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crlarsen

FUT addict since FUT 12. A master of economic science and data analysis professional. @c_r_larsen

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54 Comments

  1. 1

    gibbs-

    Ultimate team is scripted, and it ruins it. Much like rubber banding in racing games, the same effect is in place for ultimate team – if you have a 79 rated team against an 84 rated team, you’re practically guaranteed the win and the same vice versa. It ruins the game and makes it pointless having an amazing team – I have far more chance with my second team than my first.

    Reply
    1. 1.1

      Crlarsen

      The article specifcally rejects that this har anything to do with scripting what so ever. As for the theory that stats are reversed, I have investegated that in one of my previous articles on this site, and it can be rejected completely.

      Reply
      1. 1.1.1

        Damien Davis

        Sod off Crlasen, you are paid to write this crap by EA and everyone knows it

        Reply
        1. 1.1.1.1

          Crlarsen

          “who wants a game like that?”

          I do. This is an entertainment product, and concepts like dynamic difficulty balancing helps keeping it entertaining for a longer period of time, essentially making it a more valuable product from a consumer perspective.

          What you can argue with some justification is that they should tell us this. There is no point in keeping it a secret.

          “Its not a stretch to imagine them adding hidden code similar to this for the online mode, I dunno to maybe make the game more fun for newcomers?”

          It’s not a stretch to say that the game will try to keep the difficulty balanced in order to keep the game interesting. The question is what means they are using to fulfill this purpose.

          As an example, we know for a fact is that the game uses ELO matchmaking in FUT seasons, FIWC etc.

          With regards to the assertion that the game uses “adaptive difficulty” in online matches (to help out newcomers), I seriously question this for a number of reasons.

          First and foremost, I honestly think there are far more likely explanations to the events which some people believe are caused my scripting or handicapping. A justified criticism towards FIFA is that the game design allows coincidence to play a much bigger role than most people like. A lot of the events, which some people believe are caused by scripting, are in fact a natural product of coincidence, which can be proven directly.

          Second, why would you need adaptive difficulty when you already use ELO matchmaking? Instead of matching people up against opponents at another difficulty level and try to fix it via manipulation, a far simpler and more effective method would be to just match people against opponents on a similar level.

          Third, when looking at the goal scoring statistics, FUT matches are not particularly even.

          Fourth, where are the newcomers you are supposed to meet all the time? If you look through your match history via the web app, you won’t find many players who would qualify as “new” by any standards.

          Fifth, when we asked our readers a lot of questions about handicapping back in 2014, we found that the newer players experienced just as much “manipulation” as the more experienced players. The events, which people perceive as manipilation, are not more frequent when you are XP level 98 than when you are XP level 8.

          Sixth, you can argue that if there was adaptive difficulty in FIFA’s online game modes, people probably wouldn’t be complaining about scripting and handicapping. This may seem a bit strange at first, but when you look at a concept like AD from a game design perspective, it’s primary purpose is to avoid that people get frustrated because they find the game to be too impossible to play. Hence, I find it far more likely that there either is no AD in FIFA, or that it doesn’t work as intended.

          “But surely they wouldnt put profit over their respect to loyal fans by punishing them, would they?”

          I think EA’s primary interest is to sell many copies of their game, and the easiest way to do that is to make people stay. If EA are able to make people stay by making them frustrated, they will be the first company in history to do that.

          Reply
          1. 1.1.1.1.1

            Graham Cumberbatch

            “If EA are able to make people stay by making them frustrated, they will be the first company in history to do that.”

            Golf, Poker, gambling in general. These are multi-billion dollar industries that profit solely on the addictive qualities of user frustration. Small margins of error mixed with the persistent influence of elements beyond one’s control and the elusive promise of eventual success create an extremely marketable and exploitable user obsession with mastery and perfection and/or luck and karma. Fifa users, particularly FUT players are deeply addicted to both. When it comes to moneyed global corporations under immense pressure to outdo themselves every single year for the foreseeable future why should we rule out any possibilities with regard to contriving methods of increasing game hours and units sold?

          2. Crlarsen

            I don’t agree to the claim that gambling profits on user frustration.

            Frustration arises when you experience a problem caused by factors, which you perceive as being outside your control, although you expected these factors to be within your control.

            Although the randomness in gambling is outside the gambler’s control, it’s an accepted risk. You control the risk because you accept it explicitly. No gambler chooses to gamble because he expects to be able to control the dices or the roulette. Hence, I don’t buy in to the claim that gambling profits on people’s frustrations. Bookmakers don’t make money because you get frustrated.

            Sports as opposed to gambling rests on the fundamental premise that the participants are deciding the outcome largely by skill. Hence, participants get frustrated when they experience that factors outside their control determine the outcome. This may be the ref intervening, coincidence being allowed to influence or – as is the case in FIFA – the experience that people experience a lack of ability to control the gamme.

            Frustration of the sort found in FIFA is not profitable. People do not play FIFA to see their match decided by pure coincidence. This fundamental disappointment is fundamentally harmful to EA’s business, which is why they address the topic openly.

            “When it comes to moneyed global corporations under immense pressure to outdo themselves every single year for the foreseeable future why should we rule out any possibilities with regard to contriving methods of increasing game hours and units sold?”

            We shouldn’t rule out any possibilities, but the question is whether scripting is a possibility. The article above lists a number of reasons why it is unlikely that scripting would make any sense to EA’s business. On top of that, I have written a number of other topics adding further to that point of view.

          3. 1.1.1.1.2

            J. Mike

            EA shill detected…….

          4. Crlarsen

            Feel free to prove me wrong

          5. 1.1.1.1.3

            J. Mike

            EA shill detected…….

  2. 2

    gibbs-

    Ultimate team is scripted, and it ruins it. Much like rubber banding in racing games, the same effect is in place for ultimate team – if you have a 79 rated team against an 84 rated team, you’re practically guaranteed the win and the same vice versa. It ruins the game and makes it pointless having an amazing team – I have far more chance with my second team than my first.

    Reply
  3. 3

    Holte Beaufort

    You don’t get all the way to division 3, then don’t win another match until you have been relegated to division 8 even though your team is better than ever, unless there are massive scripting code implemented, why it’s done I don’t no, but it doesn’t extend the life of the game it just makes you realise your wasting your time , so you give up and don’t bother playing anymore

    Reply
    1. 3.1

      Paul

      I’ve just reached Div 3 after struggling for months with the scripting for and against. I won the first game 2-1, where the game played normally and then lost 6 games in a row with players that can hardly make any passes to each other, but make inch perfect passes to the opponent, miss sitters, regularly hitting woodwork move like they’re running through mud, stalling passes until the forwards are offside, tripping over the ball which always rebounds to the opponent, can’t tackle just bounce off opponents of ball rebounds out to another opponent, regularly giving away dangerous free kicks and penalties without me even attempting a tackle, when a pass does work the opponent moves faster than the ball so he is tackling the receiver of the pass by the time the pass is received and/or the receiver freezes on receiving the ball for just enough time for the opponent to get there and so on and son on, makes the game impossibly frustrating.

      So I have to win three in a row now to stay in the league, guess it’s Div 8 here I come. That said I have had several games on my way to Div 3 where everything has went my way and I have beaten opponents which were clearly far superior players than I and with much better teams, so it evens out at times but in a sense that’s more frustrating cause you kind of know that you didn’t win the game you were given it. So it begs the question really what is the point, given that there is no real alternative to FIFA although I might give pro-ev a try to at least get decent gameplay or go back to Call of Duty and those types of games online, to save my sanity cause this has really gone beyond a joke now and I’m afraid the joke is clearly on the customers who EA clearly treat with utter disdain and contempt.

      Could live with the odd bit of balancing out games with one or two or three things going erratically against you cause that can happen but when you get several games in a row where the whole thing just goes to s**t., seriously what is the point, there’s seriously many better things you could be doing with than this crap, enduring it in the vain hope that sooner or later it will sort itself out and become a normal balanced game based predominantly on skill. The sad thing is, when you get a decent normal game it is actually a very good game, but definitely not worth all the house of crap for and against you just to get the few games that are ok,….

      Goodbye FIFA

      Reply
      1. 3.1.1

        Crlarsen

        why would the game intervene in favor of or against you? In seasons, the game uses ELO matchmaking, meaning that rather than being matches against random opponents within your current division, the game will attempt to find opponents who roughly are on pat with you in terms of skill. Why intervene in a match, which always is relatively even on paper? I don’t see the motive.

        As for the fact that you suddenly find it harder to pass the ball around ec., then I think you need to count the opponent in. A oot of people mistakenly assume that the opponent doesn’t have an impact on your ability to pass and shoot. This is however far from true. A skilled opponent cuts off passing lanes, forcing you into diffcult passes, and he will only allow you to shoot from difficult angles.

        On top of that, there of course is an element of coincidence.

        Reply
        1. 3.1.1.1

          Paul

          Well I play on FUT usually so I would say to get you to buy coins spend money try to improve your team because it’s not playing the way you want it to would be an obvious reason. Although I have avoided that temptation this year. Also to benefit less experienced players so that they don’t lose interest and stop or don’t spendi money is the other.

          I get what your saying an I have played against better players that do all of what you say and are excellent at preventing easy passes and some which are particularly excellent at stooping me getting shots off as I tend not try shots from too far outside of the box very often and when my gameplay is normal and I get beat, no problem., those games are still enjoyable when you know you are testing yourself against better players and is reminiscent of FIFA before ultimate team days.

          But there are definitely the games and they usually come in batches of three, four five games were the whole game changes and pretty much everything goes against you and things happen like I’ve described and that’s including what should be easy passes that would put you straight in on goal and/or strikers repeatedly missing easy one on one shots inlcluding at times where opponents defending is pretty naive and instead everything goes for the opponent, it’s clear as day, I usually know within seconds when I’m in one of those games. And as I say I also usually quickly know when the boots on the other foot and my opponent is the victim of all of this.

          I have been trying to keep an open mind regarding all of this but the differences are way,way, way past the realms of coincidence. It wasn’t always like this but has become more and more noticeable particularly 15 and 16

          Reply
          1. 3.1.1.1.1

            Crlarsen

            The idea that it makes sense to handicap people because it will make them want to buy more packs to improve their team has a couple of obvious problems.

            First of all, people will lose anyway. There is no need to make them lose on purpose. Practically everyone will get matched against opponents on approximately their own skill level most of the time, and that will inevitably lead to that people lose now and then. Hence, no need to make them lose.

            Second, presuming that losing makes people buy packs (which I doubt in general), a match can never have more than one loser. Hence, making a specific player lose, won’t change the fact that only one player lost and hence potentially would want to buy packs to improve his squad.

            Third. buying packs doesn’t work very well as a means of improving your squad. The chances of packing a player that you really need are minute. In reality, most people don’t buy packs to improve their squads.

            Fourth, there obviously is a limit to how long you can trick people into believing that buying packs improves their chances of winning, if you continuously make them lose even when they buy packs. In truth, a natural expectation would be that most players sooner or later would become frustrated and stop playing the game if they lost after having spend money on players or packs.

            As for the fact that you experience difficult matches in streaks, then there could be many other explanations to this than scripting / momentum / handicapping either.

            One possibility is indeed coincidence. On an earlier occasion, we checked whether players experience more losing streaks than they ought to if matchmaking was completely random. We found absolutely no traces of extraordinary losing streaks. Look at my earlier posts here on UTUK for more details.

            Another possibility is that it is related to the matchmaking system, which has been confirmed to take skill into consideration. Being more skillful means getting better opponents.

          2. Paul

            Criarsen, lol are you serious

            “The idea that it makes sense to handicap people because it will make them want to buy more packs to improve their team has a couple of obvious problems”

            Been there done that and we all hear the stories of kids running up thousands of pounds on daddy’s credit card. I have a friend who used to work for Sony on the helpline and parents trying to get back the hundreds and thousands of pounds their kids had spent on FIFA coins was one of the most common calls. Also most of the guys at the local high school are regularly doing this to buy packs or more usually to buy the players from the transfer market to make their teams better, there may be a limit as to how long you can trick people into buying packs, but for many it’s a very high limit. Fifa coins/packs is massive, we all know it’s all about the money my friend.

            Regarding your someone has to win and someone has to lose scenario, it’s not one game in isolation, it’s losing streaks and/or going from winning as many as you lose which you would expect would be the case naturally due to the matchmaking criteria which you keep referring to, to losing three, four five games or regularly losing 3 out of 4 or out of 5. So not one extraordinary massive losing streak, but as Holte Beaufort said above, reaching Div 3 which means he’s pretty decent player and then getting bombed all the way back down to Div 8, that makes no sense in terms of natural and even matchmaking. He doesn’t suddenly become a crap player overnight.

            I too have previously reached Div 3 and then was relentlessly dogged back to Div 6 with most of the games being in the handicapped manner I described. Then it eased off and most of the games went back to being normal again, but it’s not just at these stages this has been happening it’s been happening on and off all the way from Div 10.

            What do you when you are faced with this?

            1) You think there’s a problem with your team and improve it by buying coins/packs to get better players.

            2) You persevere with the crap and try not to fall into this cynical trap of giving EA more of your money (and probably end up giving Sony more of your money replacing broken controllers instead.

            3) Or you say enough is enough and don’t get played like a fool anymore by this corporate giants. I realise this is a business and will obviously be set up to try to squeeze some more cash out of customers, but I am starting to think EA might have went a bit far this time, I know there’s a lot of FIFA players feeling the same way, it’s all over the forums and there’s always the guys like you trying desperately to hold back the tide…. For, whatever your reasons are.

          3. Crlarsen

            “(…) Fifa coins/packs is massive, we all know it’s all about the money my friend. (…)”

            You don’t need to convince me that people buy packs to improve their teams – even I do that one in a while.

            What you need to convince me about is that handicapping people will increase pack sales.

            “Regarding your someone has to win and someone has to lose scenario, it’s not one game in isolation, it’s losing streaks and/or going from winning as many as you lose which you would expect would be the case naturally due to the matchmaking criteria which you keep referring to, to losing three, four five games or regularly losing 3 out of 4 or out of 5. So not one extraordinary massive losing streak, but as Holte Beaufort said above, reaching Div 3 which means he’s pretty decent player and then getting bombed all the way back down to Div 8, that makes no sense in terms of natural and even matchmaking. He doesn’t suddenly become a crap player overnight.”

            The thing about losing streaks and relegation streaks is that they will happen naturally and here is why:

            Starting with losing streaks, they are an inevitable consequence of a matchmaking system which attempts to ensure equality in all matches, meaning that most of us largely have a 50/50 chance of getting matched against a better player. Thus, it becomes similar to a coin tossing games, which of course yields streaks of heads and tails as well.In FUT, you get streaks of better opponents and hence defeats.

            I actually tested whether the occurrence of losing streaks in FUT exceeds the natural level, and found that they occur in the exact numbers one would expect:

            http://futfacts.com/2015/05/25/momentum-why-losing-streaks-occur/

            As for relegation streaks, it’s a slightly different story. The key piece of information here is that FUT’s seasons are very brief compared to real football seasons. In just 10 matches, you will need to obtain the required amount of points. 10 matches is like a very small sample: There is a huge risk that the season it isn’t representative and hence that you either over perform or under perform compared to your actual skill level. Combined with the fact that promotion / relegation thresholds are very similar to each other inside a division and very similar across divisions, it not only becomes mathematically possible but also highly likely to get relegated across multiple divisions in close succession. In particular, getting relegated from div 2 and down to div 7 is absolutely doable, as it only takes a very small deviation in performance.

            I explain this in further detail in the article below:

            http://futfacts.com/2015/09/19/momentum-why-relegation-streaks-occur/

            Whether losing streaks and relegation streaks incite people to buy more packs is difficult to tell, but what we know for a fact is that they happen due to natural reasons, and that absolutely nothing indicates that EA are making them happen more often than that. With regards to relegation streaks, we can actually rule that option out.

            However, one needs to keep in mind, that not only losing and relegation streaks will happen naturally: So will winning and promotion streaks. It’s the exact same mechanism. Does that decrease pack sales then…?

            “1) You think there’s a problem with your team and improve it by buying coins/packs to get better players.”

            As stated previously, I’m not challenging the claim that bad results may incline people to buy packs under certain circumstances. What I am challenging is the belief that EA are making people lose on purpose in order to earn money. There are multiple reasons why this doesn’t make sense.

            First and foremost, defeats, losing streaks and relegation streaks happen naturally to just about everyone. Hence, nothing indicates that EA needs to put them in artificially.

            Second, if EA wanted to earn money by selling squad improvements, selling specific players for cash would be the obvious choice. How come they don’t do that? After all, packs are a poor solution if you want to improve your squad. Most of the time, you won’t find anything useful. 99 out of 100 squad improvements I do are done by buying a player with coins rather than a pack with FIFA points.

            Third, selling packs is about maintaining the perception that packs are worth the money. If you keep experiencing that the players found in those packs doesn’t improve your results, you won’t packs. This is already an issue today, as most people have realized how little it matters to have a squad full of blues.

          4. Stephan Froede

            Manager mode is also heavily scripted.

            Moved from UT to Manager mode bc I realized that buying packs and fighting with a script doesn’t make me happy.

            You can see scripts in action if you do play against yourself during a cup game. You just do need a second controller.

            The players are highly automated even with the controller, they even do tackle on their own. Normally you don’t realize that because you’re moving around, but if the players move without any controller usage…

            I replayed a game with the same setting, first run was with my son (he won 3:1) next was without him (I did win 7:0). But in the most cases I do win against him. I could observe that his defense was much better organized as he played, my attacker (Kinsley Coman playing for AFC Wimbeldon…) normally hits extremly well, not here…

            I think scripting is just there, it is annoying and EA should make it more transparent and even better give the ability to control scripting or switch it off.

            I would appreciate some kind of a no-frills FIFA option, which uses only a minimal set of clearly defined scripts. I’m much interested in team building and improving my tactics instead of trying to trick a silly script.

            It’s easy to trick it, in manager mode just use your second controller and do some own goals with the goal keeper, or do provoke red cards with sliders from behind …

          5. Crlarsen

            If scripting existed, then how come there is no evidence indicating it is true?

          6. Crlarsen

            If scripting existed, then how come there is no evidence indicating it is true?

          7. Stephan Froede

            As I pointed out, you can proof it.

            If the same team behaves completely different with a controller attached than without, it’s scripted.

            Hint: I developed games in the past you do need to script behavior, otherwise there is none.

            But I don’t believe that EA did it to boost sales of UT cards.

            I also don’t believe that the game is trying to ping point the ability of a player.

            It’s just there to give the game some depth, but the script is rendering the game useless for any eSport. For this you would need to know exactly who it is scripted.

            FIFA is also manipulating the management seasons.

            Sometimes I’m even able to predict when the AI is scoring.

            I think this questions are rather important, if you would like to establish eSports for FIFA, as mentioned not possible under this circumstances.

          8. Crlarsen

            First of all, I’m not asking for direct proof. All I’m asking for is any sort of evidence indicating that It exists. Think about scripting as one amongst other explanations: what indicates that scripting is more likely to be true than the other explanations at hand?

            Second, you may need something called scripting, yes, but you don’t need the kind of scripting we are talking about here in order to make a computer game work. As explained in the article below, EA specifally went away from this strategy somewhere around FIFA 07:
            http://futfacts.com/2015/11/26/when-scripting-was-a-real-thing/

            You say that it is put in to give the game some depth. What exactly do you mean by that?

            Third, I often come across the perception that teams performing differently must be the product of scripting. Why? Oppnents are different, and fundamental game elements like passing depends heavily on the opponent’s ability to interfere with your game, position his players and the likes. Even if your players have the same stats every game, they will feel different depending on the opponent’s skill level.

            Fourth, you say sometimes you are even able to predict when the AI is scoring. Think about this for a second: When I watch real football, I sometimes predict goals from corners. Sometimes, I’m wrong, sometimes not. That’s not really difficult, and in particularly not in an action game like FIFA, where the goal freqency is > 10 times higher than in real football.

          9. Stephan Froede

            Setup: career mode,FIFA16 on a PS/3 (original fat lady from 2007!!;-)), not logged in, latest software update as of July/16

            Playing AFC Wimbeldon vs Arsenal, 2017

            My Average team stats is ca 75, Arsenal is ca 85.

            Me playing Wimbeldon against Arsenal CPU/AI: 8:0

            Me playing Wimbeldon against Arsenal human controlled: 1:1, we have a penalty

            Exactly the same teams. This is possible because you can save games in career mode, you can replay the same game again and again -> makes it proofable.

            The thing here is, you can systematically test how FIFA is changing the behavior.

            Another example, Wimbeldon vs PSG, Euro League, quarter final, first and second leg, 12:1 for Wimbeldon. Again Wimbeldon average score ca 75, PSG average 85.

            One week later (in game time), nearly lost playing against a team averaging around 65 (player score / level).

            I think this proof enough here (we don’t need to proof the existence of a 5th natural force here), of course you can systematically test it again and again.

            What I’m saying is, if the game behaves indentically and predictable, than there is no manipulation, if the game doesn’t behave identically and predictable it’s a clear indicator of scripting.

            Here is an important assumption: in my view, FIFA is a closed system, not an open system. That means player or game behavior do not show any undeterministic or emergent behavior.

            Technically it would be extremly surprising if FIFA would have emergent propositions. Referencing to improbable.io, Minecraft, worlds a drift and dwarven fortress as examples of emergent games/technologies.

            They all do involve a server-I’m playing FIFA offline.

          10. Crlarsen

            Sorry, but I can’t follow your reasoning here. There is no reason to assume that just because a match involves the same teams, then it has to be the same result every time. Barcelona have lost and won by a huge margin against the same opponent in the same season. These things happen when humans are involved. If you expect things to be consistent to this degree, you are expecting something which EA never promised or intented to deliver.

            Further, I would like to point your attention to the fact that goals are scored much more frequent in FUT than in real football. While the average interval between goals in real football is ca. 30 real minutes, the average interval in FUT is ~3 real minutes. If FUT matches lasted 90 real minutes, they would contain ~30 goals on averag. Why?

            The explanation can only be that it is easier to score / harder to defend. Think about this for a second: Many of the goals you concede are probably random, lucky goals (mine are for sure).

            Now, if scoring one goal is something that happens by coincidence, then scoring 4 goals also will happen by coincidence. This has the inevitable implication that you may score and concede a lot of goals even when playing agaist the same opponents. We all kow those matches where you lead by 3-0 and lost 3-4. These things will happen in a game where goals just happen coincidentally, and in the same way, you may beat your friend 4-0 today and lost 2-5 tomorrow.

            I don’t believe in scripting because it makes no sense. EA has no possible reason to actually intervene in matches. I do however see a very obvious incentive to create actionpacked matches which are full of goals, and the only way you can achieve thst is to make it easy to score and difficult to defend.

          11. Stephan Froede

            Ok,

            you have to make a clear distinction between reality and game.

            Reality is open and indeterministic, for a real world football game this means, that a football game depends on condition of team, health of players, weather, events which happened before, emotions, team chemistry, media attention, game preparation by coach….

            In FIFA you don’t have this, it’s a simplified version of reality.

            To make it to appear more realistic EA is putting in some randomness and hardship.

            Randomness and hardship = scripting

            Scripting as such isn’t roblematic some kind of scripting you need to do, to beef the experience. It’s like spice for a decent meal.

            My cristicism as a player is, that scripting isn’t transparent, and manageable.

            For me it’s clear that EA tries to give some extra challenge by doing this. To put emotion into the game, but in my case the emotion is anger.

            Trying to bring emotional experience into the game isn’t bad, but I don’t like they way how they do that.

            It’s a brute force approach of balancing a game.

            I know it isn’t simple but there are possible steps they could do:

            Making scripting/momentum transparent

            An API for community driven game play

            Pro-actively engaging the huge FIFA community to improve the game

          12. Crlarsen

            Your argument rests on the claim that the game probably would lack some hardship if EA didn’t put it in artificially. Then, you make another assumption – namely that they saw the previous, assumed problem and decided to fix it via scripting.

            What indicates that any of these assumptions are anything more than speculations?

            The assumption that the game would lack hardship etc. without scripting makes no sense. The opponent is all it takes to generate hardship.

            What indicates that the game would lack nerve, emotion and the likes?

            When humans are involved, these things happen all by themself. This happens even in simple board games.

          13. Stephan Froede

            I did observe the behavior in single player mode, I think this is important, because it rules out skill level of human player.

            And I did observe it against a human player.

            Further I replayed some matches in career mode with an identical setting and could see very different results.

            It isn’t a scientific proof, but for this case evidence enough to be sure that game play is actively manipulated to give it some emotion.

            I do play amateur level intentionally to escape this useless stress, and even here sometimes it feels more like pro-level than anything else.

            Much more annoying is, that the algorithm is weaking my team AND makes the opponent stronger.

            Weakly balanced.

          14. Crlarsen

            This is not evidence by any measures. Rather, it’s an post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy, i.e. the obviously wrong conclusion that since reason A can explain phenomenon B, then A must have caused B. This is of course not necessarily true.

            There are multiple potential reasons why matches develop differently. The two most obvious I can think of are that (a) there is minimum one human involved and (b) that EA of course added a bit of randomness to the game to avoid all matches being the same.

            Hence, the mere fact that matches are different despite being played with the same team isn’t evidence indicating active manipulation, unless you can come up with some kind of compelling argument which effectively out the two other options.

            Evidence is factual information, which suggests that one particular explanation is more likely than the competing explanations to the phenomenon in question.

            Active manipulation is a possibility (although not a very likely one), but it’s not the only possible explanation.

          15. Stephan Froede

            The team behaves proofable different, that’s a fact.

            Defense is much better organized, computer plays better, own team looks paralyzed…

            Much more interesting is your denial, accepting game manipulation is an easy and rather logical explanation…

            And it is a proof if you re-run the same game and the team behaves completely different.

            Re-running something under the same conditions again and again is how science and testing works.

            Also software testing, which I did a lot as a software engineer, so please don’t tell me how to get evidence from a test setup.

          16. Stephan Froede

            The team behaves proofable different, that’s a fact.

            Defense is much better organized, computer plays better, own team looks paralyzed…

            Much more interesting is your denial, accepting game manipulation is an easy and rather logical explanation…

            And it is a proof if you re-run the same game and the team behaves completely different.

            Re-running something under the same conditions again and again is how science and testing works.

            Also software testing, which I did a lot as a software engineer, so please don’t tell me how to get evidence from a test setup.

          17. Crlarsen

            “The team behaves proofable different, that’s a fact. Defense is much better organized, computer plays better, own team looks paralyzed…”

            If you can prove that the team behaves differently for reasons, which cannot be linked to any of the two explanations I just provided, them I’m all ears.

            “Much more interesting is your denial, accepting game manipulation is an easy and rather logical explanation…”

            That’s because it isn’t a logical explanation. It’s one assumption build upon another. This has nothing to domsith logic.

            “And it is a proof if you re-run the same game and the team behaves completely different. Re-running something under the same conditions again and again is how science and testing works.”
            Sure, but again: Do by all menåans bring on the proof showing that teams behave different due to other reasons than what I just mentioned.

            “Also software testing, which I did a lot as a software engineer, so please don’t tell me how to get evidence from a test setup.”

            Why would I talk about that?

          18. Stephan Froede

            Your argumentation is not logical.

            I described a method how you could proof yourself the manipulative behavior of FIFA.

            I could send you videos, wasting hours and hours and you would dispute any argument as baseless.

            That’s how science wars happen. Instead there is a much more efficient way, called peer review.

            I provide a thesis and a method and you do test it, or a group of people. If you’re not able to falsify the result, the thesis is proofed.

            Your behavior is not logical, because you don’t show any interest in proofing that FIFA is manipulating, or it is logical exactly because you do want a proof, or you’re too lazy testing it on your own.

            My observation is still rather clear, if you don’t believe my assumption, falsify it.

            I provided you all the information necessary to do that, if you don’t falsify it, I claim my thesis as proven.

            Thesis: FIFA is manipulating game play with the intention to provide artificial hardship

            Conclusion: Your FIFA score is a result of randomness and not your skill.

          19. Crlarsen

            “Your argumentation is not logical.
            I described a method how you could proof yourself the manipulative behavior of FIFA.
            I could send you videos, wasting hours and hours and you would dispute any argument as baseless.

            Not necessarily, but as long as you fail to deliver evidence, which not only fits with your own explanation, but also makes competing explanations less likely, I am going to reject it – and for a very good reason.

            “That’s how science wars happen.”

            Not really. The problem with this argument is and has always been that scripting believers don’t understand the basics of science. You present a hypothesis which isn’t supported by any evidence what so ever, and yet you don’t withdraw it. Sorry to say it, but this is a level 1 failure.

            “Instead there is a much more efficient way, called peer review.
            I provide a thesis and a method and you do test it, or a group of people.”

            This is not how a peer review works. You don’t just present a method and ask someone else to do the work for you. A peer review occur when you have collected the data yourself, and it usually doesn’t involve data collection. It’s primarily a review of your methodology.

            Aside from that, there is no method to test here. Or, if you prefer, the method presented required No further testing, as it is obviously flawed, because it fails to rule out other explanations.

            “If you’re not able to falsify the result, the thesis is proofed.”

            No it isn’t. The absence of failure to falsify a claim through some arbitrary method is not the same as proof in support of that claim.

            If I claim that all dolphins are red and ask you to test it by adding random numbers, you obviously won’t be able to falsify the claim, even though it obviously is false.

            “Your behavior is not logical, because you don’t show any interest in proofing that FIFA is manipulating, or it is logical exactly because you do want a proof, or you’re too lazy testing it on your own.”

            It’s your claim so it’s your job to prove it.

            “My observation is still rather clear, if you don’t believe my assumption, falsify it.”

            It’s falsified by the mere absence of evidence supporting it – and a load of other facts, which you can read about in some of my earlier articles here and on my own blog, futfacts.com.

            “Conclusion: Your FIFA score is a result of randomness and not your skill.”

            I agree that randomness is a big factor, but scripting is per definition not the same as randomness, and randomness is per definition not manipulation. Further, please tell me that real football isn’t random…

          20. Crlarsen

            “Your argumentation is not logical.
            I described a method how you could proof yourself the manipulative behavior of FIFA.
            I could send you videos, wasting hours and hours and you would dispute any argument as baseless.

            Not necessarily, but as long as you fail to deliver evidence, which not only fits with your own explanation, but also makes competing explanations less likely, I am going to reject it – and for a very good reason.

            “That’s how science wars happen.”

            Not really. The problem with this argument is and has always been that scripting believers don’t understand the basics of science. You present a hypothesis which isn’t supported by any evidence what so ever, and yet you don’t withdraw it. Sorry to say it, but this is a level 1 failure.

            “Instead there is a much more efficient way, called peer review.
            I provide a thesis and a method and you do test it, or a group of people.”

            This is not how a peer review works. You don’t just present a method and ask someone else to do the work for you. A peer review occur when you have collected the data yourself, and it usually doesn’t involve data collection. It’s primarily a review of your methodology.

            Aside from that, there is no method to test here. Or, if you prefer, the method presented required No further testing, as it is obviously flawed, because it fails to rule out other explanations.

            “If you’re not able to falsify the result, the thesis is proofed.”

            No it isn’t. The absence of failure to falsify a claim through some arbitrary method is not the same as proof in support of that claim.

            If I claim that all dolphins are red and ask you to test it by adding random numbers, you obviously won’t be able to falsify the claim, even though it obviously is false.

            “Your behavior is not logical, because you don’t show any interest in proofing that FIFA is manipulating, or it is logical exactly because you do want a proof, or you’re too lazy testing it on your own.”

            It’s your claim so it’s your job to prove it.

            “My observation is still rather clear, if you don’t believe my assumption, falsify it.”

            It’s falsified by the mere absence of evidence supporting it – and a load of other facts, which you can read about in some of my earlier articles here and on my own blog, futfacts.com.

            “Conclusion: Your FIFA score is a result of randomness and not your skill.”

            I agree that randomness is a big factor, but scripting is per definition not the same as randomness, and randomness is per definition not manipulation. Further, please tell me that real football isn’t random…

          21. Stephan Froede

            Did you ever wrote a game?

            I did, in fact I wrote 4 games.

            And you don’t understand science, you are not able to falsify anything, if you aren’t even trying to re-run a game in manager mode.

            You just deny anything, your argumentation is irrational and heavily emotional biased.

            I don’t think that you’re able to understand anything I could provide.

          22. Stephan Froede

            Did you ever wrote a game?

            I did, in fact I wrote 4 games.

            And you don’t understand science, you are not able to falsify anything, if you aren’t even trying to re-run a game in manager mode.

            You just deny anything, your argumentation is irrational and heavily emotional biased.

            I don’t think that you’re able to understand anything I could provide.

          23. Crlarsen

            How many articles did you write and put through Peer review?

          24. Stephan Froede

            Exactly none.

            But it doesn’t matter here, peer-review is just a method to double check a scientific work.

            In the case you do believe to be able “to win” the argument by attritition, have fun. The last one who tried that was a Russian troll.

            In that case I just would this an English training session.

            I don’t think that you have any serious interest to understand the game, or the way it is rigged. You just deny it, with no cooperation.

            AI bots argue that way, are you a bot?

          25. Crlarsen

            You have never actually had anything peer reviewed, and you are telling me how a peer review works, claming that I don’t understand science. For the record, I have had multiple articles and reports peer review. Think about that for a second: Are you absolutely certai you should be telling me how this works….??

            Like all other people with a non-religious interest in the truth, I or course reject theories which arent’t based on fact. You would do the same if you had any interest in knowing the truth rather than just an interest in maintaining a comforting belief.

            Scripting is a myth, and people believe in it for the same reasons the believe in all other conspiracy theories.

          26. Crlarsen

            You have never actually had anything peer reviewed, and you are telling me how a peer review works, claming that I don’t understand science. For the record, I have had multiple articles and reports peer review. Think about that for a second: Are you absolutely certai you should be telling me how this works….??

            Like all other people with a non-religious interest in the truth, I or course reject theories which arent’t based on fact. You would do the same if you had any interest in knowing the truth rather than just an interest in maintaining a comforting belief.

            Scripting is a myth, and people believe in it for the same reasons the believe in all other conspiracy theories.

          27. Stephan Froede

            I don’t say EA Sports is rigging the game to fill their coffers.

            What I’m basically saying is that this kind of scripting is bad, because it isn’t transparent and controllable.

            I think EA tries to provide an emotional experience of football. Some kind of story telling and drama.

            This is the part I don’t like, my impression is that the game is trying to manipulate my emotions.

            I would prefer to be able to suffer from my own faults and not of scripted faults.

          28. Crlarsen

            EA is not rigging anything that I’m aware of, and the fact that every game unfolds different obviously isn’t proof that they script matches. There are two, very natural reasons whuåy this happen:

            (1) There are humans involved. Humans will, bith conscieously and inconsciously, make things less predictable. Needless to say, the AI controlled players will adapt to the situation in terms of positining.
            (2) Certain aspects of the game’s handling of the match will be randomized to create realism. For instance, it wouldn’t make sense that all shots were exactly the same.

            This is literally it.

            It seems to me that your problem is that you can’t handle the loss of control and transparency, which inevitably follows from the two facts above.

            You should read this:
            http://futfacts.com/2015/10/02/why-people-believe-in-scripting-and-handicapping/

          29. Stephan Froede

            No it isn’t loss of control and transparency, I know it could be much better.

            It’s implemented bad, without any creativity, or imagination. Dull, not inspirational…

            It’s predictable, my son was playing draft. Last game went into penalty, guess what, 2 opponent players did miss. He/me (I had to do the penalties) did win.

            It was rigged – ok rigged in my favor – but it was rigged.

            I do want more competition on a more realistic tactical level, and some control how much I would like to delegate to the AI.

            And in any case EA Sports should do something with player search, an incredible UX disaster.

          30. Stephan Froede

            No it isn’t loss of control and transparency, I know it could be much better.

            It’s implemented bad, without any creativity, or imagination. Dull, not inspirational…

            It’s predictable, my son was playing draft. Last game went into penalty, guess what, 2 opponent players did miss. He/me (I had to do the penalties) did win.

            It was rigged – ok rigged in my favor – but it was rigged.

            I do want more competition on a more realistic tactical level, and some control how much I would like to delegate to the AI.

            And in any case EA Sports should do something with player search, an incredible UX disaster.

          31. Michail

            Man you are all over the place with your comments, why are you anchoring scripting to conspiracy theories? You act like an agent of disinformation with your unrealistic skeptical “reasoning” and ridiculing the topic, there’s a conspiracy for you.

            I am just an average player, playing the game for a few years, so you can use that against me if you want, but i noticed the handicapping and momentum for a while playing my friend in online friendlies. So i started testing this, If i am practicing against AI 5 star team vs 5 star team at world class or legendary i loose 8 out 10 times, maybe 1 draw, 1 win. BUT, when i switch to play 4.5 star team skill about 80 avg against a top 5 star team all of the sudden the AI plays sloppy, missing open chances and i win 8 out of 10 games. The momentum is also real, once you recognize when it’s happening you switch from defensive to aggressive and vice versa, it’s bizarre how well that works out in my favor. I don’t need more proof than that for myself.

            For you, well you’re the type that will say the smoke coming from the gun might be a cloud flying over low. Besides FACTS in the game you can test for yourself, there has been more proof published online, but of course they can all be subject to reasonable doubt when you are looking for that. I guess the only hard evidence for you would be if the CEO of EA would come out and admit it. Obviously that will never happen, let’s just hope the handicapping just goes away at some point if the “momentum” of people finding out increases.

            For now, i am just gonna have some fun with my buddy for a few weeks as i keep beating his Barca with England National team, he called me a conspiracy nut when i was bringing it up so he’ll just have to pay for that remark a bit longer before i switch to Barca, tell him about the handicapping and level the playing field. I’ll keep the momentum thing for myself though 🙂

            And for you my friend, life is not black and white, it is completely grey. If you are waiting for hard facts to make sensible conclusions you can wait for the rest of your life. If you value FACTS so much, you cannot say that scripting is a myth, because you have no hard facts to support that either. And that would be contradicting yourself, fact!

          32. Crlarsen

            Whether you like to accept it or not, it’s a fact that scripting is a conspiracy theory (http://futfacts.com/2015/06/01/handicapping-just-another-conspiracy-theory/). I do not only state this, because all conspiracy theories are wrong (they aren’t), but because scripting is based on the same type of religious / non-scientific foundation.

            With regards to how we can establish whether this is true or not, I’m a science guy, and science guys don’t give a sh!t about theories which aren’t supported by any evidence in the shape of systematic experiments or the likes. Playing a few games with a 4.5 star team against a five star team is not systematic evidence. The things you refer to as proof do not qualify as scientific evidence by any measures – and definitely not proof.

            Aside from that, there is plenty of evidence supporting the argument I’m making here.

          33. Crlarsen

            How many articles did you write and put through Peer review?

          34. Stephan Froede

            I did observe the behavior in single player mode, I think this is important, because it rules out skill level of human player.

            And I did observe it against a human player.

            Further I replayed some matches in career mode with an identical setting and could see very different results.

            It isn’t a scientific proof, but for this case evidence enough to be sure that game play is actively manipulated to give it some emotion.

            I do play amateur level intentionally to escape this useless stress, and even here sometimes it feels more like pro-level than anything else.

            Much more annoying is, that the algorithm is weaking my team AND makes the opponent stronger.

            Weakly balanced.

          35. Stephan Froede

            Ok,

            you have to make a clear distinction between reality and game.

            Reality is open and indeterministic, for a real world football game this means, that a football game depends on condition of team, health of players, weather, events which happened before, emotions, team chemistry, media attention, game preparation by coach….

            In FIFA you don’t have this, it’s a simplified version of reality.

            To make it to appear more realistic EA is putting in some randomness and hardship.

            Randomness and hardship = scripting

            Scripting as such isn’t roblematic some kind of scripting you need to do, to beef the experience. It’s like spice for a decent meal.

            My cristicism as a player is, that scripting isn’t transparent, and manageable.

            For me it’s clear that EA tries to give some extra challenge by doing this. To put emotion into the game, but in my case the emotion is anger.

            Trying to bring emotional experience into the game isn’t bad, but I don’t like they way how they do that.

            It’s a brute force approach of balancing a game.

            I know it isn’t simple but there are possible steps they could do:

            Making scripting/momentum transparent

            An API for community driven game play

            Pro-actively engaging the huge FIFA community to improve the game

          36. Crlarsen

            Sorry, but I can’t follow your reasoning here. There is no reason to assume that just because a match involves the same teams, then it has to be the same result every time. Barcelona have lost and won by a huge margin against the same opponent in the same season. These things happen when humans are involved. If you expect things to be consistent to this degree, you are expecting something which EA never promised or intented to deliver.

            Further, I would like to point your attention to the fact that goals are scored much more frequent in FUT than in real football. While the average interval between goals in real football is ca. 30 real minutes, the average interval in FUT is ~3 real minutes. If FUT matches lasted 90 real minutes, they would contain ~30 goals on averag. Why?

            The explanation can only be that it is easier to score / harder to defend. Think about this for a second: Many of the goals you concede are probably random, lucky goals (mine are for sure).

            Now, if scoring one goal is something that happens by coincidence, then scoring 4 goals also will happen by coincidence. This has the inevitable implication that you may score and concede a lot of goals even when playing agaist the same opponents. We all kow those matches where you lead by 3-0 and lost 3-4. These things will happen in a game where goals just happen coincidentally, and in the same way, you may beat your friend 4-0 today and lost 2-5 tomorrow.

            I don’t believe in scripting because it makes no sense. EA has no possible reason to actually intervene in matches. I do however see a very obvious incentive to create actionpacked matches which are full of goals, and the only way you can achieve thst is to make it easy to score and difficult to defend.

          37. Stephan Froede

            As I pointed out, you can proof it.

            If the same team behaves completely different with a controller attached than without, it’s scripted.

            Hint: I developed games in the past you do need to script behavior, otherwise there is none.

            But I don’t believe that EA did it to boost sales of UT cards.

            I also don’t believe that the game is trying to ping point the ability of a player.

            It’s just there to give the game some depth, but the script is rendering the game useless for any eSport. For this you would need to know exactly who it is scripted.

            FIFA is also manipulating the management seasons.

            Sometimes I’m even able to predict when the AI is scoring.

            I think this questions are rather important, if you would like to establish eSports for FIFA, as mentioned not possible under this circumstances.

      2. 3.1.2

        Crlarsen

        why would the game intervene in favor of or against you? In seasons, the game uses ELO matchmaking, meaning that rather than being matches against random opponents within your current division, the game will attempt to find opponents who roughly are on pat with you in terms of skill. Why intervene in a match, which always is relatively even on paper? I don’t see the motive.

        As for the fact that you suddenly find it harder to pass the ball around ec., then I think you need to count the opponent in. A oot of people mistakenly assume that the opponent doesn’t have an impact on your ability to pass and shoot. This is however far from true. A skilled opponent cuts off passing lanes, forcing you into diffcult passes, and he will only allow you to shoot from difficult angles.

        On top of that, there of course is an element of coincidence.

        Reply
    2. 3.2

      Crlarsen

      Sorry for missing your post until now.

      I believe that relegation streaks have a very natural explanation, which all comes down to the fact that seasons are very brief. I explain it in more detail here:

      http://futfacts.com/2015/09/19/momentum-why-relegation-streaks-occur/

      Reply
    3. 3.3

      Crlarsen

      Sorry for missing your post until now.

      I believe that relegation streaks have a very natural explanation, which all comes down to the fact that seasons are very brief. I explain it in more detail here:

      http://futfacts.com/2015/09/19/momentum-why-relegation-streaks-occur/

      Reply

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