In the Premier at last

Here I am in the Premier League at last, after 4 seasons of hardship in Division 2. It’s not been quite the epic odyssey that PES2010 was (7 long, long seasons), but I’m actually glad of that.

Master League this year has a few rough edges. It doesn’t quite live up to last year’s high standards (PES2010’s was the best-ever Master League, IMO), but it’s still only a difference between a 9/10 and a 9.5/10.

First thing I did was to do some redesign work on my stadium, ‘The Football Ground’. I upgraded the stands from lower-league stands to the next level, as can be seen at the top of the post. That picture is very reminiscent of the old Highfield Road, the real-life Coventry City’s stadium until recent years.

Here’s my new squad for season 5:

I was very busy in the transfer market. The Void flew by. My main aim was to get a decent sized squad, and I achieved that. I wanted a full complement of at least 22 players for my first season in the Premier.

In the end I sold Animan, my star defender, for £900,000—a huge fee for a youngster by this year’s standards. That money plus the cash from promotion gave me a sizeable warchest to work with. Leonardo and Paonessa were both dirt-cheap on the regular transfer market. Agard was a free transfer. The other new players are Youths.

Leonardo is going to be a first-choice left-back; I’ll probably move Nzom Gole to CB, his other position. My new right-sided midfelder, Gustavvson, is a Youth for whom I have high hopes. As I do for McManaman, who has already blossomed into a 70 OVR player from his start in mid-season.

I had enough cash left over to purchase a single staff upgrade. £500,000 went on a Level 2 Athletic Trainer, my only staff upgrade. I left myself with £300,000 in the bank to go towards an emergency fund for mid-season should I need to.

The only thing left to do was to start playing football. I edited my Home and Away kits (left and right respectively) and got going.

By one of those football gaming coincidences, my first match, against Everton, was the same fixture as my first match in my Football Manager 2010 save. In FM2010 (the best FM, for me, since 2005) I took a 5-0 beating from the Toffees on day 1 of my arrival in the Premier League. I played my PES2011 ML opener on the same day as I took that thrashing. How would I fare?

I lost it 1-0. It was a typical grinding, dour performance from both teams that could have gone either way. It seemed to be heading for a 0-0, which I’d have been happy with, until I conceded from a corner. It felt suspiciously automatic, but I can’t complain.

And it was only after the match that I realised something. I had fogotten to change the difficulty up to Top Player. I was still playing on Professional. Doh.

I made the switch up to Top Player and got on with the next few matches. And, true to form, PES being the contrariwise beast that it is, I won both of my next two matches on Top Player quite comfortably. I beat Chelsea 3-2 away (after being 3-0 up at half time), and West Ham 1-0 at home.

Here’s the very early Premier League table, complete with fancy colour coding. We never had anything like that down in Division 2…

It’s too early for me to say how I think I’ll get on with Top Player difficulty. I didn’t really notice the CPU players closing me down any more than they already did. Performance-wise, I seemed to pick up exactly where I’d left off last season.

If anything, the two matches on Top Player felt a bit easier than Professional, but I’m sure that’ll change as the seasons start to roll by. How many before I can secure the fabled Treble?

And of course there’s a headline-grabbing gameplay patch to be installed. At the time of writing, Wednesday morning, it’s just been released. I’m off to install it now and play some more.


  1. What have they done to the shooting!!!! Played 3 games online all finished 0-0 with tons of shots flying over the bar or just wide of the post,Why Konami???

  2. Jamie—And so it begins…. It’ll be an interesting few days on the forums, that’s for sure.

    I think your shooting despair is a touch premature—I played 5 offline games and didn’t notice any change in shooting at all. It’s too early for anyone to know what’s happened. Let’s both give it another 30 games at least. Then I think we’ll know.

  3. initial forum response over at WENB is mostly very positive, even suggesting that first time passing has been fixed. Is there now the option to turn off the players names above heads for both Human and CPU?

  4. @Paul: I’ve not installed the patch yet, but from what I’ve heard, it seems that’s the only option: either you turn off the players name completely, or leave them as it is.

  5. Thanks Darshan. That works for me.
    Ive heard that the ML transfers is working too, in that Balie is now valued at around 30million instead of 8million as before, and that it kicks in for ongoing ML Saves too.

  6. Chuffed to mintballs, the feedback’s looking very positive.
    As much as I want more realistic prices in Master League, I’m a tad concerned that it’s going to be 25 seasons before I can afford a star player at this rate, lol.

  7. @ Chris – i voiced the same concerns over on the (W.E.N.B.) (masked to avoid the spam filter) forum.
    If transfer fees are hiked up then gate receipts, salaries, tournament bonuses, sponsorships etc all need to be balanced and in line otherwise it will create a broken economy in the game, ie huge transfer fees but not much chance of making enough money to afford them.

  8. First off nice vid on monday!

    it inspired me to start my Defualt campaign which i have been putting off because i have been enjoying playing with my spurs side and especialy enjoying scoring spectacular goals for my video…

    To tell you truth i wasn´t looking forward to the struggle of the first season, especilay since i´m used to playing with good players…

    just finished playing the first 4 matches and they went like this

    away- 1-1 they scored a scripted goal in the 94thminute

    away- 1-1 they score again in the 94th minute and i have 11 shots on target…

    at home, 0-0 i skipped game plan by mistake! leaving out all my new players, most importantly Schwarse(sp) otherwise i think i would have on

    away 0-2 win to me with Schwarse missing twice clean through on goal hittig the bar on one occasion and the post on another…

    played 4 and have 6 points with 2 home games in a row next, not the challenge i was expecting.
    I hope i was just playing he worst teams in my Div..

  9. forgot to state i´m playing 10 min matches on Top Player, which i had to just double check!

  10. Paul – that’s very true although, when I dipped my toe into Master League with Liverpool, I was raking it in on a weekly basis. I noticed a few people on the forums who were using teams like AC Milan and Spurs saying they were making way too much money so it might even things out at a higher level?

  11. Argh, real life has intervened and stopped me downloading the patch till Friday. Has anybody got further impressions?
    The forums make me laugh – everybody has different experiences. One person gave a list of perceived improvements and then said they weren’t sure if they’d even downloaded the patch – placebo in full effect!
    I find everybody here far more trustworthy than elsewhere on t’internet…

  12. last to games of today played, a tough 0-0 away from home and a realy easy 3-0 home win.
    Not-greg how did u get for being promoted in 3rd?
    i think my hardest challenge this season will be ballencing the books!

    @Chris- i have played 4 seasons with Spurs and i have gone bankrupt! i have won the league every season and only failed to win he championes league once, 4-3 to chelsa in he final, but i´m – 57 million!

    the problem lies with he wags being to high, one example is Arron Lennon, started out with a value of 1-2 million and a cotract of 4 years at under 2million but at th nd of his contract gis market value is now 13million so he wants similer wages. Now multiply that by my squad of 22 players and u can imagine my wage bill!!! its well over 100million
    plus i have all my staff at max level that game doesn´t let u win enough money each season to cover these costs, its basicaly forcing me to sell my best and favourite playrs…

  13. Paul—I’ve got my spam filter on hyper-paranoid when it comes to mentions of WENB. Mind you it’s been a while since I had any truly disturbing quasi-sexual rants left about them. I think most people have got over it and moved on. I want to leave the filter on, though, just in case. The day I take it down is the day you all end up reading a comment detailing group sex between Adam & Suff & Seabass on top of piles of money at Konami HQ.

    Re. the new finances in ML, it’s a worry but given that it’s such an obvious concern, hopefully it’s been anticipated and catered for by Konami. Hopefully

    I’ve got a few observations about player switching that I’ll try to pop on a comment later when I get home (at work now).

  14. Darshan—I’m fortunate in that I’ve always preferred to have the player names on above their heads—something I got used to playing LMA Manager 2002(!)—so I haven’t gone into that option to check.

  15. Chris—I don’t agree with the many forum suggestions that the game is slightly faster, but it feels tighter and more responsive. I’m not prepared to discount the posisiblity of the placebo effect working on me. After only 5 matches earlier today the only thing I can be certain of is a change in the touchline ‘lack of control’ issue. My players now seem to attract and hold the ball as if magnetised! I think the truth will have started to emerge by the time you’re able to download the patch.

  16. Max—to this day, 5 seasons in, I concede suspicious 95th minute goals with stunning regularity. It’s a blatant ‘momentum’ thing going on, but I’ve stopped feeling angry about it and focus on trying to anticipate and defend it.

    I’m exactly the same when it comes to the Defaults and the early season(s) struggle—I don’t really enjoy it, and only do it because I want the hard start that makes the later seasons all the sweeter. And there’s nothing in football gamign like that feeling when your team is starting to come together. The first skilful midfielder. The first stout defender. The first time you string a few wins together. Brilliant stuff, and worth all the seething frustration of enduring Castolo & co. to begin with.

    I think I got £300,000 for my 3rd-place finish.

  17. My (limited) observations about the game, post patch; cpu presses and tackles more when you’re trying to put a cross in (hence ending the wing jogging bug thing, or whatever it was called?). Game seems ‘smoother’ (possible placebo effect?). Cursor switching definitely seems more efficient. Not noticed any difference in transfer fees, or player values, but I haven’t attempted any transfers yet.

  18. I guess I should probably start looking for a patch AND an OF right now, just in case I need to restart my ML.

    I’m bumping difficulty up to Top Player too. Professional has so far been the easiest I’ve ever experienced on PES. In my first season on the Prem, I finished 6th, got as far as the quarter-finals on the English Cup and… brace yourself… won the Europa League (beating a disfigured Barça in the big final).

    I was delighted that there is now a European Supercup inside Master League. I lost it to Chelsea on pens after having two of my players sent off in the first half (cheating ref).

    The touchline issue really bugs me (see what I did there?), but I’m countering it by using super-cancel and first touches. I hope the patch really does fix it.

    Not-Greg, this year your lineup is already very different from mine. The only players we have in common are Ciurmira, Nicolita, Duffy, Schwarz and Kim Jong Yeol. I got Ciurmira after reading your post about him, but so far he hasn’t impressed me. Who really impressed me was Ciurmira’s partner on the traditional PES United lineup Otam. He’s been quite useful.

    Schwarz hasn’t been as great for me as he apparently is for you, unlike Nicolita, who, despite his low overal rating, is very useful, and keeps scoring very important goals. I can’t believe you didn’t get Pelaez. He’s better than ever this year.

  19. 2 parts to this post, first the patch….
    Its definitely much more playable now that the player switching has been improved, i say improved and not ‘fixed’ as i had one issue last night where a loose ball resulted in me not being able to select the player i wanted, but its only happened once, in the middle of a mass meleé so good signs.
    I havent found the touchline control to be much better tbh, seen several instances of elephant control near the lines.
    Shooting seems to have been tweaked to nerf the amount of CPU attempted bicycle kicks, the CPU actually scored a stunning controlled volley from the edge of the box where as before it would have been a scissor kick that flew over row z.
    Shooting also seem tweaked to the point where it feels easier to keep long range shots down, they dont fly into orbit so much anymore. feels better.
    Jaggies and graphics wise i dont notice any difference, but overall the patch has done what it intended and the game feels much more playable now.

    Part two tho this post…. Now im one of the ones that have ridiculed, mocked and slated anyone who has mentioned that an Option File bg was in existence where it hampers game play experience. Not possible I said. Well last night even after applying the patch, i drew 6 games in a row all 0-0. Struggling quite obviously to create anything of any worth in any of the matches. I could have notched the level down to regular and probably started winning but that isnt what I want, I went for the Hard Master League start, no money, basic players, lowest ranking so i want ton achieve great things with PES this year, and not take any short cut.
    But as per the forum naysayers slurred, the game did feel laboured, sticky, and the CPU was literally all over me like fat kids all over the buffet at a party, every time i got anywhere near the ball, it was horrendous.
    So as a test i booted into my ‘blank’ USA account on the PS3 (the one i just use for usa game demo downloads) and booted PES up from scratch, set the game up and chose a lowly team against a prem team and played a few matches… it felt like a different game, more space, no over-harassing, and whilst games were still hard, i had lots more chances…. surely not a placebo effect!?
    So i made the ultimate sacrifice, backed up my ML save, and Edit Data to my PC then spent an hour and half deleting every kit, stadium fence, tactic, etc on my main profile and deleted system and edit data, basically reverted it back to as if PES had never been played on my PS3, tried it again… much better game…. so then spent the next 4hrs downloading all 4 OF’s from the spam filtered website, and manually, painstakingly copied across every single kit and emblem and 16 new stadiums, reset up my Master League as Gentovoran, then edited the ass out of them back into my Milton Keynes Team, changed all kits, designed a new stadium, added badges etc etc.
    Boots up and played the first game of the season, I still lost 1-0, but it felt like a completely different game, more space, more time, more chances ….more enjoyable.
    So in summary, I ditched 4 seasons worth of Master League, money, player growth etc and deleted my Ahlkens Npower championship file, and started a new ML with only the full OF from that site applied, and made up my own Div 2, so a mix of teams like yours Not-Greg (Rosenborg, AIK, Rangers, Boca Jnrs etc).

    My conclusion is not that the OF bug exists and ruined my game but i do firmly believe that the Ahlkens OF was so edited heavily in terms of stats etc that it supercharged every team almost and made the game a lot less enjoyable.
    So here i Go again, from the beginning, nice to be reassociated with the likes of Palmieri and Kim Yeong Jil though 🙂

  20. Filbert—for me the wing-crossing has gone the other way, I can’t get any in now! But it’ll come with practice. It needed to be changed as it was an embarrassment to the game, even if it was never taken advantage of.

    I’m still a good way short of being able to find out first-hand if the financial system is broken or okay. It’s one of the big tests now for this patch. They must have tested it themselves on a variety of ML saves, so hopefully nothing to worry about.

  21. Adriano—I really like Kim Jong Yeol. He only cost me £47k salary in my ML (lots of people hate him for his £500k salary in some saves) and he’s been dependable, solid, occasionally brilliant—everything you want from an early-seasons CB.

    I’ve found that the touchline issue is (mostly) fixed, but others aren’t so sure. Like yourself I did get used to anticipating the problem and super-cancelling, then re-approaching the ball. With time it only took a split-second to do this, but as with other issues in the game we shouldn’t have to live with them and work around them.

    Re. the differences we’re all finding between certain players—Ciurmira and Schwarz in your case—we have to remember different play-styles, and also the possibility of a ‘random seed’ type of thing at the outset of individual ML saves. I.e. it could be that your Schwarz is actually different from mine. Mine might have been awarded a 5 or 6 on the hypothetical dice-roll, while yours got a 3 or 4. This would adjust growth curves, development rates, fitness, stamina, etc. It’s only supposition of course, but if I was designing a football game career mode I’d try to introduce some random variance for each distinct career.

    I did have Pelaez, briefly, in season 1-2, but had to sell him during one of my many periods of financial turmoil.

  22. Paul—very interesting stuff, and your methodology there for undoing an OF installation will be useful for anyone wanting to try it themselves. I still can’t see my OF affecting my gameplay, as it’s only the ‘Day Zero’ emergency WENB patch, i.e. kits and emblems and leagues, not a whisper of any team style adjustments.

    On the forums I’ve seen people convinced that even those basic Edit adjustments are affecting gameplay. I saw yesterday that even Alan on WENB (‘curdstar’ from PESfan) is now a believer in the OF theory. In fact it’s pretty much become accepted doctrine now on WENB, and is talked about as if it’s an established reality.

    A few weeks ago I did the same thing as you and booted up PES2011 in another account and played it in its ‘vanilla’ state—and saw no difference at all. But as I say, I’ve got a very basic OF installed. The debate goes on and on.

    I’ve been playing on Top Player the past few days and the AI pressure is extraordinary. A massive leap up from Professional. I’m struggling 🙁

    Re. the patch, give it at least 20 matches. I played my second session with the patch installed just now and started to see some touchline issues and player selection problems (that was in a melee scenario too, though, which PES has always had player selection problems with).

    Shooting feels a lot better but I can’t decide if it’s the placebo effect or not. I need another few long sessions.

  23. Got up early and downloaded the patch before heading off to work (to much derision from my girlfriend who thinks I’m a lost cause). Didn’t have time for a game but checked the ML prices and they looked the same?

  24. Hi not-Greg,

    I have finally managed to find an OF that works on my system. The trick actually lies in looking at the spine of your game case, taking note of the BLES code and finding an OF that contains data named after the same code. Mine was BLES-1021, that’s why the first attempt did not work (I downloaded BLES-1020 on the first try). Subsequently, I downloaded 2 separate BLES-1021 OF, one of them containing the Bundesliga teams but sadly, that one didn’t work for some reason, so I had to stick with the other – which do not have the Bundesliga teams.

    And so I booted up an ML of mine, at Regular difficulty as I haven’t been playing PES for a few years since PES 6. Started with the defaults with Newcastle United and my, don’t the jerseys, badges and stadiums look good! My team was allocated more than 30 million but I resisted the temptation to spend, only promoting Kim Jong Yeol and Shimizu to the senior team. Played the first game against Bolton and it was predictably laborious, with all the defaults. I thought I had scored with Ximelez when he headed in a rebound, only to have it chalked off for offside to another 2 of my players. Bolton nearly scored 1 of their own, with the ball crashing off the underside of the crossbar and bouncing kindly for my CB to clear. So, it ended 0-0.

    All in all, a very decent game after so many years of PES frustration. I used to be a PES regular, only switching to FIFA since 2008 due to the horrendous drop in standards of PES. PES 2011 is certainly much more fun and immersive than FIFA 2011. The latter’s Career Mode is practically nothing more than a cosmetic makeover and IMO, too centralized on transfers only – it is very bare-bones, so to speak. ML, by comparison, is far, far more enjoyable even during early times of my ML career.

  25. Just noting the losing/drawing streaks people notice, I too have these good/bad runs but for me when I have one bad game I do get annoyed and (sub-conciously) start to play a more direct style that tends to lead to more goals being conceded and a bad streak starts as I get more and more worked up, I personally don’t believe in good and bad sessions being down to PES or OF I think it is down to the tiredness, stress, annoyed levels of the player. Often you find you come back after a bad streak and find your winning again, it’s probably that you have woken up a bit or snapped out of complacency.

  26. Chris—women secretly love and admire semi-autistic monomania in a man, even if they scoff at it. Keep telling them that and they will end up believing it.

    I’m waiting until I get close to a transfer window before I have a good look around the new ML transfer scene. My 4 days off left me gasping for games, and I’ve spent all my time today and yesterday just feverishly playing.

  27. MLMaestro—it still fascinates me how prickly we all are concerning the PES/FIFA thing. Every time I mention FIFA on here in a praising manner, I feel the need to justify it, to back it up with hard evidence so to speak.

    Glad to hear you got your OF sorted out—as you may have seen, this is my first year ever playing with an OF on PES, and now I wouldn’t be without one. The one I’ve got is pretty basic as I didn’t want to wait for the massive ones with all the bells and whistles. Next year, I might just hang on for them. Hell, this year I might end up installing an uber-OF at some point.

    It sounds like you might have run into an ‘Advanced Start bug’—the real, real Default start only gives you £3m to start with. But if you’re happy with your career as it is, especially if this is your first serious tilt at PES in a while, I wouldn’t worry about it. You can come back for a super-hard Default career at some other pont.

    FIFA’s Career Mode/Manager Mode might as well go out of existence. It’s a dismal failure and I can’t see how it will ever be anything else. If EA scrapped Career Mode and set up an ML-style single-player league competition within Ultimate Team—yes, complete with cards and trading and etc.—it could stand alongside ML in my opinion. I’d play it. I’d play it a lot.

  28. My master league (offline) in 2011 has been hard. I didn’t start in division 2 like you, but Playing with Blackburn isn’t the easiest challenge, especially on top player. You have to win well and consistantly to see any decent results in gate revenues, and i am still yet to finish the first season. I’m about mid-table at the moment and haven’t lost a lot, but haven’t won many either.
    My online campaign comes in dribs and drabs, but I am slowly getting to grips with it. I have bought a few cheap players, having to sell a few in the process, but I am starting to build the team to the way I play. As well as being the player, you are the manager, so you want the team to do what you want. As I slowly build my funds up, I do hope that my team will become decent. After all, I am fed up of hopping in and out of division 5. Its strange though as I get beat by fellow division 5 players, yet when I end up playing against a div 2 or 3 player, I always get a better result! I beat a div 2 player 3-0 the other day and it was the best game I had, yet I lost 5-0 to a div 5 player when I was in div 4. We will see how it goes, lol.
    Good luck with coventry in the prem mate, and keep working those players hard!

  29. Pete—I am convinced the game rolls a dice (or equivalent) at the start of every separate play-session, and that ‘dice-roll’ determines the character of the game for that session. Of course the state of the human player is a factor, and yes, if I’m distracted by other things I’ll try to button-mash my way through matches, with familiar bad results (PES never, ever reacts well to being button-mashed, oh no). I’m sure there’s a random seed thing as well though.

  30. beat-tastic—thanks for your comment, and as you may have seen, online football gaming isn’t my favourite thing in the world. But I respect the enthusiasm that so many PES veterans have for it and their desire to see it improved.

    It’s inevitable that I’ll try out MLO at some point this year, despite hating the very idea (this is true!). In years past I’ve tended to play a few online matches, think ‘wow, this is actually pretty good’, and then notice that my fingers are about to fall off because I’ve started squeezing sprint+tackle all the time, which everyone else does and so I have to too, or be steamrollered.

    I’ve got a lot of ground to cover offline with this ML and other things before I get to online myself. Maybe it’s one for the springtime.

  31. i defenantly noticed the whole script thing especilly with corners. it seems to me when you are winning by one goal in the last 15 miniutes the AI will always get a corner no matter how hard i try to stop it. either my players kicks the ball to far or miscontrolas a pass or it deflects of him, really annoying.
    im not to sure about this dice rilling thing. i thing thats because i usually win most games. even if im having a really bad game where the AI decides to defend the whole match, this is when i normally score from a cross from one of my wide players. mabey i should of waited for an option file to change team strategies. the only thing i can hope is turning to top player. ive managed to sign one superstar in my team whos wages are 1 million :O. im thinking this will be my last transfer for a long time as my team are all under 25. maybey a better golie if he comes along. its sort of ending up like all my other ML teams for older pes games where i build up a bunch of youngsters who become unstopable when they all hit 25 to 26 years. im still looking for player whihc i bought in older pes games who did realy well for me. i cannot find Ben sahar, i searched him and no resutls found. why is this he turned into a great player in pes 2008 and was my first striker with torres.

    ill proberly try and play a few games on friday to see what this new patch has done. i think im in my third season already promoted to premier league and in champions league group stages. my goal is to win everything ican possibly win. mabey abit optamistic. i expect around season 6ish i will aim to be indefeated in the league as this was my aim in the old pes games. i even gave my self the impossible task to never conceed in the premier league. this never happend. o well. the long road to success now with my young team.

  32. Been through my first transfer window post patch, and it looks like it’s had quite an effect on transfer fees, although the quoted market values are the same as they used to be. I could only afford one player in the end, but I went for Inkoom, a 91 OVR RB. His quoted market value was around 2.5 million. I started negotiations, and ended up paying around 17.5 million in transfer fees! And that was after I bartered the price down.Wages were about 2 million. I hope this is the patch kicking in, and not just me getting seriously ripped off by the computer! If this is a result of the patch, I’m a little worried about how to afford decent players, as gate receipts, sponsor money etc don’t seem to have increased in line with the inflated transfer fees. You can obviously sell your own players for a lot more money, I sold a couple of my crapper players for way more than their quoted market value. It could definately make ML harder. I’m at the stage where I’ve already built a decent team, with the likes of Nasri and Palacios, but for someone starting ML afresh, it could be super-hard to build a good team. Almost makes me want to start again!
    RE crossing: I’m strugglng to put them in too, Not-Greg! Crosses use to be a good source of goals for me, this will definately change my playing habits.

  33. Tell me about it not-Greg – my PES addiction is in full flow. Got home last night and we had non-gameplaying (weirdos!) friends round and all I could think of was PES and how I could engineer half an hour upstairs to try out the patch … that’s bad, and I’ve still not managed it!
    Filbert – as much as I’m looking forward to an extra hard financial challenge, it’s going to be very difficult, when on a tight budget, to scout the correct players if we don’t know actual transfer fees until our scout comes back with the numbers.
    Maybe the ‘advanced start bug’ was actually designed with these correct transfer fees in mind?

  34. ali—for me the ‘dice-rolling’ theory adequately explains why (for example) in some sessions of PES all your shots go wide or are saved, and in other sessions it rains goals. It can’t be simply down to user mood in my view, although that undoubtedly plays its part.

    I always tried to get through a season undefeated too, once I’ve got a team good enough to do it. I think I managed it once in PES4 and once n PES5, and never again since. Sooner or later I think the game takes aim at you and forces a defeat that you have to be either very, very lucky, or very, very tough, to avoid.

  35. Filbert—hmmm, interesting stuff, and it does sound as if the post-patch finances seem to favour starting new games. There’s no way I’m starting again after all the time I’ve invested, and if I seem to be forced that way further down the line I will not be happy.

    I’m a session or two away from mid-season now, so I should find out for myself over the weekend.

  36. Chris—I think the ‘Advanced Start’ was and is a genuine bug, given how it manifested itself only by editing a team. Anybody who never touched Edit mode would have never encountered it. The question now is whether Konami’s fix to the ML world’s unrealistic transfer fees has broken existing saves or not. I’m worried about that one.

    When you get to try the patch, don;t expect newness to grab you by the throat from the start. It’s more of a change in general handling from what I can tell. Shooting does feel slightly tweaked too, but again, not so much that it’s like a different game. The forums have been as interesting over the past few days as I thought they would be!

  37. The forums have been hilarious as always, my morbid curiosity always gets the better of me!
    To be honest, I didn’t have any major issues with the gameplay so I’m hoping for a general tightening (if that makes sense) and nothing more – I may move down to -2 speed if there’s a dicernible increase in speed due to player response.
    I’m glad they fixed the issue whereby the CPU didn’t make any challenges down the sideline as I was starting to feel guilty when I scored from a cross!
    With regards the transfer fees, I guess the high fees will add an extra layer of difficulty to the game. I still think that success will bring the requisite money into the coffers to upgrade your team slowly as my early Liverpool save demonstrated but it’s the the fact that these new fees appear to be hidden that’s my biggest worry.

  38. P.S. There’s always the possibility that the new prices will show at the start of a new season when everything is recalculated?

  39. Chris—the forums seem pretty convinced that there’s been a speed increase. I’m 50/50 about whether there has been one. I’ve got other woirries with the game right now. The intensive AI pressure that everyone was talking about? I never saw it on Professional—but on Top PLayer, I’m getting triple-teamed every time I have the ball in midfield. It’s impossible and I’m not sure I like it. More on this next week I think.

  40. I agree, you do get a lot more pressure from the AI in 2011. As for the speed increase, i slightly disagree. I think it has decreased as the players have taken on the real life aspect rather than the old arcade style when you could easily tell that you could not go that fast in the real world. Saying that, I did enjoy the arcade style because when you have that much pace and you pull of a spectacular goal with some dribble trickery, you just can’t help but save your replay every time. The new gameplay however gave me a different form of enjoyment due to fact that I found it harder to score a goal (AI pressure = 1 reason). But although it is harder and much more realistic, You feel you have definately earnt the goal, the celebration and definately the replay save!

  41. beat-tastic—I’m not going to say right now how many matches I’ve played without scoring a goal, or even having much of a chance, but it’s a higher number than just two or three matches… I’ll save it for Monday’s post.

    I don’t know what to make of the game post-patch, really. I suspect most of my trouble has come from going up to Top Player, so it’s probably not the patch’s fault. Bit of a bad time to have four days’ break and then move up a difficulty level!

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