery aswell and lost to my shit team 1-0. This artical is junk and must be being paid by ea to say something positive, and we all know they do this as is what came to light recently.

  • JizzentuckieSmilegal

    As a college graduate with ten plus years of playing the Fifa Franchise I decided to use a bronze bench for the first time ever, a full bronze bench. My opponent had no shots, I went 6 for 6 on target with three unenjoyable goals.

    Our possession and tackling were scripted to be about the same given the clear gap in understanding of how to play the game. As I have noted before the game was brought down to a elementary level in which very simple fundamentals decided the goals. It is very obvious the concept of handicap goals had been removed yet there was still scripting as stats reflect ( i find it very hard to believe he could have achieved equal possession or tackling without the notion of scripting) . I am no Einstein but I guarantee you that if I kept up this way of “spamming” the game some data collecting aspect of a computer will recognize the pattern and eventually alter the results. This means I assume I only have a limited number of times I can cheat the system out of handicapping me before it recognizes it and imposes it in another way. I have not scored from a through ball over the top since literally the 2nd day the game came out.

    In Fut 13 I used a silver bench for one day then literally never did it again as I walked easily into Division 1 and never played seasons in Fut 13 again. If I can beat the Team of the Week on Ultimate difficulty every week, sometimes with teams I have only played a couple of games with, I ask you why would I make any of this up?

    If you ask me, of coarse my account is handicapped and it is reflected in the scripting. If I made a new account do I believe I would have a whole new Fifa experience? Honestly, yeah I do but I still have never done so. I should not have to create a new account in order to play Fifa.

    • VladimusMaximus

      You are 100% correct; after a long streak of being handicapped I created a full silver/bronze bench, which worked miracles for the first 10+ games, then after that no matter who I have on my bench in no longer works! My players now again can’t play even with a low rated 97 team (due to bronze bench)

      • airapes

        I have noticed I can play all gold requirement online tournaments because at least my level of skill has some effect on the game play, tiny bit of fun left there but other than that the game is over run with spam for me. I remember the day I got early release, its rather funny. One of my first quick matches I got handicapped by Air Japes bronzes and silvers lol and then after doing great in my attempt at online seasons I was playing against Neymar, Tiago SIlva, David Luiz, Hulk, in almost every game while in Division 9 when I had a normal persons team.

  • Brian Finger

    I believe the Mechanics Engine(which i think is just NHL13s engine put on FIFA) is the problem for most situations we feel are scripting or handicapping. Take for example the “yeah thats getting cut off” through ball passes where 60speed CBs have a burst of 90 excel to cut off the pass. Even as you did the pass you could see the “script” was going to take effect. The pass was not to close to the defender and probably the defenders true speed would never have got him to a position to intercepts it, but he always does. I attribute this to what i like to call the “assumption effect”. I feel that because the mechanics engine of this game is such an horrible failure the game as it attempts to smooth any errors as u play will go into assumption mode and assume this a situation where the ball is to be intercepted. This Mechanics engine causes almost every player regarless of skill rating to act like the worst MLS player you can find rather then just a weaker Barclays or Seria A player against a stronger player. The dribbling is bumbly, passing is choppy and far more bendy then need be in many cases, every shot is going to have bend or curl even if in a real life situation a simple straight drilled shot is what would have happen. It is almost like the game feels uncontrolled the more control they try to envole in the game. I think this comes from the instability of the mechanics, player tripping on each other,comp player ping ponging off each other. Its like the game simply cant control itself and it make errors based on what it feels are errors it is already attempting to fix. This becomes very clear is you play fifa 14 on both 360 and xbox1, obviously the same game but some slight tunning differences and visual differences but all the same “assumption effects” still happen(same engine). I felt fifa 12 had the best all around real life feel to the players and game play, the last 2 years they really could have just increased the visual aspect and i think more over all people would be happy, but EA has far to many reinvent the wheel people working for them….kinda sad.

    • Crlarsen

      I fully agree to a lot of this.

      When you look across the various accounts of believed scripting, a recurring theme is that people argue that they were cheated because certain players didn’t behave as they were expected to.

      In this comments section alone, you will find at least 10 accounts where people tell about apparently faster strikers being outrun by apparently slower defenders and vice versa and defenders being able to make apparently impossible interceptions appear to be down the same line.

      A lot of the confusion appears to be caused by people expecting player stats to be a lot more determinant than human skill and pure luck, whereas the fact is that these traits actually do determine games a lot more often than player stats.

      If you look at what actually decides the outcome or a given situation (a goal scoring opportunity, a direct duel etc.), the outcome is determined by differences in player stats, human skill and of course random factors. The question is, then, how much each factor contributes.

      From personal experience, I estimate that 15 out of 20 games are determined by differences in human skill, including psychology. 1/20 is decided by differences in player stats. The final 4/20 are decided by luck, including random numbers at play, controlling issues, latency-related freezes etc.

      Of course, real football would be a lot different as ‘player stats’ would determine the vast majority of games, whereas luck would contribute in a few cases.

      In addition to all this, people who claim that they lose more often with higher rated players may be mislead by the way match making works.

      Without knowing the detailed workings of the match making algorithm, it appears obvious that a higher rated squad may lead to a higher chance of being matched with opponents who is better (more skilled) than you. Obviously, people who put a large effort into playing the game are more likely to become owners of high rated squads.

      My personal experience is that the lower, my own team is rated, the higher the chances of winning a random match. But of course, this has nothing to do with that lower rated players get an advantage, as this would make no sense what so ever from EA’s perspective.

  • Tord Laudal

    i would also say that i fell like the best team loses overall in this game alot , especially according to my experience and when alot of the player i play against say that i got unlucky then there is something wrong…

    I got and 85 rated benatia and damn feels so bad , hes by far worse then bonucci and even ogbonna. The best if i have used is lichsteiner. I wont say if doesnt always feels like it but if i buy an if above 40 k price tag perhaps over 45k it feels likely that my player performs far worse then his nif.

    And when someone manages to score twice in the 45 or the 90 min that is also wrong.Either is me scoring or my opponent. i met a player yesderday both had 4-4-3 (4) formation and bpl , he used slow cb and fullbacks me more faster once. It ended even , n that fine and all but the shot i got compared to him the times alone w keeper i should win. But as it was gg i didnt care, he said himself he was a little lucky however we took a friendlies celtic vs psg and it ended 2-7 after leading 2-1 w celtic everything went downhill dunno why guess it was the team differnce but when we swapped i couldnt get psg to work.

    One of the last game we took i used juve and he city and i won 5-1 w to goals on the 90 min incl a header w giovinco i mean giovinco i dont like to say but if he scores a header under pressure it doesnt quite feel right.

    I felt to many times were i should score but hit post and my cb is all over the place and my opponent score on the counter over and over again. Almost never mistaken if i hit post my opponent scores no matter what i i do.

    Is the game fair no not buy a long shot. In div 2 i fell i play against player at my level at div 3 . 4 and so oni fell cheated on and should win but no matter how many times i shot, i am alone w the keeper or have more corner then my opponents i lose.

    Will i buy fifa 15 most likely not. Patch 1.03 was a gd patch overall for the game and it felt it was were it should be from the start . patch 1.04 basically destroyed my brazillian team w neymar and was unplayable during the first day i got 1-1-9 or something easily should be 5-1-4 but then again w r talking about fifa. So i sold neymar and so on because the patch broke my brazillian team even my fav serie team reacted diffent and felt worse then what is was.

  • VladimusMaximus

    Interesting points, however there are MANY proving that it in fact does exist; simply playing the game will illustrate that it does as well. There is a white paper published by EA’s Fifa head programmer on manipulating game players emotions based on making them lose/win in predetermined scenarios floating around from 97. If that’s not proof I don’t know what is. There are commercials from the Madden franchise also from the 2k’s stating that the game has a smart engine which determines when someone is new or not as good as someone else and AIDS them while handicapping the other person. How you continue to argue against this, is beyond me. Occams razor is a fool’s principle that mis-use all too often this case included. Watch ANY of these videos and

    Here is your proof >> https://www.youtube.com/user/Cliver101

    Here is a copy of said white-paper; if this doesn’t convince you then again it’s a lost cause on you and some other people who are simply “wishing” the game didn’t contain scripting/handicap.

    By manipulating the emotions of players, causing spikes and drops, frustration and inspiration they create a hook; most players even who rage hard at Fifa have a very difficult time in stopping to play it (myself included) because after a bad losing streak a single win feels damn damn good. Even if it’s scripted. This way you don’t ALWAYS win, even if you’re the best fifa player on earth; nor do you lose a lot (if you’re the worst fifa player). It tries to keep everyone at that crucial point of “I have to keep playing another day” and maintain my interest.

    By allowing very bad players, new players and players with poor teams to feel all of the emotions from #1 as well as have an easier time playing the game, they make the game more accessible to the casual gamer; and the casual gamer is where 90% of the money comes from. It’s not a niche product anymore, it’s accessible to anyone. Pick it up, mash a button, WIN feel good!

    FUT is a big one. They script/handicap FUT very very heavily to ensure that AMAZING teams don’t always over and out power poorer teams; obviously if this was the case you could just buy your way into becoming the best player in the game; especially if you know how to play, this would frustrate and ostracize the community they’re ACTUALLY trying to appeal to > the casual gamer. The problem is, that having TOTY/IF’s becomes pointless! and even though they use it as a marketing strategy to sell points/packs in more cases than not it actually makes your team play worse!

    You try to make ANY passes (even holding pass as long as you want) and the receiving player will ALWAYS get intercepted. Before he even has a chance to realize he’s getting passed to, someone yards behind him will have time to turn around and run at him then in front of him to intercept the pass! All the meanwhile he’s standing around and waiting for the ball like an idiot.

    Your players like Suarz and Eto, REFUSE simply REFUSE to make runs! Even when you press L1.

    They also REFUSE to make any freaking shots, 1 on 1 with goal keeper, easy as butter; tap the damn circle and it goes WAYYYY out of bounds.. WHAT?

    Your players will WARP, actually WARP/GLIDE/SLIDE to get out of position, magically to allow your opponent to score! or Warp/slide behind your opponent to allow him to pass your defenders etc

    The Ball will most literally go THROUGH player heads/hands, when the game decides someone should score. Meaning I’m not even sure this game has ANY modelled real physics/hit detection or maybe the scripting engine just takes OVER and that’s it..
    Your players will BARELY be able to make any tackles, especially while using contain “X” meanwhile your opponents only uses contain and team-mate press and they AUTO tackle the ball from you just by being near you!!

    Your defenders fumble and stumble all over themselves and even they cannot take the ball away from weaker players, it always magically goes back to your opponent no matter what you do.

    Your fastest players are always outpaced by defenders who are yards behind, because when receiving the ball let’s say a lob through ball; they will PAUSE and wait for 1-1.5 seconds allowing the players to catch up before they start moving.

    Your goalie cannot save the simplest of shots and ends up falling all over himself like a child.

    HOW DO YOU KNOW WHEN YOU’RE NOT BEING SCRIPTED OR ARE ON THE BENEFITING END? Simple, your players play AMAZINGLY!

    They make runs, they make shots, they’re always in amazing positions!! they make SUUUPER easy tackles; even when pressing “X” contain. Oh and of course they can score pretty much from ANYWHERE, goals where even you are like WTF? Umm I really didn’t deserve that.

    Oh and guess what, EA WANTS you to think the game is a blank canvas open simulation. But it’s NOT. They make millions off of selling packs making you think different players make a difference. They do NOT. You can score just as many headers with any shitty silver as you can with Benteke.

    They want you to believe this lie so badly, they will actually BAN YOU from bringing up this topic on their forum. yes, BAN a paying customer who asks about this topic; because their draconian policy is a simple lie “it doesn’t exist”. Anyone with even HALF a brain knows it doesn’t just exist; it’s pretty much ALL there is.

    • jizzentuck

      draconian delicious sir.

    • Crlarsen

      The paper on emotions doesn’t confirm that results are scripted. On contrary, it says the exact opposite. Perhaps people should read it…

  • Fraser M

    Saying EA and this game doesn’t use rubberband logic only makes you look stupid…

    Psychological factors? You sound like an EA dev marketing their product before hiding away for a year.

    This game doesn’t have that kind of depth.

    Anyway…

    This is what EA’s artificial drama and unpredictability (aka rubberbanding) looks like…

    Now imagine dominating vs. your opponent and his God-like (extremely aided in defense) AI but somehow not scoring but then you concede a goal like this…

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MFJyvc3k6oA

    …because out of the blue your players felt like tanks, your passing was nerfed, your switching had broken down, etc, etc, etc… and the game even resorting to breaking the laws of physics along the way… and all in its bid to aid the other dude to that unpredictable goal… :)

    EA response to this… “what… football IS unpredictable, is it not?

    Does this look psychological?…

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1qtxuQBC34s

    Scripting is real and you have to be better than your opponent at playing tennis in order to make any real progress because of it, or else suffer this avalanche of unjust goals (artificial unpredictability) against you…

    • VladimusMaximus

      Exactly, the scripting engine is so strong that there either

      1. There isn’t actually ANY collision detection and true ball physics in this game

      or

      2. The scripting engine simply takes over and begins to determine regardless of what ball physics are in game that headers, shots will go in and if they need to go through a defenders head, or goalies hands it will do it. Happens ALL the time.

      What else? EA BANS the topic on their forum, as well as never mentions ANY of the issues that are so blatantly there. I mean if these are “bugs” then fix them! but nope, they apparently don’t exist.

      I mean players will literally be moved out of the way, if you hit “x” contain on PS4 they will let strikers simply walk past them, if you try and contain them with jockey, or tackle it’s like they will have a force field around them, you just cannot get in their way by moving your stick there. Then, if you do manage a tackle the ball somehow always magnetically bounces right back to their feet. It’s a complete JOKE.

      How ANYONE, I mean ANYONE can sit there and say “No it doesn’t exist” is almost as ludicrous as EA putting this shit in there in the first place.

      I usually have far greater possession and pass accuracy than my opponents and so the engine sees this and handicaps me giving them and advantage. So really the only people who win against me just SPAM LB+Y through balls, my defenders refuse to cover even though I play a VERY tight defensive game so they get these ridiculous goals or concede to headers which not even my strongest tallest guys can seem to help; as it goes through their heads lol.

      Basically EA rewards steady crappy players, who just abuse the game mechanics and handicaps people who know how to make plays and hold on to the ball.

      • Fraser M

        The game is stupid – compensative scripted/dumbed down to the point where it isn’t worth your time playing.

        There is no football logic in there, just this machine thing to appease the masses so that they will buy the game again next year.

        This franchise = commercialism it its worst.

  • Guest

    How many times have you conceded a very convenient dying sec equalizer of this scriptish nature…

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4eAQBDW-PHM

    Because the game said “We want late drama (comeback) but you’re just too damned comfortable at the back there, so let’s do something extreme…” *Cranks up the scripting*

    Must….have…chance…for… late… equalizer… push………

    Watch out for those corners… corners are deadly at those times… and the game will do everything to manipulate the ball to go out for corners at those times…

  • Fraser M

    Anyway…

    When people say scripting they are referring to rubberbanding.

    This for example…

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cULKosF5iVE

    https://www.youtube.com/user/RyanMoody21/videos

    Totally all over this guy in FIFA despite feeling handicapped, 20 minutes in but haven’t scored yet, random punt up the field, no problemo, but wait… I cannot switch… goal…

    Or I dominate for 20 minutes, he gets his first cross and boom scores…

    You get the picture…

    People have highlighted all of the symptoms of EA’s artificial unpredictability of football before…

    • madukes

      Yes it is at essence rubberbanding, carefully hidden rubberbanding to be modest. Handicapping or scripting, whatever you call it the game still is garbage and will not be fixed. The game is better of with ignorant fan boys because they are more desirable consumers. All I can say is I hope another franchise takes note of all the people who would be willing to switch to another football sim if certain criteria were fulfilled.

      • VladimusMaximus

        Couldn’t agree with you more, even though PES has the “heart system” which in effect is a sort of momentum at least they are advertising it as a feature and perhaps are honest enough to be very clear and transparent on how it works. Trouble with EA is they don’t even want to admit handicapping/scripting/rubberbanding happens! Therefor none of us know how to deal with it. Pretty pathetic.

        Either way I’m hoping PES 2015 does things right or hell even if EA still has scripting logic in game in 2015 at least they can make it less fucking blatant. I mean just make it more intelligent for fuck sakes; and don’t make it so bloody strong all the time. Maybe people should actually “learn to play the fucking game” you don’t need to help EVERYONE.

  • VladimusMaximus
  • Dud Article

    Scripting/handicapping exists in FUT and has done so for many years. Anyone that has created a team rated in the high 80’s will notice that players do not perform as they are supposed to when you have a high team rating. When suffering from handicapping, you’ll notice the best midfielders in the game will have the turning circle of a Sherman tank and can’t string 2 passes together, defenders inexpicably do nothing when you press the clearance button and your strikers won’t be able to get shots on target (the best you can hope for is hitting the post).

    I had a horrible experience with Handicapping in FUT 14 when i upgraded to Ribery. I’d grown tired of Christian Tello/Guardado and had saved up the coins, so I decided to upgrade to Ribery and make a La Liga/Bundesliga/BPL hybrid. I thought i was making a drastic improvement to my team by adding Ribery, but boy was i wrong. After winning 55 from 70 games online, i then went on to lose 20 of my next 25 games with my new hybrid. Messi & Aguero had destroyed most oppositions in my first 70 games but since the addition of Ribery, my strikers had turned into strugglers that could barely get a shot on target, let alone win me any games. Nothing else had changed other than the addition of RIbery (and some of his friends from Bayern ie Boateng & Neuer), my formation was the same, team chemistry was at 100 and all players had 10 chemistry, fitness of all players was also at 99. I would love to say this was my first experience with handicapping but i’ve experienced something similar in FIFA 11, FIFA 12 & FIFA 13.

    To anyone that still doubts that scripting/handicapping exists, go to youtube and watch the videos of full TOTY/TOTS team being beaten by 75 rated gold teams. Then watch the videos of what happens when the players switch teams and the full TOTY team still gets destroyed by a basic gold team. Then ask yourself this question, if scripting/handicapping doesn’t exist then why does EA ban all talk about scripting from it’s forums? The question i’m asking myself at this very moment is whether this article has been paid for by EA… They do have a history of paying people to write favourable reviews about their company….

    • VladimusMaximus

      A+ it simply comes down to the fact that if you haven’t realized or deny scripting exists; you are either extremely ignorant and inattentive to the way you play and how your game handles (mechanics). Or you’re generally on the aided end because the game has determined you’re not very good and need a lot of assistance; maybe your possession usually sucks and most of the goals you score are lucky b.s goals on lobs, or headers.

      • bigwillystyle

        I was not bothered by scripting in 12 too much, i still enjoyed the game very much. In FUT 13 I became aware of but I am a adult so i refused to exploit it and now FUT 14 is utterly a spam based game. I swear to god I have not scored from a lobbed through online since the 2nd day the game came out yet I can wipe out the TOTW on the hardest difficulty without much struggle.

  • MrDaCoD

    The point is though is that its a freakin’ video game and should allow the best player to win, not do some ridiculous nonsense to try ruin someone’s ‘experience’ when they are playing better. Yes there are real life cases of such occurrences however you have to think that when you have a team that goes on a massive winning streak, go off for a day and come back and then the team plays like crap it is utter nonsense in my opinion..

    • Fraser M

      Remove all this scripting bs and these things will happen organically. But there’s an ulterior business motive for EA to artificial it. For example, this way allows them to impose dynamic difficulties on its customers. Rubberbanding the drama and unpredictability.

      Dominate some guy in every conceivable way, I mean like 60+ possession and restricting him to just 1 shot or something, and I guarantee your next match will be almost impossible to win.

      You might still dominate through trying harder, but his AI will be God-like and you will concede some unfair (extremely aided) goals against the run of play.

      This dynamic adjusting system can overestimate a players ability and make events seem almost unwinnable (aiding the other guy too much for me to handle).

      Does it expect me to score 5? I’m lucky if I even score 1 in these matches despite having all this possession.

      • VladimusMaximus

        Precisely, and all this does is create a scenario to promote shitty sweaty lob through ball game play which is currently plauging the game. Instead of relying on possession, good passing and skills 99% of players use the following strategy:

        Run down the wings with pacy players, CROSS > HEADER

        or

        Lob through ball, Lob through ball, Lob through ball, Lob through ball. SHOOT SHOOT SHOOT SHOOT SHOOT.

        Literally out of 500 games I have had 5 games against people who actually knew how to play and used strategy, 3 of them beat me. I’m new to Fifa and sports games only since January but I’ve gotten really good as I’m generally very good at video games and multiplayer. However only 5 out of 500 have stood out in my memory of all the rest being complete B.S Scripted/Handicapped plays and stupid goals either for me or against me.

        • gamesajoke

          Everything is true, have you ever noticed how dangerous and stupid some of the passes people make out of their defence are? It doesn’t matter because they have a aid, i know i am cutting down the passing lane but without a bench lowering cheat my players are simply magnetically moved away from making the interception. They are able to make risky passes all day because the game is aiding them and when I lowered my bench the stupid mistake gets punished instead of me being punished for being better and like you said above opps EA sorry i was not able to net 4 or 5 for the win even though my opponent was not competent.

          • digganas

            The real gap between people and this topic is rather simple

            The player who does not believe in the handicap can do so by saying well I don’t think i receive a handicap and If everyone is not being affected negatively then I do not have to believe in it.

            The player being handicapped says that the fact that not everyone experiences the negative end of the handicap is literal proof that someone is receiving it and being scripted.

            EA wins both ways because the person who does not believe in it has the same reasoning as the player who does believe in it. It is pretty hard to express what I mean but I think it rather clear why it is a conundrum if you will.

  • Eto

    What a load of bullshit, a very long explanation of shite. It’s scripted and controlled100%

    • VladimusMaximus

      EA has both the finances and the means to create a very sophisticated rubber-banding/scripting algorithm. They have been working on this since 1997! When the white-paper on altering emotions of their players in the Fifa franchise was published. Now even though they have the funds and means doesn’t mean they’ve done a good job because the current algorithm is HORRIBLE. It’s both unrealistic, too strong / not subtle enough and also makes constant mistakes in determining how much aiding or handicapping player may actually require based on it’s criteria.

      • Crlarsen

        If you read the whitepaper, you will notice that emotions is a very different concept from scripting. The article directly states that emotions isn’t about tangling with results. You are welcome to quote it if you fell it contains anything supporting your claim.

        • VladimusMaximus

          Taken from the document *Momentum change (team chemistry), caused by an AI Context Manager

          They also say they can directly manipulate the game mechanics to cause emotions, but hadn’t decided at that time whether to pursue it, obviously they now have.

          He lies, he says they deleted the code out of the game. It’s still in there!

          • Fraser M

            aka rubberbanding

          • Fraser M

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CQmaq7mhFEI
            “tried to see how well you played but only to change the rate in which you fatigued”

          • VladimusMaximus

            lol I love the b.s from EA pretending they took out the momentum/rubber-banding. Because it’s still in the fucking code! Anyone can open up the DB file on the PC and see that there is something called intensity with different values dependant on times like 45m 90m etc and -1 +1 0 +2 -2 for teams. It’s still there!

          • Fraser M

            Is this the kind of footie game people want? To be remotely controlled by EA’s game engine.

          • VladimusMaximus

            Honestly each of my games is so manipulated that although I still want to play football and this is the only game right now on PS4.. I don’t actually enjoy it. Honestly, I seriously don’t enjoy winning. I always have a stone cold face on. I used to before scripting started happening more and more but now it’s like ugh.. more b.s each round.

          • Fraser M

            It’s bs, I am sick of the use of rubberbanding these days, it was one of the reason why I quit video gaming online.

          • pacefights

            Yes sir, i have a funny name i have been calling this phenomenon for a while, “Tempo Spam.” That is what I like to call it because the game literally will not let you play up to your opponents tempo that is being rigged for him to score exploiter goals. Its exactly what happens. My opponent does not even know what tempo is lol.

          • Crlarsen

            Thanks for your comments.

            The document, you are referring to, is this:
            http://www.novuscom.net/~s.enrique/files/gdc07.pdf

            In general, it is pretty clear – if you actually read it in it’s full length – that emotions is about enhacing the player’s emotions by tracking certain events in game and enhancing the experience via audio and NIS (Non-interactive sequences, that is goal celebrations and the like).

            The document actually states directly that emotions is not about. Under the section labelled “Designing the emotional system”, it is stated what emotion is and isn’t. Emotions isn’t –

            * A predictable system where the end result is seen as decided by the AI in place of controlled by user actions on the pitch.

            * A system that changes gameplay attributes forcing users to play in a certain way.

            So, the document actually stresses that emotions isn’t about letting the AI decide the end results.

            Please notice that the bullet, you quote, is listed under “Events that we track”. The document actually doesn’t state that they INVOKE these events, the just TRACK them. Among the other events in the same bullet list is “Hit the post or crossbar”. So, the very section, you are quoting, actually contradicts that emotions has anything to do with scripting dramatic events. It’s actually about tracking such events and afterwards enhancing the user experience by altering the crowd sound, the commentary track etc.

          • VladimusMaximus

            the document is does say they weren’t thinking of affecting the way your players play to elicit emotions, however what it does say is that manipulating emotions if VERY important, as well it also makes reference to an existing platform called ‘momentum’ which was and still is in the game. Again it’s in the damn code anyone with any coding experience can open up a .DB file on the pc and find it in one of the tables. However it’s now a good 8 years since that document was published and obviously they have started to actually change gameplay in order to elicit emotion. There has also been more research on the power of emotion through behavioural economics since the last 5 years, it’s become very popular and at the time this was written Ultimate Team did not exist. Now it does, and now there is more incentive for them to modify game play to cause people to spend more money.

          • Crlarsen

            I honestly don’t think you can conclude that EA’s willingnes to ‘enhance’ the emotional experience indicates that they are interested in manipulating your emotions or game results for that matter. There is a huge difference between enhancing an existing emotion and manipulating, that is altering, an emotional state.

            I don’t remember the document mentioning a ‘momentum engine’, and it certainly doesn’t contain any information suggesting that the game deliberately creates momentum in favor of one particular team. On contrary, it clearly states the opposite.

          • VladimusMaximus

            Read the comment at the very top of this page. Theres nothing more I can say that hasn’t already been covered to address your disputes.

        • Fraser M

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LAPk-Q8qRKw
          A change in fatigue?
          I bet that other guy got all emotionally excited after scoring that handed late winner or whatever….

          • doit

            get clips that show your player in the perfect position to intercept a pass but then show him being repelled by a magnet in the ball so he cannot make the interception, happens daily but you wouldnt be able to find a highlight at the end of the game because nobody cares about interceptions.

          • wayneworld

            lots of people are aloud to make the most risky pass they can but if you are being handicapped you know you have to make the right weighted pass at the right second to not lose the ball.

          • waynesworld

            I remember a lot of complaining about high pressure tactics and things but now i see that my opponent didn’t even hit high pressure the AI just took it apon themselves to pressure me off my passing game lol. I used to use these tactics on a intelligent level to beat my opponents but the rubberbanding is out of control and I cant always score 4 goals because my opponents is going to be awarded a high percentage chance to get 3.

          • partytime

            In real life there is a reason the right center back is right footed and the left center back is left footed. It has to do with having simpler passing angles out of defence. You will notice most people could not give two craps about this because they are aloud to spam passes in the first place

          • VladimusMaximus

            Precisely! another sure way to tell you’re being scripted is all your opponent is doing is using auto-tackle (x) to track you as well as team-mate press button.. however their AI is so amped up and AIDED, that when they contain, there player is super aggressive and on you like a fucking hawk! All he has to do is come near you and the ball goes to him. When his team mate presses you, the same. You can be running in one direction and do an L1 stop on a dime (which will always, always fool any player) but when your being handicapped and your opponent aided, his AI will stop on a fucking dime along side you and begin to literally mimic every single movement you do again like a HAWK. you simply cannot get away, skill away or do anything they’re on you like glue. So you have no chances for a clear opening.

          • VladimusMaximus

            Yep, I had made tons of videos with this happening. so many that I said fuck it and gave up, there are also lots on youtube.

        • Fraser M

          Is there even such a thing as fatigue in the game? These are key questions here.

  • VladimusMaximus

    Oh and you want to see some offline scripting in the engine? Play single player FUT seasons, DIV 5 when you go up against Wolfsberg, I guarantee you will NOT win the game ever. EVER. Not only does weird shit always start to happen, but even if you get lucky and score 1-2 goals they will ALWAYS make a come-back no matter what right away. No matter how you play your defence will fail and fall apart and they will score and win.

    • wanka

      offline scripting means jack to me, I am one complaining about being scripted but I dont care if the computer nics a winner in the 90th, they are not sending me hate mail after the game lol. I swear on my grave I can go play the TOTW right now with a team I have never used and beat them on Ultimate difficulty within three tries, I know I am competent, I know the game is over run with spam. I would call it spam over all these others names.

  • VladimusMaximus

    Of course, PES doesn’t currently have a FUT Fifa does. FUT is handicapped and scripted and has momentum/rubber-banding it truly is over the top and they know how strongly the community feels against it; so they pretend it’s not there. Where as PES’s version the heart system actually sounds good the way they describe it at least; and you at least know how and when it will occur.

    • Fraser M

      This gameplay is just too corrupt for them to be tied to any sort of artificial momentum system, that’s what it is. I mean the crossing and shooting isn’t even real at times…

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F6swjngGFDY

      This part of the scripting is easily proven via video…

      People are noticing these blatant carrying/scripting/rubberbanding patterns and so EA’s take is “there has to be absolutely nothing in there at all”

  • VladimusMaximus

    One factor that I have found that kicks handicapping and AIDS n MORE than anything else is your Division average. For reason my game always wants me to have a few relegations before I move up a division, then when I do win it wants it to be always by a clinch ie) 4 wins 2 ties 4 losses etc.. It’s retarded. Right now I lost a game 4-0 could not do ANYTHING even though I had like 19 chances and he had 5 on target. Then the next game, I’m winning 3-0 the guy rage quits! and can tell I barely have to try to score; my opponent is getting capped bad; his defenders are doing shit I can just walk through them. It’s ridiculous. I don’t like winning under these circumstances as much as I dont like losing under them. I mean I could score anything.

    By the way when you’re being aided your guys can run around ALL fucking 90 minutes and they won’t be even remotely spent or tired. A sure way to know youre being handicapped is you barely use spring but after 35-45 mins your guys are all in the orange. Completely spent.

    I played a game where myself and the my opponent who was on the mic could tell I was being handicapped, he was laughing. I was in DIV 4 and when I asked what DIV he was in he said 6!! why was it matching me against a guy 2 divisions lower and handicapping me because of it?

    Then the next game neither of us could score a goal I must have had close to 15 perfect attempts, nothing went in ever. Goal keepers were GODly.. Why? because EA wants us to have a draw. Because almost ALL my fucking divisions follow the same God damn formula, equal wins equal losses half draws. ALWAYS!

  • Fraser M

    Rubberband patterns —>>>
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F6swjngGFDY

    This is how we know the game is scripted and that this shouldn’t even be open for debate. I’ve been playing video games since the 80s.

    How can you NOT see this shockingly blatant scripting/rubberbanding at work? And why are you not hating on the company? They false advertise to the extreme just before each release (are you aware of how much boasting they do about their physics etc?), they ban any sort of criticism that even remotely hints at the idea of scripting through their mods and they completely avoid gamers online…

    Heck their community manager will even IP ban you after banning you.

    They ain’t in it to bring you football, play the game…

    • Fraser M

      Look at that clip… It is no wonder they don’t want to get active in their gaming communities and just hide away… Same with the Madden and NHL devs…

    • VladimusMaximus

      This is why they’ve been rated worst company in America 2nd year in a row this year. It is pretty sad actually, they are single handedly helping ruin the gaming community, there may in fact be a crash eventually. Really sad.

      • Crlarsen

        Either that or their customer (service).

    • Crlarsen

      Thanks for your comment.

      I really don’t see scripting here. I see a 3D engine that doesn’t work. It’s annoying, but I have never seen a 3D engine which didn’t do this once in a while.

      Deciding whether one 3D object passes through another 3D object consisting of thousands of polygons isn’t exactly easy.

      • Fraser M

        No, these are the goals the game will have you concede for that unpredictability + the extreme carrying leading up to them.

        How long have you been playing video games for? Are you telling me you’ve never felt the game drastically remove authenticity and carry you to a goal?

        We need more signings…

        https://www.change.org/petitions/ea-sports-i-am-signing-to-confirm-that-i-will-stop-buying-ea-s-fifa-video-games-in-the-future-until-they-take-away-the-handicap-imposed-on-me-and-my-opponents

        Oh and this sort of stuff happens a lot btw…

        • Crlarsen

          I believe I played my first football game around 1985, and no, I have never exprrienced anything which appeared unusual in FIFA.

          • VladimusMaximus

            In this case either you are completely ignorant or one of a very select few for which handicapping and weird shit for ‘what ever’ reason does not occur.

            Watch the videos I’ve posted several times, this type of “weird” behaviour happens to me more often than not.

          • Crlarsen

            I didn’t say these things doesn’t happen to me. I said that they are completely common in most 3D games, in part due to floating point limitations. If EA wanted to fix the results secretly, letting the ball pass through the keepers foot appears … less elegant, especially when compared to alternative methods like altering the in game parameters.

          • VladimusMaximus

            Actually it’s only common in poorly developed games without a sophisticated hit box model. Regardless we aren’t just speaking about times when the ball goes through an appendage, the most annoying aspects of scripting is when your team isn’t behaving as usual, won’t make passes, won’t shoot, won’t defend or tackle, won’t move, makes pauses instead of runs and gets warped behind players. I’m not going to regurgitate what has already been expressed a million times here and elsewhere.

          • Crlarsen

            FIFA may be poorly developed – I do not disagree to this. What I do not quite understand is that some people tend to rule out this fairly simple reason why things no always go as planned.

  • VladimusMaximus

    it’s the unpredictability of this game that I hate the most; the fact that my players NEVER EVER Play the same fucking way so no matter how good I get; it’s always something else. How are you supposed to consistently win if it’s not predictable behaviour, it’s retarded. Some games my AI makes amazing plays, runs and is always in great positions passes like champs an scores, some times it’s like they’ve never played a game of football in their fucking lives.

    2nd game today I lose 5-1, completely and utterly handicapped beyond imagination. Guess what, he’s in Div 6!! again and I’m in DIV4. if the fucking engine keeps matching me up with people from lower divisions only to handicap me to ensure I lose, I’m lost for words. Who the fuck in EA thought this was a good idea? Why punish me for matching me with someone whos lower?

    • Crlarsen

      A few comments here…

      The division your are in doesn’t tell a lot about how good you are. The difficulty level in the various divions alters significantly during the day. For example, it is far easier to get promoed during daytime than during the evenings. So it is not unlikely that someone in division 6 will be able to beat someone from division 4. Besides, some people simply don’t play seasons very much and may be ranked a lot lower than their skill level would indicate.

      Secondly, I have read a lot of your other comments regarding the usage of TOTY players etc. In general, I fully agree that winning an online friendly is easier when playing with a 60-rated bronze team than when you play with an 85 rated gold team. I believe this could be proven statistically.

      So, why is it like that?

      Firstly, my personal experience is that most matches are decided by differences in human ability, not differences in player stats. I estimate that in ~15 out of 20 games, the difference in human ability is so big that not even the biggest achievable difference in squad stats would be able to make up for it. So, having an expensive squad won’t make any difference in ~15 out of 20 games. The remaining five matches are decided by either luck or differences in squad stats.

      Secondly, matchmaking obviously means that we are matched with opponents who ara significant effort into practicing the game, buying the perfect players for each position etc.

      So, in total it really looks like you would have a higher chance of winning friendlies, if you never bought a single player. It wouldn’t be much fun, though.

      Therefore, I simply do not get very excited about the accounts of a 1.5M Bundesliga squad losing against a cheap Serie A team. The fact is, whether you like it or not, that human skill is a lot more decisive than player stats.

      And besides, there are other options. Playing with expensive silver squads doesn’t get you into the same issues, as you will be matched with low end gold squads etc. As mentioned elsewhere, my +60 inform silvers actually do perform as one should expect.

      • VladimusMaximus

        Agreed Division doesn’t say much about how good you are, but that wasn’t my point. My point was it may affect who gets aided and handicapped but of course thats only conjecture based on 2 experiences. I’m just searching for answers. That was a 5-1 game in which I was entirely handicapped in all the ways that have always been described, could not hit anything even though I had clear opportunities, my defenders would pause/stop and let him through the lines. He got rebounds because my goalie would fall and trip on nothing and the ball would always bounce directly to his players. Literally the ball would always end up at his players feet, whether I tackled, slide tackled it from him or passed to one of my players. That’s the problem not anything else and this problem as has been described on numerous times and shown in countless videos which are solid proof now; is handicapping.

        • Crlarsen

          I believe most real life footballers as well as FUT players have lost or won games which were decided by luck, minor but decisive differences in skill or similar. Especially in tight matches, random factors such as control lacks appear far too decisive. But that doesn’t imply that EA tangled with the result.

          • VladimusMaximus

            Some games (few) of them do come down to luck you are right. Most games I play however are decided based on EA’s engine deciding who to handicap and who to aid. It is most certainly decisive; hence why things happen exponentially more in the 45th and 90th minute. If you come over and play on my PS4 you will see exactly what I speak of first hand. Game in and game out it’s reproducible. Especially if I stack my team with 85+ ratings and a few IF’s, it becomes even worse. The actual mechanics of the game play begin to extremely noticeable changes, there are in fact patterns.

          • Crlarsen

            You initially complained about losing against a division 6 opponent, but afterwards you agree to the point that a division 6 player may be better than you. You also agree that luck may have an impact. So, how come that you end up ruling out both these explanations?

            Besides, I’m not convinced that 45/90-minute goals happen more often than they ought to. This definitely isn’t the case with me, and I’m probably not a special case after all. As I mention in the original article, goals in the dying minutes should happen more often due to natural causes, and of course the psychological factors may impact some people more than others. Especially if you have come to believe that you will be hit by last minute goals, they do become harder to avoid.

  • Fraser M

    No, these are the goals the game will have you concede for that unpredictability + this extreme “carrying” (as described in that white paper) leading up to them.

    How long have you been playing video games for? Are you telling me you’ve never felt the game drastically remove authenticity and carry you to a goal?

    We need more signings…

    https://www.change.org/petitions/ea-sports-i-am-signing-to-confirm-that-i-will-stop-buying-ea-s-fifa-video-games-in-the-future-until-they-take-away-the-handicap-imposed-on-me-and-my-opponents

    Oh and this sort of stuff happens a lot btw…

    You’re trying real hard but some of us know the difference between a bug and a bug as a direct result of some blatantly obvious rubberbanding…

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LAPk-Q8qRKw

    This isn’t a bug, this the game trying real hard to create its own late drama or something (again, as described in that white paper) and a gamer having to suffer as a consequence…

    But who cares… the casual is jumping with joy after grabbing that late winner…

    • Fraser M

      Did you honestly believe they were going to just abandon this “key component for the success of the interactive entertainment media”? You mad bro?

      You wouldn’t just happen to be one of those guys from EA’s forums that used to complain about scripting until you visited EA, would you?

      • VladimusMaximus

        They’re definitely not BUGS. They happen all the damn time, for me after 500+ games almost 90% of the matches are handicapped against me and maybe 10% for me. When they are for me, I can tell even easier that it’s happening because I run out tackle ANY press against me, literally without barely so much as trying and then all I do is tap to shoot and bam it’s in the net, from any fucking position. I end up with a 4-1 or 5-0 score. If these were bugs, then this would literally be the buggiest game I have ever played in my life, like a fucking BETA.

  • VladimusMaximus

    What more proof do you people need.

    1. Play the game 400+ rounds in the game, and use a 85+ rated team while trying to maintain good possession. You will notice this shit, guaranteed.

    2. Intensity/Momentum is in the Database tables! It clearly articulates that teams get a up to a -2/+2 marker depending on who scores how many goals in 15, 35, 45, 60, 90 minutes. This was discussed in the white-paper and they say they took it out; but they didn’t it’s still there! PES is clear and open about having a similar system in place however they at least are transparent with how it works and what to expect! This momentum script is also mentioned in their 97 white paper.

    2. There were game guides that EA commissioned which pointed this stuff out as a FIFA franchise mechanic, until they decided to remove that part and pretend like the writers just made it up. Yeah okay!

    3. Any discussion of these things in game gets you permanently banned on their forum, if not banned the posts will be LOCKED instantly. You don’t even need to mention the word “scripting/handicap” even if you allude to the fact that you have experienced your game play changing and your team not responding, they LOCK it. Why would EA decide to launch a war against issues (potential BUGS) which they’re paying customers are experiencing instead of listening and fixing it like EVERY OTHER developer.

    4. Since Fifa 12, these things have become more and more pronounced with Fifa 14 on Next-Gen especially being the worst culprits. Explain that. They are now also making far more money than ever before from FUT.

    5. The Madden franchise is and has been plagued with the same issues (also EA). Customers who complain get banned/locked.

    6. Madden commercial from early 2000’s talks about a system which compensates in-game for the way a player may be playing poorly, or worse and Aiding them to play better by changing the AI behaviour. This is scripting/handicapping fools!!

    7. Countless and I mean countless videos showing direct evidence of EVERYTHING.

    If you still think this is random chance, or that someone who complains just isn’t very good or that it’s just a BUG. Then I’m sorry you are a fool, because although all of these may be circumstantial evidence in your minds; there is FAR more leaning towards there being handicapping/scripting than NOT.

    • Fraser M

      I believe this is the Madden ad you were referring to…

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3yb8dH7VI9E

      And this is still happening and has gotten much worse over the years…

      Check out the 119 likes to the 0 dislikes on this vid for example…

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sZPqh1uSdE8

      Which version of Madden is this? Madden 25!

      And the complaints are similar to that of FIFA and NHL, for example…

      “This is typical. But there are literally hundreds of plays that are scripted. User control = ZERO.”

      • Fraser M

        Example 2…

        “Great video. It’s this type of shit that makes madden, hands down, the most frustrating experience in all of video games. It’s not about winning or losing, it’s the ridiculous crap that occurs in HOW you are made to lose. Complete disregard for player positioning and movement to allow a predetermined outcome to pan out”

        Watch some videos, play the game(s) yourself and compare these complaints because this should tell you something…

    • Crlarsen

      Thanks for your very detailed comments.

      Ad 1) You may be right, but as I already mentioned, the fact that games appear to become harder, the higher your team rating, doesn’t prove that the high rated players actually are handicapped. On contrary, it appears as a consequence of matchmaking, as you will have a hiogher chance of being matched with someone who is just more skilled than you. I fully agree that one would expect the game to become easier, the more good players you buy, but that is apparently not the case.

      I’m not quite sure what I would advise EA to do about this. It appears as if people would complain even more of they weren’t matched with teams with similar ratings. And this is probably why they have done it this way.

      Ad 2) I haven’t had the chance to review this information on my own, but you are welcome to post a link. But as is the case with the whitepaper, there is a risk of misinterpreting things. The mere use of the word ‘momentum’ does not prove that EA are tangling with match results.

      Ad 3) There are numerous threads on scripting in EA’s forum. http://bit.ly/1r3SgYz

      Ad 4+5) It’s a bit hard to comment on such claims on their own when you disagree to their premise. I obviously do not agree.

      Ad 6) As was the case with the whitepaper, I believe one has to be careful not to interpret one’s own conclusion into the various sources. I have seen the commercial, and I honestly think you have to believe in this whole scheme upfront to draw the conclusion that this ad actually supports your claim. Besides, it makes absolutely no sense that EA (who according to you is doing their best to cover up this whole scheme) would advertise it openly in the past. Additionally, if it is supposed to make people buy UT-packs now, then what did they use it for in Madden back in 2000?

      Ad 7) I believe it’s a question of interpretation. To me, these videos show bugs in the game. And I fully agree that there are many bugs. As a whole, it appears as if the latest edition was released as a beta. But when I interpret these videos in the light of my knowledge of game development and 3D graphics, I do not see anything unexpected. Just to give you an example, the FIFA developers need to build code enabling the game to interpret the offside rule onto specific situations in the game. But honestly, how do you decide whether a player – who is in offside position but doesn’t touch the ball – impacts the game to such an extend that he must be considered offside? In real football, the decisions regarding this rule are often disputed, and to me it’s a given fact that implementing such ‘weak’ rules into computer games will lead to unnatural situations.

      • VladimusMaximus

        For the love of God, just stop. You’re completely blind my man, it’s as simple as that. There have been more than enough points raised, explained an scrutinized here. If you don’t want to believe, just Don’t.. but that doesn’t change that it’s there and it’s blatantly there.

        I just had a game where I was being aided, like crazy! Last match of the division I had to win or be relegated. My opponent has a few IF’s and a bunch of training cards on each of his players (massive handicap potential).

        Guess what happens, he out plays me with 61% possession. He was very good, but I still won 0-1! Why? Because my AI was simply over powered and I was being aided. I barely had to do anything, they would run right up to his players, cover them perfectly and take the ball instantly; he could barely beat me off it if he tried, then I scored a goal that was hilarious from a mile away literally by pressing tap. My players although exhausted in the second round were still moving SUUUUPER quickly like there was no fatigue. Fouls I made weren’t being called. It was all the same shit that always happens to me, but turned around.

        Again, I experience handicap/scripting/aids both against me (usually) and sometimes like this time for me. Both ways, I notice a complete and utter change in both the way my players control, react and make plays and especially how the AI handles and what they do.

        There’s not going to be any proof that will convince you, if playing the fucking game already hasn’t then you’re a lost cause; continue to live in a dream. EA is fucking you in the rear as you do.

        Yes there are many threads on scripting on EA’s forum that are all fucking LOCKED! I was banned from their forum from trying to discuss it, without even saying the word; but calling attention to maybe these things being bugs.

        You seriously sound like you WORK for EA.. I mean honestly I would not be in the least bit surprised.

        EDIT: restarted DIV 5, same shit. I’m being aided 2nd game in a row. As usual this b.s happens in streak; streak of being aided and you think you’re a Fifa God, then a huge losing streak and your team won’t play. It’s such a stark contrast how my AI is playing right now, they’re just always in a perfect place to intercept a pass, receive a ball etc; like real footballers. When they’re capped they act like 180 degrees different. Night and Day. If you haven’t noticed these patterns, seriously you’re blind brotato.

        • Fraser M

          Spot on. I have no idea why some people choose to act blind to these things, and go to these lengths… it’s not even subtle. All this does is make them look affiliated with EA or something.

          I’ve never rated footie games. But remember the old days when superior players would crush you 20 nothing or something?

          You have a system that tries to keep scorelines realistic looking (when I think that should be left to the players ability), and then all the scripting/rubberbanding etc on top of all that.

          • VladimusMaximus

            This game relies so heavily on Ai for wins, that basically the way your Ai plays determines the outcome of 95% of the games. Passes, rebounds, lob through balls runs, this is all AI! Auto tackles, team contains. All Ai. If you try on goal and miss; if your AI isn’t there to receive a rebound you fail, if he is you score a goal. If your AI makes good position for a cross you win a cross, if he doesn’t you lose a cross / header. It’s that simple.. and all AI behaviour is scripted/handicapped tremendously! Basically this means that this game is maybe 5-10% skill on behalf of the actual player and and learning how to exploit stupid glitches and game play tactics and 90-95% simply how the game decides to play your AI that round. Will they play like they’re amateurs, pro’s world class etc etc. You have very little control over your AI apart from custom tactics and aggressive settings as well as trying to make LB1 passes to make them go on a run, but some times even these things make no difference. I have played plenty of games with custom tactics on aggressive settings trying desperately to make my strikers RUN forward and nothing, they choose to stay behind the last defensive line.

          • jizzentuckie

            I totally hear the MOD’s point and I guess its a matter of perspective. I honestly feel like after all this bitching the game is playing less scripted or at least the scripting has not influenced the outcome of the match as much as even 7 days ago. This is what really bothers me, I do not want to think EA just alters these bugs according to their own will but I actually think they do. It is one reason why the game is so inconsistent. I mean I even beat totw on ultimate first try and it also did not seem as scripted. I used Domizzi, Cana, and Gamberini in a back three, scored two with Icardi assisted by Nagatomo and Zanetti.

            As far as online play I played some single matches, one with a bronze bench, my opponent had zero chance of winning, one with a silver bench my opponent also had zero chance winning and I don’t know what that means but it seemed like they were a lesser players (i could not really tell if they were new to the game or trying to make handicap squads) plus they were not getting very much aid at all if any from the computer. The first squad i used was 76 rated, the second 77.

            My next move was to use a 78 rated team without any bench lowering. However, I started a bronze left back and a silver right back to get it to 78 rating. I played a guy with one of the most massive handicaps I have ever seen, he beat me 5-4 and scored some of the most disturbing kick off goals I have ever witnessed lol. It said his attack through defense were rated at 65 but obviously he had the lowest bench possible cause he played all gold with 2 silvers. Clearly some type of bug was being exploited there because I know he was not very good and I was up by 2 goals when his player took the ball of my Goalkeepers feet and scored a pure handi goal.

            All i know is matchmaking can be strange because my 78 rated team was in no way meant to handicap but it stuck me up against the biggest capper i have met in a while. In general it seems like if your trying to be a bench lowering they match you with a fellow prick but I don’t know what goes on in seasons.

            Since then I have gone back to playing the game like a normal person and not being concerned about my bench and have had a fair amount of success, the game still scripted? Sure but it was not affecting the outcome of the match like it has before at least in my most recent run of games. Honestly it seemed like people were just giving up for some reason almost like they knew they were not going to get a treat in the 45 or 90th lol.

            In retrospect, I do think all kids of bugs exist in the game(call em what you want I still like spam) but they are there purposely there for EA to alter results according to some plan that increases revenues. I’d like to believe they do not do this stuff but it is likely they in fact do. Ive actually been aloud to play lobbed through balls over the top and my players can make tackles again, it is awfully weird.

          • jizzen

            P.S. I do not have a gold team that comes in above 82 rating, you can call this intentional or organic. In my opinion it is organic because I must be under the same tested conclusion as many others, the conclusion that once your above 82 the handicap becomes very strong. Maybe it is possible that I have confused EA’s algorithm by using so many different teams and it is not aware of how to implement the handicap on me at the current time until it collects more data.

          • VladimusMaximus

            85+ destroys my teams, but somehow these days I will still get handicapped against teams that are 83-85 even if I’m 79 with full bronze bench. I think it looks at more than just the over all rating ie) who’s on your team, how rare are the players what are their cumulative striking potential etc. For instance my Neymar + IF Hulk team just gets handicapped beyond belief.

          • Fraser M

            Everything works under a scripted/rubberband context.

            Players will warp etc if they have to in some lame attempt to make it seem legit…

            @1:00 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F6swjngGFDY

            Dunno why some people act blind to this, doesn’t take a genius to figure this out.

            The players don’t have to be there, the ball could play on its own… The player models are only there for show…

            Why should we even have to post video clips?

            Do you think we don’t know the difference between a glitch and a “bug” caused by a rubberband pattern?

            Because it is scripted if this were back in the day when I enjoyed game-hacking I would have had that ball madly in love with my players every game offline.

            Someone might have a trainer that manipulates the rubberbanding…

            http://megagames.com/trainers/fifa-14-v1300-18-trainer-delta10fy

          • Fraser M

            Beyond that, regardless of teams etc, there is an assessment of human ability.

            This rubberband “game adapts to you” bullcrap.

            As if the divisions weren’t enough.

            And we all know what this means… yep, cheating you out of brains and skill…

            Dominating while his AI defenders/goalie are playing as if you were playing a single player on the Legendary difficulty or something and your AI beyond brainless and behaving like this causing you to concede goals against the run of play…

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1qtxuQBC34s

          • jezz

            If i was using Neymar and IF Hulk I would make sure those are some of my top rated players on the team, maybe another quality defender or midfielder rated around 81. I would make sure to have a couple low rated players such as Marquinhos and more specifically I would be using at least one silver. By doing these things I believe I would allow my team to get the most out of my players like Neymar and Hulk. (not breaching what appears to me as the 82 handicap lol) I hate to say it but I think the reason this formula works for me is because i get matched up against somebody with a just slightly higher rated team. Their team may have better individuals but as a whole unit and starting 11 it does not have good balance or make any sense and there is like a 90 percent chance its some imaginary 41212 that would get ripped apart in real life for not being able to play in the midfield.

          • jezz

            Its actually funny how hard it is for me to imagine making a team above 82 rated. I am addicted to making teams and trying players hence I am always working on 3 or 4 new teams and eventually I maybe get nice 2 teams of out the combination of 4(they always end up lower than 83 because I know I have to handicap myself by using a silver and a few 75s between the 23 players.) All this talk makes me want to test a higher rated team but i already know the outcome lol.

            I am not saying this is evidence of handicap, aid, rubber banding, or spam but the ESPN FC 11 gold team is clearly harder to beat than the TOTW. However, I believe that should be the case as the ESPN FC actually has players in positions they are suited to as well as having more chemistry than the TOTW.

            I will say that essentially the perverted AI mechanics of the game far too often outweigh the actual human decision making process. In return too many games are either intentionally or accidentally decided by the choice to implement these so called “realistic emotions” that are attributed to a football match.

          • jezz

            The only packs I open are free packs so I am not mad at loosing money there. I just think the game irrational or even ridiculous. I repeat the pattern of not breaching an overall of rating of 82 more than anything else like formations or players. I think if i were to go any higher I think I would be negatively affected by some magical force.

            It seems like 82 is my handicap number lol but i will get around to trying higher rated teams it just always ends up that I don’t stack my teams that high because I make so many different teams and spread often spread out the talent you could say.

            In the 2 games in fut14 that I have used a lowered bench I think it feels so creepy that I personally would not like to do it again unless I think it has a benefit other than showing me how much influence the AI “can or cannot” have. In your case it appears once you do it too much it messes with what the mod calls “match making(also known as match fixing)” and what you call rubberbanding or aiding.

            It would appear if I myself were to have a team with several expensive blue cards I would have to have a weak team on the bench perhaps made up of several silvers and a couple bronzes maybe there would be room for some gold players. I am not sure and I would have to test different scenarios. It may even be that the team on the bench is so bad they are unplayable for me as I do not have success when starting and playing with silver or bronze teams. This means I would have to use team fitness cards and that is kind of cool because your spending a lot to use those blue cards contract wise. At the same time I have already mentioned how there is something really disturbing to me about my experience with the bronze and silver bench concepts

            In conclusion I do not believe coming in under 82 rating is the savior for everyone but for me there seems to be something there and i would much rather do that then try any variation of a lowered bench. I like 82 because It allows me to use cool cards like couple 87 rated players in my squad. I do believe I am being handicapped when I come in at 82 perhaps a little more than if i was 79 rating but I have just enough quality in the players that as long as I accept hes going to score from his first shot after it blatantly freezes my defender that I can still win by a goal or two as long as I do not get mad.

            I think that everybody may have their own number or team rating that they play best at. I believe there are also other number rating systems that are given to fifa players but they are not visable to the public anywhere but in scripted patterns of game play. The computer analyzes and decides whether to try to impose a loss, win or draw based on these numbers. Thank you

          • jezz

            the handi is raging right now, some really disturbing 45 minute goals. i just had a player on the opposing team fall and literally lay on the ball in order to aid him in his 45 minutes treat. I noticed where the ball was before my opponent and tried to clear it only to have the player on the ground deflect the ball into space for 1 on 1 with the keeper, he shoots and scores 45 minute baby lol. I still won the game 2-1 but now i am convinced i get handicapped no matter what as all three opponents i played tonight had higher rated teams. Am i supposed to say I am a good opponent and that he just had a high rated team so was matched up against me and lost? Well yea sure that holds up to a certain extent but at the same time how did he score this goal?

            Yea match making is in the game it sets you up with your opponent but so is handicaping, rubberbanding or spam.

            If i play the game with a higher than 82 ranked team and do not notice the handicap is too strong to even bother playing I will apologize. I doubt it will happen, i noticed the same thing last year, how can this be man?

          • jezz

            The correlation between winning and loosing as it relates to opening backs is non existent, the only person to even pose this question is the mod and nobody can answer it because there is no substance to the question.

            EA’s plan is well something like this…the artificial handicap allows the game to be accessible to a wider and larger audience in return ensuring revenue. The more consumers the game is able to draw in the more money it will make. The small margin of good players are not allowed to use high ranking cards without being drastically handicapped. The handicap would directly entice the player who is being aided to open packs as they believe they are good at the game. Case closed. So a small margin of players are sacrificed so that the whole of the product can live on and exploit future generations of consumers.

            Second, why do you not experience the handicap as much as i do? I am not sure, do you spend lots of money on packs?(i spend 0), how old is your account name or how long has it been associated with you playing fifa?(i have been playing fifa for 10 years under the same account) do you ever disconnect or quit? or you are simply receiving a high volume of aid under your account.

            You say that EA has no incentive to do this or do it in this manner and that is a valid point however what is my incentive to do this? That is a equally valid point as there is no way for me to gain anything at all from this. I have much less to gain by talking about this then EA would gain be enforcing it. I have nothing to gain by exposing this carnival act know as Ultimate Team.

          • ronaldoscardweightxhandicap#

            card weight lol lol lol

          • Fraser M

            That’s what I really hate, your team can have good/bad games but it’s all done under this rubberband context.

            You will still sort of dominate proceedings despite being handicapped but then the handicap will up a notch or two to extremes causing you to leak goals extremely unfairly by delaying your switching and/or causing defenders to run away & whatnot…

            And the opponent to kick the ball without even having to touch it etc…

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F6swjngGFDY

            Every new “random” element they add… it’s just more added to this rubberband context (the chemistry context manager)

            I’m not saying there is absolutely no way to get good, but in a sense it’s never not as a result of scripting. That’s the type of design it is.

            We’re playing under a total scripted context where players don’t even have to, i.e, touch the ball.

            Where the players are on the pitch etc is irrelevant.

            Crosses for example… a goal from a cross is decided the split second the cross comes in.

            Everything works under scripted contexts.

            Players will warp etc if they have to in some lame attempt to make it seem legit…

            @1:00 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F6swjngGFDY

            EA treating us like dummies by denying this…

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  • VladimusMaximus

    Update: Just played a game with a guy who I lost 3-0 to. I am in DIV 5 he is in DIV 9. We are speaking on the mic, he’s new and admits to sucking at Fifa. He said he noticed some weird shit happening with his teams when he had good players on them, he also noticed I was being handicapped badly (all the stuff we’ve discussed here).

    Well, we decided to do some tests. I passed him the ball and tried to team press and contain him using R1 + X, guess what. My players were at least a good 5 meters from him, basically just giving him TONS of room. Then he passed me the ball and did the same thing; his players were RIGHT in my face, I mean tracking me like hawks! Then they even auto-tackled the ball from me. Even though we both agreed not to use tackle.

    The game went the usual handicap/scripted way. >> My guys hit nothing but posts on headers and shots, he got everything in he tried. My defenders stopped running to allow him through, my goalie stood around when he got the ball instead of picking it up letting his striker literally WALK it into the net.

    We were both laughing.

    I have confirmed now with out a doubt EVERYTHING I have come to deduce about scripting.

    At 45 mins we were both running like crazy but all my players were in the red, exhausted! while he confirmed all his players were fully green. I hit nothing but posts.. The usual bullshit.

    more PROOF that scripting = 100% real.. and it’s obviously happening to me because for what ever fucking reason EA is deciding to match me up with players from much lower Divisions… WHY!?!? So many people play this game, why the fuck is it matching me with people from DIV 9 when I’m in 5.

    Now mind you he started the convo with me, asked me to help him figure things out on the MIC while we were playing. Said he couldn’t use any good teams because he felt they made his teams worse and was wondering how I could play with IF Hulk.. I was like trust me, since I put IF hulk in my team they play way worse!

    UPDATE 2: Just as I fucking suspected as I have done before since watching a Youtuber give advise on beating scripting. I deleted all my squads and rebuilt one with a diff name then we did a rematch and BAM good as new, not being scripted so hard core against him now! We played 3x games btw all together. Beat him 2-0 while NOT being capped.

    The entire time he’s laughing his ass of because his said the game felt like a night and day difference between the 2 we played before and the one we were playing now. All of a sudden it was he who could barely make it into my box without being tackled and his defenders weren’t auto tackling and containing like they were before; also hitting posts like I was before.

    So guess what, EA handicaps the SHIT out of teams that have played a WHOLE bunch of games and done well; if you have purchased packs/points before. Why? probably because they want you to spend more money on packs; they want you to think Hmm maybe im just not good with this team anymore or, hmm maybe I gotta try a new player.

    THANK YOU EA!!!! THIS ENTIRE GAME IS A FABRICATION.

    And by the way, if you STILL don’t believe me. Do your own experiment with your friends. Have a friend over who’s good at Fifa, but create a brand new account for him on YOUR PS4 and play a guest game 1on1 season him vs you offline. You’ll see you get handicapped. Then switch controllers and see if feels any different! LOL you’ll see. I’ve done that too. Same shit, pure handicap/momentum/scripting/rubber-banding.

    • Fraser M

      It’s as if they have this intense personal hatred of organic flowing gameplay. Maybe they’ve always sucked at footie games themselves or something?

      • VladimusMaximus

        Sports games are some of the toughest video games there are, not only is there a dynamic complexity to the mechanics and control of the gameplay, but you also have to know how to play the damn sport and lots of strategy involved. This ensures, everyone scores a few goals no matter what or who they play against, yay happy sheep customers will buy more packs.

  • Guest

    This game is extremely unfair. I have played games where it was like my AI was on semi pro but his was on legendary or something & vice versa. Both players should be on semi pro at all times so that things feel just right in terms of having that me vs, my opponent feel. Nobody should be getting overly helped by the AI.

    Do they have no shame? Everything about this game is unfair, from blatant manipulation to overly helping someone by upping the difficult of his AI.

    Are they not ashamed?

    Can they tell us why they despise the idea of an organic me vs. my opponent experience so much?

    Since playing FIFA 11 it’s as if they have this extreme hatred of the idea.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ds2XgayO6z8

    Why do they hate it so much?

    I remember buying that brainless shit as well.

    Let me quote what he says..

    “unrankend. this is not high pressure, just a video showing that anybody can have a good defense and get away with it by just doing shit i just leave the controller and do jackshit until the cpu gets the ball back for me, see me standing in the middle of the pitch just watching? im not even pressing tackling buttons. then you have half the job done, now learn an easy cheap goal and your are set to winning matches even against higher skilled players that are willing to play football”

    • VladimusMaximus

      Yep you can do that in Fifa14, the engine notices when you begin to play worse or leave your controller and your AI will step up it’s game and begin to basically play the fucking game for you and when you’re already handicapped by an opponent and they leave their controller or go AFK you will see how insanely good their AI is. Like magnets they are attracted to you, and will win the ball 100% of the time just by being near you.

      Anyone who is thinking this game has anything to do with real skill vs real skill is living in a COMPLETE DREAM WORLD.

      • Fraser M

        It’s not about wining or losing, it’s more of a complaint about them completely removing all football fundamental logic from the gaming world.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F6swjngGFDY

        And what these clips do expose is how superficial everything is. We don’t create our own organic momentum in the game. All those lucky rebounds & whathavu are artificially dynamic difficulty controlled/dictated by the game engine.

        And if you watch that FIFA 11 link I posted… that’s the kind of AI activity one could have at the back when the other is being severely handicapped.

        “now learn an easy cheap goal and your are set to winning matches even against higher skilled players that are willing to play football”

  • Charles Clarke

    I have read all I need I am 53 and will never be the best play and I expect that but if I put 500 on cards and end up byeing the best and fasters prem team I can and as you all said it don’t make you win any more and how can a 94 PAC player gets out run bye terry at less than 65 PAC it don’t make sense to me as if Igot a 50 inch tTV I expect it to do what it says on box yeton Fifa you bye a 86 rated player and you mix well as got a75 rated player as he is better in every way i Fifa 13 the same but 14 seems words I fell sorry for players that are not as good as me as I h u ave played 150 games lose more than I won so someone who is words than me got no chance at the end of the day we bye cards with real money were if we won more games agast wres players and win more coins I fell I am being riped off and won’t be doing a ultimate team on Fifa 15 if I bye it I have just sold all my played and got 1 mill in coined now cos the way I lose games as stress me out and at my age it could kill me at the end of the day its a game but it run as a profit and people sell players at high prices make lots of coined and then sell them on eBay not right at all you for get kids age 10 spend there pocket money on cards believing if you get the best team you will win more like most of us at the end of the day if Rinaldo runs at 93 PAC he should out run most players on Fifa and as you said thing happen in real games look what bale did but bet you he couldn’t do that in Fifa and I wouldn’t mind if I lose every game if it was free but it not and the prices for points to bye cards have gone up from ps3 prices to what it cost you now on ps4

  • Charles Clarke

    I just played a game 3 0. Up and lose 4 3 to a team shitter than mine it not right and if its true that the Lester team will win then why sell played at higher price s there much be rules agast people ripening people of I bought top players and that should play as good as that say on card it not right I think we need to stop being cards etc and if we stand together that have to listen I am 53 and it up sets me a lot but just think what its doing to children if there a fix on IIT then thee wrong and I will be looking in to what the law can do about it when I bought the game I was not told that this would happen I was made believe the better team would win how can you lose 4 3 fter being 3 0 up I no now not to put money on and bye a shit team and you will win more ea you make me sick but mark my words when Fifa 15 cums out watch how much profit you lose cos of it d don’t site the hand that feeds you the hand will bite back better you you lose money in the end

  • Charles Clarke

    No I dont expect my players to play the same put if I pay 150.000 coins for a player I expect him to be better than one than Coates 25.000 and if not then I won’t mine money back if I not happy with I TV I got I can ask for a new one but if I bye a 87 player and not happy what can I do nothing you are making people believe that if you bye a better team that cost more you have a better chance and good look with Fifa 15 cos you going to need it I hope we all stand to get her and don’t bye Fifa 15

    • Crlarsen

      The players are bought on a free market, i.e.: Prices are not decided by EA but instead by what the seller is willing to accept and you as a buyer is willing to give.

      It’s your decision whether the price is right. If not, you shouldn’t make the purchase.

      Neither EA nor the player selling the card can be held responsible for the possible lack of results you may suffer.

      • LUÍS

        Dude, no need to act dumb. What he wanted to say with ”150k player is not better than 20k player” is that a 89 player misses more goals and passes than a 74 player.

  • Fraser M

    I was just boasting in that earlier post, I reckon I would only be a Div 3 player or something without this scripting because I’m not into gaming as much as I used to be. But man, this scriptish way the gameplay works nowadays is hecka annoying. It just totally ruins the gameplay. The game should not have football fundamentals removed just because they want most casuals (the majority of casuals at least anyway) to be able to compete with the best. And I’m admitting that I would only be a Div 3 level player or something without this scripting.

    But there is heavy scripting (aka ubberbanding with some touches of scripting) in there and we know it’s purpose (Madden 09 ad).

  • Crlarsen

    vdruts: I can’t and I won’t force you to believe in this. It’s your choice.

    You appear to experience that the majority of your games are decided by scripting, whereas I experience that the majority of my games are decided by differences in human skill. Clearly, there is a huge difference in perception.

    To me, this is pretty obvious: In the majority of my matches, the skill gap between me and the opponent is so wide (in either direction) that this would decide the game, even if something was tangling with player stats, creating deliberate graphics errors, making defenders move in the wrong direction etc. There is simply no way that EA could change the result of these games without removing the most basic impression of a football match.

    A lot of you are making claims where your divisional status or your player stats play a central role in your argument. But honestly, player stats are rarely decisive. Most matches are decided by pure skill, at not even the widest possible gap in player stats would be able to make up for that difference. So in my humble opinion, you have got a somewhat misleading impression about the importance of skill.

    When looking at our argument in it’s entity, it is notable that one of your core arguments – the reference to the whitepaper – turns out to be a question of misinterpretation / lack of thorough reading. Second, you really don’t challenge my initial statements.

    Basically, my point is extremely simple:

    Firstly, there is no reasonable explanation to why EA would do this. There are a lot of claims stating that EA is able to make money out of this somehow, but we are yet to see a causal theory explaining how this works and why it is likely to work. I don’t think you have challenged this.

    So, plain simple: Why would EA wand to do this? It still makes sense.

    Secondly, the numerous accounts of ‘unusual things’ actually describe situations which are quite common. 90th minute goals are more common – not only is the 90th minute a lot longer due to stoppage time: The factors causing 90th minute goals in real life football are likely to be working in FUT as well. Videos displaying strange things like balls passing through a foot basically display graphic errors which are common in 3D video games. Besides, if you were to tangle with the results, I don’t think you would need to / chose to do this by tampering with the forces of physics, as there are easier options around.

    Did you challenge this? Not really.

    Finally, I believe that all your descriptions match perfectly well with another, more obvious explanation: You are losing when the opponent is better. Your are losing, because you sometimes experience the controls to be slightly less precise than they need to be. And you are losing due to bad luck.

    Just like the rest of us.

    • VladimusMaximus

      If you read through this thread I have provided all the evidence you need not only completely reasonable explanations of why EA DOES do this, but also ways in which the scripting/handicapping works as well as how you can reproduce it with a friend. As I said before if you don’t experience it, there could be several reasons; I have no doubt some people get scripted more than others based on their account statistics etc. But, mostly I think you’re on the receiving end of the positive handicapping more often than not, that happens as well. Or probably the simplest answer; you’re ignorant.

      Apart from tampering with the games physics, which does occur (but may of course be a result of poorly coded scripting and how it interacts with the games physics engine).

      The most important aspect of scripting/handicap is the rubber-banding / handicap. Here it’s the tampering with the physics engine that matters it’s how your AI vs your opponents AI get’s dynamically altered and goes from playing like Legendary to Semi-Pro or worse. This is what you can reproduce with great ease as well as test and because 95% of the plays, goals, defence in this game is based on how not only your player but also and mainly your teams AI responds; this obviously defines who wins/losses a match more than any other factor including personal skill. Precisely why the same player in the same condition, with the same training will one game score 5-0 from anywhere on the map without so much as breaking as a sweat and in another game will score 0 from 20 attempts and 15 on target resulting in nothing more than 15 posts or out of bounds; even though they were directly in front of the net or 1on1 with keeper, not being pressured. However, due to the poorly coded scripting/handicap engine in Fifa 14 on next-gen quite often it will literally break the physics engine in order to pull off an AID or Handicap and this is where you can find tons of video evidence on Clivers account. ie) Ball moving from striker’s to defenders feet magically even though the defender never tackled/touched it. Ball going through players heads/goal-keepers hands. Players magically being warped out of position. Etc etc etc

      Recent reddit post > http://www.reddit.com/r/FIFA/comments/23unal/it_could_happen_to_you_too_beware/

      • Crlarsen

        FIRSTLY, let’s look at your explanation to why EA would be able to benefit from this. You wrote this at some point:

        “So guess what, EA handicaps the SHIT out of teams that have played a WHOLE bunch of games and done well; if you have purchased packs/points before. Why? probably because they want you to spend more money on packs; they want you to think Hmm maybe im just not good with this team anymore or, hmm maybe I gotta try a new player.”

        Now, how water proof is this explanation? A few obvious question come into mind:

        (1) It is a fact that the majority of players are losing every now and then. After all, for every winner, there is a loser. So, why would EA bother inflicting a defeat or for that matter a loss on someone who is going to win and lose under all circumstances within the next few matches?

        (2) According to your explanation above, _losing_ creates a stronger incentive to buy packs than winning. Now, if you artificially inflict a defeat on someone, you will be inflicting a victory on someone else. In other words, you have the exact same amount of winners and losers – and thus the exact same incentive to buy packs. So, how come you believe that managing wins and losses artificially would enable EA to increase the net incentive to buy packs? If you look at it straight, it would appear as if handicapping would simply redistribute the incentive…

        (3) How come, that you believe that losing creates a bigger incentive to buy packs than winning in the first place? I’m not saying that I can prove you wrong here. I’m just saying that this is a key claim which therefore requires a really strong explanation.

        So please enlighten me – I’m all ears.

        SECONDLY, you claim that you have presented numerous pieces of evidence to support the claim that the game is being tampered deliberately. If we go though this evidence piece by piece, it appears more like claims than actual evidence:

        (1) You have referred to the whitepaper, stating that ‘if this doesn’t convince you then again it’s a lost cause’. But perhaps you didn’t read the whitepaper, because the matter of fact is that it states directly that ‘emotions’ isn’t about ‘manipulating game players emotions based on making them lose/win in predetermined scenarios’. On contrary, it is stated directly in the whitepaper that emotions isn’t about fixing the results.

        (2) You have referred to some database tables, but you have never presented any documentation which could be reviewed by others. This is not evidence – it’s a claim.

        (3) You have referred to a Madden 09 TV ad, which makes a brief notion of someone being “compensated” by the computer. First and foremost, it’s hard to tell what they are talking about in this short clip. It could be handicapping, or it could simply be something similar to the passing assistant in FIFA. Besides, I don’t quite understand why EA would develop a scheme, which according to you is meant to get us to buy more packs, for a game which didn’t include the option to buy packs (Madden 09). I may be ignorant and blind, but this simply makes no sense.

        (4) You have presented numerous clips of strange things happening in matches. But as I already stated, you have to be a believer to interpret these videos a evidence of DELIBERATE tampering with the results. It’s obvious that there are numerous errors in the graphics engine as well as game logic, but this doesn’t in itself prove that these events are the product of a DELIBERATE scheme. In fact, the obvious conclusion would be that they are just bugs! Additionally, I still miss an explanation to why EA would want to put silly graphic errors into the game in order to tamper with the results. There are so many alternatives which are far more elegant and easier to implement.

        (5) You claimed that EA tries to stop people discussing this topic on their forum. But as it turned out, EA’s forum actually contains numerous threads on scripting and handicapping. So obviously, they aren’t trying to prevent people from discussing this on their forum. And the people who got banned? Perhaps they simply misbehaved. It’s happening every now and then on the internet…

        (6) You claim that the AI sometimes plays like legendary, and other times plays like semi-pro or worse. I we assume this is true, I still have to question to what extend this can influence the results. In my point of view, the main difference between the AI when playing on various skill levels is it’s ability to maintain possession. But given that possession is under human control when playing online, the AI’s chances of influencing the game are limited to things like positioning the players off the ball or making runs. I simply have to question that it is possible the alter the outcome of the majority of games by just being better at positioning the players off the ball and making runs. The key thing is what you do when you are in possession, and if you screw that up, the AI won’t be able to save you.

        So, where is the evidence?

        • VladimusMaximus

          I don’t have the time nor desire to re-address your points one by one as again I feel I have already covered all the basis which you are ignoring, in this thread.

          However let me point out that and re-iterate for you that my theories on why EA does it are of lesser importance than the clear evidence that it IS happening.

          Furthermore the overwhelming majority of responses on this topic even in this very article agree with me; most people (not just myself) experience it to one degree or another.

          It is not the same in all games, but specifically EA games.

          Madden series sees the same thing and the commercial makes a direct allusion to the engine helping make up for what a players lack and NO not by auto-passing, don’t you see your logical fallacy here? Auto-passing/tackle is available to both players, but the engine will know if a 5 year old is playing based on how they play and will help compensate through AI.

          That’s the entire point the AI.

          I have also said, I not only notice when I am being handicapped but also when I am being aided and my opponent handicapped.

          I am 32 year’s old, a working professional and an avid gamer since the early 90’s. I am well equipped to understand when I am either playing well or worse than my opponent. I use tactics, great passes and generally try to look for and or create open opportunities in my opponents defence, likewise I try to close down opportunities in his offence. Most of the time I get handicapped is against opponents who use NO skill, do NOT attempt to do anything mentioned in this paragraph and instead simply run forward! or on the wings, or lob through ball from a mile away. Then their AIDS (perfect AI) make up for the rest while my handicap (SHIT AI) makes it impossible for me to keep up.

          Simple as that.

          Tertiary to this argument is why on earth you (if you are not experiencing this issue) decided to start replying. Funny thing is your counter-arguments lack depth and lack direct response to the issues mentioned here. Want to see an amazing player get handicapped? Go see IgorDVR’s channel on Youtube. I for one think you work for EA as your responses are almost identical in manner and style to a few others here and elsewhere I’ve seen; which always seem to use talk-points like a politician instead of directly addressing what has been said and presented.

          Again, this is my last reply. I simply don’t have the time nor the patience for this.

          If you’re not working for EA and truly are NOT getting handicapped ever. Well then you sir are lucky; congrats. The overwhelming rest of us are.

          When I have the time perhaps in June/July I will compile my own videos and provide proof once and for all for the few that don’t already realize. Why? I don’t even know why I should bother; except to potentially warn new buyers of the EA fraud.

          For now Cliver is doing a mighty fine job. This video illustrates exactly what happens to me each time I dominate through better posession/passing. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yt9re8BGYa0

          And when my opponent dominates through possesion/passing or early goals; I get aided, some way. it’s all B.S

          Cheerio

          • Crlarsen

            Given the wast number of posts you have made in this thread, I find it a bit hard to believe that you would chose not to respond to this due to lack of time or desire.

            The reason why I put attention to the theory on why EA would do this is that it becomes VERY hard to believe that EA deliberately has implemented something like scripting, unless there is some kind of benefit to be made from it. And as I already stated earlier, nothing whatsoever indicates that EA would be able to benefit if they were to implement something like handicapping in FIFA.

            You may be entirely right when you claim that the game isn’t always fair, but none of the evidence you have provided proves that these events are caused by deliberate action.

            The fact that most participants in this thread agree with you, doesn’t prove that the majority of FIFA players are experiencing this. Look at a forum covering other conspiracy theories like 911 or for that matter a forum on astrology or similar paranormal subjects, and you will find a lot of believers among the participants. But of course, this neither proves that they are right, nor that they are representative to the majority of the population.

            Regarding assisted passed and the like, it is obvious that playing with assistance will help both players, but it will without a doubt help compensate the less experienced player buy allowing him to play the game with less practice.

            Finally you ask why I’m replying to. Well, I wrote the article you are commenting on, so isn’t that pretty obvious?
            .
            And by the way, I have actually responded directly to everything you have written, whereas you start out by saying that you won’t address my ‘points one by one’. If standards are good, double standards are twice as good.

            And no, I don’t work for EA, just as well as you presumably don’t work for Konami.

          • VladimusMaximus

            There is NO way to prove it. That’s the point. Unless EA comes out and admits it and I hope they do; the only way to prove it is to actually play the game! Even with the countless evidence (people experiencing the exact same thing under the exact circumstances). Even with it being reproducible and testable! Even with countless videos showing precisely what everyone describes, YOU will still believe what you choose to believe until EA admits it’s there. So no, there is no way to prove it except for the mounds of evidence that is already available. Far more evidence Pro than contrary might I add. All of your points have already been addressed on here that is why I no longer wish to continue; it’s exhausting.

            Before EA instituted it’s scripting/momentum/rubber-banding/handicapping (what ever you choose to call it) algorithms into the game, players used to be able to go 20-0 against players who weren’t as skilled or were new. Now, you will NEVER find a game that goes beyond 5/6-0 (and even that is extremely rare).

            You mentioned yourself the game will compensate for the lack of practice someone has had. That is SCRIPTING/RUBBER-BANDING. That is intentional! I have been matched and handicapped against players who not only play worse than myself but are in lower divisions than myself! We have spoken on the mic, they have admitted to sucking at Fifa; I mean I didn’t need to hear it from them I could clearly tell because they weren’t playing well. BUT they were still managing to win. Why? Same reasons; my AI was falling apart, all I was getting were posts and wides; they were able to get through the defence without trying, block all my shots and score from the most absurd positions.

            Now you can come back and say, well that still doesn’t prove anything because I haven’t seen it. Then I will post video evidence (that I have) then you will make up some other stupid excuse and it will go on and on and on and on until finally EA admits it and the only way they will do that is when their margins are SO low that they realize they can only fuck their consumer for so long before they get fed up with the constant LIES. EA has been voted worst company in North America 2 years in a row, and who do you trust? EA or their consumers. Why on earth would you think EA isn’t deliberately doing this? They’ve notorious liars.

            Conclusion: Why does EA do this? In order to make the game more “accessible” to all players, including casuals and players who are bad; in turn selling more packs/points and making more money. Why have most of the games for me recently been handicapped? Because for what ever reason it keeps matching me against bad players from lower divisions for some reason ALL accounts started Jan 2013 (none before none after). The few games where it matches me against sometime as good or from a similar division, we have a great game. The few times it matches me against someone better from a higher division I get aided and they handicapped.

            The engine is built to try and get you to “clinch” promotion for call on your emotions, to barely squeeze by is “exciting”. Then after a few promotions/wins, it wants you to be relegated once or twice and do it all over again. This whole notion of “excitement” is also driving their engine.

            A few days ago a friend of mine came over. We played a game of NBA2k14 (he used to play it all the time). Well he beat me fair and square, I barely ever play it.

            Then we played a game of Fifa and guess what, it was 0-0. He never plays Fifa while I am very good. He was right in front of me telling me he had no idea what he was doing, in fact he was button mashing! kicking the ball out of bounds into his own side line etc. The engine, handicaps me and aids him and it was 0 fucking 0! Every chance I had was a post; as usual his defence was OP even though he had no clue how to play. The AI took over and basically played for him.

          • Crlarsen

            (1) My points have not been addressed. For example, you haven’t addressed any of the points I made regarding the likelihood of EA being able to benefit from handicapping. That’s a simple fact. I quoted your only comment regarding this in it’s full length above, and clearly it doesn’t answer any of the three questions I asked below the quote. You are not even close to answering them.

            (2) You claim that there is far more evidence pro than contra. No, there isn’t. I have just run through your evidence piece by piece, and the fact of the matter is that there isn’t one single, tiny piece of evidence in there! If you went into court with something as weak as this, you would lose in 100 out of 100 cases.

            (3) You claim that 6-0 wins happen rarely. Maybe to you, but I win with more than 5 goals at least 3-4 times a week. So maybe you just have to face it: This game is about practice, and when you lose, it’s simply a question of the opponent being better in 9 out of 10 cases. And the fact that you lose against someone who claims that the ‘suck at FIFA’ doesn’t exactly contradict this point of view.

            (4) Compensating for someone’s lack of practice via assisted passing and other control layouts does not prove that the game is scripted. Come on! You start out by claiming that EA has a secret plan to screw us all here, and then all of a sudden it takes place in the open.

            (5) Who do I trust? Well, on this matter I trust my own judgement.

          • VladimusMaximus

            I have addressed your points in my above post. Look, if you’re really interested in seeing it then add me on PSN (PS4) “vladimusmaximus” we will play a few games. Make sure you have a mic. I will run through some tests with you and show you once and for all. Then that will shut you up.

          • Crlarsen

            I’m unfortunately not on PS4.

            Generally, I doubt that match footage can work as evidence in your favor. We are not discussing whether strange things happen – they do! The actual center of the dispute is whether this takes place as part of a deliberate scheme, and I don’t really see how match footage can prove that. But be my guest – prove me wrong.

            In the meantime, let’s look at your responses above to why EA is doing this.

            You start out with this claim:

            ‘Why does EA do this? In order to make the game more “accessible” to all players, including casuals and players who are bad; in turn selling more packs/points and making more money.’

            First, you assume that there is a need to tangle with the results in order to make certain people win and thus continue playing. How do you know this? Of course, the 10 % worst FIFA players will have a harder time finding an opponent they can beat than the 10 % best players. But this doesn’t necessarily lead to the conclusion that results need to be fixed to make these people continue playing the game. Presumably, all FIFA players have been quite bad at some point, and yet there are millions of them. Me, for example – I lost the first 50 matches in a row. So, why would EA bother inflicting a defeat or for that matter a loss on someone who is going to win and lose under all circumstances within the next few matches?

            Second, rigging matches obviously doesn’t change the number of winners and losers, and it appears quite unlikely that rigging matches in itself will influence the incentive to buy packs. In order to make this work, you need to be quite good at picking the matches you want to fix – and deciding which result to inflict. How can EA possibly do that in a way which will lead to a net increase in the incentive to buy packs? I cannot rule out that this can be done, but it sounds bloody difficult.

            Third, you have to ask yourself whether the same goal can be achieved in easier and less risky ways. The obvious place to look would be matchmaking. Your entire argument rests on the assumption that EA is able to spot a bad player. If you are right in that assumption, then it would appear to be the easiest thing in the world to match him with an equally bad opponent instead of matching him with a random player and start implementing strange, graphic errors, defender stupidity etc. into the gameplay itself to ensure a certain outcome.

            Why would EA solve something in a complicated way which bothers a lot of people, if they are able to solve it much easier without bothering anyone? Although I believe I have a vivid imagination, I simply can’t come up with any sensible answers to this question.

            Moving on to the next part of your response:

            “Why have most of the games for me recently been handicapped? Because for what ever reason it keeps matching me against bad players from lower divisions for some reason ALL accounts started Jan 2013 (none before none after). The few games where it matches me against sometime as good or from a similar division, we have a great game. The few times it matches me against someone better from a higher division I get aided and they handicapped.”

            Obviously, divisions differ conceptually from real life football divisions in a number of ways.

            First, a certain cut is required to go into each division. The cut for division 1 is probably only achievable for a few percent of the players, whereas most people can make the cut for division 9. Therefore, the chances of being matched with someone in division 1 is a lot smaller than the chances of being matched with someone from division 7. Hence, none of the information, you have provided so far indicates that you aren’t being matched just like the rest of us.

            Second, I have to repeat that your division doesn’t tell a lot about how good you are, although you keep mentioning it as if it does. There may be a correlation, but quite often there isn’t. And the reason is simple: Making it into division 4 during evening time here in Europe is generally harder than reaching division 3 during daytime in Australia. Due to these circumstances, it doesn’t come as a surprise that you are able to beat someone from a higher division on some occasions and vice versa. You have probably also lost on some occasions if you think about it, though. So again, nothing seems to deviate the slightest bit from what the rest of us are experiencing.

            Third, I also use an account started in January 2013 – and I’m not handicapped except for what I’m causing myself.

            Finally, you write:

            ‘The engine is built to try and get you to “clinch” promotion for call on your emotions, to barely squeeze by is “exciting”. Then after a few promotions/wins, it wants you to be relegated once or twice and do it all over again. This whole notion of “excitement” is also driving their engine.’

            At a first glance, it may sound reasonable that the feeling of ‘excitement’ will make the game more ‘appealing’, which after all is a precondition for people buying packs. On the other hand, it sounds just as reasonable to assume that people are quite different when it comes to preferred level of excitement / difficulty. Thus, inflicting certain results may be very risky, unless you are able to ensure that you inflict the right kind of excitement onto the right people with a very high precision. I find it hard to believe that EA think they have this ability, as absolutely nothing indicates that they are collecting or are able to collect the kind of data required to do something as complicated as this.

            Instead, building a game with various optional game modes and various optional difficulty levels would appear to be a far better approach. And that’s actually what they have done. So, why bother letting people chose the difficulty level and level of excitement themselves, if you are to decide it a few seconds later? Again a question I can’t answer in spite of my vivid imagination.

            Second, I have to ask why you in the first place believe that it is necessary to inflict this kind of excitement artificially. Or to put it in other words: Why are you convinced that the natural excitement is insufficient to make people keep playing the game? FUT divisions already involves that you need to win more and more games to make it into the next division / stay where you are. In addition, the vast majority of people playing FUT simply aren’t good enough to get into division 1 and stay there forever, so to the majority of us, there will be plenty of NATURAL challenges ahead and absolutely no reason to stop playing the game.

          • VladimusMaximus

            Well we have 2 very strong supports for why it’s happening purposefully instead of not and here they are.

            1. It is completely reproducible. If you and I play a few games together I will be able to show you how to perfectly reproduce the behavior. Meaning I can make your AI/squad play better or worse depending on certain criteria about my team as well as the way we play in game. Obviously if something follows a very distinct pattern that MOST people have noticed and complain about then you ought to understand that it’s there for a reason!

            2. In support of the above point, since it’s easy to reproduce the only counter-argument you may have that is valid is well okay maybe it’s a bug and EA will fix it. However, EA instead of fixing it (assuming it was a bug) or even so far as listening to their consumer, have been Locking threads and Banning accounts on their forum that even go so far as to allude to this type of behavior! I created a post on their forum with steps to reproduce it; guess what. I got banned, it said “Scripting/Handicapping doesn’t exist and if you make an allusion to the fact that it does that’s not allowed so you’re banned” Oh okay, so even though I was trying to out a potential “bug” they decided to put words into my mouth and call it scripting/handicap. All I was speaking about was the mechanics that I could reproduce and was frustratingly experiencing. So you tell me, why on earth would a company ban a topic that’s frustrating core game-play and experienced by an extremely high percentage of their players. Just go through some of the locked threads on the topic and see how many people have experienced it. The overwhelming majority.

            No, the game is rigged in order to make it more emotional; the core of it being emotional comes from it being unpredictable. EA has said time and time again how they love how “unpredictable” it is. Well let’s think about it, why on earth would a game be unpredictable if your skill level and your opponents skill level is worlds apart; as is the quality of their team. Seems to me like you can definitely predict the result of say North Korea vs Spain or Brazil. In Fifa14 however, North Korea (if it were there) would play like they were in fact better than the other two teams if they were matched against them.

            Second to that is Fifa is a difficult game to learn, exceptionally so. From the basic mechanics of the game of which there are multitudes (it took me a month just to figure out and get used to the buttons) to the actual mechanics of the game of football. The overwhelming majority of users that we can call “casual” only come on to play a little here and there, buy a few packs and call it a day and yes these types of users are being AIDED and helped so as to not get frustrated. There is only a core niche of hard-core Fifa players like myself who have learned the game through and through, the rest as in any game are casuals.

            There is another pattern that I have noticed on my road from DIV 10 – 4. The handicapping/scripting would generally amp up due to certain patterns.

            – If I had a much better team than my opponent I would likely get handicapped and them aided.

            – if I needed to clinch a promotion I would likely get aided.

            – if I had won too many games in the division ie) 2-3 in a row. The game would handicap me very strongly in order to get a loss or a tie (even things out and make them a little less predictable so I wasn’t always winning)

            Yes spotting a bad player is easy, but most players on Fifa aren’t “BAD” they just aren’t very “GOOD”. I on the other hand am a very good player as I have taken the time and care to learn the subtleties of the game and sport; so when I play against someone who I can tell that I am dominating in every regard of game-play but still he/she wins with a statistic like 2 shots on goal 2 goals and I 20 shots 15 on target 0-1 goals; you not only have a confirmation that some bullshit is there to ensure you don’t win; but the game-play mechanics themselves show you. Now these things occur in general through a pattern.

            There is another pattern where if you win a few promotions into a next division, go on a (winning streak) you will generally go on a massive (losing) or really handicapping streak. Because again EA wants it to be a roller-coaster of unpredictability. They don’t want the bad players to always lose or the good players to always win. In very old generations of Fifa this is exactly what used to happen! The balance was obviously off. Just like in any game that has the potential to be extremely competitive ie) Quake/Quake-world/Counter-Strike. If you aren’t VERY GOOD, you’re probably pretty bad. Those are complex games that take a long time to learn mechanics, proper timing and strategy. NOT for the casual player; in fact the casual player would be extremely frustrated constantly losing against the top 20% of players that are GODlike. Well same with Fifa, the top 20% still make up a very large portion considering there are millions potentially playing the game and since bottom line revenue as well as selling packs are EA’s #1 priority they are going to ensure that those that aren’t the top 20 get AIDED through AI.

            Third, you’re right it would seem easier to just “spot a bad player” and match them with another. However, in reality it isn’t. It’s much easier for EA to create a blanket algorithm which looks at certain criteria and try’s to make an early decision on how good/bad someone is at that point. Obviously the way people play can change drastically depending on: whether they are even trying, how tired they are, how much they’re concentrating, how much they played that week etc etc. So they can’t just brand you a specific player but what they can do is look at certain criteria (your squad rating) etc and match it up with where you are in a division as well as early game statistics (possession, accuracy etc) and then decide against your opponent if either of you require a handicap/scripting as well as how strong it needs to be. That is MUCH easier; as the algorithm is in place across the board. Where as a match-making algorithm is more difficult; it has to search for those players online, assume they are online and if they aren’t then do what?

            EA unfortunately does not care if their actions bother their consumer, they have proven this time and time again (once again they are rated worst company in NA 2nd year running).

            All they care about is the bottom-line and their stock price and are ready to do what ever necessary (even if shady) in order to try and raise it; however it has been back-firing and soon enough they will learn from their mistakes or be completely out of business.The company culture is sour from the top down.

            You think you’re not handicapped but the truth is you are. Why don’t you tell me what system you are on. Of course you get handicapped; everyone does! especially on next-gen time and time again people who have both systems have said it is far noticeable on next-gen so unless you’re on next-gen; perhaps it’s harder to see.

            As well, people have been noticing this behavior get progressively worse since 2011 (when UT was in infancy). Correlation? I think so! Scripting/Handicapping has existed since then but only gotten worse and more prominent. The mechanics are exactly the same; the same exact things happen under the same conditions. Well explain to me then, if this was just random bugs and you had a massive community asking you why you don’t fix it; why it’s never been addressed? In fact EA does not even attempt to address these as bugs; instead they ignore it out right and pretend it doesn’t exist / they’ve never seen it and they say the consumer experiencing it is crazy and it’s all in their head, alas it is NOT.

            Unfortunately you’re wrong and Psychology as well as Scientific papers have proven that you can apply a simple formula to create a spike in emotion for the “majority” of users; and it’s this majority that they care about. How does this drive pack purchasing easy. Hmm I should buy more packs my team isn’t doing so good. Maybe I should try this player over that player because for the last few games he really sucked (maybe I’m just not good with that player) or any variation there of.

            I completely agree building a game that has a PRO division and a Normal division would be a much better idea; but EA isn’t known for their brilliance. They have their own way of doing things and most of the time it doesn’t take what their consumers actually want into consideration. They feel they know better and perhaps their bottom line numbers have proven this (so far).

            I personally don’t think that natural excitement is a poor choice; I think there are numerous better ways to do what they are doing and attempting to do. But hey I’m not a senior executive at EA. These are their rules, their logic and their game-mechanics.

            Why don’t you upload some videos of you playing, so I can see how “good” you are. What’s your FUT record? What console are you in.

          • Crlarsen

            “Well we have 2 very strong supports for why it’s happening purposefully instead of not and here they are

            1. It is completely reproducible. (…) Obviously if something follows a very distinct pattern that MOST people have noticed and complain about then you ought to understand that it’s there for a reason!”

            I cannot follow you here.

            Bugs are reproducible. Intented functionality is reproducible. Even human behavior is reproducible if you push the right “buttons”. So the fact that things are reproducible is not even close to being a valid argument in support of your claim that these things are the product of deliberate intervention.

            “2. In support of the above point, since it’s easy to reproduce the only counter-argument you may have that is valid is well okay maybe it’s a bug and EA will fix it. However, EA instead of fixing it (assuming it was a bug) or even so far as listening to their consumer, have been Locking threads and Banning accounts on their forum that even go so far as to allude to this type of behavior!”

            The fact that there are unresolved bugs in the game does not prove that EA has put them in there deliberately. All software has bugs, and some of them are never resolved due to lack of ability, ressource issues etc. EA is obviously not the type of software company that only releases products that are tested to be 99,9 % error free.

            I see no need to discuss banned accounts in relation to this topic. Obviously, people may get banned for many reasons, but I would be surprised if people generally get banned for reporting bugs in a proper and fair way. Most people who are banned, are not banned because of WHAT they are saying but because of HOW they are saying it.

            (…)

            “Just go through some of the locked threads on the topic and see how many people have experienced it. The overwhelming majority.”

            Neither of us have a clue about that. As I stated previously, threads like these tend to draw the fanatics in, and obviously this isn’t representative in any way.

            “No, the game is rigged in order to make it more emotional; the core of it being emotional comes from it being unpredictable. EA has said time and time again how they love how “unpredictable” it is. Well let’s think about it, why on earth would a game be unpredictable if your skill level and your opponents skill level is worlds apart; (…)”

            I do not believe that the term “unpredictable” means that the result should be randomized. It’s simply about making sure that games don’t become too similar.

            Some of the earliest football games I played back in the eighties and nineties were less random, which made it possible to trigger the same mistakes over and over again. This doesn’t make the game feel realistic.

            (…)

            “There is another pattern that I have noticed on my road from DIV 10 – 4. The handicapping/scripting would generally amp up due to certain patterns.

            – If I had a much better team than my opponent I would likely get handicapped and them aided.

            – if I needed to clinch a promotion I would likely get aided.

            – if I had won too many games in the division ie) 2-3 in a row. The game would handicap me very strongly in order to get a loss or a tie (even things out and make them a little less predictable so I wasn’t always winning)”

            You have mentioned this before, and there is no reason to repeat it. You may feel that you experience these things, but trouble is that I don’t. So the most likely explanation is that some of this goes on inside your head.

            “I on the other hand am a very good player as I have taken the time and care to learn the subtleties of the game and sport; so when I play against someone who I can tell that I am dominating in every regard of game-play but still he/she wins with a statistic like 2 shots on goal 2 goals and I 20 shots 15 on target 0-1 goals; you not only have a confirmation that some bullshit is there to ensure you don’t win; but the game-play mechanics themselves show you. Now these things occur in general through a pattern.”

            I’m sorry to say it, but there is nothing unusual in this. Some opponents simply do have the ability to score on one chance, whereas you may miss a few chances, start becoming frustrated and therefore ineffecetive in front of goal.

            Besides, the possession, passing ratio and number of shots doesn’t always tell a lot about how close to scoring were. There are numerous games where I have played against someone who was dominating the game, even though I had the majority in possession. It’s football, and these things do happen.

            (…)

            “Third, you’re right it would seem easier to just “spot a bad player” and match them with another. However, in reality it isn’t. It’s much easier for EA to create a blanket algorithm which looks at certain criteria and try’s to make an early decision on how good/bad someone is at that point. Obviously the way people play can change drastically depending on: whether they are even trying, how tired they are, how much they’re concentrating, how much they played that week etc etc. So they can’t just brand you a specific player but what they can do is look at certain criteria (your squad rating) etc and match it up with where you are in a division as well as early game statistics (possession, accuracy etc) and then decide against your opponent if either of you require a handicap/scripting as well as how strong it needs to be.”

            First of all, this doesn’t answer the question I raised. My point was that if EA can somehow determine the skill level before the start of your next match, it would be the simplest task in the world to match you up with someone with a similar skill level. I’m not talking about deciding you skill level once and for all.

            So, my point is this: Which option sounds more complicated?

            (1) You press “play” to start the next match. EA determines that you have a skill level of 72 based on your previous stats, squad rating etc. You are matched with an opponent with skill level 72 (or 73 – no one can tell).

            (2) You press “play” to start the next match. EA determines that you have a skill level of 72. You are matched with an opponent with skill level 80, and they then have to calculate how many and which graphic errors to put in the game, how much to reduce the player in game stats to make up for that difference.

            So, back to my question: Why would EA chose the more complicated version ifd they had the ability to do otherwise? Your answer above does not provide any explanation to this.

            Second, even though I find it complicated to determine the skill level of a player, I find it close to impossible to determine what outcome if a match he may need. You keep referring to the example of the decisive seasons match, which you find easier than other matches. But even if this was true, what would you do to determine the optimum outcome of a random friendly or for that matter at tournament game? Who should win – A or B? What variables are needed to determine this?

            Remember: You need to decide, who should win in order to produce the highest possible incentive to buy packs. How on earth would you do that?

            “That is MUCH easier; as the algorithm is in place across the board. Where as a match-making algorithm is more difficult; it has to search for those players online, assume they are online and if they aren’t then do what?”

            There are always some +100,000 players online, so I simply do not believe that it is impossible to find someone with a skill level reasonably close to 72 at any time of day.

            (…)

            “Unfortunately you’re wrong and Psychology as well as Scientific papers have proven that you can apply a simple formula to create a spike in emotion for the “majority” of users; and it’s this majority that they care about.”

            Of course, and so what?

            “How does this drive pack purchasing easy. Hmm I should buy more packs my team isn’t doing so good. Maybe I should try this player over that player because for the last few games he really sucked (maybe I’m just not good with that player) or any variation there of.

            You keep ignoring the fact that this reasoning doesn’t make any sense, because you can’t change the number of winners or losers by altering the result of certain games.

            To put it simple, you can’t increase the overall incentive to buy packs by simply fixing a few matches.

            “Why don’t you upload some videos of you playing, so I can see how “good” you are. What’s your FUT record? What console are you in.”

            I’m on PS3 and I don’t think it has the slightest relevancy to this debat whether I am good at this game or not. I can tell you that I win about 9 games out of 10. But what does that tell you? Maybe I’m just good at picking the right opponents.

          • VladimusMaximus

            At this point I am almost positive that you either work for EA or are the biggest EA fanboy/apologist I have ever encountered. Seriously, how do you have so much time to respond to a topic point by point and try to discredit it for someone who hasn’t experienced this? Usually people who don’t experience scripting could care less about what others say about it. You sir are working for EA.. Maybe you’re just good at PR. /End of discussion. Seriously I’m finished. If you’d like to think that you won, by all means. Enjoy your game of scripted and blatantly handicapped Fifa.

          • jezz

            essentially we have to create new accounts and loose 50 games in a row so we can get a huge aids lol soooooooooo twisted ea.

          • Crlarsen

            Try it out if you are convinced it will work.

          • Crlarsen

            I went into this debate to find out whether there was any kind of substance behind this scripting / handicapping idea. So far, everything indicates that it is just another conspiracy theory, and the very way you exit this debate appears to fall in line with that perception. If you go into a 911-conspiracy debate with a conspiracy-sceptic approach, you will be accused of being either a jew or a government employee at some point. And that’s when you know there is no reason to go on…

          • VladimusMaximus

            I agree there’s no point for you to continue, as you said you have a 360 and haven’t noticed it; it’s that on the previous gen consoles it’s not as apparent; so when you get a PS4 and play the game for 200+ rounds then come back and see if you still have the same beliefs. I played 3x games last night and it was as blatantly apparent as ever. Purposeful, reproducible, always the same and always called at the same time. I mean it’s so blatantly obvious when the handicapping is less (only due to momentum, intensity) and you win 2 rounds and maybe tie 1, the next game the handicapping goes way way up and you’re almost guaranteed a loss. This happens every damn division for me from the day I started playing.

            Furthermore something I never mentioned, I started playing Fifa14 on PS4 after I tried it on my iPad. Problem was on the iPad I actually started noticing this scripting/handicapping behavior as well; all the same things but mot apparent because you already had less control of the game. It was extremely frustrating, I stopped playing it; then hoping it wasn’t so on the Ps4 bought that version; and guess what it wasn’t a surprise when I was experiencing the exact same issue on a different game engine same company same game.. As I said before I think it’s mainly due to FUT but the reasoning isn’t as important as the fact and the mounds of evidence and reproducible issues.

            And no EA does not allow any discussion at all, whether positive or negative on this topic. Bug reports that allude to this are simply ignored/shut-down.

          • Crlarsen

            TED talks on “Why people believe weird things and overlook the facts”:

            http://t.co/gYR624NEuB

          • VladimusMaximus

            *facepalm*

            Remember, everything I have mentioned has evidence, is reproducible. There is code in the game which anyone can look up on the PC. The same code which their documents used to refer to. EA has admitted this rubber-banding logic has existed in Fifa but lied to the fact that they got rid of it *when it’s still there*. Well obviously if they themselves admitted that they used to actually manipulate game play then why do you find it so hard that they would continue to do it..

            You’re shooting yourself in the foot here. Clearly don’t see how what you posted supports my argument rather than yours.

          • jezz

            your saying your a bronze bench spammer or get aided if you ask me because you made a new account and im not trying to be mean lol. You want to know why the good players still plays the game even those hes capped like crazy? when you are capped you are only allowed to score real goals and that is satisfying and im sorry but the vast majority of my opponents goals are clear handicap goals that i could no score myself because i have to play for real.

          • Crlarsen

            I didn’t say I made a new account or that I’m using a bronze bench.

          • jezz

            if you have figured out how to “pick” opponents does that not mean your are navigating around your idea of matching matching lol and stating you have figured out how to trick the handicap.

          • Crlarsen

            Jess, not really. I was being sarcastic. Obviously it’s close to impossible to pick the opponents based n the few pieces of info available.

            Besides, I do not actually believe EA is capable of measuring your skill level, so the idea is not really something I believe in. On contrary, they match us based on location and squad rating.

            But if they actually were capable of matching on based on our skill level, it wouldn’t really matter whether you skipped a few opponents, as all proposed opponents would have been found based on the skill level assessment.

          • jizzen

            so basically i am 95 percent convinced i have one of the most handicapped accounts out there man, much worse than igor lol, it is because i have been playing fifa for 10 years under the same account.

  • Charles Clarke

    So what you say its a game and it should not be like real life football but that’s why we went out and got it and can you tell me my I mostly beat teams higher raters than me and lose to lower teams and not just that why do people pauce the game do something in game and cum out a better team fast attack faster and I can’t stop them yet I was 3.0 up half team and lose 4_3 you say there no cheating you can tell something that that do as made them better at the end of the day people put real money on the game thinking it that bye a better team that will get better how is it I lose 5 games to 79 rated teams and won 5 games rated higher than me I was in div 1 on fFifa 13 and yet I got a faster team and and can’t get out of div seven also my is it if I won’t to play of line fut I have to change my team if if I can’t play ultimate I go down a level and have to have 3 different legs in my team which mess up my cemsee and I have to bye 3 new players I don’t won’t I hope you do something about all the things everyone as said that’s wrong with the game cos in the end people will stop being it Fifa is the only game I play I and 53 disabled and find it hard to use my hands as fast as others I think ea is ripping use of and how can you say there not prove you are say the truth

    • Tim

      If a player appears stronger after a pause, it’s most likely because he handed the controller to his friend.

  • Robert Thomas Macgregor

    scripting and handicapping do exist… i’ve gathered too much evidence for it not to exist. the game is stupid and yet i come back for more to play more to improve my game. but i shouldn’t have to. i;ve had match after match where i’ve lost to players i believe i am better than because of fifa bs. i proved this point when i played the same guy in just a friendly and wiped the floor with him 5-0 and his gk still got motm. And low and behold the match i lost against him was for the division 1 title……. yey fifa… oh i thought i might aswell add he had a team full of silvers with no pace and ability but still they scored from 30 yards with neuer in the net hmmmmmmm no handicap? no script? yeah my left testicle.

    • Crlarsen

      Let’s start with the goal keeper: If he makes enough saves, this will increase his chance og becoming motm, even though he let in a few goals. Especially if the goals were scored by different players, rhe assists were done by different players, then MOTM is wuite likely to land on the gk of the losing side. But why do you mention this in the context of scripting?

      Regarding winning and losing by a large margin against the same opponent: Some opponents have a tendency to give up everyting if you score first. It happens quite often that I win by a large margin against someone who I think could have beaten me if he had scored first. The actual strength of your opponent is not static.

      Even if I were to agree that such results couldn’t occur naturally, I would still question them as evidence of scripting (deliberate tangling with results). You could just as well argue that they were the product of random forces.

      • VladimusMaximus

        Did you even bother reading this thread? I have posted COUNTLESS times on here with direct evidence; you can EASILY do your own experiments with your friends and reproduce 100% handicap/momentum/scripting/rubber-banding behavior. It’s not only there, it’s BLATANTLY obvious.

        Furthermore, watch ANY of the countless videos posted here as direct proof. I myself have compiled a bunch of videos that I’ve been too busy to edit; but at some point I will.

        I am a film-maker I can quite easily spend some time and provide unequivocal proof of handicap/scripting in game. I have all the info, proof, evidence and even ways to reproduce it I need. Alas it’s going to take a bit of time; but at some point I might just do it. For now, it’s all already in this thread.

        Oh and I not only have games recorded where I am being handicapped tremendously and my opponent aided, but also vice-versa; where I am being aided and my opponent handicapped. Just as blatantly obvious; the exact same criteria and things happening just reversed; until he rage quits!

        I don’t simply complain about handicapping when it happens to me, I also dislike being aided when my opponent is clearly handicapped.

        Perhaps you’re on a previous gen console? I’ve heard it isn’t as prominent on them for what ever reason; however mainly I think you’re just blind.

        Even my wife, who is not a gamer but is an associate at a BE firm with a psychology degree; laughs at how blatantly scripted the game is when I play.

        Oh and I welcome anyone over to my place in Toronto to come test it on my PS4 and see for themselves.

        Look more people waking up >http://www.reddit.com/r/FIFA/comments/23unal/it_could_happen_to_you_too_beware/

        • Crlarsen

          I have responded to this further down…

  • VladimusMaximus

    EA not only pays for their ratings through reviewers but they also pay the mods on their forums to lock/ban people who discuss this topic (they don’t want ANY of this info getting out into the large public sphere). In addition to this they are all over Reddit and other forums trying to down-vote posts with solid info. It’s a really sad affair. The only thing you’ll see on reddit are posts about Card packs; and who’s the best IF player for this or that team; NEWSFLASH * NO ONE IS BECAUSE PLAYERS DON’T MATTER! THEY WILL ALL GET HANDICAPPED AND A BRONZE TEAM WITH NO NAMES WILL PLAY JUST AS WELL AS YOU MESSI ANYWAY.

  • VladimusMaximus

    Seriously it’s SO bad for my account that I am at a loss for words, no matter what team I create, or their rating I keep getting matched with players from lower Divisions than myself resulting in a crazy handicap for me. Just played a guy 87+ rating with In form Modric, Messi, Bale, Iniesta and even got massively handicapped against him. This may sound crazy but I’m honestly beginning to think they can select which accounts to handicap even more in the background; as a retribution for all the shit I’ve been posting on reddit here and their forums. This is just crazy, my teams literally are unable to play (all the same Ai handicapping crap).

  • Charles Clarke

    How many people won’t be doing ultimate team when 15 cums out I am one and I don’t think ii will be being Fifa 15 anyway and if I do it be for cards mode and as its the only game I play on line I don’t think I will renew my on line pass so at the end of the day if you can’t win on ultimate team then don’t do one cos all there halter is your money so I say we vote with are wallets and hit ea and Fifa were it Harte’s in the bank until that prov it not ripping people of you seem to have a lot of people saying the same think and yet you are telling us its in are mind its not why is 13 Eary than 14 also why as the price of points gone up on ps4it cost me more to bye points on ps4 than ps3 can someone say tell me that you won’t to make as much as you can but in the end you will lose money cos everyone is sick of all the bull shit I like seehow much you make on Fifa 15 cos I no so many people not happy with ea ultimate team I think in the end ultimate team will lose money

    • Crlarsen

      Well, Charles, I think you are right that all the various problems with UT is a significant threat to EA. Obviously, the infrasctructure isn’t quite capable of handling the load of traffic, and neither is EA’s customer service when things start breaking up. Additionally, the game appears as if it was released a couple of months too early. Examples:

      – Why do the DNF modifier go down when both players are cut off due to a server error? It’s definitely possible to detect this, and people get so angry.

      – Why do they match you with the same opponent over and over again, when you have already rejected him once?

      – Why isn’t there a function to renew all contracts automatically?

      – Why isn’t there a function which let’s you re-list items automatically until they are sold / 10 times etc.?

      – Why is it that you don’t see any information on your opponent when you press the L3 button (don’t know the Xbox name)?

      – Why can’t you invite a guest into your matches?

      There are so many things that appear to be unfinished. Although targeted with much criticism, a company like Microsoft would never release anything in this condition.

  • Kav

    This thread may be dead now but having read your article I really have to post something in response as the premise of your argument appears seriously flawed. To keep things short I will focus on your theory that EA would need to develop a business plan, complex algorithms and sophisticated matchmaking code in order to facilitate the effects which countless players have testified to. This is simply wrong. All they have to do is build in a difficulty curve that effects each player individually, irrespective of the player they are playing. This is not difficult, this is the fundamental basis of video game design and is a feature of almost EVERY VIDEO GAME EVER DEVISED. Striking the balance between challenge/reward is the core mechanic of gaming and a game that does this successfully engages the player for longer. It really is simple to understand why this is included in fifa as the more time people spend playing fifa the more packs EA will sell. It really is that simple. At one point you have suggested the burden of proof is on we who complain of this scripting/rubberbanding but that is wrong. Given the very nature of gaming presupposes this handicapping is inherent, it is up to you to prove with far more precision how it is not.
    I have played football games for 25+ years since the commodore 64 and I have never in my life came accross such a blatant handicap as that which exists in fifa 14. That the game manufactures losing streaks by making your team feel as if you are controlling them in a swamp is obvious to anyone who is aware of reaction times, input lag etc. How many players find themselves suddenly dropping 2 or 3 divisions while being barely able to control their team? Then suddenly zooming back up divisions, seemingly unbeatable? And do you honestly believe such a rollercoaster is not better for EAs profits?
    If you believe that every player that beats you in fifa is simply better than you then you missing very large parts of what is happening in front of your eyes. When a player one touch passes through your whole team are they better than you? Or are your handicapped team unable to get anywhere near to their opponents as they

    • VladimusMaximus

      +1 logic

    • Crlarsen

      Thanks for the late reply and sorry I missed out on this earlier.

      If I understand your comments regarding the difficulty curve correct, you are saying that EA somehow identifies a suitable level of difficulty for each player, and then adapts his team performance to that level of difficulty without taking the opponent into consideration.

      In response to that, I really don’t see how this could make sense in a head-2-head game, because the opponent’s actions would influence the experienced difficulty heavily.

      So unless you are able to create a model which takes the opponent’s abilities into consideration, it won’t be possible to expose the player to the exact right dose of difficulty.

      In general, I believe that you underestimate the complexity of finding the individual balance between challenge and reward.

      You are definitely right in arguing that people will stop playing the game and thus buying packs if they find it either too hard or too easy. In a perfect world, all gaming companies would like the ability to assess our difficulty preferences and the ability to model the game around these preferences.

      There are however two obvious reasons why this is hard to achieve in practice.

      First, the preferred level of difficulty is individual, meaning that you have to identify it per player and preferably before he loses interest. How could EA do that in practice?

      Second, after having measured the difficulty preference, they have to convert that number into an appropriate gaming experience, which by the way also involved an opponent with a separate set of preferences.

      To achieve that, they would need to measure the skill level of the involved players. On top of that, they have to map the difficulty preferences and skill levels of the involved players onto the actual gameplay.

      For example, they would need to know how a difficulty preference 10 for a skill level 22 player would have to affect every detail in the game play against an opponent with a preferred difficulty 20 and a skill level of 17.

      There is no way you can ensure that all players will find the level of difficulty just right (what if everyone likes a winrate of 70 % for example?)

      Although I do accept the premise that people won’t buy packs if they stop playing the game because the difficulty is wrong, I also have to state that EA would run a serious risk if they started manipulating match outcomes in order to get the difficulty right for everyone.

      To me, it is obvious that EA will lose money if they start doing things to the game which will devaluate our perception of the value of rare star players and thus the value of the packs themselves. This adds further to the complexity and makes it even harder to believe.

      You finally ask a lot of questions, and I will answer some of them.

      – No, I don’t see how it would increase EA’s profits to let people drop three divisions or the opposite for that matter.

      – I don’t believe that all losses could be accounted to he opponent being better, as luck does play a role. But I do certainly believe that the majority of my losses could be attributed to skill differences.

      • kav

        I think you misunderstood slightly what I was saying. My fault. To clarify – ea does not have to work out anything to do with any individuals preferences or their skill levels. In very simple terms imagine a linear difficulty path for all players where their team for any given match can be unaffected, boosted or handicapped. For talking sake lets say this path is 50 games unaffected then 25 boosted then 25 handicapped. Every player is subject to the same difficult path with a few randomising factors thrown in. Players can still win when handicapped and lose when boosted, and skill is still a major factor but results will weight towards the imposed bias, especially in matches of evenly matched players. Why do this? I would hope it is self evident that players interest will be held for longer if they are given a period of believing they are brilliant at the game, followed by them wondering what new players/packs do they need to buy to get back there after a slump.

        This is a huge oversimplification of just one aspect of the handicapping debate but I do this to make my point – you massively overestimate just what is required to include this in fifa. individual players do not matter, the difficulty path is calculated to keep the maximum number of players playing for longer. It’s a bell curve in which those of us even thinking of scripting are outliers among tens of thousands.

        • Crlarsen

          Ok, I understand. Yes, this is indeed simple, but in my opinion it makes absolutely no sense when you subject it to closer scrutiny.

          First and foremost, absolutely nothing indicates that it is easier to maintain peoples interest if you give them a number of easy matches followed by a number of hard matches.

          You state that you hope it is “self evident that players interest will be held for longer if they are given a period of believing they are brilliant at the game, followed by them wondering what new players/packs do they need to buy to get back there after a slump.”

          This is my no means self evident.

          On contrary, there is an obvious risk that people will become upset when they get into their losing streak. Most people who have experienced a losing streak will testify that they felt unable to influence the outcome of the games. What really frustrates people is this feeling of not being in control. Introducing losing streaks will most certainly increase that feeling. But quite obviously, a winning streak of similar length won’t outweigh the damage and remove the impression that the game is out of your hands. So, chances are that the net result will be negative.

          Second, the relationship between results and the incentive to buy packs is complex. I don’t think that match results are very determinant to your likelihood to buy packs. People buy lottery tickes even though they don’t win the lottery, and I believe the incentive to buy FUT packs is of a similar nature. However, EA may be able to push our likelihood to buy packs by giving us the impression that we lose when the opponent has a better team. Thus, introducing result streaks, which gives the game a bias independent of the opposing squad would be an irrational thing to do, as it would downplay the impression of a direct connection between player quality and the ability to win games.

          Third, as stated somewhere in the thread, I lost the first 50 games in a row, which didn’t take away my incentive to buy packs. Following that, I won 50 % and now I win a steady 9/10. I have never encountered winning or losing streaks of any kind. And I still buy packs.

          My point is that there is absolutely no way to justify the claim that people need to win a lot of matches to maintain interest. On contrary, this game mode may be attractive to some people because it is challenging among other things.

          So, the assumption that everyone are alike and prefer the same kind of difficulty scenario is simply not very likely to be true.

          Fourth, you write that “players can still win when handicapped and lose when boosted, and skill is still a major factor but results will weight towards the imposed bias, especially in matches of evenly matched players.”

          Adding a bias to the game won’t take away the ability to win the majority of games for the best players and it won’t help players who are completely new to the game winning the majority of their games. So, who would this actually affect?

          You mention evenly matched games, but why would EA introduce something which solely had the ability to affect the outcome of evenly matched games? Wasn’t this about getting new players addicted to the game?

          Additionally, when reading the claims regarding handicapping, I have to this day never seen anyone complaining about losing an evenly matched game….

          • kav

            I am going to deal with the major issues of your line of reasoning and why I think it is flawed.

            “First and foremost, absolutely nothing indicates that it is easier to maintain peoples interest if you give them a number of easy matches followed by a number of hard matches.”

            On the contrary, 30 years of game development indicates precisely this. As I have mentioned before the challenge/reward mechanic is the very basis of all games and it is deliberately manipulated to create compulsion loops. In this instance the challenge of being handicapped is rewarded by a streak where games are easier, allowing the player to feel they have improved in skill and thus making progress through the game. While the player will almost certainly genuinely have improved in this time the artificial boosting of this increases the effect, and thus the players emotional investment in the game. This is not just my opinion, this is video game design theory, something the developers of fifa are acutely aware of and once we understand this it begins to look frankly impossible that they would choose not to exploit this in online mutliplayer games.

            “So, the assumption that everyone are alike and prefer the same kind of difficulty scenario is simply not very likely to be true.” “Adding a bias to the game won’t take away the ability to win the majority of games for the best players and it won’t help players who are completely new to the game winning the majority of their games. So, who would this actually affect?”

            Everyone is certainly not alike but the crucial thing here is that this is irrelevant. We are not interested in any individual, but the mass of players as a whole and the bell curve I mentioned previously is vital to understand this. EA need to create a dynamic that engages the largest possible group of players and whichever way they do this there will be people who understand and recoil at the negative effects of this but they are simply collateral damage at the edges of our graph. Can you imagine the wealth of data EA has on this exact subject? Are you seriously expecting us to believe a massive multinational company would not exploit this for their financial benefit? From their point of view it would be negligence in the eyes of their shareholders not to.

            “I don’t think that match results are very determinant to your likelihood to buy packs”

            Match results are the main scoring mechanism on which this game is based. In the same way kills in a shooter earns xp, rewards, and rank increases, so does winning matches in Fut earn coins, trophies and div increases. In general terms, again thinking about the player group instead of individuals, packs offer a gamble to shortcut the grind and in theory “complete the game” quicker. It does not matter if you or I think this a profitable strategy within the game, there are lots of player that will and this is EAs method of monetising that desire. As a specific example of how this ties in with handicapping, when an individual finds themselves beaten for the nth time by a team with players x and y, they will be motivated to acquire them. It doesn’t matter if this individual buys them outright or gambles on packs – As long as cards keep churning, coins get spent, EA taxes the coins and end result is somewhere down the line some players HAVE to buy more packs and gamble to get the players they want.

            The key aspect of why handicapping is necessary here is that if it didn’t exist then logically there would have to be a “perfect team” for each set of criteria we can build a team with i.e best bpl 442 team, best brazilian 433 team etc and thus a best team overall. These “perfect teams” would therefore have a significant gameplay advantage over every other possible team they play against. If this existed it would only be a matter of time before the player base discovered this and then eventually the transfer market would stagnate with the exception of a handful of highly desirable cards. Handicapping pre-empts this by making such perfect teams impossible, while simultaneously encouraging the experimentation of the player base to find it.

            “You mention evenly matched games, but why would EA introduce something which solely had the ability to affect the outcome of evenly matched games? Wasn’t this about getting new players addicted to the game? ”
            I never said anything about it only affecting evenly matched games, just that players of equal skill in a match will be harder pushed to reverse the effects of the handicap, thus implying that they are going to notice it more often. Players will tend to plateau in ability eventually and it is these players who find themselves understanding they are being beaten not by superior skill of their opponent but by game mechanics. There are literally thousands of people saying this is happening and there are huge financial incentives for EA to do it.
            As the saying goes if it looks like duck, and walks like a duck…..

          • Crlarsen

            “On the contrary, 30 years of game development indicates precisely this. As I have mentioned before the challenge/reward mechanic is the very basis of all games and it is deliberately manipulated to create compulsion loops.”

            Indeed.

            “In this instance the challenge of being handicapped is rewarded by a streak where games are easier, allowing the player to feel they have improved in skill and thus making progress through the game.”

            Would players experience progress along the road without handicapping? Definitely YES.

            Then, why would EA want to create this experience artificially if it was already there for completely natural reasons?

            It’s obvious, that they would do so, if they thought that it could improve the gaming experience somehow, and thus increase their revenue. The question is – HOW?

            “While the player will almost certainly genuinely have improved in this time the artificial boosting of this increases the effect, and thus the players emotional investment in the game.”

            The trouble with this kind of reasoning is that it is made up of assumptions.

            First and foremost, how do we know that players will build a (higher) emotional investment in the game after X wins in a row than they would have had otherwise?

            The fact is that we don’t. It’s an unsubstantiated assumption, and it is not more likely to be true than – for example – arguing that most people will think that the game is too easy if they win a lot of matches.

            And on top of this uncertainty, EA has to consider the quite obvious risks which would be involved in tampering with the game. As mentioned previously, giving people the impression that the game is controllable, would cause irreversible damage.

            “This is not just my opinion, this is video game design theory, something the developers of fifa are acutely aware of and once we understand this it begins to look frankly impossible that they would choose not to exploit this in online mutliplayer games.”

            Let’s just establish that video game theory does not support the claim that FIFA has a handicapping system.

            “Video game theory” definitely supports the fact that it’s important to increase people’s emotional investment in a game, but beyond that – which no one have ever denied – you won’t find any support in any support in science.

            “Everyone is certainly not alike but the crucial thing here is that this is irrelevant. We are not interested in any individual, but the mass of players as a whole and the bell curve I mentioned previously is vital to understand this.”

            Indeed, but this doesn’t solve the problem. The point is that absolutely nothing indicates that the majority of people or just a large amount of people will be more prone to keep playing the game if you start inflicting certain results on them.

            “EA need to create a dynamic that engages the largest possible group of players and whichever way they do this there will be people who understand and recoil at the negative effects of this but they are simply collateral damage at the edges of our graph. Can you imagine the wealth of data EA has on this exact subject?”

            Yes, and I expect it to tell that a lot of people went from bad over better to good and then finally expert.

            “Are you seriously expecting us to believe a massive multinational company would not exploit this for their financial benefit? From their point of view it would be negligence in the eyes of their shareholders not to.”

            They are exploiting everything they can – the point is that there is nothing to exploit here. What I want you to believe is that no company will make investments based on unsubstantiated assumptions like the ones you have put forward above. That is simply not how companies decide how to invest.

            “Match results are the main scoring mechanism on which this game is based. In the same way kills in a shooter earns xp, rewards, and rank increases, so does winning matches in Fut earn coins, trophies and div increases. In general terms, again thinking about the player group instead of individuals, packs offer a gamble to shortcut the grind and in theory “complete the game” quicker. It does not matter if you or I think this a profitable strategy within the game, there are lots of player that will and this is EAs method of monetising that desire. As a specific example of how this ties in with handicapping, when an individual finds themselves beaten for the nth time by a team with players x and y, they will be motivated to acquire them. It doesn’t matter if this individual buys them outright or gambles on packs – As long as cards keep churning, coins get spent, EA taxes the coins and end result is somewhere down the line some players HAVE to buy more packs and gamble to get the players they want.”

            The point is that people may buy packs for many different reasons:

            – For the fun of it (that’s why people buy lottery tickets).
            – Because they look for better players
            – Because they need coins to buy better players

            It could be argued that lack of success increases the incentive to improve the team, but it could definitely also be argued that lots’ of success would increase the incentive to keep investing.

            “The key aspect of why handicapping is necessary here is that if it didn’t exist then logically there would have to be a “perfect team” for each set of criteria we can build a team with i.e best bpl 442 team, best brazilian 433 team etc and thus a best team overall. These “perfect teams” would therefore have a significant gameplay advantage over every other possible team they play against.”

            They do have an advantage, but it’s rarely decisive.

            Most games are decided by differences in skill rather than differences in team quality. Having the better squad increases your chances of winning, but it’s quite rare that the guy with the better team wins unless he is the better player.

            “If this existed it would only be a matter of time before the player base discovered this and then eventually the transfer market would stagnate with the exception of a handful of highly desirable cards.”

            That already happened. That’s why some cards are more expensive than others.

            Or, as some economists would put it, this is why we need a market to decide the prices.

          • kav

            “Then, why would EA want to create this experience artificially if it was already there for completely natural reasons?”

            To increase the effect – to “enhance” the game experience – to get players to play for longer after they have hit the level where everyone is good and few players have an edge and then players start losing interest – to increase their profits

            “First and foremost, how do we know that players will build a (higher) emotional investment in the game after X wins in a row than they would have had otherwise”

            I answered this quite clearly with reference to the massive amount of data EA holds accross multiple generations of multiple franchises with regards to player engagement, patterns of play, average amount of time spent online, buying behaviours etc etc not to mentioning spending vast resources understanding gaming behaviours through cust feedback, game testers, focus groups etc. This is not an assumption on my part, this is a fact of modern global corporations, data is gathered on all aspects of the business a degree most people would be amazed about. As an economist I am sure you are fully aware of this. The only assumption I am actually making is this data shows handicapping/scripting/rubberbanding engages a larger amount of players than not. Theres no point in us arguing over what that data ultimately says as we won’t find out, however in my corner I have the huge amount of revenues turned over by free-to-play games that are no more than flashing compulsion loops, and this is precisley the microtransaction model that has been grafted onto fifa with fut. These are all facts with one sole assumption.

            Anyway my original intention was not to convince you handicapping is real, just to point out that your original article was flawed in its representation of what would be required to implement it. I have pointed out how it could be done fairly simply, wether it is or not is probably not something we will agree on.

            With a final for thought for occams razor, my theory assumes a corporation uses data to change its product slightly to engage its customers for longer, your “hypothesis says that EA is working just like any other company, and that FUT players are subject to the exact same human traits as real footballers.” This theory suggests a single video game player manipulating a completely manufactured digital construct where every onscreen action and reaction is ultimately determined by a maths equation, is in some way similar to a group of 11 real people of peak physical fitness working symbiotically with each other and a football using skills honed over a lifetime, where they do this as a career. A slump in a real football team happens due to personality clashes between players/mangers/coaching staff, or one player finding out someone has a better contract, or they hear the club have been looking for a new striker, or one player insulted another at the christmas night out, or club legends have peaked and are on the slide…….. you get my drift. Proper human reasons not at all applicable to someone switching on a console for a bit of leisure time, and some majorly convoluted assumptions about why a player has long losing streaks

          • Crlarsen

            “To increase the effect – to “enhance” the game experience – to get players to play for longer after they have hit the level where everyone is good and few players have an edge and then players start losing interest – to increase their profits”

            And what indicates that the feeling of having improved actually (1) can be enhanced (2) even further (3) in a way which in the end will make people buy more packs?

            It’s assumption after assumption after assumption. None of then substantiated.

            Unless EA has some kind of knowledge that neither of us have, it’s extremely unlikely that they would do anything like this due to the involved risks and the low likelihood of succes: A long row of unsubstantiated assumptions is not the ideal scenario for any kind of investment.

            “I answered this quite clearly with reference to the massive amount of data EA holds accross multiple generations of multiple franchises with regards to player engagement, patterns of play, average amount of time spent online, buying behaviours etc etc not to mentioning spending vast resources understanding gaming behaviours through cust feedback, game testers, focus groups etc. This is not an assumption on my part, this is a fact of modern global corporations, data is gathered on all aspects of the business a degree most people would be amazed about. As an economist I am sure you are fully aware of this. The only assumption I am actually making is this data shows handicapping/scripting/rubberbanding engages a larger amount of players than not.”

            I asked how you would know that players will build a (higher) emotional investment in the game after X wins in a row than they would have had otherwise.

            Your (quite clear) answer to that question is: (a) EA holds a lot of data. (b) You *assume* that this data proves your point.

            My quite clear answer to that is that you can’t prove an assumption with another assumption. This is plain logic.

            In other words, so far nothing indicates that you are right here.

            (..)

            “Anyway my original intention was not to convince you handicapping is real, just to point out that your original article was flawed in its representation of what would be required to implement it. I have pointed out how it could be done fairly simply, wether it is or not is probably not something we will agree on.”

            Presenting an endless row of unsubstantiated assumptions does not prove any flaws in my initial statement.

            “With a final for thought for occams razor, my theory assumes a corporation uses data to change its product slightly to engage its customers for longer, your “hypothesis says that EA is working just like any other company, and that FUT players are subject to the exact same human traits as real footballers.” This theory suggests a single video game player manipulating a completely manufactured digital construct where every onscreen action and reaction is ultimately determined by a maths equation, is in some way similar to a group of 11 real people of peak physical fitness working symbiotically with each other and a football using skills honed over a lifetime, where they do this as a career.”

            By no means. My point is that the player controlling the game will be subject to the same psychological forces that will affect real footballers, chess players and people during exams and job interviews.

            This will of course affect the outcome of the game.

            “Proper human reasons not at all applicable to someone switching on a console for a bit of leisure time, and some majorly convoluted assumptions about why a player has long losing streaks”

            Stating that the player will be subject to the same psychological forces which affect real footballers does not necessarily imply that every possible psychological aspect of a real football match can be found inside the head of the console player while playing FIFA.

            My point is that the phenomena being presented as evidence of scripting or handicapping (losing streaks, late goals) can be explained by completely natural causes.

            The natural, psychological forces are inherent in any human being, so we basically know that they are present in every game.

            We can’t say the same about handicapping or scripting.

            In other words, we have two possible explanations. Both can be correct. We know that one of them definitely is correct. We don’t know whether the other one is correct.

            And yet, the claim that game outcomes are manipulated basically rests on the assumption that none of the observed phenomena can be explained by natural, psychological forces.

            You don’t even need Occam’s razor blace to establish that this way of reasoning is complete nonsense.

          • kav

            Either you dont understand what I have argued, or something is lost in translation, or you are incapable of accepting when you are wrong, even a little bit. You consistently misrepresent what I have argued while levelling criticism at me that would apply to ANY hypothesis on this subject, pro or against. i.e we dont know 100% therefore its how I say it is. An intellectually dishonest form of reasoning.

            You accuse me of making assumptions when your article is the one with endless assumptions. To quote your own words

            – “Given that these phenomena happen to real life footballers for completely natural reasons, it appears reasonable to assume that they could happen to FUT players as well”

            – “Does EA have an economic incentive to fix matches? Perhaps. Could we assume that EA thinks and therefore invests like most other profit driven companies? Probably.”

            -” Based on the numerous threads about scripting and handicapping around the internet, it appears to be the latter rather than the first”

            – “Based on pure common sense, it appears more likely that EA would have an interest in exaggerating the importance of expensive and rare players……”

            – “We have to assume that this will involve developing an algorithm which can depict whether a win or a loss …”

            – “Is it likely that EA is unaware of these issues? Probably not….”

            – “I would be surprised if EA didn’t tickle the card weights once in a while”
            There are clearly far more assumptions in your thesis than mine so your line of criticism of mine is invalidated. The problem is you dont really appear to have much knowedge of how video games are produced. I do. What you seem to be doing is believing you can apply the rationale of your chosen field to all aspects of life, in the mould of Stephen Levitt or Nate Silver while completely failing to grasp you do not have anywhere near the knowledge or data available to you to do this.

          • Crlarsen

            Indeed there are assumptions in the theory I’m proposing here. But the fact that both theories are based on assumptions does not mean that these assumptions and hence the theories are equally likely.

            What I’m criticizing here isn’t the fact that you make use of assumptions, but the fact that your assumptions are unsubstantiated and in some cases in direct opposition with the facts we have.

            Basically, you are trying to prove that my theory is flawed, but you have to realize than presenting unfounded assumptions leading to an alternative explanation won’t disprove any theory or make it appear less likely.

            I basically make two points in my article above:

            1 – EA has no incentive to implement something like handicapping. Nothing indicates that this would be worthwhile. On contrary, there would be some quite obvious risks involved in manipulating game results. Therefore, the most likely assumption would be that EA didn’t spend their money implementing handicapping into the game.

            2 – FUT players are subject to the same psychological forces as real footballers, meaning that events which some people explain as evidence of handicapping, actually would be the expected product of psychological forces which are present within every kind of game involving competing humans. Therefore, the most likely explanation to these events is that they are the product of psychology (which definitely is part of the game) and not deliberate manipulation (which has never be proven to be there).

            What indicates that your assumptions are more likely than mine? That’s the question you should answer.

          • kav

            Well to be honest this moves away from my original point, which was that you did not represent accurately the technical process by which handicapping could be implemented. And from a coding perspective you certainly were incorrect. However, as I do think handicapping etc exists lets go over your two points.

            1 – ” EA has no incentive to implement something like handicapping. Nothing indicates that this would be worthwhile”

            What are you basing this on? If it is not difficult to introduce from a technical perspective, on what information are you basing this theory?

            2- “the most likely explanation to these events is that they are the product of psychology (which definitely is part of the game) and not deliberate manipulation (which has never be proven to be there)”
            Undoubtedly, certain psychological forces are at work on players of this game and indeed any other. We can take this as a given. However this fact in no way precludes the deliberate manipulation hypothesis. The existence of A has absolutely no bearing either way on the existence of B. Therefore it is a fallacious argument and cannot logically be included in the case for or against scripting etc. As A would be present in any possible situation we are talking about it is in essence nothing more than a common factor that can be cancelled out of our final equation.
            Thus the case for handicapping must be assessed on its own grounds. You have previously stated in this thread that there exists no objective evidence for the existence of deliberate manipulation. This is true. However what is also true is that absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. The case against the handicapping theory simply cannot be disproved on these grounds.

          • Crlarsen

            Ad 1 and 2) Reversing the burden of evidence does not strengthen your case.

            In science, in rule of law and in any debate, the burden of evidence rests with the party claiming that something exists, in this case EA’s incentive to fix matches. The party claiming that it doesn’t exist could never have the burden of evidence, because such a claim is impossible to prove by nature – in the same way as it is impossible to disprove that God exists.

            I’m not trying to prove that you are wrong. All I’m doing here is stating that you haven’t proved that you are right.

            The fact remains that you have presented nothing but assumptions in your attempt to support the claim that EA has an incentive to fix match outcomes or for that matter that EA is fixing match outcomes.

            Ad 2) I never said that the presence of these psychological factors rules out deliberate manipulation. All I’m saying is: The *most likely* explanation to the observed phenomena is that they are the product of psychology (which we both agree is present in the game) and not deliberate manipulation (which has never be proven to be there).

          • kav

            Unfortunately you have entirely tangled yourself up in knots logically. YOU wrote the article trying to prove it doesn’t exist. I just pointed out serious, fatal flaws in YOUR hypothesis. On top of that you rather farcically contradicted yourself in the space of one paragraph in your last post so I’m guessing you just don’t accept when you are wrong. I’m done with this thread now. QED as far as I’m concerned.

          • Crlarsen

            As stated, this article is not an attempt to prove anything. It’s prupose is to demonstrate that the claim that this game is subject to scripting and handicapping is quite unlikely. There is a significant difference between unlikely and disproved.

            And no, you haven’t pointed out any flaws. Everything you have presented so far is assumptions. Presenting assumptions doesn’t prove anything or point out any flaws.

  • VladimusMaximus

    Haven’t been on in a while, and frankly have stopped playing Fifa because of AIDS/Handicapping. However, Cliver has come out with another great video which just adds further proof…

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8fPdrtePBVM

  • Moashk

    Finally some one talking sense about the none sense loser excuse “handicap” so tell me when Japan beats Italy in world cup long before the game they were handicapped by FIFA? or when Uruguay reached semi finals in world cup they were handicapped as well ? or maybe Dortmund last year in the champion they were handicapped! or maybe this year ATT Madrid they are handicapped when they beat Barca which they have all top rated players?
    I know its a game and its deferent than reality but do u relies that slow team player they don’t move much and hard to leave space for the opponent to create chances, just play any game and leave the console on one player and use the other console and try to beat the defence u will find them hard to be beat not easy as you think.
    Now i am a player who played more than 300 games and top trader as well in FUT 14 and tried all the best player starting from TOTY Ronaldo up to cheapest IF bronze player, one thing I relies that there is shitty player like Messi who can’t do nothing other than running and I rather face a team with Ronaldo and Messi up front than facing a one with Ibra in the front.
    the other thing pace and speedy team are not every thing and we can’t expect a team worth 1M to beat easily another worth 50K just because you have IF and Top player inboard there must be a method of controlling the match applied. I have 4 squads each has dozen of IF, TOTY,TOTS player and I like playing what you call handicap as they are easy to beat if you get to control the match your way, above all is to know how to construct your team not by top rated player but by Individual skills, I have so many IF silver player which I love and still playing them next to 90+ players in one team because I know what I am doing.
    I am not the best and I’ve lost a lot to under rated team and I blame one thing is wrong approach to the match and so many times my TOTY 96 IBRA miss a shoot infront of GK who is 74 but that because I didn’t control shoot properly , when I lose i don’t cry and say F*** U EA for handicap thing but I do learn how to beat underrated team as I learn how to beat top rated team.

    Now to prove my point my PSN is Moashk plz be my guest with your handicap team and I will face you with a 80+ team inboard with best player and return your team in wheel chair and than only u will need a real handicap for your team.

  • cedmoy

    Ok. I just have to write something about this. I have been going back and forth about believing or not on this issue for a long time, specially with fifa 14. I´ve played since fifa 12, and for a long time I always felt I could learn from my mistakes, from long loosing streaks I always learned something, figured it out, changed something, got better, doing my own statistics, custom tactics, formations etc but with fifa 14 is more of a frustration because how self-analyzing-criticizing you are it does not really affect your wins. You cant figure it out. When you think you play good – you lose, and when you play bad – well you can win anyway. Only a few games, feels like good nice well great fair games. Then its huge fun either you win or loose.

    But maybe there isn’t so much scripting going on here so much as a difference between what I consider good football and what fifa does, and the how the game is made. I will give you an example of recent event that gave me this idea.

    I played FUT div 3 (my best div being 2 in FUT 14) and met this extraordinary good player. He played exactly like I want to play, cool, good passing nice finesse football. No stress. No aggressive play. Tricked me almost all the time, every situation with a large variety of moves, passes dribbling etc. It was nothing I could do just to play the match through and make the most of it, study the opponent. Then you think I won anyways cuz the handicap – nope! I didn’t, I lost, eventually as I got a little desperate towards the end – 5-0. As it should be. Hat off. He didn’t get any cheap goals until the last two at the end. He earned it!

    So I added the opponent as a friend, maybe this MASTER could have some tips for me, what he did, what I did wrong etc how to improve. Then I checked out his stats – he had to to be in div 2 right, cuz I was in 3, but mostly in div 1 I figured cuz he was so much better than me – NOPE he was in div 5! And his best div was div 5! And he had played almost as many games as me – 300 hundred something in FUT. How can this be?

    Either he lent the controller to a master friend – OR, the type of football he played, and I try to play – isnt rewarded in wins, therefore he hadn´t got passed div 5. And because I played similar style he could rule over me.

    It would sometimes seem you have a lot of pressure and control over the game, and that you have almost exactly the same type of shots as an opponent – his only one goes in, your 20 hits the post. Or his only tactic is to run to the corner flag do a cross, or get a corner goal…. Is it because he does it on a counter, which makes it far more likely to go in, compared to if you do it with the hole team on the move?

    I agree with the article that the psychological factor is maybe greater then you think, even just a little adrenaline makes you press just a little to hard or select wrong player… (i really notice this after playing the third or forth match in a row – I miss so much more likely). but I also think something is not as I would like, or expected it to be. Fifa 14 does not reward good fotball as I understand it.

    I want to know to why I’m bad or why I’m good! Fifa 14 doesn’t really give me that – scripted or not.

    Maybe we all have too high expactations. Its just a game – and I wont allow it to frustrate me anymore, I will continue play, casual now and then, as I like to play, not as fifa wants me to. If I loose – so be it.

    • Crlarsen

      Thanks for the comments, and I agree to a lot of it.

      Regarding the difference in divisions, it’s quite obvious that you can’t assess the skill of a player by looking at his division.

      First, the actual difficulty of the divisions is pretty dynamic and depends a lot of which time of the day you are playing, where you live etc. Winning division 1 may be easier during day time in Asia than staying in division 5 on a Saturday evening in the UK

      Second, some people play divisions more than others.

      I personally think that FIFA’s general control scheme isn’t very suitable for tight matches. When every single element in the game is balanced on a knife edge, even the smallest mistakes in stick direction and timing will result in really damaging outcomes such as:

      – Your defender passing the ball to an opposing striker in a situation which would never have happened in real life, bu happens in FIFA because you aren’t controlling every little detail in the movement of your players.

      – You have two players in front of you, one of them offside, the other one onside. When those two players are standing almost on a straight line, controlling whom to pass to with the analogue stick is quite impossible, but the game isn’t able to guess that you obviously aren’t aiming at the offside guy, even though your stick points slightly more in his direction than in his team mates direction.

      So, instead of being decided by slight differences in skill these tight matches will be decided by luck to a large extend. And this is in my opinion the real issue here.

  • VladimusMaximus

    You say scripting/handicapping does not exist. Fine, let’s say that it does not. I still suffer from the things that those terms are used to describe and it happens in stints for long periods of time. Mainly for 2-3 seasons at a time, until I am relegated a few divisions.

    I have been experiencing it for months and it seems to only be getting worse, all the meanwhile I practice more and become an actually “better player, I am finding it harder to win matches no matter how much I out play my opponent or how many chances I have.

    For instance after being relegated from Div 4 – 8 because my AI was all of a sudden acting completely differently then before.

    Then after buying more players and creating a new team it went away and things started feeling better again. My AI and players were always in the right place and very snappy/reactive. I went back up to Div 5 from 8.

    Then again, I got hit with them being unresponsive, now for many games in a row and I’m back down to Div 7.

    Even when playing against players who do the same repetitive completely predictable things ie) run down the wing every single chance, I still cannot take the ball from them or stop them from getting a completely ridiculous shot in from some crazy position!

    Some of the things that seem to happen:

    – Not making proper passes
    – Not making proper runs
    – Pausing before and after receiving or making a pass
    – 1-2 second button delay even though 3 green bars no lag
    – Missing and Whiffing wide open shots on net/headers 1on1 against ref
    – Unable to tackle ball, opponent always magnetically receiving it back
    – Unable to hold on the possession of the ball, seemingly automatically being tackled away when anyone is near and this with 1-2s button delay makes it impossible to retain possession even with ball protect
    – Not passing/shooting into direction I press
    – Ignoring my commands to shoot/pass or make a skill move entirely
    – Being very slow sluggish on pitch, barely being able to stop turn/run
    – Being out muscled and out run by weaker slower players
    – Payers standing around instead of walking towards a pass clearly made to them, so that opponent can simply walk infront and intercept
    – Goalie falling all over himself and unable to save simple slow balls
    – Opponents goalie saving literally everything I send his way even things which should go in 100%
    – Having 20 strikes 15 on target, with numerous amazing chances and losing 2-0 because he had 2 chances 2 on target but were both completely ridiculous while my guys fell apart in the box
    – My defenders literally warping behind the offense while running, or stopping, like some wind or weird force has sent them back 2-3 yards out of nowhere allowing the opponent to simply run through and score like Mozes parting the Seas.

    The list goes on and on and on, and I have recorded NUMEROUS videos oft his happening.

    To top this all off if somehow by sheer chance/luck or by doing the kick-off glitch I gain a lead or at least a draw of 1-1 2/2 every single damn time without fail at the 90th minute my opponent will make the header from any position no matter who’s covering them. Literally UNSTOPPABLE.

    I understand the game mechanics, I understand football. I cover all of the open spaces on the pitch I play smart, I defend passes and try to intercept but when this happens I cannot stop anything! The opponent literally walks through me and my guys seem to move out of the way like a weird force is blocking them from taking the ball. Or it always seems to find it’s way back to their feet; I mean it’s almost COMICAL.

    Then the games when this does not happen, I win EVERY single time! Because I can actually defend and make a normal pass.

    I have a 300MB/s connection. Hard-wired. I’m getting 25-30MB/s and 6/MBs respectively through the PS4.

    I have tried quitting, resetting my router not playing for a few days. EVERYTHING. and Guess what, NOTHING ever seems to work.

    The only thing that does ever work is deleting my team and re-creating them, then things seem okay for 1-3 matches until it all starts again.

    and 80% of people are experiencing this, there have been extensive polls done. Only 20% say they don’t believe handicapping/scripting don’t exist Out of 1000’s of people.

    • Crlarsen

      “and 80% of people are experiencing this, there have been extensive polls done”

      80 % of the guys who responded to the poll said that they had experienced this. This, however, doesn’t mean that 80 % of the players who play FIFA actually believes it exists. Poll with voluntary participation aren’t very representative.

      Furthermore, 20 % say they never experienced it. What’s your explanation to that?

      • VladimusMaximus

        There could be many explanations, however some I have come across are) most people who say they haven’t experienced are talking about older Fifa games, or Fifa14 on previous gen which isn’t as bad.

        That mixed with HOW you actually play the game. The engine handicaps people who play possession/smart passing. The engine AIDS players who do nothing but lob through balls and have over-all low possession and poor passing stats especially in the first half.

        • Crlarsen

          Given all the other claims you have made in this debate about the alleged motives from EA’s side, could you please explain why EA would want to make this have a greater impact on nextgen and for certain styles of play? Is it because they have found out that there is some kind of economic benefit to be made out of favouring people who play lobbed through balls over those who try to play possession / smart passing?

          • VladimusMaximus

            EA doesn’t directly try and reward an inferior play style; it simply happens that most “noobs” and people who aren’t very skilled at build up play or defense play in a specific style; lots of loose lobs and panic passes. EA’s engine is designed in order to AID those players and hence it inadvertently rewards that style of gameplay. The only reason PS4 and next-gen consoles have stronger AID/scripting/handicapping is because they have a lot more power for the algorithm and that aspect of the engine to run in real-time, calculate and adjust game play sliders on the fly.

          • Crlarsen

            This explanation makes no sense what so ever. The “strength” of the handicapping has to depend on the sliders you are mentioning. Adjusting these sliders to the required level doesn’t require any significant amount of CPU power.

            Besides, I don’t understand how EA identify the players the want to help. How is this done?

            In general, your comments about style of play indicates that you are trying to adopt a style of play that you aren’t capable of performing or perhaps a style of play which just isn’t very effective in this years FUT. Quite clearly, each game is biased towards certain styles of play. This year, crosses and headed goals have been too effective, whereas the adapting your style of play around pacy players have been less successful than previous years. Quite frankly, I think you should consider adapting a style of play which fits your personal abilities and which works.

          • LUÍS

            Makes no sense, but your explanation makes a lot of sense, right? There is no reason to buy Fifa anymore, EA just can’t see how bad this is doing to her. Whatever, maybe one day they will come up and say

  • Fragrant Armpit

    The biggest problem is that obviously superior players who dominate for the entire game are being cheated out of wins or being made to work for 2-1, 1-0 wins when before FIFA 10 they would win say 4-0, 5-0.

    It is laughable that you are trying to refute ALL these players’ experiences when no one complained about such things before FIFA 10 (coincidentally the last time I bought any FIFA game, which I’m glad about). Another problem is that because the playing field has been unfairly “levelled”, the “best” players are not really the best, the game becomes all about luck, a glorified version of blackjack.

    Many goals scored by weaker players at the end of the first and second halves have nothing to do with stamina, mental strength etc., if you watch the plethora of videos on youtube on this issue you will see things like your defenders running away from the ball, your defenders suddenly slowing down to a jog, not being able to select the defender you want at corners, balls bouncing around like a pinball and landing right at the feet of the striker in front of a gaping net, slow players outsprinting faster ones (which is not how stamina/ mental strength works), world class strikers missing chance after chance and then a terrible striker scores 2 out of 2 (from 40 yards) etc. these are not realistic ways to lose at all.

    • Crlarsen

      I’m not surprised if people started talking about handicapping when FUT was introduced.

      FUT has, above all, made the game a lot harder, producing a lot of tight matches. Tight matches are quite often decided by random factors (luck!), including mistakes related to the control scheme, where many button combinations have different meanings depending on the situation. When things are happening in a split second, just a minor mistiming will cause the player to do something which makes no sense at all instead on something intelligent. Like for instance cancel (R2+L2 / RT+LT) instead of controlled dribbling (R2+L2 / RT+LT).

      • LUÍS

        Yes, but this ”minor mistiming” is not my fault. I’m not controlling the defender who is doing that. I try to defend my goal from 2 strikers while the other CB is running randomly, it’s not my fault. It’s just surprising how blind you guys are. Seriously, or EA pays you for this or you guys are just totally blind.

  • ICE x Ro

    Before I give you my opinion, I’ll offer my credentials. I’ve been playing fifa since ’94 on the sega genesis. My FUT record is 349-77-29. My online seasons record is an undisputed 44-0-0. I’ve won over a thousand pro club matches this year and I’ve been ranked in the top 10 strikers for the last 3 years including #1 for the first 4 months of fifa14 release on the Xbox 360. I play in 4 online XB1 club leagues and serve as an administrator on their websites. With that said, I will tell you all what I tell everyone about this topic and what I told myself a few years ago when I was trying to become a great player. It’s all in your head. There is no scripting or handicap the way you think there is. In reality, some of us can and most likely will beat the crap out of your gold team with our silver team. If you feel like there is a problem with the game, take a look at your own performance and assess how many mistakes you are actually making over the course of each game… And then don’t make those mistakes. If you want to use scripting or handicapping as a scapegoat for playing like a hot bag of trash in June, go ahead… But FYI, the best players in the world blame themselves after losing or….. Give credit to a better opponent.

    • VladimusMaximus
      • ICE x Ro

        I dismiss here say as proof unless offered by an individual more credible than myself.

        • VladimusMaximus

          Good for you. EA will never admit it as it’s against their interest do so. Whether you believe it or not, the game is still plagued with it, use what ever language you wish to describe it.

        • Crlarsen

          I had this debate about the validity of different kinds of evidence in another forum.

          Someone presented a screen dump, apparently showing a database table from the game.

          The table talks about something called “match intensity”, which apparently depends on the score line and the amout of minutes played. The match intensity may have values such as 1, 2, 0 or -2.

          This table was presented bullet proof evidence that the game is scripted. However, when comparing the actual contents of the table against the claims regarding scripting (winning streaks, last minute goals, the opponent winning against all odds), there is absolutely no link, unless you are willing to jump very far to get to your conclusion.

          I assume that it’s easy to accept this as evidence if you want to believe, but for the rest of us it’s obvious that this is plain BS.

    • Crlarsen

      The truth is that it would be a lot more convenient to most of us if the game was scripted. After all, it’s much easier to accept the fact that you lost because the opponent was helped than accepting that you lost because you weren’t good enough. It’s like religion: Accepting the death of a close relative is much easier when you believe there is a god controlling your faith.

      It’s no conicidence that people started talking about scripting after the online game modes were introduced.

      The difference between FUT and the offline game modes is that people will be facing opposition significantly above what they will find in the offline game modes, and in effect a higher ratio of matches which are being decided by luck instead of difference in skill.

      Losing because the other guy was more lucky is frustrating. And frustration is what this is all about.

      I fully recognize the frustration of losing a tight seasons match, and I fully recognize the feeling of having lost because of factors which weren’t under my control – like the control scheme being too unprecise in tight situations, the team mates being stupid etc.

      Frustration is easier to cope with if you can blaim someone else.

    • LUÍS

      ”And then don’t make those mistakes” – I think you don’t really get what is scripting, right? It’s weird how my rare gold team can beat the shit out of a Half TOTT/TOTM team, but can’t beat a rare silver team which his GK defends all the balls. ”And then don’t make those mistakes” We would be able to avoid those mistakes if there weren’t some fucking codes behind the game, that’s the said truth my friend.

  • aziz

    hey, im 36yr old and fifa is a game that i alwijs play en i realy played tons of game wt friend online ect, i started playing fifa on ps1 fifa97 till this days. i bought 14 on the day of releas but didnt play online till a month ago after winnin the fist 10 maches evrything was oke but i had a feeling that the game favour me to win the players did thing you can even inmagine than i started to play fut also i was super man i went a couple div up it was all fine. than the shit started lose lose win lose ect after a while its like history repeat its self so i knew there was somthing not right. the player cant pass a ball wen i shoot at goal its like schooting againt a wall so i started to lobb the ball wen the goalkeeper come out of goal it was the only way voor me to score goals but than wen i finish the game by a win than somthing realy strange happen they say you have diconected and i get a lose instead of a win en than the next maches less coins. im not intrested in coins so i didnt ceer, but than i wanted to test the game. i sold all my players and built a new team and evry thing is the same. than again i went from gold to silver and played gold teams sometimes agains gold teams whit c ronalde messi ect. all the same. as i start to play a couple min i can feel if im to win or lose this game. wen i win evry thing goes smooth wen i lose all thing go heavy and stiff. im realy disepionted at fifa becouse its my favout game. im 100% sure about it that this game is broken or scripted.

  • VladimusMaximus

    Simply watch this or read this from 09! This is when the update happened and balancing/scripting/handicapping was introduced! There is historical evidence found online. EA says they took it out; but OBVIOUSLY they didn’t.. Why on earth would anyone believe what EA actually says lol?? When they lie constantly about all of their titles!! and it’s been proven time and time and time again… so many scandals now.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iztd8qxfG0E

    http://www.ign.com/boards/threads/fifa-09-online-gameplay-seriously-flawed-after-last-update-due-to-broken-momentum-effect.176337423/

  • VladimusMaximus

    Think EA is using this strategy only in Fifa? Think again. Here is a review from Metacritic about NHL14

    “rygu

    Mar 5, 2014

    5

    I swear EA pays magazines and game sites to give high grades, or they don’t actually play the game just look at the graphics, or they know zero about hockey. This game looks fabulous. It ends there though unfortunately. The goalies are awful even when the AI is all maxed out. One minute they make 3 awesome saves up close, but then they let in a backhander from 30 feet with zero traffic in front. When you lift the puck for a dump in, the puck literally bounces about your players head everytime. Ever seen that happen in a real hockey game? I sure haven’t and have been watching for 25+ years and played it for 8. The computer will poke the hell out of you when you have the puck with zero calls, but if you at anytime poke them and catch their leg once, penalty 100% of the time. If you watch point shots on instant replay on computer goals, the puck will literally go through players’ bodies to get to the net. So much potential, but this is a seriously unrealistic and frustrating game.”

    or how about this one.

    fryster99
    Feb 2, 2014
    5
    Disappointed with NHL 14. One of my biggest beefs is the passing in the game which is horrible and results in frequent missed passes and icing. If you press the pass button and aim in the general direction it should go to your teammate, not to open ice as often as it does. Also, your own AI teammates throw you offside all the time, or won’t pick up loose pucks automatically, which is not realistic. There is also a glitch where offsides is not called sometimes despite the puck clearly coming out over the blue line and back in and touched by offense. WAAAAY too many penalties are called, charging? boarding? its a video game, lets not get carried away and take the fun out of the game by trying to be too realistic and calling everything. Passing needs to be improved, less penalties should be called especially for charging/boarding, and your own teammates should stop throwing you offsides all the time.

  • yoko

    when people say EA fix matches because it will improve their revenues, its the simplest and purest truth. winning makes people happy, so in this game everyone will at somepoint experience winning strikes and easyness to play good matches. Satisfied costumers will return for fifa 15. this game is scripted and there is no way to denied it, this article is a joke, i ask the article writer if he has even ever played fifa?? and scripting is not only in FUT, its in more modes, and its in the roots of the code of game since fifa 10

  • Ali

    Obviously this is a bussines plan – controled frustration, accesibility, etc. This article failed on every issue – while trying to pretend to be deep, smart analysis it unfortunately lacks in any knowledge of Free-to-play games, game design and fundamental human psychology.

  • VladimusMaximus

    My account was just banned for a 4th time on the EA forum after exposing the truth; without a warning or an infraction I received a straight ban. My reply was also removed.

    I posted about playing for the second time against a child, a boy who was between 9-11 years old. He was yelling profanities into the mic; I came on and had a very polite discussion with him trying to find out a little about why he was so hyper.

    Regardless, even though he clearly didn’t know how to play a particularly intelligent game we tied 1-1, he had a low 65 chem team 50 rated team. Completely random crappy team and as per usual against this type of opponent I was handicapped/scripted VERY heavily. So heavily in fact that even though I had numerous wide open chances on his net even with his keeper being out of his net! the engine REFUSED to let me score. As soon as I was in his box my players and I would SLOW down to suuuuch a high degree it felt like a LEAD weight was put on their shoes (only in their BOX or my BOX) by the way, the rest of the time it was bad but not as bad. It was NOT lag he is from my City and both of us had green connections.

    He scored from 30 yards from a crazy position.

    My striker “Aguero” literally just stood infront of his open net and would NOT respond to my inputs asking him to score. He literally just stood there and waited for the goalie to come back and pick up the ball from him.

    Other times the ball hit the post and went wide, FINALLY I was able to come back with a 1-1 and play a decent enough defense game even though my defense was completely falling apart and letting him in.

    This by the way is only because he was a CHILD! a CHILD! If he was even decent at this game I would have not been able to win.

    Scripting and Handicapping is PART OF THIS GAME, once and for all get it through your head OP.

    • Crlarsen

      For someone who allegedly play this game a lot, you pay a lot of attention to things like squad ratings, player stats and chemistry as opposed to actual skill.

      To me, this game is 90 % about skill, 9,5 % about player stats and 0,5 % about squad chemistry.

      FUTHEAD has a nice guide on how the chemistry bonus is calculated and how it affects specific player attributes via the chemistry style. First and foremost, the chemistry bonus is small and will only increase the in game player stats marginally.

      Given these facts, it’s interesting to notice that, at least in my personal experience, the chemistry level is significantly more determinant for the chances of winning than differences in squad rating.

      As an example, when I’m playing with a 74 rated silver team, I lose roughly 30-40 % of the matches when matched against a 74-rated opponent with 100 chem, whereas when I’m matched against squads with <80 chemistry, I win 8 out of 10 no matter whether the opponent's squad is higher rated or lower rated.

      In other words, although the team chemistry level only causes small alterations to the player performances, it's still far more determinant than differences in squad stats between you and the opponent.

      Assuming that there is some kind of correlation between skill and squad chemistry (or to be more specific that the likelihood of having build a 100 chemistry squad increases with your skill level, this can only lead to the conclusion that skill is far more determinant than squad stats.

      Hence, the conclusion that this game is 90 % about skill and that you should stop complaining about losing against opponents with lower rated teams with lower chemistry.

      • VladimusMaximus

        After 650+ games I now get handicapped against MOST teams, no matter what their ratings or chem. Even more so against low chem teams; but I think this has to do with the fact that I play players the engine deems less experienced who have played less games. Either way, I’m kind of finished arguing here, I’m going to be putting together a short doc about this topic when I’m done i’ll show you.

        I also play with 100% chem teams.

        Also I am a highly skilled fifa player who’s in his 30s. I have had over 600 games in fifa14 alone. This 10 year old who almost beat me, just got the game.

        • Crlarsen

          What happens if you open a new account and start on a clean sheet?

          • VladimusMaximus

            I had actually tried this and it made a massive difference, there was still momentum/intensity in the game (very obvious) but I didn’t feel like the games were instantly and constantly handicapped. I also tried on my friends PS4 account and his account played completely differently.

            But I don’t want to keep having to create new accounts and it would take FOR EVER to transfer over all of my players. Why should I have to jump through these hoops as a customer.

          • Crlarsen

            What kind of games do you play?

            Always with gold teams? Always seasons?

          • VladimusMaximus

            Mainly ultimate team with some regular seasons. I have tried every variation and combination. When I started playing although I would experience these scripted losing streaks after a while I could always bounce back and using mix non rare teams with bronze benches worked.

            Today nothing works even if I use silver and bronze non rates. I mainly play with 80-82 rated gold teams with a mix of rare and non.

            Normal seasons same thing happens. Even trying to play full manual on seasons same thing happens the game still takes over and won’t let me do what I’m trying to tell it to do.

            Just look at all the threads on EA forum describing the exact same issues I’m having problems with!
            http://forum.ea.com/uk/posts/list/45/2874416.page

          • Crlarsen

            What happen when (if) you play FUT friendlies?

            A couple of observations from my side:

            At my personal skill level,the percentage of tight matches in FUT seasons is much higher than when playing friendlies.

            Tight matches are more frustrating. Why? Because you aren’t in control to the degree you would expect to be. And that may in fact be the case for both you and your opponent. The reason for this is related to the control scheme:

            In general, the control scheme lets you control the players on a macro level. By macro I mean the direction of movement, specific skill moves, direction of passes etc. The AI takes care of the micro level controls and the macro controls for the rest of the team.

            But when things get tight, the outcome of specific events (duels) will be decided by the micro movement to a much larger extent. You may decide to go into a tackle, but it’s the AI’s decision making which causes your player to tackle the ball to an opponent, although this never would have happened in similar situation in real life.

            So, when looking at things from above, the outcome of tight matches will be decided by AI intervention to a much larger extend. This is of course quite frustrating because you are out of control.

            On top of that, it doesn’t make things any better that the game suffers from certain inexpediencies. I would mention things like rain and shadows, which above all makes things less controllable, because the direction of the ball is harder to read. The connectivity lags have the same effect.

            In general, I believe that EA will be working at making the micro movement more intelligent. We will never get to a point where we are actually controlling micro movement ourselves, but it’s clear that there is room for improvement.

            On top of that, I hope that EA will make things like weather and shadows optional in online games.

          • VladimusMaximus

            I wish what you were saying was right unfortunately it couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact EA sports titles are Very concerned with controls macro movements for you as well as assisting players which are younger or new to the franchise. They have been adding this catch up logic and game balancing for a long time and it’s been worse and worse each year I becoming in essence more and more macro.

            The point is that I often cannot control even my players direction as it will be affected and hampered by the engine, either wishing me to score or concede a goal.

            As I mentioned before this game is also 90% what your AI does, and the engine controls that entirely. Whether your team mates are open for a good pass, put them selves into good positions, make good runs, are open for rebounds and lobbies or score good header positions,,, is ALL pure engine logic and EA decides how well they are going to perform on the fly.

            Friendliest makes no difference. In fact nothing I do on my main 650+ game account makes any difference anymore.

            Before however I was able to play test and experiment using friendlies. I would play some people that absolutely raped me during FUT seasons matches 6-0 while my team was completely handicapped again on friendlies to do some tests, after deleting and resetting my squad I would win 4-0 with the same person, and while speaking over the mic they would attest that the game felt all of a sudden completely different. That their team now wasn’t making runs and barely creating chances. The tables had flipped, but neither him nor I were actually using different tactics or trying any less or harder. I did this many times.

            Check out this thread ..

          • VladimusMaximus

            http://www.operationsports.com/forums/ea-sports-nhl/662631-ea-deleted-thread-locked-me-down.html

            This shows proof that even other titles are experiencing the same thing and EA is likewise trying to hide it. This guys says his best friends buddie works at ea on NHL and firmly confirms handicapping and scripting has been in the he game for a long time and it’s deeply imbedded in the logic.

            Anyway, I want to thank you for writing your article and allowing open discussion here. For that I really respect you, even if most of the comments and replys are contrary to what you are trying to prove. Hopefully we will help you understand and maybe write another article eventually, as frankly we need more intelligent people banding together against handicap and scripting to get EA to do anything.

          • Crlarsen

            No, it doesn’t show proof. It’s hear say and nothing more than that.

          • VladimusMaximus

            Massive, massive Face-palm. Can you honestly be so thick-headed and stubborn? I simply don’t see how this is possible.

            Climate change is NOT heresay, neither is Fifa/Madden/NHL scripting-handicap.

            What heresay, jump into a game and EXPERIENCE it for yourself; watch the multitudes of video evidence, or forum evidence from previous years..

            There is so much compelling evidence for it, that simply throwing out a few stupid talk-points like a defeated politician, won’t change the FACTS.

            Even on this blog the OVERWHELMING consensus is that it exists and you have no clue what you’re talking about, at this point you’re nothing but a TROLL.

  • javier

    Hándicap dont exist in fut? ? You are a simple idiot or ea games worked. Of course, handicap exist! Maibe not for ugly and idiots players like a you

  • Fraser M

    This denial of scripting/handicapping is getting beyond a joke now…. How much video evidence does one need to post? It totally looks and feels like scripting/handicapping and there’s even that Madden 09 ad out there and also that a little girl played the casual in it… This horrible thing is supposed to help weaker players compete and it does exactly what it says on the tin… it quite literally corporate eats your controls and AI. The better you play in terms of football the more you’re unwittingly handicapping yourself, and this passes on from game to game…

    Let’s just say that it’s not a football game to be taken too seriously…
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h6VYnFwVdq8

    Heck even the physics aren’t real most of the time. Not even the physics are spared from being part of the aiding process…

    What I’m reading about UT though… that is just pure fraud…

  • noplacetohide

    you blind son of a bitch. it’s simple, it wasn’t there before and now it is, and i can tell cause i’ve played thousands of hours since fifa08, and so can tell the other players. in real life it happens because of ‘destiny’, in here it happens because of the fucking code. if you get a goal is the player IN REAL LIFE that is supposed to be depressed not the fucking 3D player in the game. Anyway, i don’t want to be mean, it’s just this game and all the blind people that support this lie that pisses me off.

    • Fraser M

      They’re deluded m8. I guess we’re all just supposed to play along with this fantasy that it isn’t there… ignore that it’s laughably obvious and go “this is me winning”

  • gol

    This guy is a idiot ir ea programer

  • Desktop44

    “FUT 14 Why scripting and handicapping don’t exist ”
    Are you having a laugh or is EA employing people to pose as bloggers to try and counter the prevailing opinion on the parts of the internet that their forum mods cannot ban?

    • Crlarsen

      I’m not affiliated with EA in any way. It’s hard to tell whether this opinion is prevailing among FUT-players in general. Based on the reactions to this article, it remains unquestionable that the subject arouses stronger feelings among the scripting proponents than among the skeptics, which perhaps is why the proponents are more numerously represented here than their counterparts. This is by no means surprising, as it is the picture you will see in relation to most conspiracy debates around the internet. Having stronger feelings or being more numerously represented should, however, never be confused with being right.

      • Fraser M

        This game, NHL & Madden are ridiculously scripted to shift more copies of the game…. crossly unfair to shift more copies of the game. Hated FIFA 11 after having not played FIFA in years and stopped playing at FIFA 12. “Humanizing”… It doesn’t even feel like you’re playing them… you feel like a puppet with strings attached to you…

        This is how bad they are in terms of scripting and I’m not exaggerating… FIFA on the 16 bit is less linear… If you don’t believe me, go download an emulator and play it… play a friend on a 2 player mode…

  • fredwill13

    @crlarsen, come on………….are you kidding????? you have to be. Fifa, when it was at it’s height (fifa 12), skill was the main the factor. Fifa 13 took a turn for the worse. Fifa 14 is the same. I don’t care how you try to justify it (obviously you are an agent of EA sports), if you say scripting doesn’t exist then you are clearly lying and insulting the intelligence of the consumer. Crazy bounces, defenders who pull themselves out of the way, goalies who save 20 shots while the opposing goalie saves nothing, offenses which cannot be stopped or cannot do anything, etc…………. the scripting is clearly evident. If I was the only one saying it or there were only a few people saying it, then fine, but there is an online petition that has been signed by thousands of frustrated gamers. There are people who are (were) really into fifa and play almost 60-80 hours a week. In all of this gaming time, intelligent gamers realize the patterns that emerge. If these events would happen in singular instances, then no one would complain, but when they happen constantly in the same situation then it is crystal clear that scripting is apparent. One 45′ minute goal is okay, but for it to happen every 7 out of 10 games is shameful. Stop scripting and then you don’t have to write these articles that defend EA sports.

  • Kimmyxavi

    Scripting is when you’re 2-0 up in the 89th minute with an 84+ rated team against a 83- rated team and it is completely impossible to select your nearest player which results in you chasing after Ibarbo whilst your other 86 rated comp controlled CB runs off in the opposite direction to leave a massive gap for him to run through and score. It’s now 2-1, you kick off, somehow your TOTS Kroos can’t complete a simple 5 yard pass and instead passes right into the foot of Ibarbo who hits a first time shot from 35 yards which your TOTS keeper decides to parry into the net!

    It’s now 2-2, you kick off, the 3 minutes of extra time have been going for about 2 minutes real time, again one of your 85+ rated players with 90+ short passing, can’t pass 5 yards, you lose the ball, they shoot – Oh what’s this, an injury time corner, I wonder what’s going to happen here (this is the longest 3 in-game minutes ever, since that would be about 15-20 seconds normally..) – Oh yeah, he takes the corner, up rises that man again Ibarbo near the edge of the 18 yard line who powers in a bullet header that evades both the keeper and the man on the line (some serious neck muscles).. You kick off, the ref blows the whistle – Post game stats show you having 60+% possession and 15+ shots on target, whilst his shows 40- possession and 3 shots on target!

    But yeah that happens in real life all the time!

  • Fraser M

    Whenever I see someone saying “I don’t think there is scripting” it makes me laugh my ass off…

    Is this supposed to be football?

    The topic ain’t banned on the FIFA and NHL boards for nothing you know.

    You know I shouldn’t have to post this but I’ll post it anyway…

    Here goes…

    1. We have this at a developers conference back on 2007…
    http://oi58.tinypic.com/2cy35w3.jpg
    http://oi62.tinypic.com/jpk6ko.jpg

    2. We have this momentum guide mistake from 2009…
    http://i46.tinypic.com/59snfb.jpg (it was real but the weaker gamer/team got the “carried” advantage)

    3. We have this FIFA 13 description…
    http://postimg.org/image/gbni16gkf/

    4. We have Cliver101 showing us what your emotional/scripted/rubberbanded goal might look like with commentary…
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h6VYnFwVdq8

    5. And we have David Rutter…
    http://spong.com/feature/10110703/Interview-David-Rutter-on-FIFA-13-Were-Taking-on-Call-of-Duty

    “we are the definitive simulation of the sport they love, and we’ve done it in a way that I think allows people who aren’t into football to enjoy it too.”

    “Moving away from the football thing and looking at non-football fans, what they see is this amazing simulation of humans running around kicking a ball of leather, that when they perform an action is executed in a way that makes complete sense.”

    “My kids love it, and they’re like… eight and five years old.”

    • VladimusMaximus

      David Rutter pretty much spelled it out. Press a button, the game does the rest; you can be 5-8 years old have no idea how the game works or how football is played, still score and win against Vets.

      • Fraser M

        Exactly. Why are we even having to debate this? It’s all about business and profits. The integrity of the gameplay is out the window because EA is a business and gaming is far too mainstream nowadays. Companies under today’s climate… they really want to make sure that the casual masses have fun… even if this borders on outright dictating when one wins & loses… has some thinking this way. They want to make the game super easy to play and also make sure that everyone has casual fun. It’s not even subtle. Casuals love this game.

  • Fraser M

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h6VYnFwVdq8

    With carried/script-ish/rubberband/linear gameplay like that…

    “My kids love it, and they’re like… eight and five years old.”

    It is no wonder 8 & 5 year old kids who may not even be into football could love it…

    Stop saying it isn’t scripted…

    Sebastian Enrique has a passion for rubberbanding WWE style…
    http://oi58.tinypic.com/2cy35w3.jpg

    …and I’m sure it will help him outsell COD.

  • Fred

    With all due respect, but this article is worthless. The fact that real-life football can be strange is what you use to prove that the strange behaviour of the game is to be considered ‘normal’. Logically this makes no sense. At all.
    Your method of using graphs and statistical nonsense is nowhere near as ‘objective’ as you think it is. This and the way in which you reply to every comment leads me to believe you consider yourself to be THE authority on the subject bc you’ve figured it all out. But the fact of the matter is you didn’t…
    Don’t get me wrong, everybody is entitled to his/her opinion, but this wannabe-scientific approach does not hold any ground.

    I am not going to go wall-of-text on you but allow me to just say 2 things that render your whole argumentation worthless.

    You assume that EA will not waste resources making a ‘scripting engine’ (for lack of a better term) like that. This is both naive and untrue. In fact if you did some research you’d know that in FIFA 09 they introduced some kind of AI that made games more exciting. At the time AI like that usually was some glorified rubberbanding AI. EA was so proud of the feature it was actually one of the selling points of that year’s iteration of FIFA. So the basic code exists and updating it every year along with everything else probably is easier than getting rid of it.
    Also, match intensity-detection code is a must in a modern-day sportsgame. Think about it. If deciding goals are made last minute etc. the crowd roars louder, commentators are more enthousiastic, etc. So the code exists and must be in the game no doubt about it. The thing is, is it used only for presentation purposes, or does gameplay also get affected? I believe it does. In fact everybody that plays the game a lot and gets really good at it believes it does. I won’t repeat the same old examples again… I’m merely trying to say why your assumptions, and therefor most of your article is to be taken with a serious grain of salt and is nowhere as objective as you make it out to be.
    Secondly, the whole EA business model is about micro transactions and profit maximization. I won’t go in detail, but do the research and you won’t argue with me.
    So yeah EA knows EXACTLY what they are doing to get unexperienced players hooked and keep veterans buying packs. Your whole theory about it down the drain.

    I do agree that real-life pressure at the 90th minute or end-of-season games does have an effect in-game. EA made the huge mistake to try and code this into the game, which is useless since it will happen naturally and has ultimately – for me- ruined the game.
    I don’t play it as often anymore, and this has even strengthened my belief. About 6 months ago I deleted the game from my system out of frustration that I had no control over anything anymore. Last week installed it again for my brother, played a few games for fun and the losing streak just picked up where it left off… So mindset has in this case nothing to do with it. Then I relegate and I happen to score from nearly EVERY half-ass opportunity. Just ridiculous

    EA. It sure is in the game.

    • Crlarsen

      A few comments here:

      “The fact that real-life football can be strange is what you use to prove that the strange behaviour of the game is to be considered ‘normal’. Logically this makes no sense. At all.”

      I would appreciate some kind of argument in relation to this kind of statement. I have already told why and to what extend I find this comparison relevant.

      “You assume that EA will not waste resources making a ‘scripting engine’ (for lack of a better term) like that. This is both naive and untrue. In fact if you did some research you’d know that in FIFA 09 they introduced some kind of AI that made games more exciting. At the time AI like that usually was some glorified rubberbanding AI. EA was so proud of the feature it was actually one of the selling points of that year’s iteration of FIFA. So the basic code exists and updating it every year along with everything else probably is easier than getting rid of it.”

      What you are telling me here is that because they were willing to build “something that made the game more exiting” in FIFA 09, this proves that they would be willing to build something else in FIFA XX, (although it wouldn’t make any sense from a commercial point of view, given the reasons I already provided). I’m sorry, but I can’t follow you here.

      “Also, match intensity-detection code is a must in a modern-day sportsgame. Think about it. If deciding goals are made last minute etc. the crowd roars louder, commentators are more enthousiastic, etc. So the code exists and must be in the game no doubt about it.”

      Indeed it does. It was introduced in FIFA 07 according to a presentation made by one of EA’s developers at GDC that year. But this has nothing to do with tampering with the results, as also stated in that paper by the way.

      “I believe it does. In fact everybody that plays the game a lot and gets really good at it believes it does.”

      In this comments section there are multiple examples of players who have played this game way more than average and who strongly disagrees that handicapping exists.

      “I’m merely trying to say why your assumptions, and therefor most of your article is to be taken with a serious grain of salt and is nowhere as objective as you make it out to be.”

      I’m not trying to be scientific or objective here. That’s not the purpose. I’m simply trying to demonstrate why (a) it’s highly unlikely that EA would build anything like this and (b) that there are perfectly good and more like, alternative explanations to some of the phenomena which often are mentioned as examples of scripting.

      “Secondly, the whole EA business model is about micro transactions and profit maximization. I won’t go in detail, but do the research and you won’t argue with me.So yeah EA knows EXACTLY what they are doing to get unexperienced players hooked and keep veterans buying packs. Your whole theory about it down the drain.”

      Of course, EA is trying to maximize it’s profit (I actually state that in my piece) and of course, a good share of EA’s business is built on micro transactions. And so what? This doesn’t prove that FIFA tampers with the result in order to serve some kind of profit maximizing scheme.

      “I do agree that real-life pressure at the 90th minute or end-of-season games does have an effect in-game.”

      As mentioned above, we should expect many last minute goals due to the fact that the 45th and 90th minutes are (1) significantly longer than all other minutes, and also (2) percentwise longer than the 455th and 90th minutes in real life football. Adding to that the fact that there are plenty of tactical and psychological reasons why last minute goals would be more frequent, I find absolutely no reason to believe that the reported phenomena are “coded into the game”. I mean: Why would they do that? As you say, it would happen naturally – and they know that aswell. And for the same reason, why do you take it for granted that they would bother coding it into the game?

      Regarding end-of-season games, the game will attempt to match you with a player from your own division if possible. However, if you look at your own match history, you will see that most of your seasons matches are against players from other divisions and – of course – not necessarily on the same stage in their season as you are. Therefore, it would be quite hard to determine which results to induce in which matches. And it would also appear quite pointless to steal a victory from a player playing a mid season match and gifting him with the same victory when he reaches the final match of the season.

  • Please read this

    61-2-0 record in fifa 12, 42-1-1 in fifa 13, like 34-18 in fifa 14. Game is a complete joke and totally scripted. I’m clearly not bad at fifa being undefeated to div 1 in fifa 12, and 1 loss to div 1 in fifa 13, but as soon as I played fifa 14 the game was clearly scripted and my win loss went down to 34-18ish in a day, despite playing at “lower rated” divisions. Overnight I must have become terrible!

    Oh wait, the game is terrible buggy scripted horseshit for casuals. It’s a joke that bad players go unpunished because of the scripting whereas good players get unreactive players or horrible “luck”.

    The sliders in the game suggest how the scripting works, things like shot error, passing error goalkeeper ability and such vary by how much scripting is in effect. When you have a great game with your team, everyone gelling together and playing well, then the very next match everyone is complete shit despite being the same formations players ect, that is because of scripting. This is so that people that are terrible at the game don’t rage quit and give EA less money and so people buy more packs in the hope they “improve”.

    Game is a complete joke, and I would challenge anyone with better statistics than me to come up with a better argument. EA ruined Fifa 14 with unplayable scripting, that is a fact.

  • Mike Rak

    lol author never played above division 3

    • Crlarsen

      And why do you think so?

      • Mike Rak

        He obviously never played any in division 1, had to come up against top 100 pro club in the world and if they didn’t score with skill FIFA literally moves your defenders away from their path, makes you take crap touches, their GK is Lev Yashin, etc

        • Crlarsen

          And what’s the answer to my question?

          • Mike Rak

            If he had played above division 3, he would realize the script is very much present.

          • Crlarsen

            So, in other words: If I was playing nin Division 3, noe of the hard facts found in the survey would be true anymore..?

          • Mike Rak

            The hard facts you presented might be true in some instances but playing Pro clubs against top 10 team in the world shows exactly that script exists. When a 5’5 player wins a headers when he is surrounded by 3 defenders who are 5’11 to 6’1″ you know something is up. Those games are also way more faster pace wise and ball control doesn’t seem to apply.

          • Crlarsen

            “The hard facts you presented might be true in some instances ”

            Why not in all instances? Let’s take a couple of examples:

            Stoppage time goals: Can you name someone, where an average of 4.5 goals per match and an average stoppage time of 7 minutes shouldn’t lead to stoppage time goals in approximately every 2nd match?

            Losing streaks: Can you name an averagely skilled player where the purely mathematical facts I present won’t fit?

            “Pro clubs against top 10 team in the world shows exactly that script exists. When a 5’5 player wins a headers when he is surrounded by 3 defenders who are 5’11 to 6’1″ you know something is up. Those games are also way more faster pace wise and ball control doesn’t seem to apply.”

            You play against top 10 pro clubs and think that they beat you because of handicapping??

            Let me correct a basic misunderstanding: Heading is NOT all about height. It’s obvious that tall players do have an advantage in terms of height, but in terms of jumping, they are far behind lighter (smaller) players. This is the case in real life as well as in FIFA.

            Besides that, two other factors play a huge role: Timing and positioning. Both are under player control. So chances are, that if your opponent is doing a good job, having the taller player won’t help you.

            I’m 1.90 m and despite that, I’m pretty sure that I wouldn’t stand a chance in a real life heading duel against a player like Mascherano or Kolo Toure, despite them being a lot smaller.

  • Slice92

    Complete BS!
    This entire post is just ridiculous. You my friend suffer the same problem EA themselves suffer from… You simply have NEVER PLAYED FIFA 14! You can’t have for you to make this post unless you are? A) Mentally retarded or B) Mentally retarded. Your argument about Man Utd and Cardiff and their points tally last season is nothing short of just comical. Your argument is simply stupid and I there simply isn’t enough hours in the day to pick the holes in your argument. I would however implore you to buy either a PS4 or Xbox One and also pick up a copy of FIFA 14 for whatever console you desire to play it on and actually PLAY the game before coming on here talking shit about how handicap and scripting “Don’t” (Should be doesn’t but I won’t go there) exist.

    • VladimusMaximus

      He’s been hired by EA pure and simple. It’s a PR stunt.

  • Alex

    I am sorry but this article (to me at least) doesn’t answer anything. While I do agree that mental factors on the player themselves is an issue that leads to last minute goals (e.g getting nervous and backing off, playing zonal defence to cover possible runs instead of man marking to minimise risks of a bad/missed tackle that would set up or cause a goal), The real world has no play in a game here.

    Yes they may have tried to make it more realistic by adding in possible psychological factors to the players but as far as i know, that is only on career mode only and BARELY on career mode. I think once in my entire year on Fifa 14 career one player “doubted his abilities” that was it, and he was back to normal the next time he scored.

    I myself was on a 20 or so game winning streak that took me from division four to division 2 and got into survival zone of that division, as well as winning a cup. That was 2 days ago, I’m now sitting here back in division 4 after two back to back relegations following a 12 match losing streak in which i have lost to teams full of informs despite having lost my last 8 games.
    So it leaves me wondering where is my scripting ? After a humiliating 7-1 loss to a full inform team in which my players would tackle the ball off them but push the player back into the ball path, when David Luiz himself got put on the floor 3 times!! (you know its scripting when David luiz is ineffective), when his team out ran me, were stronger then me and recovered for sprinting directional changes much much faster then humanly possible. it shows me that Scripting does very much exists.

    This isn’t the first time this same pattern has happened to me either, when i started i won my first 23 matches, lost my next 21, my record currently stands at 102 wins to 109 losses, and ALL my fifa records on UT are similar from 12 till 14, my wins are always within 7 or 8 matches of my losses or vice versa depending on when i get the new one and stop playing the old one.

    • Crlarsen

      Thanks for your comments.

      “While I do agree that mental factors on the player themselves is an issue that leads to last minute goals (e.g getting nervous and backing off, playing zonal defence to cover possible runs instead of man marking to minimise risks of a bad/missed tackle that would set up or cause a goal), The real world has no play in a game here.”

      As far as I can tell, we are fully aligned here. On contrary to what a lot of people think, I see last minute goals as a product of natural causes. Besides the psychological forces, the 90th minute is significantly longer than other minutes due to stoppage time.

      “So it leaves me wondering where is my scripting ? After a humiliating 7-1 loss to a full inform team in which my players would tackle the ball off them but push the player back into the ball path, when David Luiz himself got put on the floor 3 times!! (you know its scripting when David luiz is ineffective), when his team out ran me, were stronger then me and recovered for sprinting directional changes much much faster then humanly possible. it shows me that Scripting does very much exists.”

      First and foremost, you simply can’t conclude that scripting is real without ruling out the alternative explanations first.

      A lot of players have experienced that the skill of the opponents and thus the level of difficulty is significantly higher during certain hours of the day and at certain days of the week. Although I don’t know the exact reason for this, it’s likely that it is related to the number of players online to a large degree.

      Second, I really can’t see the motive here: Why would EA put you through the experiences you have explained above deliberately?

      Finally, please take a look at your match history [*] when you feel handicapped. I check my history frequently, and till this day I can’t remember one single defeat which couldn’t be linked to the skill level of my opponent, when taking his XP-level and current divisional status into consideration. In other words, I lose because the opponent is better (or luckier).

      And of course, my defenders are just as plain stupid as yours in some matches. But generally, that doesn’t appear to be much of an issue when I’m the better player and thus controlling the match.

      “This isn’t the first time this same pattern has happened to me either, when i started i won my first 23 matches, lost my next 21, my record currently stands at 102 wins to 109 losses, and ALL my fifa records on UT are similar from 12 till 14, my wins are always within 7 or 8 matches of my losses or vice versa depending on when i get the new one and stop playing the old one.”

      This is the picture I would expect to see from someone who is playing seasons quite a lot, and is bumping into a lot of opponents who is roughly at his own level.

      [*] http://www.ultimateteam.co.uk/2014/07/14/avoid-expert-players/

      • Fraser M

        “On contrary to what a lot of people think, I see last minute goals as a product of natural causes”

        Is this a PR stunt?

        This sort of stuff is the reason why late goals occur so often…

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h6VYnFwVdq8&list=UU_feMj5dWnSavR33X5Uvblg

        Or we wouldn’t be complaining.

        See the defender running away while he cannot select him? That’s just 1 example.

        And nevermind late goals… the entire game is simply just scripted, rife rubberbanding and scripting so that bad gamers, and even non gamer types, can have fun too. If bad gamers feel that they have a chance for anything to happen during a match, then they will continue playing. Rubberbanding along with some blatant WWE scripting makes this possible.

        Heavy rubberbanding along with scripting shifts more copies of the game. This isn’t say 10 years ago or something, way more people play video games nowadays and profits come first.

        • Crlarsen

          How often do situations similar to the one you refer to above actually lead to a last minute goal?

          Personally, I think I have experienced similar things less than five times over the past 1.000 matches.

          If this was an act of deliberate manipulation, it certainly didn’t cause any significant effect to me.

          Besides that, do you actually disagree that 90th minute goals should be more frequent for completely natural reasons?

  • braerik

    Hi Crlarsen! It’s great that you question this issue. I’m no fan of conspiracy theories, and I have questioned this myself, trying to find alternative answers. As you say, psychological factors play a huge part in how we perform, in a video game as in real life. However, I’m convinced that scripting exists in the FIFA-series.
    I first noticed something was seriously wrong in FIFA 13. I had long winning streaks and long losing streaks, but how they started and ended didn’t seem to have so much to do with my performance. I especially saw it when I finally won Division 1 in the online Seasons. After my win it seemed impossible for my team to perform well. My players reacted slower, made many more silly mistakes, and of course missed most of their scoring opportunities. I struggled to win, often had tons of chances, but my bad streak wouldn’t stop until I was down in Division 5. Then suddenly, it shifted. I won most of my games fairly easy, everything just worked like a charm, and I went straight up to Division 1 again. I can honestly say I didn’t feel my personal performance was any better, it just worked. The most noticable feature was that when I was on my losing streak, my opponent very often scored on his very first goal opportunity, but when it shifted, it was my turn to do this.
    I hadn’t heard of scripting before, but I knew something was wrong, and I wondered if many others experienced the same things. I didn’t know that this was a big issue until one of my opponents aborted the match and sent me an apologizing message, saying it was no use in playing because of scripting. I looked it up and it made perfect sense.
    I have experienced the same things ever since then, and now in FIFA 14 I have exactly the same issue. I won Division 1, but has struggled to win any matches after that. Now I’m in Division 3, but I suspect I have to sink even lower before the scripting somehow shifts. I have learned to recognize the patterns, so I usually know approximately when the shift will come.
    I know it in many ways seems far fetched, people have different experiences with how scripting works, and it’s not easy to see how EA Sports can make a profit out of keeping it. But I’m convinced these issues can’t be explained simply by psychological factors.
    By the way, you wonder why EA would go for something complicated like scripting? I don’t know, but in FIFA 09 they actually describe it as a feature (called momentum) in the manual: http://fifa13scripting.blogspot.no/2012/10/fifa-13-scripting.html. So yes, they have developed it.

    • Crlarsen

      Thanks for your comments.

      Starting from behind, I would like to comment on this first:

      “By the way, you wonder why EA would go for something complicated like scripting? I don’t know, but in FIFA 09 they actually describe it as a feature (called momentum) in the manual”

      No, they actually don’t. FIFA Soccer Blog brought an interview[*] with one of the producers behind the FIFA-series.

      The history behind this ‘manual’ is that EA brought a couple of external guys in to write a ‘guide’ for FIFA 09. This guide didn’t only contain factual information but also subjective recommendations on tactics and the like. The writers were given some artistic freedom – in reality because the development team didn’t have a lot of time to talk to them, which was why they were hired in in the first place. Apparently, they misinterpreted something, but there definitely wasn’t anything like momentum in the game at that time.

      In fact, the producer also tells that they experiemented with in-game momentum in FIFA World Cup 08, but this was removed the following year because it didn’t work. And, most importantly, this has nothing to do with your experiences of momentum accross multiple games, as it only affected fatigue within a partcular game.

      In addition to that, please also notice that none of the alleged evidence on the provided link stands for closer scrutiny. Xaor’s postings [1] and [2] is very much on spot in terms of debunking the alleged evidence in your link, and I’m actually quite surprised that so many people accept such things as evidence.

      Regarding your personal experiences within Seasons, I would like to make it clear that I also have experienced various kinds of ‘streaks’, including winning streaks, losing streaks and “can’t-connect-to-any-opponents” streaks. I definitely believe that these streaks are real, and that they aren’t caused solely by psychology.

      I do however not believe that is has anything to do with an intended or deliberate handicap.

      Firstly, I simply can’t imagine any plausible reason why EA would expose people to winning or random[3] losing streaks. I know that there are speculations about some kind of profit making motive behind this, but I do not find any of these convincing. My primary objection is that these speculations lack substantiation for the claim that match manipulation is likely to lead to an increased profit (rather than the opposite).

      Second, I have taken the opportunity to study my recent opponents via my match history after having experienced some consecutive losses within seasons. It didn’t reveal any unexpected losses at all: In fact, all losses were fully expectable with respect to the opponent’s XP level or divisional status.

      However, I can fully recognize your feeling of being out of control during those matches that I lost. In fact that seems to be the case for the majority of the matches Iose, no matter whether they are part of a losing streak within seasons or not.

      Although many losses definitely can be attributed to aspects of the game which are outside the control of the player, it appears clear to me that the majority of these losses are in fact also the product of one player being better than his opponent.

      To me, it has become increasingly clear that what actually separates winners from losers within FIFA is this:

      – The ability to exploit the weaknesses of the AI’s way of interventing while at the same time avoiding getting into situations which will become dangerous due to the AI’s lack of ability.

      Given the considerations above, I can’t see any good reason to believe that losing streaks are the product anything else but me being matched with a row of opponents who are better than me.

      However, this doesn’t explain why hard matches sometimes appear to come in shoals instead of the difficulty level being constant.

      My best answer to this is that I really don’t know.

      I think we can establish that at certain times, the chances of being matched with an easy opponent appear to be higher than at other times.

      A widespread assumption is that the game is harder during the evening than during day time because the best players will be around during the evening.

      This may be true, but it’s not necessarily the only explanation.

      Another possiblity is that it is the product of random factors. This could definitely be true as well.

      [*] http://fifasoccerblog.com/blog/momentum-aaron-mchardy-interview/
      [1] http://fifasoccerblog.com/blog/rere-xaors-corner-scripting/
      [2] http://fifasoccerblog.com/blog/xaors-corner-scripting
      [3] http://www.fifa247.net/archive/index.php/t-2960.html

      • braerik

        Thanks for your reply. When it comes to the issue wether or not momentum was in the manual or guide of FIFA 09, I don’t put too much into this. But as you confirm, EA Sports has experimented with momentum in the past, so it has apparently been something they have considered.
        I won’t use too much space to discuss how EA Sports can profit from the scripting, but it’s easy to imagine that they want to avoid players only losing or only winning, and get bored with the game. The absolute majority of players are not aware of the scripting discussion, so I don’t think they would consider this a great risk as long as it’s not overly apparent (even though I think it is). When I’ve asked my friends they haven’t heard of it, but they still tell me of strange winning and losing streaks.
        I have considered your theory of at times being matched with better or poorer opponents for longer periods, this could make sense, especially for my experiences after winning Division 1. But unlike you, I can’t find any strong patterns in my opponents match history to back this (but of course I lose more often to better opponents). Especially when I get relegated to Division 4 or 5, and I’m still not able to win any matches. However, when it turns, these opponents are usually far inferior.
        I have also considered that EA Sports might have put in variating form/fitness on the team I’m playing with (usually Liverpool), but I have tried changing teams to see if it makes any difference, and it doesn’t. Real Madrid or Bayern Munich perform just as bad.
        I can’t find any solid explanation except scripting, particularly for the feature I mentioned earlier, that when I’m on a losing streak my opponents very often score on their very first opportunity on goal, and the other way around when I’m on a winning streak. A similar thing: I hit my corner kicks the same way every time. When I’m on a winning streak I score a goal on a corner kick about every other match. When I’m on a losing streak I can go 20 matches without scoring on a single corner kick.
        I’m not saying the scripting only works against me, I believe it works the other way too. When I’m on a winning streak I sometimes feel I don’t have to focus, because I know the opponent will miss most of his chances, while I know I will score on mine. But this takes the fun out of winning too, because I realize skills and hard work often aren’t crucial factors for the outcome of the matches.
        I love the game, but it has developed into a love/hate relationship because of this. I really hope EA Sports take action, because I will find alternative games if this goes on. (Back in the days, all of my footy interested friends played Pro Evolution Soccer because it was a more realistic game, and we won’t stay true to the FIFA-series if this continues.)

        • Crlarsen

          “But as you confirm, EA Sports has experimented with momentum in the past, so it has apparently been something they have considered.”

          Momentum can have different meanings. The kind of momentum found in FWC08 was momentum within a game, whereas you are talking about momentum across games.

          Besides, if we can trust them when they say the experimented with it at a certain time, I see no reason why we should stop trusting them when they say they aren’t doing it anymore.

          “it’s easy to imagine that they want to avoid players only losing or only winning, and get bored with the game.”

          Maybe, but it’s hard to imagine that any significant amount of the players actually would win or lose every game. In reality, the vast majority of us will win or lose now and then under all circumstances.

          On a more general level, I don’t see any reason to assume that scripting would make less people bored. On contrary, it appears likely that it would cause a lot of frustration.

          “I have considered your theory of at times being matched with better or poorer opponents for longer periods, this could make sense, especially for my experiences after winning Division 1. But unlike you, I can’t find any strong patterns in my opponents match history to back this (but of course I lose more often to better opponents). Especially when I get relegated to Division 4 or 5, and I’m still not able to win any matches. However, when it turns, these opponents are usually far inferior.”

          I think one have to consider cognitive bias in relation to the numerous complaints about losing streaks. I believe I played 1.000 games this year, and my longest losing streak lasted less than 10 matches in a row. What this means is that, although some people are talking a lot about losing streaks, it may not actually describe a significant percentage of their gaming activities.

          Statistically, you are likely to lose 10 matches in a row at some point if you play a 1.000 matches. Therefore, it’s not quite impossible that a part of the explanation could be pure bad luck.

          Further, it appears hard to imagine that a gaming company would build something like this and put it into effect for only a few pecent of the matches.

          “I can’t find any solid explanation except scripting…”

          A strong explanation requires a motive, and I can’t see a motive here. In fact, I see many good reasons why EA would avoid doing anything similar to this, and this is in fact what they are saying as well in the interview I linked to earlier.

          • braerik

            I repeat: You can keep on asking why on earth EA Sports would do this, and I can keep on telling you that I don’t know.

            Why scripting exists in FIFA and EAs motives for it is not my mission to find out, I don’t really care. My mission is to state that it actually exists and to urge EA Sports to remove it.

            And no, “pure bad luck” is not a solid explanation for the experiences I listed above. But it seems that is all you got.

          • Crlarsen

            What I don’t understand is that you firmly believe there is foul play, even though we are dealing with a murder case without body and motive.

            Although no one outside EA can explain the match making algorithm in detail, I see no hard evidence in support of the claim that we are experiencing anything statistically extraordinary, ie. losing streaks happening more often than they ought to.

            And for the motive, it would defy all logic if they were doing it.

            Given these circumstances, why do you prefer to think they did it?

      • braerik

        By the way, your theory that the time of day is a factor, is not my experience. I know I usually play better in the evening, because I’m more focused (not tired from work and so on), but it doesn’t make any big difference. My daily form is neither a big issue. For example, yesterday I came back from vacation and hadn’t played the game for a week. I didn’t even think about wether or not I was on a streak, but after a couple of losses it dawned on me: of course, I’m on a losing streak.
        My team has gone retarded (as I like to call it), with bad ball control, slow movements and reactions, bad passing and shooting, silly mistakes and so on. But from experience I know this will end, the scripting will shift, and then my game play will flow again. But first I probably must be relegated to the division the game apparently wants me to be in, it doesn’t seem to be Division 3 this time (they’re still retarded), but maybe 4 or 5 (it varies). And then I will pretty much go straight up to Division 1 again.
        It’s actually quite predictable… :)

        You can keep on asking why on earth EA Sports would do this, and I can keep on telling you that I don’t know. But it won’t change my experiences from years of playing.

  • VladimusMaximus

    This guy works for EA, I bet you anything. Look, even though 90%+ of the responses on here believe in scripting and have offered evidence and counter arguments, he keeps going back to his baseless points. Just give it up, it’s scripted. Arguing won’t change anything.

  • Crlarsen

    If you haven’t done so already, please take a look at the results of our survey on the subject – http://www.ultimateteam.co.uk/2014/08/30/scripting-handicapping-momentum-survey-results/

    I believe, it actually debunks some of the core claims of the scripting proponents:

    (1) Despite the fact that a lot of people believe that the game imposes losing streaks on them, it can be proven that the losing streaks observed in FIFA are natural.

    (2) A lot of people have been complaining about the amount of goals being scored during stoppage time, but it turns out that this could very well be a product of natural circumstances.

    (3) People who believe in handicapping report it mostly within difficult game modes. In fact, there is a direct correlation between difficulty (level of competition) and the perception of being handicapped.

    (4) Better players and more experienced players aren’t reporting more handicapping than less good / less experienced players. This appears to contradict the widespread perception that handicapping is used to level the playing field to the advantage of less experienced players, who then in turn will continue playing the game.

    (5) On contrary to popular belief, the pack buying inclination of players isn’t affected by their results. This implies, that EA – contrary to popular belief – would fail if they were to pursue a strategy where match manipulation was used as a means for increase the inclination to buy more packs.

    (6) TOTS-players do not underperform when compared to their regular gold versions.

    • VladimusMaximus

      You work for EA

      • Crlarsen

        Your thoughtful contributions are always welcome

  • Spector Mason

    Handicapping is 100% real. You have to be a moron to try and say it doesn’t exist. I play FIFA for pro clubs anyway, but I definitely wont be playing UT on 15 unless its proven handicapping isn’t involved within it.

    • Crlarsen
      • Spector Mason

        I like how it was all broken down & explained but the end conclusion was him saying that 100s of millions of people are basically letting their imagination get the best of them & that the “manipulation” was just our interpretation. So no I disagree with the article.

        • Crlarsen

          So you disagree because you don’t think millions of people can imagine things which aren’t real? Two facts here:
          (1) People, even lots of them, believe things which are wrong. Think of other conspiracy theories or religion for that matter.
          (2) There is no evidence in support of the handicapping theory. Not even a tiby bit.

          • Spector Mason

            No evidence in the slightest bit? Your comment lost all credibility with that.

          • Crlarsen

            Then, where is the evidence? What I have seen is claims, claims and more claims, but nothing which would hold up in court. And believe me, I have been looking…!

  • chakmin

    It is so so scripted.
    Even if it may not be intentional by EA which I doubt.
    You can Call it AI or a way to balance the game; However, the “handicap” occurs when you least need it to.
    for some weird reason, defenders run away from the ball instead of chasing it. a player looks up and forgets how to run into a through-ball, disoriented defenders acting retarded. Play 70′ minutes to score only to concede at the 71′ Putting them on defensive only makes the other team score more.

    From experience, I have no doubt in my mind that the game has a “Karma” if you will. whether its the AI doing it from math+time+player emotions or if EA purposely programmed this way to sell more $packs$. but at least try making it less obvious and direct, it’s ruining the game.

    • VladimusMaximus

      Playing Fifa15 demo since it came out, same shit is happening. Even more prominent now. Defenders simply run away from the ball; when you’re being attacked and you’re being handicapped your entire defense splits like the Oceans; you hit L1 to switch and that guy automatically runs the opposite way and it will NEVER switch to a logical choice always someone running away.

      • Crlarsen

        I understand. So the demo is rigged in order to make you buy more packs..?

        • Fred

          they are either too dumb/lazy to take the code out for the demo, or they do in fact have some brain cells and realize that the difference in gameplay would be too obvious so for the sake of coherence they need to keep it in

    • Crlarsen

      I would like to see your comments to the survey results found here… http://www.ultimateteam.co.uk/2014/08/30/scripting-handicapping-momentum-survey-results/.

  • fred

    this guy is priceless.Only someone who’s paid for it would keep on commenting to every sentence in every reply for months on end. You sir are a joke, just as the game. I stopped buying FIFA at 13, i suggest everyone does the same, its the only way to let EA know we don’t take this any more.
    I do play some matches from time to time, and I’ve gotten to the point i can predict when the scripting will kick in.Either to my advantage or otherwise. Explain that with your surveys and graphs and moronic logic.

  • Cuptie71

    If I dominate a game 60% possession with 15 shots on target and my opponent 3 shots on target and I get beat then there is something not right. I have played way too many games where this happens and there are times when my opponent out plays me but I get the win which is bullshit. I know real life football throws up shock results every now and then but it happens quite often on FIFA. Please EA stop the bullshit and stop me from going crazy.

    • Crlarsen

      Something is not right, you say.

      Below, you see the stats from the Euro 2016 qualifier between Portugal (at home) and Albania played on September 7th this year.

      Portugal – Albania
      Goals: 0 – 1
      Shots in total: 19 – 1
      Shots on goal: 5 – 1
      Possession: 68-32

  • http://www.vladimirdruts.com/ Vladimir Druts

    Crcarlsen is just going to continue repeating, rinsing and repeating the same poor and trite talk points.

    http://www.ign.com/boards/threads/fifa-09-online-gameplay-seriously-flawed-after-last-update-due-to-broken-momentum-effect.176337423/

    Oh and here’s a random poll conducted in Reddit.

    http://strawpoll.me/1652968/r

    or simply read the NUMEROUS comments on here or your own, in fact even right here! >

    http://fifanow.com/site/ultimate-team/does-a-fifa-handicap-exist-or-is-it-just-an-excuse/#comment-21694

    • Crlarsen

      95 % of children between 0 and 6 believe in Santa. I assume this proves he is real too?

      • http://www.vladimirdruts.com/ Vladimir Druts

        Logical fallacy much? Care to explain how that analogy makes any sense what so ever? I think the funniest thing about what you said is that Santa is brought to life through spectacle to make children believe he exists much like EA makes you believe Fifa is an open world through (scripted) spectacle.