FUT 15 Scripting Debate: Are In-forms Worth The Coins?

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FUT 15 Scripting Debate - Are In-forms Worth The Coins

Back in August, UTUK Editor Jamie Kennedy conducted a study on the performance of FUT 14 in-forms (IFs) versus the rare golds, by comparing three different TOTS IFs (Hazard, Ibrahimovic and Suarez) with their non in-form counterparts. The study was named ‘FUT 14 Does Scripting / Handicapping Exist?? An Unbiased Statistics Report‘. This article will look to build upon the three player’s previously analysed and take new information on goal and match data for all player cards currently on sale, which have been used in at least 500 matches.

With the new information available, it’s possible to get a better understanding of the relationship between stats and performance. Besides that, the new data allows us to poke deeper into the handicap claim related to star players in general, which was the original subject of Jamie’s article.

The noble art of comparison

To compare the performance of some cards, we need to understand how the card stats impact the player’s performance. This is unfortunately a little more complicated than just comparing two cards with different performance stats, as the stats aren’t the only parameter affecting the measured performance or for that matter the actual performance.

I have illustrated this in the chart below:

PerformancePicture1

  • Player positioning: One of the annoyances about in-forms is position changes. As an example, Jeremy Menez is a RW but his in-form is a CF. Obviously a CF ought to score more goals than a RW, so we cannot use the goal efficiency increase to measure the impact of the in-form stat increase.
  • Statistical inaccuracy: All cards in this survey have been used in at least 500 matches, maybe more. At a sample size of 500, statistical inaccuracy can account for performance gaps as large as 8%. Another issue is that although the cards have played 500 games, these games aren’t played by 500 different players. In fact, the number of human players involved may be a lot smaller. Some of the silver in-forms are quite rare (in some cases only about 10 are up for sale at the same time), so chances are that a few players may have a huge impact on the data.
  • Availability of relevant performance data #1: The only performance data available are goal and assist statistics. Obviously, neither goal scoring nor assists are valid performance measures for goalkeepers and defenders. Goals and assists are relevant measures for some midfielders, but the issue with midfielders is that they may take on various roles depending on position and formation. Thus, I don’t think that the available performance data are relevant to midfielders, defenders or goalkeepers.
  • Availability of relevant performance data #2: No matter what performance goals we use, the team mates will impact the result. I find this issue more prevalent with regards to assists, because getting an assist requires someone else to score a goal. Obviously, pairing Bale up with Messi will lead to more assists than pairing him up with Ciaran O’Connor (the lowest rated striker in the game). If there was a measure called “Chance creation”, I would definitely use that rather than assists.
  • Quality of teammates: This obviously does play a role, and obviously, we may see that some players / cards score more goals, because they are part of a better team than the cards we are comparing against. This, however, shouldn’t make any difference as long as we compare two versions of the same card, unless there is a league (or nation!) change involved.
  • Human skill and level of opposition: The goals-per-match ratio is the product of three factors: [Card stats] + [Player skill] – [Quality of opposition]. No card scores goals on their own, and obviously good cards score more goals when the opponent is bad or the player controlling them is skilled. If the players using IF Neymar on average are more skilled than the players who are using regular Neymar, this will have a positive impact on IF Neymar’s goal rate when compared to regular Neymar. And if the average opponents people get when using IF Neymar are stronger than the average opponents people face when using regular Neymar, this will have a negative impact on IF Neymar’s goal rate, when compared to regular Neymar.

We can definitely overcome some of the challenges above by only comparing attackers and players in the same position. What about human skill and level of opposition? Can’t we simply assume that these factors impact the measured performance equally of both the cards we want to compare?

Unfortunately not.

Starting with the human skill aspect, this definitely could play a role for some in-forms because different versions of a card may appeal more to some people than to others. In FUT 14, Steven Caulker (74 rated IF silver) used to cost 10 x more than his 77-rated gold in-form. Because of the huge price difference, one could speculate that the 74-rated silver version had a higher appeal to expert gamers than the cheaper, 77-rated gold version. Hence, the 74-rated card may have performed better than the 77-rated card because of the skill level of the owners. There are definitely examples of the opposite as well.

Next, there is the skill level of the opponents. The fact is that most in-forms have a higher rating than the original card. Thus, players using the in-form version will get matched with slightly better opponent squads on average when playing friendlies. Obviously, there are bronze cards who have a higher goal ratio than CR7 simply because bronze squads mostly are used against other bronze squads through friendlies or bronze tournaments. Hence, one can’t assume that the average level of opposition is the same for in-forms as for non in-forms, unless they have the same rating.

Further, please notice that stat upgrades of regular TOTW in-forms usually are minor. Neymar’s total stats are upgraded by 2 %, so quite obviously we shouldn’t expect him to score 10 % more goals. With such small stat upgrades, there is a good chance that the other factors mentioned above will overrule the actual performance upgrade. And on top of that, the statistical inaccuracy of up to 8 % will make it hard to measure a 2 % performance upgrade.

To conclude from the thoughts above, we cannot simply assume that all performance differences – good or bad – are caused by the card stats. Further, we cannot assume that the lack of a (statistically significant) performance difference proves that there isn’t a performance difference. This however doesn’t imply that we can’t use card comparison to tell anything about the impact of stats at all.

Comparing some actual cards

In the table below, I have inserted the performance stats for all in-form strikers (and their regular version) issued until and including TOTW 3. I have decided to present the G/M ratios as a span covering the lowest and highest value from three observations (made within 2 days) to give you a hands-on idea about the level of statistical inaccuracy.

 LevelG / MG / M
Cristiano Ronaldo (LW)92->930,88 – 0,950,86 – 0,95
Neymar (LW)86->870,64 – 0,650,65 – 0,67
Diego Costa85->860,97 – 1,020,97 – 1,01
Salomon Rondon80->810,87- 0,890,88 – 0,90
Mauro Icardi76->780,82 – 0,840,82 – 0,86
Andre-Pierre Gignac78->800,79 – 0,810,75 – 0,90
Bradley Wright-Phillips72->730,93 – 0,980,87 – 1,03
Vidar Orn Kjartansson69->721,10 – 1,141,09 – 1,14
Mana Dembele66->700,92 – 0,940,91 – 0,95
Jamie Vardy69->720,77 – 0,780,77 – 0,79

G/M = goals per match, Black = in-form, Blue = non in-form

As you will notice, the performance changes between regular and in-form card generally aren’t statistically significant, as the performance spans of the in-form versions and the regular versions are overlapping in most cases.

However, there are observations to be made in this table. For instance, please look at the G/M difference between the two left wings, Neymar and Ronaldo: Ronaldo scores 40 % more goals, which definitely is statistically significant.

I believe we can rule out that this is an effect of Ronaldo-owners getting weaker opponents, as Ronaldo is rated 6 points higher than Neymar. In fact, swapping Neymar with Ronaldo will increase your squad rating by 1 point. Actually, Ronaldo-owners should be facing tougher opposition on average.

This leaves us with two options: Either the players owning a Ronaldo are far more skilled than the players owning a Neymar, or we are in fact seeing the results of Ronaldo’s 22 % higher shot power, 12 % better finishing, 39 % better heading accuracy, 3 % better pace, work rates and so on. Or perhaps both.

Since both cards are pretty expensive (Neymar: 302.000 / 915.000, Ronaldo: 2.275.000 / 2.625.000), I would expect that we will find most experienced gamers than casuals in both cases. Thus, my guess would be that differences in skill play a minor role in relation to the scoring performance gap.

If we look at all the gold strikers above, it generally appears as if there is a good link between stats and goals-per-match. However, it’s harder to isolate the effects of the other factors when we compare expensive players with inexpensive players and so on.

Regarding the silver players, I’m extremely hesitant to conclude anything because the cards are extremely rare. If only 10 cards are for sale (as was the case with Kjartansson at some point today), it’s likely that individual players will bias the G/M ratio heavily.

A few notes on the handicapping dispute

As mentioned in the introduction, it’s a widespread belief that teams with in-forms, TOTY, TOTS and star players in general are handicapped. In our recent handicapping survey, some 2/3 of the respondents answered that this claim was likely. To exemplify what this belief is about, I have put in a few quotes from the comments sections to some of the previous articles we have had on this subject:

  • “I think it exists I had a complete tots bundesliga team and lost a substantial amount of games more than the standard gold team that consisted of the exact same players.”
  • “I’ve seen tots players play like bronze players when facing weaker teams.”
  • “I experience SLUGGISH players, when playing with TOTS-teams. Sluggish in FIFA: It feels like players balance, agility and reaction are very low.”

The consensus appears to be that star players actually underperform in direct comparison to other players.

When looking at the comparison table above, it’s immediately clear that there is no indication of an underperformance when comparing in-forms with regular cards.

Although we only have data concerning goal scoring, it goes without saying that you can’t maintain the same goal ratio if your players act sluggish in relation to turning, passing and maintain their balance. So, although we don’t measure these aspects directly, it doesn’t appear likely that there is an actual difference between in-forms and non in-forms with respect to these traits either.

Of course, we are just looking at regular, TOTW in-forms here, not TOTS as they haven’t come out yet. On the other hand, if there was something sinister going on, it ought to leave traces in Ronaldo’s performance when compared to other players, given that he is higher rated than the majority of the TOTS and TOTY players we will see later.

Below you see all gold left-wingers in La Liga and all gold strikers from the Bundesliga with pace >=77. I have taken the liberty to sort the players by price rather than rating, as I believe the prices reflect the quality of the player better than the ratings.

NameRatingPriceG/M
Cristiano Ronaldo922.600.000 0,95
Neymar86300.000 0,64
Griezmann82 9.500 0,27
Pedro83 6.500 0,26
Muniain80 1.500 0,30
Pablo Piatti78750 0,28
Ibai Gomez79400 0,35
Gonzalo Castro78400 0,33

 

NameRating Price G/M
Lewandowski87185.000 1,01
Ramos79 9.000 0,93
Immobile80 5.300 0,83
Kalou78 1.100 0,88
Okazaki77700 0,82
Olic79600 0,88
Drmic77400 0,92
Valdez76350 0,88
Rudnevs75350 0,88

Even when considering the effects of human skill, which definitely has an impact here, everything suggest that better stats equals better performance.

If there was some mechanism handicapping squads with star players, then why does Ronaldo outperform Neymar (and all other La Liga LW’s) and why does Lewandowski score more goals than all other strikers in the Bundesliga?

Conclusions

Are in-forms worth the money? None of the 10 informs in our comparison were significantly better than their non-inform, so the basic idea of swapping a non-inform with the inform version of the same player most likely won’t make a lot of difference. What may make sense though is to invest in repositioned informs.

Are in-forms subject to handicapping? Even though there is a lot of statistical inaccuracy involved here, it’s still notable that none of the 10 informs in the comparison did perform much different than the regular version of the same player.

Feel free to share your opinions in the comments section below! Do you think scripting exists?

57 COMMENTS

  1. Honestly could be…it could be also minds fault stress that indurre us to think there’s something wrong,but sometimes this game make me think there’s really something wrong.

  2. If IFs are not subjected to handicaps/scriptings, how do you explain that NIF Mertersacker overtaking 90 rated Neymar, NIF Petr Cech saving 23 ballistic shots from TOTS Gerrard, SIF RVP, MC Wayne Rooney while the other end TOTS Petr Cech couldn’t save the only shot on target from NIF Benteke in the same match last season? It’s a total waste of money in search of INFORMS (Provided IF you are lucky enough to find one) which are not performing according to their stats. Gamers like myself feel cheated spending big bucks to build a world class team with Galacticos Star Players who underperformed and got trashed by teams made up of mediocre players and outplayed by average players who has lost terribly in most (if not all) previous matches. Once bitten, twice shy… Who needs IFs when OP players can do the job perfectly?!

    • NIF Mertesacker may have sufficient strength to stop one like Neymar who totally lacks it. NIF Petr Cech is an excellent goalkeeper; you need to be inside the area and shoot with full power in a corner to score against him. NIF Benteke is a decent striker and one-on-one everybody can score even against ULTRAMEGASUPERINFORM Neuer.
      What do you think, to be goal-proof?

    • Thanks for your comment.

      “If IFs are not subjected to handicaps/scriptings, how do you explain that NIF Mertersacker overtaking 90 rated Neymar,”

      I don’t think this has got anything to do with inform handicapping.

      If you had been using regular Neymar, you would have seen the exact same thing happening.

      The reason why John Terry can cath up with faster strikers is that EA wanted to reduce the importance of pace as a reaction to the complaints about the game being all about pace in earlier versions.

      Ihn earlier versions, players were able to dribble at almost the same speed as if they were running off the ball. This is not the case anymore, which is why you will see slow defenders catching up.

      This definitely reduces the value of pacy players (which is fully intentional), but it’s not reserved for informs, and it works in the exact same way for both you and your opponent.

      “NIF Petr Cech saving 23 ballistic shots from TOTS Gerrard, SIF RVP, MC Wayne Rooney while the other end TOTS Petr Cech couldn’t save the only shot on target from NIF Benteke in the same match last season?”

      When you play hundreds or even thousands of matches in a year, you will get strange results occasionally. Although something is highly unlikely, it may happen at some point in time.

      In fact, there are plenty of examples of similar results in real football as well. A recent example is Portugal’s EURO2016 qualifier against Albania played in September this year:

      Portugal – Albania

      Shots in total: 19 – 1

      Shots on goal: 5 – 1

      Possession: 68-32

      Goals: 0 – 1

      Was Portugal handicapped? Probably not.

  3. The game is totally scripted , it’s not just ifs etc it’s things like goals scored before 5 mins, 45mins 69 min which no one mentions and the main one 90 mins , you all notice this … Also every time a had like 3 game games left to win division on fut all my games become laggy , unresponsive players , keepers being stupid , refs making silly decisions mainly against me , it’s like ea want to stop people winning so easy …. If you think about all of us experienced really good FIFA players are always beating rubbish people or little kids that arnt the greatest at the game then these people won’t buy the game in future due to frustration , so it’s just ea trying to balance out game to keep everyone happy and they just thinking about money , bull shit if you crap at game then keep practicing , also the pack luck with some people , you can’t say a guys just lucky , a started playing fut in FIFA 13 and got ronaldo etc after that I have always had crap packs , a believe people with good win/loss good stats and high FIFA level then u just get shit , again helping out the inexperienced players , my mate got 3 legends , ronaldo , bale and neymar in 2days opening packs , best I got was hummels which was worth nothing even to his rating , my mate never played FIFA so we tried this out cause it’s something I believed was true and needless to say I believe I was right on the matter so believe what use want but handicap/scripting definitely exists

  4. “Are in-forms subject to handicapping? Even though there is a lot of statistical inaccuracy involved here, it’s still notable that none of the 10 informs in the comparison did perform much different than the regular version of the same player.”
    Even if there was no statistical inaccuracy, I dont think the comparison in the sentence above is a right one to judge the handicap on. The fact that Ronaldo IF performs as good as non IF Ronaldo doesn’t dissuggest handicap cuz he is supposed to perform better.
    According to player attributes, in-forms are supposed to perform much better the non in-forms in the case of a lot of players. It’s already suspicious in terms of handicap that it isn’t the case in your comparisons (although they are not TOTS informs). Take Pogba TOTS (FIFA 14) for example; it’s almost as if you put a “all attributes +10” card on the normal version. The difference is supposed to be VERY visible in game.
    It is true that when we play with an inform we EXPECT him to perform much better and they may appear SLUGGISH to our eyes just because they don’t perform like robots, whereas a normal card does not carry these expectations and we may focus more on what he does good than on when he is sluggish.
    Nevertheless, an outside observer of a game should be able to tell which team is a TOTS Bundesliga team and which one is not TOTS. As a FIFA player, if you’re playing with a whole team of practically “all-attributes +6” players and not feeling the difference in sharpness of them then there is a problem.
    NOW I do not think the game is scripted, but it seems that the gap in quality between the best and the worst players is reduced considerably so that gamers with ‘bad’ players can compete. If you think about it, it’s also in the best interest of EA to keep these guys interested in the game instead of making them think it’s impossibly hard and quit being FUT ‘clients’. Maybe the difference between 95 pace and 90 pace is half of what it used to be. Or the difference between 89 shooting and 79 shooting.
    And I think the goals scored in the last minutes, players playing worse towards relegation risk might just be a part of emotional intelligence (players with more experience or stamina making less mistakes for example) in the game and the FIFA player himself expecting more from his players and focusing on their mistakes.
    I know it’s very hard to measure these speculations becuz of all the variables involved but well done its a pretty clear study.

    • Many of your thoughts are definitely valid. I would like to comment on a few things:

      “The fact that Ronaldo IF performs as good as non IF Ronaldo doesn’t dissuggest handicap cuz he is supposed to perform better.According to player attributes, in-forms are supposed to perform much better the non in-forms in the case of a lot of players. It’s already suspicious in terms of handicap that it isn’t the case in your comparisons (although they are not TOTS informs).”

      The question is what performance increase we could expect from normal TOTW-informs. In my opinion, we can’t expect a 2 % stat increase to lead to much more than a 2 % performance increase, and considering that the statistical inaccuracy is much bigger than the stat increase, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that we aren’t able to measure a performance increase.

      This, however, doesn’t mean that there is no performance increase underneath – we just can’t measure it. On the other hand, the fact that Ronaldo does perform significantly better than Neymar strongly suggests that, if the stat upgrade is big enough, we will be able to measure it.

      “Take Pogba TOTS (FIFA 14) for example; it’s almost as if you put a “all attributes +10” card on the normal version. The difference is supposed to be VERY visible in game.
      (…)
      Nevertheless, an outside observer of a game should be able to tell which team is a TOTS Bundesliga team and which one is not TOTS. As a FIFA player, if you’re playing with a whole team of practically “all-attributes +6″ players and not feeling the difference in sharpness of them then there is a problem.”

      I don’t think that you visually can observe and isolate card performance from your own performance and the performance of the opponent and his squad. If you perform bad relative to the opponent, it will look as if your cards perform bad and vice versa.

      “NOW I do not think the game is scripted, but it seems that the gap in quality between the best and the worst players is reduced considerably so that gamers with ‘bad’ players can compete. If you think about it, it’s also in the best interest of EA to keep these guys interested in the game instead of making them think it’s impossibly hard and quit being FUT ‘clients’. Maybe the difference between 95 pace and 90 pace is half of what it used to be. Or the difference between 89 shooting and 79 shooting.”

      I don’t think it ever was the intention that gamers with ‘bad’ squads shouldn’t be able to compete. This game has never been about who had the best squad. On contrary, the purpose from EA’s side is to build a game which is more about skill, rather than letting games be decided by factors which aren’t under human control.

      So yes, they definitely are trying to give gamers with bad squads a chance. Unfortunately, this also means that bad gamers with good squads don’t a chance, and this may well be the core reason why people believe in handicapping.

      “And I think the goals scored in the last minutes, players playing worse towards relegation risk might just be a part of emotional intelligence (players with more experience or stamina making less mistakes for example) in the game and the FIFA player himself expecting more from his players and focusing on their mistakes.

      I know it’s very hard to measure these speculations becuz of all the variables involved but well done its a pretty clear study.”

      I think the large amount of stoppage time goals are the product of a number of natural factors coming into play. But please check out section 6 in my earlier survey report for a thorough explanation on this exact issue:

      https://www.ultimateteam.co.uk/2014/08/30/scripting-handicapping-momentum-survey-results/

  5. I think that in order to fully test the performance of in-forms compared to their non-in-forms, there needs to be a blind test. It seems that in all cases the perceived in-game performance of IFs is heavily dependent on the expectations of the FIFA player. The player may have too high of expectations for the IF or may try to force difficult shots that he would not have taken with the NIF. Therefore, if the player does not know whether he is playing with the IF or the NIF, he will have an unbiased view of in-game performance. If it is possible, making sure that the opponent is blind to the IF or NIF will give more accurate results. Obviously this will be hard to accomplish, but I’m pretty sure everyone tries harder when they see an IF Ronaldo in the team they come up against, and that could affect perception of in-game performance.

    In my opinion, this sort of test will be more convincing than a simple statistical analysis. G/M stats are simply not reliable enough to test in-game performance. Take, for example, IF Neymar. He may not score more goals than his NIF counterpart, but he may create more chances for his team and improve the team as a whole. However, with this blind test, FIFA players can test the “feel” of the IF. they can test whether or not the IF players more “sluggish” than the NIF without confirmation bias. If I had to make a hypothesis for this experiment, I would say that there is no statistical significance between the “feel” of the IF versus the NIF. The perceived performance will be neither better nor worse.

    • I doubt it’s possible to create an experiment which effectively takes the human factor out of the equation. So basically, I doubt the effort required to do a double blind test would be worthwhile.

      “G/M stats are simply not reliable enough to test in-game performance. Take, for example, IF Neymar. He may not score more goals than his NIF counterpart, but he may create more chances for his team and improve the team as a whole.”

      Whether the G/M stats are sufficiently reliable depends on what you are trying to measure.

      We can’t measure performance differences smaller than 8 % because of the statistical inaccuracy, but as long as we are dealing with differences larger than 8 %, we are safe from statistical perspective.

      Although we can’t measure whether IF Neymar performs better than NIF Neymar, the statistical limitations doesn’t stop us from determining whether better stats leads to better performance in general.

      Given that we are able to isolate or reduce the contribution from human factors, we should be able to determine whether there is anything to the claim that star players receive a handicap from the game.

      The comparison between Ronaldo and Neymar is interesting, because we would expect Ronaldo to perform a lot better based on their stats, and because we are able to rule out most of the other possible explanations.

  6. Another things that needs to be considered is that the people that use higher rated players will be experienced Fifa players who will have the funds to buy the top-end players, which may be why those players have a higher goals per game ratio. I’d guarantee that those same fifa players will score just as many goals with 350-400 coin players.

  7. Hi,

    I had great suspicion, that there were some sort of handicapping going on fut 14… Just like many others did..

    However, after 100 games of fut 15 I feel the handicapping must be gone. Game is freeflowing with every low or High-rated team ive used.

    It will be interesting to see, if all of the handicap-believers feels things have changed in fut 15…

        • Nice record, I’ve similar record but not played as many matches, 15 losses but not as many wins. I still believe it is in UT as I’ve played 50 games on H2H and lost 4 , its not in H2H seasons, never has been.

          Very different game, if you play H2H you notice players that pass well are great to play with. Kroos etc… these players are terrible and not not worth putting into a UT IMO. Just a very sweetie game.I’ll still play both but moan a little about UT.

    • “Game is freeflowing with every low or High-rated team ive used.” … “Hulk is the most expensive player i have used” … Are you being serious?! Hulk isn’t a good or high-rated player, and if a 7k winger is the best player you’ve used then you can’t have use any ‘high-rated teams’ and are therefore no qualified to talk about handicap! Wow.

  8. Handicap does exist IMO in UT. Easy way I can demonstrate it is by comparing my online seasons stats vs UT online seasons. I hardly ever concede goals when not playing UT and to date I’ve only lost 3 games in online seasons. Playing UT online seasons I lose 1 game in every 3 matches and draw a huge amount too.

    • How come you conclude that this is the product of handicapping, rather than your UT seasons opponents simply being better than your H2H seasons opponents?

      • Hi Crlarsen,

        I’m concluding this because last year on online seasons I was ranked in the top 4k. Globally. And I play at least 1000 games every year since the first Fifa. This year I’m heading back to Div 1 on on both games. Good players can watch the other persons game and predict what is happening, and anticipate this. On this game you can understand what is happening on UT but you are unable to stop it in many cases. (not the case in non UT modes)

        Examples include:

        I was playing a play BETTER than….yes I don’t have huge ego and think I’m the best at this game..He was clearly dominating the first 15 mins.

        He was 2-1 up and had a great team, Bale, Benzema etc.. All stars really.

        I got a red card with my desperate defending. He missed the free kick and I then went on to win 12-2. His keeper let in every shot and my players got boosted and his players had been capped severally. My keeper made several great saves too.

        Another example is I played a silver team and my team couldn’t pass, run or shot well for 90 minutes. lost 5-nil and the keeper never touched the ball for 90 minutes without throwing it into his own net.

        The 3 up top for me include Lazazette, Lucas, Lavezzi and they could not run (all plus 90 pace and dribblers) with full fitness before the game started.

        To but it simply, it works both ways. I will still be a Div 1 player on UT but the game has serious issues for non-casual gamers. i.e we won’t enyoy it as much because the game has assistance / momentum / handicap. It is annoying to feel something else in the game effecting not just the game, but the outcome of matches.

        Developers of games call it Dynamic Game Difficulty Balancing. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dynamic_game_difficulty_balancing.

        I believe the reason it is in the game is to allow more players to win when they would simple lose a huge amount of the time, to allow the servers to connect a broader range of player and to allow more comebacks to happen and a more variety of game outcomes.

        Think you are 2-nil down and you come back…was it your computer players fitness??? Did the other dude make a cup of tea while playing. (The other dude also used a fitness card and has amazing players). No, it was momentum. And it works both ways. I get it working for me and against and can feel it when playing.

        Still a very good game and I may sound butt hurt, I will still play it all year and I think the devs do a great job on the game tbh. Just my one grip.

        I’d rather have any momentum in the game taken out or at least let us have some sort of visibility. i.e like pro evo did with players moral before matches etc..

        anyway, it of a rant.

        • But this doesn’t really my question.

          I agree that if we could conclude that the relative skill difference between you and your opponents was the same in FUT seasons and H2H seasons, you ought to be able to perform equally well in both game modes in the long run.

          However, absolutely nothing factual indicates that the relative skill difference in H2H seasons is the same as in FUT seasons.

          On contrary, it’s indeed possible that you simply concede more goals in FUT seasons because your opponents in FUT seasons are better then your opponents in H2H seasons.

          Regarding dynamic difficulty balancing, the fact that such concepts exist doesn’t imply that they are present in a specific game. In relation to FUT Seasons, it’s a fact that EA has been using ELO matchmaking earlier. having ELO matchmaking would make something like dynamic difficulty balancing redundant.

          • What I think.

            I think UT players will be better than standard league players but Div1 players in both play a huge amount of Fifa and really practice the art so will be of a high standard. Against your average player in an offline match I would turn them over 5 nil plus in every match.

            What I know.

            I have no way of knowing the answer to your question because EA do not give us access to everyones wins and losses on UT and if they came from playing other users or just AI. Nor do they league who is the best player globally, nor do they give you a rank, nor do they let you see the other persons stats after a game like in online seasons. It is merely a fun game to play and not really competitive, it is different to the normal game.

            In terms of DGDB this is in the game for sure and is not static. (Again, no proof as I’ve spoken with EA producers and official stance is it isn’t in the game at all. Without this being leaked we won’t know)

            i.e The game balancing doesn’t stay static point. In the game you can actively feel it change. And sometime it works against both parties and you end up with a bore draw. Sometimes both are boasted. And sometimes boosts just one party, it adds variation to the game.

            I’ve a friend who I know I’m better than and I can play him 20 times offline and win 20. Playing him via UT on 14 & 15 and I win way more than I lose but I don’t win every game. Sometimes he can win 4 nil on UT etc…

            On the first few UT’s I would win 10/20 games then lose 1. Win 10/20 games lose one. My ratio is getting worse year in, year out on UT and I’m not getting worse (well, I will be getting slightly worse I’m in my 30’s now) 🙂 because it the ratio is staying the same of other game modes against users.

            I put this down to DGDB, especially noticeable this year with keepers playing a huge part. Playing well for one side and not for another, good one game bad the next etc… No one can win if the keeper doesn’t save anything.

            Honestly, can you not feel it when you play?

          • “I have no way of knowing the answer to your question because EA do not give us access to everyones wins and losses on UT and if they came from playing other users or just AI.”

            The point I’m trying to make is that you can’t conclude that there is handicapping just because you aren’t able to achieve the same score ratio in two different game modes. If you ccould rule out all other possibilities, then this would be the conclusion, but the point is that you can’t rule out the other possibilites such as the opponents being better on average..

            “In terms of DGDB this is in the game for sure and is not static. (Again, no proof as I’ve spoken with EA producers and official stance is it isn’t in the game at all. Without this being leaked we won’t know)”

            What we do know (because we checked it here on this site) is that better players don’t experience more “handicapping” than the less good players. If there was something like DGDB in this game, and if this was the reason why some people believe in handicapping, then the better players defiinitely would experience it more than the less good players.

            “I’ve a friend who I know I’m better than and I can play him 20 times offline and win 20. Playing him via UT on 14 & 15 and I win way more than I lose but I don’t win every game. Sometimes he can win 3- nil on UT etc…”

            I know that Portugal is better than Albania, and yet Albania beat Portugal 0-1 (Porrtugal at home). And so on and so on. If you play enough games, strange results will occur.

            “On the first few UT’s I would win 10/20 games then lose 1. Win 10/20 games lose one. My ratio is getting worse year in, year out on UT and I’m not getting worse (well, I will be getting slightly worse I’m in my 30’s now) 🙂 because it the ratio is staying the same of other game modes against users.”

            I would assume that your opponents are getting better.

            “Honestly, can you not feel it when you play?”

            No, I think – and I’m completely honest here – that handicapping is an excuse for losing, beause it iss more convenient to say that you lost because you were better (ad got handicapped) than to say that you lost because the opponent was better than you.

            Besides, I’m not the only person who doesn’t feel ‘it’. When we checked it in a survey earlier this year, it turned out that the believers have quite different and even contradictory beliefs with respect to handicapping. What appears likely to one person doesn’tt appear likely to his neigbour. So, although a majority believes inn ‘handicapping’, they don’t share a consensus about what handicapping is, how the game is affected by it, whch game modes it affects, how often and so on.

            Feel free to hek out our survey results here:

            https://www.ultimateteam.co.uk/2014/08/30/scripting-handicapping-momentum-survey-results/

          • Cool thanks for sending me through the survey. I’ll check it out.

            Fully understand everyone doesn’t have the same opinion. For the record I believe it works for and against. I sometimes feel I’ve won games because of the computer influence in this mode. My 12-2 example.

            Also in every game you get a huge changes in how AI defends etc.. It is very easy to score after conceding and it is seems very easy to score if you go down to a 3-nil deficit. Comebacks are much easier in UT.

            So my point really isn’t that it makes me lose. Sometimes it makes me win. I do think it hinders more than it helps though. So you could say I’m slightly butt hurt about that. But I don’t let it get to me and I still do play the game.

            Now in top 17k in on H2H seasons out half a mil (just need to play more games to get near top 100) and am happy I can take that mode a seriously and UT I can play for fun.

            I often think my internet could be causing lag, so my players slow and that is the reason shots keep missing with clinical strikers etc… I could never be 100% sure of handicap and happy that you don’t believe it is in the game.

            I do find what you are writing about very interesting though so keep up the good work. I’ve often found when using IF I feel increasing poor performance of not just that player but the team. Again could be internet issues having to process a bespoke player or something. I’m not sure, again I can just see and feel the team not performing. As a result in the past I’ve always stuck to not using IF and having a bronze bench.

            Right, going to check out the survey now.

  9. if naldo is tones better than standard naldo so if defenders there is a huge differance however with st shooting stats etc are not overly important like ive had a 77 non rare with 66 shooting shoot 5 times netting all 5 then my 87 rated lewandowski score none from 5 so its down to the unseen statistics like there passing stength keeping the ball etc unless someone like neymar gets a totw with just shot power or pace upgraded they wont feel much better in game because the other stat diferences are too small to be relavent

  10. Sorry… But if you cannot recognize the HUGE amount of scripting in both seasons and FUT modes then you are clearly not an experienced player. It is painstakingly obvious. It is sometimes so blatant all you can do is laught at the series of almost impossible events which unfold in front of your eyes. This game no longer reflects competitive gaming. It is now just a roll of the dice. You have literally zero influence on the result of a game when the scripting kicks in. If you cannot see it then it’s probably because you are a lower skilled player and benefitting from it. Better players notice it more as more often it is not in their favour. Hence why it is handicapping. Better players will experience it more.

      • It happens all the time! I don’t tell my keeper to come out at corners he’s still flapping at the ball as it flys past him or charging of his line only to stop a few feet from the ball so the attacker gets it and scores, defenders taking about 20 minutes to turn around not because they’re slow but because they just refuse to move, your last two defenders who you aren’t controlling running into each other falling on the fucking floor and leaving the opponent to just waltz through 1 on 1, defenders you aren’t controlling giving away penalties that clearly aren’t penalties it’s ridiculous. How you can go 19/15 shots to your opponents 2/1 and lose 2-0 is beyond me

        • The fact that these things happen does not prove that they happen due to a deliberate plan to alter the outcome of your matches. Annoying as they are, they could be and most likely are coincidential / a product of bad programming.

          • It isn’t to alter the outcome of the match, it’s to give the player with the garbage team a better chance, hence why while all this is happening to me not once will anything happen to my opponent. This isn’t an every match thing but it’s clear as day when it happens but that’s just my opinion. I do agree however aspects of it could be poor programming etc, I played a game not two hours ago where all three of my central defenders ran to one player in the box before two collapsed on the floor and one did a stand tackle that’s wasn’t instructed leaving a clear goal it’s ridiculous how flawed the game is

          • What ever the purpose, it still doesn’t prove that there is a handicap. Besides, the mere thought that EA would devaluate their own goods by downgrading star players is highly unlikely. On contrary, EA has every possible reason to let the guys with the expensive squads win.

          • Proof of a handicap will never come due to ea’s ability to simply state it doesn’t exist. They aren’t devaluating their own goods, they are giving the casual fifa player the ability to compete with much better players by simply pressing l1 triangle making them more likely to continue playing. Meanwhile the more committed player has just been screwed over but is a massive fut addict so won’t be leaving any time soon.
            Ea has no reason to let expensive squads win! It just happens far too often to be a coincidence or general gameplay issues

          • It is common logic that EA doesn’t have any incentive to reduce the performance of star players, as this would make it less attractive to buy packs.

            Although you may be right that some players need a win now and then to keep playing the game, there are other ways of obtaining this without downgrading the performance of star players. Among other things, the various game modes within and outside FUT are there to ensure that everybody is able to find a suitable level of difficulty.

            And the facts are with me on this,

            The article above demonstrates that players with *better stats perform better*. Most notably, we found that Ronaldo – with much better goal scoring stats – also scores more goals than Neymar.

            With regards to your claim about giving casual players a chance, this can be rejected as well. In our recent survey on this subject, we asked our users about their experiences related to handicapping. Among other things, we found that the less experienced (i.e. what you call casual players) felt handicapped to the same extent as more experienced players.

          • Course they do. You go on a bad run of games your more likely to spend more or buy more packs. Its simple economics. Supply and demand.

            I would agree if the difference between performances wasn’t so vast.

          • Our survey showed two things with relevant to this:

            1) That players in general didn’t react to specific results or streaks by buying packs.

            2) That the losing streaks you are referring to doesn’t occur more often than they should.

            Hence, I can reject your claim straight away

          • No? They want the new players to continue playing and use more cash cause its fun to play and the once with a better team to sell players so EA get their 5% profitt and make them buy more packs in frustation as the number of coins shrinks fast.

            Also, you should look at match stats! You probably had squads with similar overall rating aswell?

          • “They want the new players to continue playing and use more cash cause its fun to play and the once with a better team to sell players so EA get their 5% profitt and make them buy more packs in frustation as the number of coins shrinks fast.”

            What exactly indicates that you are right about this except for that it may sound reasonable at a first glance?

            First of all, what I just said: EA has every possible reason to make their goods appear valuable. Otherwise, people won’t buy them. This obviously goes for new players as well. So, although EA *in theory* could make new players stay by biasing the game to their advantage, both new and more experienced would lose the incentive to buy packs, because they would observe that it didn’t make any difference to own the rarest star players.

            Second, I don’t see any reason to assume that new players really are more likely to keep playing if they are gifted with a few easy wins. It’s by no means given that it works like that. Based on common sense alone it appears equally reasonable to assume that new players people will be more inclined to keep playing if they find the game challenging. For the record, we actually checked this in our survey (link below): Based on the responses from our readers, nothing indicates you are right.

            Third, we can in fact reject that EA are biasing the game to the advantage of new players. Our survey covered players between XP level 8 and 98, and if you were right, we would have expected to see players at the higher XP levels report more handicapping than those at the lower levels, but we didn’t.

            Fourth, there percentage of new players is far lower than most people think. In FUT 14, I checked my match record often, and <5 % of my opponents were below XP level 10. Is it really likely that EA would dare bothering 95 % of the customers in order to increase the likelihood that the remaining 5 % will stay?

            "Also, you should look at match stats! You probably had squads with similar overall rating aswell?"

            Please explain in more detail.

            Link to survey report:
            https://www.ultimateteam.co.uk/2014/08/30/scripting-handicapping-momentum-survey-results/

          • Something tells me you work for EA! But still, you make some small portions of sense.

            Also, scripting is a part of the game. There is no doubt of that!
            What i mean about that is the game trying to come as close to a real match as possible.
            Creating “realistic” scenarios with altering the game pace (one match goes fast, others goes slow), “the comeback” (a team being down the entire match, clinching the win in a last minute goal) The 45/90th minute goals, being far more common then any other of the 90 minutes and so on with most of the scenarios you can think of in a real life match.

            What i mean with your squads overall rating having an impact is simple, a 77 rated team will play better and have smarter movement then a 85 rated team when these two clash.

            If i manage to put Ronaldo in my team with descent players and still keep the rating below 80, he and the entire team will perform better then if he was in a 85 rated squad. The overall rating of your squad is what gives the impact imo.

            I have never lost a match with my Non-rare BPL or my “all under 80 Bundesliga” squad, coming up against all kinds of teams in div.1 with every kind of rating.
            But, when i change the players putting in players with similar play styles only better stats i end up with a static team having no ball control or agility what so ever.

            So now i sit here with 1mill coins and those two teams, if i buy any better players i will end up with a worse team.

            Something is wrong, and there are far more factors coming to play then your article takes to a count.

          • “Also, scripting is a part of the game. There is no doubt of that!

            What i mean about that is the game trying to come as close to a real match as possible.
            Creating “realistic” scenarios with altering the game pace (one match goes fast, others goes slow), “the comeback” (a team being down the entire match, clinching the win in a last minute goal) The 45/90th minute goals, being far more common then any other of the 90 minutes and so on with most of the scenarios you can think of in a real life match.”

            I see absolutely no reason to assume that the game wouldn’t contain natural drama without EA’s intervention. With regards 45th and 90th minute goals, there is a completely natural to that. Basically, FUT matches are quite rich on goals (4.5 on average), and on top of that, the 45th and 90th minute are much longer than all other minutes because they are stoppage time. For further details, I will refer to section 6 in the survey report.

            “What i mean with your squads overall rating having an impact is simple, a 77 rated team will play better and have smarter movement then a 85 rated team when these two clash.”

            Please consider the full implications of that statement in more detail.

            If this was the case, it would simply imply that – the lower rated, the better.

            This would in turn imply a huge advantage in playing with a 49-rated squad like I did below [1]. Yet, I haven’t seen anyone make it to division one with a 49-rated squad. In fact, I can’t remember having seen anybody else taking one of these squads into action.

            Additionally, please consider your statement in the light of the article above. One of the findings is that players like Ronaldo in fact outperform lower rated, comparable players like Neymar. This observation is based on goal scoring averages gathered by

            [1] https://www.ultimateteam.co.uk/2014/12/11/worst-full-chemistry-squads/

          • The difference between the G/M ratio of Neymar vs Ronaldo can be explained by one stat. Strength. Massively important and makes Ronaldo easy to use for all.

            After playing a ton of UT I can say that it has issues. Poor programming. Kick off glitch is annoying, very easy to score and feels very unnatural. Goals seem to come out of the blue either way and the game does seem very random. Keepers falling over and letting easy goals in, defenders making mistakes at random times, poor defending if you play possession football

            On online seasons I’ve lost just 13 games so far and it seems like a very different game. Less arcade like, more serious. I can check and the games I’ve lost have been vs world class opposition. Last guy had only 8 losses ever.

            This needs to be back in UT! Without the ability to see who I played after or how good or bad they are makes me think twice about that mode.

            My wish list for Fifa 16 would be:

            * UT16 to be feel more like online seasons in terms of feel
            * Earn and Trade (no way to buy cards, will never happen but would alway be on my wish list)
            it’s not experts who play and who have the best players as mentioned in the article, its kids with money or hackers / coin buyers
            * More longevity. Too quick to gain all the average gold players, takes too long to save for expensive ones. i.e a paywall and it forces you to buy players
            * competitions to win limited edition players and content
            * Better tournament formats
            * more ways to personalise
            * Something to reward advanced gamers for time spent playing and reaching a great ability – League 1 double gets ‘X’

            Still my most played game of 2014 but I feel UT is slipping.

          • The term “arcade like” puts the finger on the spot. FUT is *very* fast compared to other game modes. It’s a bit like driving a 100 mph in an parking lot: Accidents will occur, because you are put out of control.

    • Got to div 2 with a basic but, good f ex iniesta/chiellini/xavi, etc spanish /Italian 22 433(5). Was playing some amazing football and scoring fantastic goals. I was given a lot of coins and built three more teams with additional informs for my current teams to. They were better on paper than my previous teams.

      I dropped out of div 2 hardly scoring and struggling to win, pass, through pass and shoot. Every shot and pass is now over hit or woefully short of were it should be going. Its like all of a sudden its doing the complete opposite to what I want.

      I never believed scripting existed till this edition. Something’s not right when you can’t score for toffee against someone. Then go a goal down. From the kick off put three maybe five passes together and bang suddenly score a goal. The games become that much of a joke I just laugh at how pathetic it is

  11. What about the possibility that some player stats will give unexpected results from a player(if you look at the total average rating) ?

    I did a test with a Dutch squad 3-5-2 with the strikers van Persie 88 rated (Hunter chem style) and El Kabir 71 rated (sniper chem style). Played 50 (friendly) matches online. I did change the position left – right every match.

    van Persie G/M 0.82
    El Kabir G/M 1.13

    This give the impression that somehow the 71 rated player has a combination of player stats that makes him very OP. Maybe some players can combine a low rated squad with OP low rated players that gives the feeling of altered gameplay. It could be that some player stats can make players better to handle and easier to control from the controller input by humans.

    • Certainly.

      Player rating is not a measure of the player’s capability to perform. The link below describes why in more detail. Among other things, it demonstrates that certain bronze players in fact have more relevant stats than gold players playing in the same position, meaning that you should expect to perform better with the bronze player.

      With regards to your comparison of El Kabir and van Persie, it’s obvious that you are comparing two very different types of players, and hence that the the result of the compairson will be heavily influenced by how the players fit with your style of play and formation. Additionally, it may have an impact that El Kabir is surrounded by better team mates than RvP, given that RvP most likely did create more chances for El Kabir than vice versa.

      https://www.ultimateteam.co.uk/2014/11/07/advantageous-players-fut-15/

      • ” it’s obvious that you are comparing two very different types of players”

        They are both ST (i’m not comparing ST vs CB) and you would think when playing with a higher rated ST your changes to score would be also higher. It’s the whole idea of buying an expensive ST card.

        In this case the silver 71 rated El Kabir didn’t had much more problems passing expensive high rated defenders and goalkeepers than RvP. He was even more effective than his higher rated counterpart. For sure when an opponent with a high rated defense in his squad watch how a low rated ST easily pass his defense will think handicap scripting is in place.

        • “They are both ST (i’m not comparing ST vs CB) and you would think when playing with a higher rated ST your changes to score would be also higher. It’s the whole idea of buying an expensive ST card.”

          I believe that most people understand that it isn’t that simple when it comes to strikers.

          All strikers are not the same, and you cannot expect different types of strikers to perform equally well no matter which formations and styles of play you are using.

          El Kaboir and RvP are very different kinds of strikers.

          El Kabir is comparable to Aguero, Remy or Sturridge, and in a direct comparison with them, I would expect them to score more goals.

          But if you style of play is heavily dependent on pace, El Kabir will and *should* outperform slower strikers like van Persie. Even though van Persie has a higher total rating, he doesn’t beat El Kabir on every individual stat, pace included.

  12. I did collect informs for the sake of it, I honestly thought that the goal of this game was to make the highest rated team possible, then I started playing online a bit more than I’d had time to before and I have to say the handicap exists, I must have played about 20 terrible games in a row where I couldn’t string a pass together couldn’t shoot, couldn’t run fast, it got so bad I can’t find any rhythm in normal play anymore as it literally made me forget how I used to play, I sold all of my informs and am playing only gold players. I’m not sure if I’m still handicapped or have been psychologically damaged by playing so many terrible games.. I’m absolutely convinced this is real though as I was playing my friend who just started and he Was Consistently destroying me with a low rated team, he then got a great team together and I smashed him using a bronze team.. I’m all for making things fair in ultimate team, but I feel strongly that it should be an option ie simulator or arcade mode. Some of us are grown men who just fancy playing friends with superstar teams.. As things stand I think I’m going back to Pro Evo, I’m not a bad loser in the slightest, I enjoy playing against people that can smash me, I like watching how they do it. But this handicapping/scripting issue is real and it is zero fun !

    • “I did collect informs for the sake of it, I honestly thought that the goal of this game was to make the highest rated team possible, then I started playing online a bit more than I’d had time to before and I have to say the handicap exists, I must have played about 20 terrible games in a row where I couldn’t string a pass together couldn’t shoot, couldn’t run fast, it got so bad I can’t find any rhythm in normal play anymore as it literally made me forget how I used to play, I sold all of my informs and am playing only gold players.”

      Let’s face it: There are two possible reasons why someone loses 20 games in a row: Either he really is subject to a handicap or he just isn’t as good as the opponents. I don’t see anything above which rules out the second option. And I’m not trying to be impolite here, just realistic. I think I lost my first 50 online matches, so you are not the only one.

      “I’m not sure if I’m still handicapped or have been psychologically damaged by playing so many terrible games.. I’m absolutely convinced this is real though as I was playing my friend who just started and he Was Consistently destroying me with a low rated team, he then got a great team together and I smashed him using a bronze team..”

      Why would this prove the existence of a handicap? Please consider why anyone would bother creating code which would produce such results. It makes no sense to me.

      According to the official statements from EA, they never intended FUT to be all about building the highest rated squad, but rather to be a game which mostly is about skill. Hence, there is nothing strange about the fact that someone is able to beat someone else despite not having the highest rated squad.

      Other than that, the fact that a player is gold does not indicate that he is better than any silver or for that matter bronze player. In reality, there are silver and bronze players which will outperform certain gold players playing the same position:

      https://www.ultimateteam.co.uk/2014/11/07/advantageous-players-fut-15/

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