How would FIFA 16 Ultimate Team look if you were to decide? I gave this question some thought and came up with some suggestions.
The current format of Ultimate Team requires you to buy players, create a squad, pick a formation and assign a manager (optional). When you start a match, you are able to set custom tactics but these settings won’t save and continue to your next match.
If I were to redesign this part of the game, I would make the team sheet functionality part of the squad configuration, meaning that these settings were set per squad with the possibility of copying them onto other squads. It makes no sense to configure these things per match, since you don’t know anything about your next opponent anyway.
Concept squads is a relevant add-on to the game, but I would like some information about player prices on top of all the other stats.
Trading has improved a lot, but there is obvious potential for improvement in a number of areas.
- The ability to search for players with specific attributes and stats.
- The possibility to sort the results based on criteria such as specific stats, prices and so on.
- To set sell prices for multiple cards at a time.
- ‘Automatic relist’ feature when listing a player (with a maximum of relistings).
- The possibility of cancelling an auction (as long as no bids have been received).
- The possibility of simply selecting “set BIN to lowest current BIN value” rather than having to work it out yourself.
Regarding packs and transfer market, I would like to start by sharing some general thoughts about FIFA’s virtual economy to give you an impression about the possibilities.
I have no doubt that most people would love having better packs, but on the other hand, I have my doubts as to whether this is realistic.
At current, the average Return on Investment (ROI) on standard gold packs is around -60 % , meaning that for each 10 coins you spend on pack, you will lose 6. Why isn’t the ROI 100 %? Basically it’s pretty simple: If it was 100 %, everyone would be able to open packs indefinitely until they found the players they wanted. At the same time, the market would be flooded with even the rarest players, meaning that their prices would drop to ~0, which effectively would remove the incentive to buy packs with real money. On the other hand, there is an obvious limit to how low the ROI can get before people stop buying because it isn’t worthwhile anymore. Getting the average ROI right is a very delicate balance!
In conclusion, I doubt that we will see better packs in terms of higher ROI. What I would like to see are some of the more specialized packs such as “consumables only”, “Bundesliga only” and the like. The value of a pack does not come from the ROI alone but also from it’s degree of usability.
Loan players – EA’s version of a HBO trial subscription – is one of the most pointless additions to the game for some time. I still haven’t used Ronaldo, Bale or Messi, and I really don’t see why I should bother, as I won’t have the cash to buy any of them on a permanent basis.
Fatigue & Injuries
This year, players do get more tired and thus more injured. I really appreciate this, because it adds realism to the matches, as it forces you to consider substitutions.
I don’t like the link between fatigue and player fitness and the injuries lasting multiple games, which implies that players need to rest every now and then – or have fitness and treatment cards added to them. To me, this is neither fun nor realistic.
Most players simply work around the fatigue / fitness aspect by swapping between two squads, having squad 1 on the bench while playing with squad 2. The issue with this work around is that it practically takes the tactical aspect of substitutions out of the game for many of us, as we are limited to a single substitution per match.
Those who can’t afford two squads simply put a batch of cheap bronzers on the pitch while resting all their expensive gold players – and go and grab a cup of coffee while the opponent is wasting a precious half an hour of his life.
Finally, bronze benches only makes sense because you don’t have to make substitutions and because substitutes only contribute 50 % to the calculated overall rating of your squad. By making fatigue and injuries more prominent within matches, and by giving subs the full weight when calculating the squad rating, people would lose the incentive to use bronze benches.
Stadiums and weather
I have never understood why people are forced into playing matches in rain and snow, rather than having this as an optional setting before the start of a match.
Rain, snow and stadium shadows add absolutely nothing in terms of realism. Yes, it may rain and snow in real life, but the real life implications of playing in snowy or rainy conditions have absolutely no resemblance to the FUT experience. To me, snow means that I can’t see the ball. Rain means that I can’t see the shadow of the ball and therefore judge its direction and position accurately. Sharp sunlight means shadows, and shadows mean that I mistime my interactions with the game.
I would prefer that these aspects were taken out of the game, made optional or better yet were given a more realistic appearance.
In FIFA Seasons, you have the option of abandoning the game in agreement with the opponent. I would love to see this feature in FUT as well, as it would allow people to skip matches with laggy connections (and bad pitch conditions).
With regards to disconnects and rage quits, it’s a troublesome area to fix. On one hand, it’s quite unfair that you get punished when the server crashes or when the opponent quits prematurely. On the other hand, it’s quite hard to decide whether a player disconnected on purpose or by accident, and it’s even harder to decide on a fair result even for the player who didn’t quit. Despite all the issues, I think there are some potential improvements within this area.
It ought to be possible to determine what went wrong with some degree of precision.
If player 1’s console can see SomePlaceOnTheInternet.com but not Server.ea.com, then Server.ea.com is down and the match should be perceived as cancelled, meaning that no result is recorded for any player. If the server can see player 1’s console but not player 2’s console, player 2 should be awarded a loss and player 1 should be awarded a “match cancelled” if the current status of the match is in their disfavor or if the match is heading for a draw. If player 1 is ahead, they should be awarded the win.
Game modes & match making
I think the current range of game modes is appropriate, and it’s hardly realistic to expect a reasonable volume of players playing more game modes.
I would like additional options when it comes to matchmaking.
Within friendlies, it would be nice to have the opportunity to get matched based on squad rating, XP level, current Win / Loss ratio or perhaps – random!
Within seasons, the player should have the choice as to whether he would accept matches against players from other divisions.
I would love to see the squad rating playing a role when calculating the coin award. To me, it would make great sense that playing against a higher rated opponent should lead to an increased coin reward. This would give people an incentive to take on the more challenging opponents, rather than just aiming for those matches where the opponent appears weaker.
Additionally, I don’t see any reason why the opponent’s decision to quit in the 50th minute should reduce my reward.
I can’t remember having played one single match in FUT 15 where the opponent has applied stat boosts to their players. Having stat boosts that only last for one match doesn’t make a lot of sense from my perspective. Personally, I really don’t bother applying these boosts.
As for chemistry styles, I believe that more and more people perceive them as a complete waste of money. Adding 2 or 3 points rather than 1 to the pace of a player makes almost no difference.
Position changes are relevant, as long as players are bound to certain positions, but I would like some more freedom in this area. As an example, I would like the ability to move players from LM to CAM and from CB to RB and vice versa.
I don’t have strong feelings about contracts, but on the other hand, I don’t think they add anything poisitive to the game, and I hate that it costs you contracts when the opponent rage quits after 5 minutes. With the vast number of gift packets, the price of contracts plummets as everybody has plenty of them on stock. Adding new contracts to the players is basically a waste of time, and as a minimum it ought to happen automatically.
Position changes make sense, but why not include a Player league change, allowing you to transfer Messi from La Liga to BPL without losing the chemistry boost?
In today’s game, most of the staff members play an insignificant role in the game.
Managers are the most important staff members, and still, you only have them because they provide manager chemistry bonuses and because they make your contracts more valuable. Instead of serving these rather pointless purposes, I would like to see managers taking on a more active role: The manager could give you access to different formations and player roles, and he could be improved by adding “manager improvement” consumables, ideally giving you access to new formations. Additionally, different managers could have different strengths and weaknesses, meaning that the manager chemistry boost would come in different shapes and sizes, depending on your quality and choice of manager.
With regards to fitness coaches, they could have a new role in terms of reducing the fatigue of your players during matches. In that way, it would become more interesting to own them. The same basic idea could apply to the assistant coaches, who could have the ability to give your players small but permanent stat boosts.
I really miss the opportunity to see more statistics about my players and matches. Being able to see the goal stats of the players in my current squad is irrelevant. Instead, I would like to see goals, assists, successful passes and the like for all players in my club.
I would love to be able to see a full match history (not just the last 20 matches through the web app), some information about the opponents and their squads etc. Different reports and breakdowns could be added here – the possibilities are endless!
Please share your own ideas and thoughts!