Join Date: Apr 2002
Heres some excellent changes in the new game. I'm sure you will all approve greatly.
Just after we released FM2007 last year, I had a phonecall from a well known and highly respected football agent who I'd had the pleasure of dealing with a few times before inviting me to go over and visit him at his office. So, me and Paul Collyer traipsed off there, and despite having grown a third ear to be able to deal with all the phone calls he was getting whilst we were sitting there, he looked over and told me how much he and his players were enjoying the game, but there was one area where we were getting some things wrong, and that was certain areas of players contracts, and spent ages going through how it all worked at different levels of the game.
So, having checked with a couple of chief execs at clubs, we've followed his advice. After all, they negotiate them for part of their living, so they should know.
Player win bonuses are now done collectively rather than individually, with you deciding in pre-season what kind of bonus to allocate to the squad for each competition, with these monies then given to the players at the end of the season based on how the team have done in the respective competitions.
Wages and appearance fees are now tweaked to be more realistic too. Individual goal and clean sheet bonuses are still there, of course.
Now, the conversations with the chief execs brought up some other interesting little facts. Such as "you know that many managers now just get a pot of money, and can allocate to wages and transfers whichever way they want to?". Now, we didn't want to overcomplicate anything and make people require a chief executive sitting there with them whilst playing the game, as that would have pushed the price of the game up way beyond anyone's budget for gaming so what we've done is thus (and I'm starting this on a new paragraph even though it's frowned upon grammar wise, but it's important, because sometimes the smallest features are the best).
You now have more control of your transfer and wage budgets by going to the "boardroom" screen, and asking to adjust your budgets. If you have excessive transfer funds, you can plough them into your wage budget, and vice versa. Great player becomes available on a free transfer, but you don't have enough wage budget? No problem - just move some money from your transfer budget to cover it. Lots of spare wages, but no money left in your transfer budget? Again, no problem, just transfer some over. The extra control is particularly useful if you're a smaller club, but just as useful for the big clubs too. It really makes a difference to the way you play the game…
Something else we decided to change a bit was adding in specific exchange requests in transfer bids, which appear when you are putting in bids for players. Rather than just saying "they are looking for a left back", if the club concerned are interested in your left back, he'll get named in the transfer offer screen.
A bug bear of mine from previous games which is now sorted is what happens after you offer a player to clubs, and some of them aren't interested. Instead of getting a pile of news items, you now just get one that lists all the clubs that aren't interested, and their reasons why.
Finally for today, another small but beautiful new feature. For those who've played the game for a while, you'll know that when you're playing many leagues, you can't sign players from some countries, such as Brazil, until they're 18. And by the time you can, they've signed somewhere else. Yet, in real life, players sign pre-contracts to join clubs (a bit like Alexandre Pato's recent deal). And now they can in FM2008 too. Hurrah.
Heres some of the other features/changes they did but havent given us detail about unlike the above info. Expect more indept info over the week. Although come sunday we'll be able to test it out ourselves lolololo
Some areas that we've already announced will have their own indepth guides later on in the cycle before release. These include the awards revamp, board confidence, fan days, the international management revamp, match flow and a look at what's new in the match engine, so I'm going to be avoiding discussing those in this blog, or on the forums.
Let's start with pitch sizes. As those of you who are into your footy know, there is no one set size for a pitch in football, just rules for each competition and league for minimum and maximum dimensions. You now get the chance to set your pitch size at the start of the season, adapting the pitch size to your tactics or vice versa, within the boundaries of the competition your club is playing in.
Your team captains now also get set pre-season, along with a vice-captain too. You have to be careful who you choose for these roles though, as it can affect any player in your squad - choose someone unpopular, and a dressing room revolt could be on the cards.
We've improved how the game handles rules about "foreign" players. More foreign players are allowed at clubs, with squad selection rules used to set who will be eligible for matches, as well as enforcing rules regarding "foreign" players and naturalisation. Most useful in this area of changes is that you can now see in a players personal panel how long he has until he gets dual nationality, which is very useful for those with feeder clubs where they send players who haven't been able to get work permits.
Some other improvements to our previous games include better team selection routines for AI, which now take into account even more importance of matches, injuries and the like. Player progression is also improved, as are the regenerated players and the injury module, of course.
A big new feature is coach reports, which are perfect for novice managers, or those who want the challenge of managing at a club where they don't know the players. The coaching staff will give you detailed feedback on every player in the squad, similar to the scout reports that became part of the game last year, making it very easy to get to know your strong and weak areas, and who your best players and best prospects are for each position on the pitch.
Another nice new feature is the ability to create a filter from a selected player which is kind of hard to explain, so I'll leave it to Keith, one of the dev team members at SI. "Imagine your star striker is getting a bit long in the tooth. He's been a loyal servant to you and has banged in the goals consistently over the years, but now it's time to find a replacement. Ideally you want the same style of forward but a younger version.
In past versions of the game you would have had to manually note down the key attributes for that player and set up a filter. Fm2008 now allows you to create a player search filter based around the main strength of the player chosen. Once selecting this option a filter is created using the players position and will pick out at least 3 key attributes and then you will be taken to the player search screen where you can view the matches and then hopefully open talks with a view to signing your next superstar striker." Clear enough for you? Good, good.
Something that people in the community have been asking for for ages is an extra option on the squad status screen to be able to specify for a player in the first team squad to be declared available for any reserve team games in the next 7 days, rather than having to move them to the reserve squad and risk their morale dropping. So that's in FM08 too.
Cant wait. This is one of those games that can keep me occupied for easily 6months.