In or out?

I’m nearing the mid-point in season 2 of my Master League career in PES2010. After a total of 60 hours’ play, I’m still not used to the game. I have a good idea of what it will and won’t let me do. But this doesn’t stop me trying to play it like the PES of old, which doesn’t really work. Not at the moment anyway. This is what fascinates me about PES2010 and keeps me coming back for more.

I’ve got some good players. They’re not great, but they’re better than most of the Default players. At the moment my star striker isn’t the soon-to-be-fabled Gutierrez but a WF/CF by the name of Kuktayan. I’ve sneaked into the Top Scorers list with him.

season-2-top-scorers-after-13

One peculiar thing about this season: there’s no Cup. Or there is one, but I’m not in it. What is that all about, as a stand-up comedian might say? Have I been excluded from the extra-curricular activity of Cup football this season because I played so pathetically last season, and finished so far down the rankings? Or is it simply a bug? I haven’t been able to find any information about this. I vaguely remember a related post or two on the PESfan forums a few weeks ago, but can’t track them down.

In the league, I’ve squeaked a few wins, but things are mostly still bad. Some of my wins have felt pretty dubious. How often in PES, down the years, have you been sure the ball has gone out of play, but the game carries on? I had an instance of this in one of my matches in this current session. Attacking down the wing, I played one of those overhit PES2010-style through-balls to my winger. I gave chase without much conviction, but my winger reached the ball and prevented it going out of play—somehow. I sent over a weak, looping cross. Gutierrez nodded in a vital goal. I went on to win the match.

over-the-line

I checked the replay, and zoomed in on the ball (pictured right). The letter of the law dictates that “the whole of the ball must cross the whole of the line”. And sure enough, the law is faithfully observed: the outermost arc of the ball is just bisecting a nanometer-wide slice of the touchline. In PES terms, that ball is still in play. In a real game I think that would have been called out, every time. But this is a video game and I was more than happy to take it, considering it’s worked against me often enough.

Oscar-the-ghoul

The star of my side at the moment is Oscar, my promoted Youth player. There’s Oscar (pictured left) with ghoulish eyes and a soul patch kind of thing going on on his chin. As can be seen, his shirt is adorned with my chortlingly self-referential custom logo. The CPU teams keep wanting to buy Oscar for silly money, which is tempting when you’re totally skint as I always am. But you don’t sell your best players.

Unfortunately, the current league table makes for familiar reading. After 13 matches I’m in 14th place. This isn’t going to be a promotion season. After only about half a dozen matches, you just know if you’ve got a chance—after 13 matches, I know I haven’t got a chance. In theory I could acquire a few players mid-season and go off on a good run. It’s not mathematically impossible to get back up there, and we all know how the table itself frequently lends a hand to a determined player on a swashbuckling run.

But I doubt that run could ever happen, realistically. In Master League 2010 it’s not just about the players. The backroom staff are just as important, arguably more so. They govern so much: form arrows, general fitness, response times out on the pitch, lots of things. I’ve got my Head Coach on level 2, but the rest are all still on level 1. I can’t upgrade my staff until the end of the season. It’s going to be a long one, I think.

WEDS-season-2-after-13

29 Comments

  1. I SOLD OSCAR!
    I couldn’t resist it. They offered me $2,4mi. I thought I could use that money on upgrades that would improve the whole team, and he wasn’t doing anything special for me anyway. At least he didn’t bail out on me like Shimizu, Schwarz and Pelaez.

    I’m counting on you to keep him so I can see how well he does at his peak.

    I still have plenty of players from the Youth Team, though, and they’re helping me a lot. Keep an eye out for these guys: Schmidt (CB), Stalovic (GK), Saban (SB), Duffy (SB/DMF/SMF/WB), Artece (SMF/AMF), M. Roberks (CF), if they pop up in your Youth Team. They get really good quite early.

    I acquired a few free agents that are worth looking for too, like this guy Jonathan (SMF/AMF/CF), and a Van Hout (AMF).

    Congrats on making the top scorer list. I haven’t been able to get in there so far.

  2. The same thing happened to me in the cup. It’s because there is 32 teams, meaning you’d have to finish 12th to qualify presumably.

  3. Adriano—you… sold… Oscar? As in, Oscar? Does not compute… Actually, that’s a good bit of business for Oscar. Every player has his price. I’ll be hanging onto my Oscar unless I hit severe financial trouble. Now that I’ve got a vague handle on the all-new ML financial world, hopefully that won’t happen. As it happens, I’ve noticed Oscar becoming more anonymous—less vital to the overall ability of the team—as the players around him have got better. I hope this doesn’t mean he’ll just be an average-to-good player in the long term.

    And I might be on the top scorer list, but it’s only 4 goals!

  4. patrick222—that;s a relief to know, thanks. I’m in season 3 now and there’s no Cup for me again. Bit of a relief actually, the Cup gets in the way when you’re just wanting to focus on the league.

  5. Top scorer is top scorer. No one can get that away from you. 🙂

    I’m getting myself an HD for my Xbox, and I’ll be able to do stuff soon, like getting an option file and uploading goals to youtube. I scored a screamer from outside the box the other day with this young guy M. Roberks. It went in off the cross bar, then it rebounded off the ground up to the cross bar again and out of the goal. It went in alright, and the CPU computed it to me, but it seemed very doubtful at first, and IRL it would have caused havoc in the game, just like the out of bounds balls.

    I don’t like the way ref calls are always 100% “perfect” in this game. It has always bugged me. Sometimes I even think there’s a bad call against me in an offside, but the game won’t let me zoom in to check, so we have to accept all decisions without complaint, a bit like real life, but not quite.

    On the positive side, there was a comedy moment in one of my recent games when one of my players got into position to shoot a real cannon ball, but when it left his feet it went straight to another player’s head, and he tumbled hilariously. Quite life like. It even seemed to hurt a lot. It would be even more realistic if the guy had to be carried out to receive medical attention.

  6. Adriano—re. the top scorers’ list, indeed it is nice to appear (hence my inclusion of the screenshot), but I’m not even top, I’m joint-seventh… And soon to drop out of that non-lofty position 🙁

    I don’t know if there are any option files for the 360 – ? I’m far from having any kind of in-depth knowledge so I might be mistaken. There are so many other advantages to having a HD, though, not least the ability to install the full game to it. It eliminates the horrific noise of the 360’s drive spinning, and it reduces the risk of the console overheating and breaking down.

  7. There is at least one OF for the 360 that I’m aware of. I’m getting a pretty small HD (20Gb), but I suppose it’s enough to install the game. The noise is really quite hard to ignore. I got me one of the new Jasper ones which are supposedly free of the dreaded 3rl issue. I believe part of the reason it is so noisy is because the fan is on all the time to help avoid overheating.

  8. Awesome blog, I found your blog late night whilst at work. Dont be despondent about the end of season result, I believe you can hook into that good run, all you need is some air tight defending and a whole lot of one nils, Have you checked out Anita? Is Pelaez any good, and any thoughts on Jacobs? I need to get someone in for Ivarov? He’s destroying my goal difference!!!!! Im trying to be tight in my first season and im up to fourth, already out of the cup but still feeling confident, any advice for the january transfer window?

  9. Adriano—life will be much better, easier, and quieter after the arrival of the HD and installation of games. On a 20GB you should have room for three or four full games, plus odds and ends like downloaded demos, patches, etc. You’ll hardly hear the 360 at all when playing a game direct from the hard drive.

  10. Lord Stanley—thanks for your comment, and I’m not despondent about the so-far poor performance in Master League. In fact, I’m pleased that it’s proving so tough. I’m really trying my best, but so far the game is denying me—that’s a good, possibly great, PES year in the making.

    Pelaez is good, very good. Jacobs is a fine young keeper. Don’t be put off by his lowly rating to begin with. It’s not much lower than the Default keepers’ ratings, and Jacobs is a youngster who’s only going to get better. If you haven’t been through a January window yet, remember you don’t have to wait until then to start bidding on players. Start any time, and go for Free Agents. That’s what I did, and look where it’s got me! Oh. Right…

  11. Btw, I have a “theory” about players leaving on a free, and a solution to suggest.

    I suppose Konami tried to either make the game harder/more interesting or more “realistic”. If it’s the latter, I have to beg to differ.

    The thing is, when you bring a very good player up from the Youth Team, they start doing well, and bids start coming in for them. At some point, if you don’t sell them, they’ll put renewals on hold, and just leave, club loyalty be damned. There’s nothing you can do about it, and it sucks. I guess this is Konami’s way to imply that club loyalty is very rare nowadays. It must have something to do with club ranking, I suppose. But some players do seem to stick with, apparently.

    One possible solution that I’m experimenting with right now is, when they do look for you to renew their contracts, you take the salary they’re asking, add a few credits to it ($30k, maybe), and increase the contract duration a year or two. I’m experimenting with 3 year contracts, and so far all players accepted my change of terms. Next time I’ll try 4 or 5 years to see if they fall for it.

    The current season, I’m already expecting to lose three players, among them Duffy for whom I received insistent offers before the mid season negotiations window. I refused them all, and when the window opened, the son of a gun put renewal talks on hold. It’s the last year of his contract, and I can bet that he’s leaving by the end of the year, and I won’t get a dime for it.

    Anyone else had any experience with this?

  12. Adriano—I’m never sure of whether ‘blows’ is a pro or con thing – ? I think it’s pro, but I’ve seen it used in the con sense as well. Pelaez, for me, is a decent player, not great, but good enough to make him well worth getting in the first few seasons. I scored an amazing goal with him recently that’ll be appearing on the blog either tomorrow or Friday.

    If/when I ever get to the stage of my good players wanting to leave without entertaining the initial offer, I’ll follow your example and jump in with a raised, improved offer immediately. It’d properly do my head in to lose a good player without having had the chance to make a great offer, over and above the one the Scout will put in on my behalf.

  13. Adriano

    I am now at the start of my 2nd season with my created team. I have changed ALL the contract renewals to 5 years. I have all my Youth Team players on 5 year contracts. It works mate.

    I have a question for yourself or anyone that can answer

    I have received offers for 2 of my key players in squad, I rejected both offers. Both players are now HEARTBROKEN and sporting purple arrows for 4 weeks now. DO THEY RECOVER? Or will I have to bite the bullet and sell them?

    Which is a pain as I had been planning to play with the default and youth team players ONLY, I don’t want to sign anyone, but these 2 players are my only left-sided defenders in the squad.

    Cheers guys

  14. I meant he blows as in he sucks.:)
    I’ll never sign him again. I’m bitter like that.
    I scored a cracker with Pelaez too, but I overwrote the goal replay, sadly. What pisses me off the most is the fact that I spent $2mi to train him, and he left. I’ll be more careful in the future with that kind of thing. I’ll only pay for specialist training for a player who’s just at the beginning of a long contract.
    Or I’ll only put my money on improvements to the club staff.
    The problem with contract renewals is, when certain players’ contracts are nearing an end, they sometimes don’t go to you for a renewal, they just put negotiations on hold, and then leave without saying goodbye. That’s what Shimizu, Schwarz and Pelaez did, those twats.
    And that is why I’m taking the precaution to negotiate longer contracts with slightly higher wages, so players are less tempted to leave on a free or at least so I can have them for longer before they ditch the club.

  15. Heraldo, I don’t know if they’ll recover. Most likely they did want to leave to a probably higher ranked team with higher wages, so the fact that you refused those bids upset them.

    Maybe sidelining them for a bit will work? I’d do that anyway if they were underperforming.

    That’s possibly one drawback to extra long contracts. Players go on for too long without a raise, and if you deny to sell them, they might be unhappy.

    Maybe 3 years is the ideal length. Or maybe it’s better to offer much better salaries if you go the 5 year route.

  16. Adriano thanks, I haven’t renewed their contracts as they haven’t come up for renewal.

    They are my 2 better players, and there is only 2 weeks of the transfer window remaining, with fresh bids having come in.

    It will alter my whole team structure, I have 2 choices play with 3 CB’s or XIMELEZ drops to WB and PALEAZ pushes to WF.

    I have put off starting the season, trying to find out if they recover 😆

  17. You may find this is cheating, but you could turn off auto-save, if you have it enabled, and then go on to the next season (sim a few games if you have to), to see how they react.

    Just be careful when they’re in the last year of their contracts. You need to either sell them before that or get them to sign a decent renewal.

  18. Btw, who are your CBs? I got Schmidt, Palmieri, Kim Jong Yeol and Cragan so far from the Youth Team. All pretty good. If they’re in your game, and you haven’t signed them, do so. You won’t regret it. I also recomend Duffy and Saban as SBs. Both get really good.

    It seems that it’s much easier to attrack free agents with low salaries to your team than it is to keep your star youths.

    It’s a fact of life with lower division teams, you can’t keep top class players on your side for too long. You can’t pay them what they deserve/want and your team is usually not playing in the big tournaments that they crave for.

    In my current season, I have qualified to the UEFA final 32, and it’s still hard to keep my star players.

  19. Adriano 😆 I have decided not to sell. I will report the findings. I fear purple is here to stay.

    My CB’s are Baumann, Palmieri and Jaric, and have just promoted youth players RI Kouhan and Aleig. With level 1 coaches the players coming through have poor starting stats.

    In my Celtic ML with defaults, I upgraded coaches from level 3-5 and the quality of youth players were in the high 70s. Upgrading is important. It will take me a while to get to that stage.

    I won the treble in 3 years and from experience I still could not sign anyone of note, especially ML youth players from other teams. You may have noticed at the start of your ML in the Topics menu youth players show more loyalty, this is the case with the COM youth players. I couldn’t sign any of them.

    I have still to receive a big name player through my youth team, the COM teams get all the big names. I am interested to see if this happens.

    I play both my Celtic ML and Created Team as playing with the defaults only is a struggle. The difference is night and day.

  20. Good luck. Sometimes all it takes for a player to recover is a couple of games out.

    I have noticed that sometimes when a player is exhausted, the little ugly yellow face will appear next to their name.

    Players also get unhappy if they don’t get much chance to play, but that doesn’t happen often with the youths you bring up to the team. They’re much more willing to warm the bench than players you bring from outside.

    Re. CBs, I sold Baumann and Jaric long ago. My scout is level 2, and I’m planning to upgrade before the season ends so I can get better youths next year.

    I have tried to sign youth players from other teams, to no avail. Probably because my team is still pathetic as far as ranking goes.

    I wouldn’t have time to play two MLs back and forth, as you’re doing, but you’ll soon reach a point when it becomes less of a struggle to play with your current squad. It happened reasonably soon to me, at the beginning of my third season, when I was finally able to upgrade my staff to level 3.

  21. heraldo—so far I’ve never stuck by a player with the ‘broken heart’ icon long enough to find out f they do recover. I have had players on the transfer list for a whole season who didn’t have the broken heart, but who still stayed on purple arrows permanently.

  22. Adriano—if you’ve got any edited players in your game (e.g. a player based loosely on yourself, or any other) a level 2 Scout would be able to sign them without much trouble. I found that my level 1 Scout could rarely get anyone above an OVR of 65 or so to sign. My created player was a 67. I suppose my lowly club status had a lot to do with it as well.

    Pelaez is a great first-season acquisition, but he does seem to stagnate after a few seasons. Everyone around him is getting better, but he’s staying still. I think I’ll move him on pretty soon if he doesn’t start growing. Wait till you see that goal, though (on Friday now) 😉

  23. I finished season 3 (simmed a slew of games after I was knocked out of the UEFA by Sevilla), and the players who had put their contract renewals on hold ended up renewing with my club, probably because we’ll be playing the Champions League(!) next year.

    It was a great year, with my team finishing 4th, ahead of some much bigger names like Valencia and Deportivo La Coruña. Two of my boys were in the league’s best eleven (Schimidt and Jonathan), and Jonathan was assist leader.

    Plenty of offers are coming in for many of my players. I even sent out a couple of youths on a loan. And I’m experimenting with signing players to sell them later for a profit. Yeah, I’m a capitalist pig, but I need the money for staff upgrades.

    Btw, if a guy called Kuqi appears in your Youth Team, don’t sign him, he’s useless. I gave him many chances along a couple of seasons, but he couldn’t do anything for me. At least I sold him for a decent profit.

    Oh, and guess who popped up in my youth team this season… Minanda! He’s got a 55 OVR at age 16, not too bad at all. I signed him immediatly to see how well he does.

    I also made the most stupid mistake ever, when renewing with this youth player Cocio, I inadvertedly fumbled when updating his salary, and it actually recorded as $90mi. So when the transfer window came I was shocked to realize that my expected earnings were -$97mi. After looking desperately over all of my club’s “papers”, I found the mistake. All I could do was put the little guy on the transfer list. He sold immediately, but I was sad to let him go, he had a great future.

    It’s nice to see how you can get much better players when you’re going up in ranking, and when you’re playing in the big stage. You also get much higher bids for you players, apparently.

    One thing I noticed is that once you have at least a few players with OVR in the low 70s at least, things start getting much easier, and you can actually challenge bigger teams.

    Big guys like Real Madrid and Barcelona had a hard time beating me this season, and I even got to beat Barça 1-0 at THEIR turf.

    Btw, I think I mentioned this earlier, but whatever you do, DO NOT spend your hard-earned credits on special abilities for players. I’ve done it a few times, and I didn’t notice any improvements in the players, and it cost a lot. Much better to put that money in the bank or in upgrades.

  24. Adriano—it sounds as if you’re doing really well. I love the casual way you talk about being in the UEFA cup in your season 3…. Bleedin’ luxury! I’ve leapt a few days ahead of the blog again. I’m wary of dropping a hint at my own season 3 progress—the time will bring it out. Suffice to say there’s a story brewing, but not necessarily the one I was expecting.

    I still haven’t spent a penny on special abilities, and won’t after hearing your experiences. Not until my club is prestigious enough that I don’t have to worry too much about players upping sticks and leaving, anyway.

  25. I’m doing ok. I remember winning the D1 title in my second season a few times in previous iterations of the game, so qualifying to the UEFA is a good indication that this year it’s not too easy overall. I still haven’t adapted well enough to the gameplay, though, and I’m losing plenty of games during the season.

    The UEFA games were, as usual, easier than the league games, and I was happy enough to cash the participation bonus.

    I suppose what’s holding you back is the lack of staff upgrades. I’m noticing also that, contrary to previous years, some players just don’t perform well for me, despite their stats being good even better than some other players’ I have in my team. And most of the time it’s the home brewn guys who put in the best efforts.

    I was also lucky enough to put together a nearly inescrutable defense with Duffy, Schmidt, Palmieri, Saban and Kooistra as the back five. My results had a lot to do with luck from the start, really.

  26. Adriano—did you play much more of the Champions League mode before starting your ML? Looking back now, I can’t believe how insultingly easy the game seemed in that CL mode. Why should that be? It’s not right.

    As you’ll see tomorrow I did pick up Duffy from my Youth team. I remember him well from previous ML careers going back to PES5. He’s got bags of stamina and is very versatile. I’m playing him as an RB at the moment, with Kooistra more or less making the DMF role his own.

  27. I did play the first stage of the CL before I started my ML. It didn’t seem that easy then, maybe because I was (still am) adapting to the game.

    I’ve had Duffy for a couple of seasons, and his OVR is at 74 right now. He’s very promising, and quite strong for such a small chap. He’s got all the right attributes for a great RB, and I’ve slipped in many through balls to my CF from him (thanks to his Passer card).

    I had both him and Kooistra for quite a while too, but a $700k bid came in for Kooistra, and I thought he was kinda stagnating in his development, so I let him go, and brought a guy called Pollican for a few pennies, and he’s doing pretty much the same Kooistra did.

  28. Adriano—It feels odd to look back now and see how easy the game felt in CL mode (and International Tournament mode), and how anxious I was about it. Very odd indeed. It’s why I’m still worried about what ML might come to be if/when I finally get the usual squad of galacticos.

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