Hitting the sales

Somehow, I’m rich. During my first season in the Premier League I won nothing, did nothing, and scored next to nothing, but the money has flowed into my virtual coffers regardless.

As I headed into the transfer window prior to Season 6 of my Master League career in PES2012, I had about £30,000,000 to spend.

Even after all my existing wages and miscellaneous expenses were taken into account, I had £16,000,000 to spare. Enough to go shopping and still have some change left over.

GILLET (GK, age 17, 76 OVR)—my most expensive buy at about £800k. I was looking for an experienced, top-rated keeper and stumbled across this kid. Obviously I expect him to develop into a top keeper over the next few seasons. An investment.

T. SMITH (CB, 80OVR, age 26)—a steal from Ipswich, I paid a token £100k for him. A bargain, and he’s put Bikey on the bench.

DOOLIN (SMF/AMF/WF, age 22, 90OVR)—I found him in the Free Agents list and placed a bid for him at the same time as Weiss, a similar player on the out-of-contract list. I thought I’d be lucky to get one of them. I got both. A £2m-per-year wage easily makes him the highest earner on my books. I negotiated him down from £3m-per-year, so felt happy with the outcome. He’s got a shedload of skill cards, too.

WEISS (89OVR, age 26)—Another high wage-earner at £900k-per-year, he’s also too similar a player to Doolan, I wish now that I’d declined Weiss and saved up the cash. He’s got a ton of skill cards just like Doolan, and is naturally a right-sided midfielder just like Doolan, so it’s a bit of a Lampard-Gerrard scenario with these two. My best player of the past few seasons, James Morrison, is also a right-sided midfielder first and foremost. Something’s got to give.

Should I try to sell Morrison in mid-season? I’m thinking about it.

Not that anybody’s likely to buy him. I just put loads of players up for transfer and/or loan. I had zero offers. At one point my squad size was 28 players. I ended up releasing Mandelli, Clarke, Pentecote, and Ahmet, and got it down to 24.

I ended the transfer period dissatisfied that I hadn’t got the one key new player I’m really desperate for: a top striker. I tried for about a dozen, all told, making sure they had 85+ in shooting power and accuracy. I’m still getting the old ‘doesn’t wat to drop down a level’ excuse. My club ranking must be the crucial factor here.

I feel able to start playing with my most beloved formation, a 4-3-3, for the first time in this whole ML career. Usually in PES I’m on 4-3-3 before the end of the first season, even with the Defaults. In recent years I’ve grown more circumspect, and waited until I’ve had the players to justify the switch. This is the latest I’ve ever waited.

At the last, with a day or two left of the transfer window, I stopped trying to get that striker and turned my attention to my backroom staff. Most of them were Level 2. The Scout was still on Level 1.

I had enough cash to raise most of them to Level 5 instantly, and did so. I raised the Scout to Level 3. It’ll be intriguing to see how this quantum leap in backroom staff affects all the aspects of my team that it should affect. I’m particularly hoping for a more consistent, logical change in the form arrows from week to week.

With my better defenders, and Camacho as DMF, I feel better able to cope with the magic AI.

The PES2012 AI is good to play against, but also overrated, no question: when it scythes through your defence with magical evasive manoeuvres and lightning passing, it’s not being brilliant. It’s just obeying its programming.

Knowing that Camacho is alone in front of my back 4 makes me very conservative with him. Particularly as he’s very little use up front.

My Camacho could not shoot his way out of the proverbial paper bag. My Camacho has got a severe double dose of what might be called ‘PES2012 shooting-itis’. His shooting power is weaker than a day-old kitten, and he can’t shoot straight anyway. If I have Irjescu on the pitch I’m always forcing him upfield to let ’em fly from all ranges and angles. It’s probably for the best, defensively speaking, that my Camacho doesn’t cut it up front.

I’ve played the first few matches of season 6. A win, a loss, a draw. The loss was a heavy one, 4-0 at home to Chelsea. It’s too early to say whether my new-look team can actually do anything this season. I desperately need a top-rated striker with at least 85 for shooting power and accuracy. There are only a few of them in the game world and none of them seem to want to come to me, but I will keep plugging away.


  1. wow, does Tommy Smith become 80OVR in real life too? Maybe Ipswich will have a decent defence one day

    Glad to hear PES is picking up for you now, not-greg, and the immersion of piecing together a competitive team remains undiminished. Looks a pretty aggressive formation you’ve got there, just the one central midfielder

    Still addicted to my FIFA career mode, I’m really feeling plenty of player individuality this year, even between mediocre players with similar OVR. The technique, passing and ‘mentality’ stats seem almost as important as speed and power for the first time. As you say in the other thread, we’ll probably pass each other en route to the other’s game sometime in spring!

  2. abbeyhill—Master League is picking up for me, and indeed has always ticked over quite nicely. The missing features and the ones that don’t quite work are disappointing, but the overall rhythm of building your own team brick by brick is still there and provides great satisfaction still, no question about that.

    PES2012 has been annoying me again today and last night, and I foresee another day or two off.

    As for T. SMITH esquire, he is a decent defender (not great) right now at age 24, but hopefully going to get better. Defenders tend to peak in their late 20s/early 30s in PES as in real life, so here’s hoping I’ve got a prospect.

  3. Thoroughly enjoying the blog NG.I have following points to make
    1.Scoring:crossing seems the easiest of options make sure your RMF n LMF have decent heading ability cos most crosses go to them rather than striker.Also make sure you have a striker whose jump stat exceed header accuracy and height is above 190.I got Sibon and he changed the game for me he is getting goal a game before that i was struggling.Also fake shot is easily the best trick and most effective.Regarding shooting you have to hit shoot leave aside the analog stick and then after you shoot then aim, tricky yes, impossible no takes time to adjust but it works.Also mix between simple one tap to two tap shooting.Practice headers more as they are easier than shooting.

    2.Defending:Use a DMF who also has a CB position ideally use a CB in that DMF position as what happens is your CB will come ahead and DMF drops back one of the little crazy thing this year. Also make sure you use people with great heading ability as DMF’s pref 2 as most teams play long ball and your DMF will win you those crucial headers.Now the tricky free kicks use L3+R3+L1 to quickly select goalie move him one step so that he can cover the angle where the free kicker is likely to shoot then quickly press
    L3+R3+L1 to deselect goalie this will make sure you do not concede by free kicks it takes bit of practice but now i foul a lot when AI goes in to god like dribbling but do not concede via free kicks.

    Your Best Friends in the Game are 1.sliding tackle (abuse it one can use it front on a lot more than sideways) 2.right stick and select the option of manual runs.use the right stick man while crossing or when you are dribbling around plenty box its very effective

    Above all do not over use through balls instead use r2+ pass also use r2 through lofted balls mighty effective

    cheers hope all this helps i play only on top player cos that is where AI cheats like hell 🙂
    PES 2012 is all about world class players if you have them in your team only then can you compete

  4. Jamie—you’ve got some brilliant tips there, and re. the dangers of my sole DMF, all I’ll say is that with Camacho lurking in front of my back 4 I feel safe in a way that I rarely have in previous PES games. It could all be psychological, of course, but I often feel in PES2012 that it is possible to defend in depth and defend well, and that only by losing focus does the CPU manage to get behind me and destroy me. I’ve noticed that if I let a CPU player carry the ball behind my fullbacks and make it to the byline, the ball’s often as good as in my net.

    I’ve come across the alternate shooting method that you propose—release aim, press shoot, then aim, all very quickly—but it doesn’t seem to work for me. It’s not just the practical impossibility of making it work in many match situations, it doesn’t seem to work even on the training pitch with no defenders around.

    There are times when it does seem to work, of course, but then so does ‘normal’ aiming work sometimes.

    I think if the venerable old PES shooting mechanism had been changed so radically, it would be in the manual, or at the very least Konami would have come clean about it by now, what with shooting being such a big issue with their customers.

    I’ve never accepted the widespread belief of recent years that Konami have made radical undocumented gameplay changes in downloaded patches. In a similar vein, I can’t believe that they would make such a HUGE undocumented change in the fundamental scaffolding of PES—the shooting, which we’ve all used for 10 years or more—and then not say anything about it.

    (Unless it’s a bug, of course. Always a possibility.)

    So I’m not a believer—sorry. I believe that PES2012’s shooting is the result of a misguided effort to shield weak keepers and keep scorelines respectable in what is arguably the fastest-flowing, most attacking PES ever. No matter how much we’re all keen to save PES from itself in the next generation, PES2012 shooting is a lost cause IMO. Shooting’s actually a lot less troublesome with top players—as you point out, you need those top players in PES2012.

    Of course, if there’s ever any official confirmation of what PES scholars of the future must call ‘the PES2012 alternate shooting hypothesis’, I’ll gladly eat my words.

  5. Letting the ai get behind your fullback is asking for trouble. Dont be afraid to hack them down, the refs rarely give you a red. Jaimes tip about the fake shot works a treat, the ai keepers end up on their arse most of the time. As for the shooting debate i just dont know, shame someone at konami wouldnt just explain it. Does anyone know the button command for manually controlling the keeper from freekicks on the 360?

  6. not-greg- Noooooooo!!!!!! You’ve got the same update as me where the guy has created a ton of players and given them all 90+ ovr to begin with including about 15 Irish players (one being Doolin) Don’t you think signing them kind of ruins the game? You can’t get rid of your stalwart James Morrison, he’s amazing! I started again with Villa and signed Shane Long (68ovr) and Anthony Stokes (71 ovr) neither seems to have very good growth but I enjoy using them both, Stokes in game reminds me a lot of Alan Shearer in his prime, I score quite a lot of goals with him receiving the ball back to goal, holding off the defender and firing it home. With regards to selling players, have you set the transfer frequency to its highest? I managed to rake in a TON of money, after transfer listing players I sold the following- Bent 16m, Nzogbia 11m, Ireland 9m, Given 15m, Heskey 4.5m, Cuellar 5m, Warnock 12m. Sold and released several others too which made me feel almost invincible with my swollen bank balance. With that update its worth looking in the “Other” group, german left back AOGO is very good, and cheap, Lucas Podolski is usually there too.

  7. leroy getz—hacking them down is often my first choice, but they often skip past. I try containment, but they often skip past. When the AI gets to the byline and cuts inside looking for the pass or cross, I know I’m about to concede. It’s terrifying!

    As for the shooting, I just think that a change as radical as the one suggested would have been communicated to us in the manual. And even if it was somehow overlooked there, it would have been confirmed long, long ago by Konami in a press release or similar.

  8. Mike—indeed, I too have the great chimps/goalgerd Option File, and yes, I’ve looked at their Created Players in the free agent list and thought about getting one, but held off until now. What prompted my hand was seeing the AI snapping them up. It got to the stage that Doolin and one other were the only ones left. And I’m crap at the game, so I thought, to hell with it. I’ve never considered that having good players available in the Free list ruins the game. I always have Classic players etc. This isn’t any different.

    And I want to crack on with PES2012. The game kind of annoys me, a lot, lately. I’m having another mini-break from it today.

    My transfer frequency is Normal. Nobody wants to buy either my Defaults or my players rated around the 70 OVR mark. I’ve yet to try to sell a higher-rated player.

    Morrison has been my best player for 5 seasons, but now I have Doolin & Weiss he may be surplus to requirements. You’ve got to be pitiless in this game. No passengers!

  9. I have the super Irish players too and have now signed two of them. C Kane (AM) is brilliant but the other one, Doyle (CB), is a bit of a liability constantly missing through balls and is very slow.

    I do feel a bit cheap and dirty having bought them though. I might release them now I’m rolling in the dough.

  10. Cook—both of those players—Doyle and Kane—were signed up by AI teams in my ML world in the first season, but they don’t seem to have done much since. I don’t think there’s any problem with having such players either in the ML world or in one’s own squad. There’s no independent body monitoring us for ‘right behaviour’ when it comes to how we approach the game. I’d have deleted the OF’s created players as soon as I saw them if I had a problem. Like I say, if we’re prepared to have Classic players (and I am), these created players should be no different.

  11. Jamie – I agree with your comments regarding the DMF and CB switching places a lot, to combat this position the player just in front the back 4 but set the role to CMF and he’ll play a lot like the DMF of old. And on that note I’ve always set a height requirement for DMF too: 180 or over to make sure he wins the headers – Duffy tended to end up at RB.

    NG – Still haven’t played PES since mid November, I almost put it on last night but the ease of Skyrim already being in the disc tray (lazy I know) meant I played that instead. I think where last year you were unable to get past the stumble this year I can’t get past the shooting – as you’ve mentioned previously, on higher difficulty levels when shots on goal are harder the come by it is simply infuriating.

  12. Are you still playing on professional? Playing on pro is an exercise in frustration because of the lengths the ai goes to make the games competitive. Interesting formation, but don’t you get killed on defense? This year no formation is working for me, as amf tend to stay too high up the pitch and do nothing on defense, and when I play 3 cmf in my 4-1-4-1 it’s a bit too defensive. My FIFA itch is calling, might have to buy it again….

  13. Pete—that’s simultaneously saddening and understandable to hear you haven’t touched PES2012 for all this time. I really mean it when I praise the gameplay and say how involved I am in my ML team. But I also mean it when I criticise the game. The shooting is unforgivable. Fortunately for me I’m still poor enough on Regular to be playing on at this level, where shooting opportunities come along at the rate of roughly 15-20 decent chances per match. On higher levels, I think I’d have already quit the game by now.

  14. Fox—still very much on Regular. I do okay defensively—unless the CPU scores first, in which case I usually get slaughtered. My Professional period proved short-lived. I must have only played about 10 matches in total on Professional. I just wasn’t ready.

  15. Merry Christmas everyone!

    I went away for the holidays visiting family and friends and just got back yesterday to have my first PES session in 2 weeks! There were a few nights i think i actualy dreamed about playing!

    i played a 15ish game session to finish season 4 on professional and i almost got the trebble! i beat Chelsea 3-1 in the Cup final i beat a poor Atheltico Madrid in the CL final and lost out on the league by 2 points to manchester city. They beat me 3-1 during that session while level on points but me with a better goal difference in a very scripted game. i finished the season with 86 points and City with 88 which was a bit heartbreaking as i’ve yet to win the league on pro in 9 seasons(5 with another save) and after that city game trailing by 3 points but with a better goal difference i won the remanding 7 games in a row but very un-pes like city didnt only dropped 2 points.

    Due to my house rules i now have any player rated as 80ovr or more on the transfer list and have already signed 4-5 players in the 70’s to take there place so they wont be getting a game even if i don’t sell them straight away. I find that the better the players the more repetative the gameplay is and players 75ovr or less the player individuality stands out a lot more.

    Like i was and many people still are my housemate was finding pro unplayable and hes a decent player but he’s had a breakthrough while i was away. Sometimes we play a game or to on each others ML’s and before i went away i had loaded my formation settings in the my team menu, as that is the only way the game wont freeze-well done Konami! He decided to give it a go and it realy opened up the game for him and has now moved up to pro and doing well.

    I think the key to playing on pro is the right formacion and with the right players, if some of my favoured players are out or on the bench i will often revert to a version of 4-4-2, and a bit of persistance. Maybe more then 10 games NG 😉 If anyone is interested i’ll post up this formacion as without it i might still be playing on regular too.

  16. Max—seasons greetings to you as well, and I regret that you find me at a low ebb with PES2012. How do you cope with the shooting, out of interest? Is it an issue for you at all? If it is, do you just muddle on and accept it, as I do (or as I’m trying to do)? Or do you employ one of the alternate theories, i.e. either ‘over-aiming’ or ‘shoot-then-aim’?

    As for persistence and Professionalism, it was really a case of never getting a kick in some matches. Too many matches for the experience to be remotely enjoyable. I need those better players, and they’re coming. I should hopefully go back up to Professional and have a better shot at staying there within another season or two.

  17. If you remember before UK release i posted about the shooting and other things i didn’t like about the game. I predicted that by just playing through it i would get used to it and work out a way around it just like i had done for previous Pes’s.
    Well i did, it took longer then normal but now my only problem with the game is how hard it is to score from more then 30m. Apart from that i’ve adapted how i play the game and now don’t notice any of the bad things i.e. shooting.
    I score at least or more then 50% of my goals from 1-on-1 situations the shoot R1 method being my favourate. I have got so used to shooting the way i do that i haven’t really put much thought into why i don’t notice any miss direccion of shots anymore. i think the main reason is i don’t try and force angled shots that would have been possible in past games but now only shoot accross the keeper with the player at the right angle on there good foot. i guese when thinking about it i do over aim and mostly to the far post and just make sure the player is running in the dirreccion i want to shoot.

    as for long shots i pretty much soley try and score knuckle ball shots. They go very fast and dip over the keeper and the swerve left or right seems to be random so i try and shot striaght at the keeper.

    i have just made the best of what konami gave me and got used to it… I got Fifa for christmas but its still in the shrink wrapping when i’m bored of pes i’ll give it a go and maybe i’ll never go back, this is the first fifa game i have ever owned!

  18. Max—yes, I use the same techniques to work around the shooting thing. But don’t you think it’s pretty bad that we have to make sure we’re running at an angle to the goal before taking a shot, in order to get some direction on the thing?! I think it’s terrible and embarrassing for PES, and I hate it. Master League keeps me going. Nothing else does, really. A shame.

    It’s pretty amazing how much leeway we’re all (most of us) prepared to give PES2012. How much time we’re prepared to give it. The things we’re prepared to put up with. Is all this extraordinary effort really justified? Is the quality in depth really there in PES2012—or indeed in any PES since 2007? It’s a deep and controversial question that almost doesn’t dare to be asked.

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