Master League 2013

Master League 2013 has begun. I’ve started in a custom Division 2, but not with the made-up Konami teams. I edited the league structure and drafted in 17 sides from the Brazilian League. This will make things interesting in all sorts of ways.

I was kidding myself that I could wait for a full Championship patch. I reserve the right to start a new career when one eventually pops up. But I just could not wait any longer.

I needed to crack on, so I’m cracking on. I took time off work specifically to play PES2013 and get started in Master League. That’s what had to happen.

My new team are an edited WE United, renamed—and reskinned—as COVENTRY CITY.

My new home kit is pretty standard. In the future I plan to use a different kit every season, as ever.

No, I’m not sure about the striped socks with that plain kind of shirt either. I mean, they’re very bold, but are they really me?

I took the default stadium on offer. I’ll get into a custom stadium over the next few days. I’ve never been the kind of PES player who really enjoys messing about in menus and editing for its own sake.

I’m really not fiussed about the new secretary either. Take her or leave her.

I have little love for this whole cutscene malarkey to begin with, and no cartoon foxy lady with however impressive a rack is going to change my mind.

These cutscenes just need to GO.

As for the rest of the Master League world—in particular the boots and items—I’ll have to talk about them next time.

My contact with them has been very minimal. I’ve unlocked a few boots, and bought some items.

I want to see how boots and items actually work before offering an informed opinion.

Here are my general settings:

I’ve started on Top Player, but it’s a bit too tough. The Brazilian sides have been killing my poor Defaults. I will almost certainly drop down to Professional for a bit. I’ll see how the next few matches unfold first.

Sparta Prague tore me apart in this pre-season Training Match, winning 2-0. I think I had one shot on target in the whole match.

I’ve only played one league match at the time of writing (Sunday evening). That was against Vasco Da Gama (their in-game acronym: VAG). They also dominated me, winning 2-0. [MONDAY MORNING EDIT: I cannot cope with life on Top Player, have dropped down to Professional, and am 70% sure I’ll drop further down to Regular.]

One good thing this year: you cannot be sacked in Master League. No more chairman confidence meter.

Here’s the table after, er, 1 match:

I know, that looks strange seeing Coventry City propping up all those top South American sides. There are all sorts of drawbacks to this league setup. Not the least of which is that I would end up facing Wondengine Town et al in the World Club match, further down the line.

As for the new Defaults, I’ll start talking about them in forthcoming posts. We’ll all get to know them in our own way.


Playing online? Me?

I can say that I’ve got a fondness for a few Defaults already. I actually met them for the first time ONLINE.

Yes, over the weekend I played a few matches ONLINE. It was the first time in about 3 years.

I was really at a loose end on Saturday. I usually work weekends, but I’d taken this one off specifically to play PES2013. And without a Championship patch, I was dithering and unsure what to do.

I worked myself into a bit of a state where I was almost getting angry with myself. I.e., the perfect conditions to play online, where everybody is angry all the time.

I look down on Online, and I know it’s unfair of me to do so. It’s a bit of a running joke on the blog, but I mean it too. I’ve never enjoyed multiplayer football gaming. That’s primarily because it is a different game. Everybody tends to sprint-clamp, holding down sprint and the tackle buttons. It’s all too fast and hectic for my taste.

I headed towards Master League Online, for the first time ever. Since its introduction in PES2011, I just haven’t been interested. Oh I love the idea of it—you start with the same Defaults as offline, and you build your team up gradually with the money gained from winning matches.

Really, though, it’s Master League in name only. There’s no league structure as such. None of the attractions of offline environment are there. There’s not much meat.

I played 5 matches, winning 1 and losing 4. I thought I did pretty well considering I had the basic Defaults and they mostly had complete teams already, with just a few Deafults left.

In each one, my random opponent pressure-abused, sprint-clamped, whatever you want to call it, all the time.

There was barely a single moment where I didn’t have at least one, usually two, and sometimes three opponents bearing down on me like homing missiles. Just an awful, ugly game of football. At times it was barely recognisable as being the same game as offline.

In fact, it struck me that the much-maligned AI in single-player plays much more attractive football, in a wider variety of styles, than the average online human player ever seems to.

The online game isn’t all bad. I DID enjoy myself, to a degree. I might even pop back to play another few matches of MLO from time to time.

I certainly enjoyed probably annoying the bejesus out of my opponents with my total possession game. I never had lower than 60%. In the game I won, I had 68%. I bet they all hated me. Tee hee!

The online experience has a certain intensity. Knowing there’s a person controlling the other team does add a certain spice. But I didn’t enjoy it nearly enough for online play to become a regular thing.

The undoubted highlight was scoring a screamer with one of the Default stiffs. I was 3-1 down with minutes left. I put four up front, and just went for it. A cleared corner found its way to Coynborough, a new DMF:

It was a consolation goal. My opponent wouldn’t let me watch the replay, despite me having let him watch all his goals (nothing changes online, I see). I recorded the above from saved highlights.

It’s the best goal I’ve scored in PES2013 so far. And Coynborough certainly got himself noticed. He’ll avoid the cull in my offline Master League career—for now…


  1. NG – I only got mine back for the cup game (which I lost), since then I’ve tried forwarding date to the Friday, skipping the week, forwarding a day at a time – nothing, no more reports. It’s not particularly annoying though, unlike the ball – the 2013 ball is like a 1980 ‘Shoot’ effort.

    I think 40 is right, with maybe the odd upgrade for beating someone higher or doing something unspecified? Certainly I’ve never had less than 40.

    January here – v poor youth team, took a 16y.o goalie but nothing else. Coach focus points increases because he has been employed for longer. Contract renewals were all much lower salaries but not renewing Harty, etc in expectation of end of season frees. Sold Coynborough!

  2. Hi everyone. Conybrough scored a nice goal for me against K.S Szelwace in a 3-0 win where (You guessed it) Minandinho scored again.

    Through to FA Cup 2nd Round where i’ll play (Frown) Manchester United.

    Do you think I should change from vimeo to dropbox? Those vids look awesome!

  3. Adam- I only found out about videos for dropbox by accident. It is a very quick way to get videos out there, record on smartphone, upload to dropbox and paste link to blog. Simples. Normally I’d save a goal and then forget about it and then face the prospect of trawling through the replays(as shown by my sporadic YouTube uploads)

  4. Ah, a change is on the cards!

  5. Pete—the samey FIFA opening commentary wearies me too, but on balance, it still takes the prize. And that’s pretty much always been the case. I still think Clive Tyldesley is the best football game commentator I’ve ever heard. He even went all meta in FIFA07 at one stage, when the AI intercepted a pass and he said, I swear, “What a great interception! It’s almost as if somebody handed him a script and he knew what was going to happen…” Never heard that line since.

  6. Max—uh-oh, with your track record you’ll spend literally all of tomorrow on the game. Enjoy 😉

  7. uncle turf—maybe the coach reports are meant to disappear? The secretary has taken to telling me who we’re playing today, which I don’t remember happening before. Probably wrong though.

    If it is a bug, I’d happily take the return of being able to select the ball of my choice before the coach’s return.

  8. Adam—using the Public folder in Dropbox is a good way to link somebody to a replay, but to display the video on your blog might be trickier. I had to install a plugin on mine (debut vid coming up tomorrow). You might be okay on your hosted blogsite just by inserting the link though. See how you get on.

  9. Evening, great blog. I know you made Coventry early, but have you still been using the 2013 WENB option file? I’m going to switch from GTM’s to WENB this year, just wondered if you had any opinions?

  10. Tommy—cheers, and I have been using the WENB OF. It’s perfectly fine for what it is, a day zero patch with the basics included. I got so comfortable with the Championship/Premier environment in PES2012, though, that I miss it now, and hence the wait.

  11. The Super Cup is mine, beat River Plate 4-3. The Quintuple dream lives on.

  12. Great news. Did you experience many problems last year when installing updates for it, down the line? GTM’s was good, but kept noticing problems, duplicate players etc which was a pain.

  13. There are some stunning goals to be had in this PES. So nearly scored a stunning half volley from the half way line from a hurried clearance from the oppo ‘keeper who was stranded on the edge of his box. Just bounced wide of the post.

    I’m churning out some decent 1-0 wins with a poor Chivas side in the Copa Liberatos now on Pro. All handy preparation for the start of ML.

    I still fear we won’t see the Championship in this option file due on Friday though.

  14. Lloyd—sounds like a neat and tidy completion point in the offing.

  15. Tommy—last year I actually ended up with chimps-with-quiffs/GTM patch, and saw the duplicate players once or twice. Never nice to see, but overall it was a great patch—probably the best I’ve ever worked with.

  16. John—I understand the WENB 2.0 patch on Friday will include the Championship, no worries there (hopefully).

    On the topic of extravagant PES2013 goals from distance, I’ve got a good ‘un lined up for tomorrow’s post.

  17. The league is slipping away after 2 draws and a defeat, still on for 4 cups though. 🙂

  18. So back from work i played one game Spurs v Arsenal on pro and won 2-1. Its such a different game to 2012, maybe becuase i haven’t played PES for 2 months and have been playing FIFA against my housemates but it just felt so shiney and new! The passing on 1 bar has really impressed me and all in all this is going to take some getting used to before i start a defualt ML.

    Has anyone noticed the R2 “finesse” shot is remarkable different this year? both my goals were typical fifa-esk finesse shots from just outside the box. My muscle memory is really messed up right now, have they taken away joking this year? i can’t seem to be able deffend for toffe at the moment!

    NG- yes it will be a marthon session tomorrow! XD

  19. Purchased the game this afternoon. After two years away with FIFA I too am struggling with muscle memory. However, once I learn the timing on this animation, I trust things will run smoother. I’m spoiled and miss real names and licenses and I didn’t think that would happen. Will soon be turning off all music and commentary because I prefer just crowd ambience and sound effects and “Rednek” is mind worming me relentlessly at the moment. Looking to commence ML soon. With manual passing and the ability to move my players into or out of the space of my choice, their exists a palette for some incredibly creative expression. Spinkle in about 6-8 dribble moves, 2-3 airtight exit moves, and the ability to hold off the defender with a target man while looking for runs, and I’ll really be cooking with fire. It is good to be back. I’m not sure my wife shares the sentiment….she senses an reunion with an old flame. When she arrived home from work today, there was a tense moment as she recognized the title of the opened box carelessly tossed to the floor….the plastic gamestop bag strewn on the sofa….her husband lost in the throes of a Juventus v Lazio nailbiter. I swear I detected a flash of jealousy in her eyes as she said hi, dropped her car keys on the counter, turned, and headed off to the bedroom to get out of her office clothing. Lol. She’ll just have to get over it.

  20. Sheesh. Sorry about the wall of text.

  21. Max—I’ve not experimented much with the R2 shot yet, no. We’re usually a month or so in before I’m confident about having a handle on what ‘flavour’ of R2 and other types of shooting we’ve got this year.

    Have a great day. By the end of it you’ll probably be about two seasons into ML…

  22. ck—I played a BaL Training match and got about 10 nicknames all at once. Typical Konami weirdness that’ll be gone next year as if it never existed.

  23. JD Arms—hmmm, it will be intriguing to see if you can bed down again in PES after so long away with FIFA—which is a good football game, whatever the fashionable opinion may be on the PES forums. I know of many, many formerly PES aficionados who have been completely turned by FIFA and now only come back to PES for a sentimental visit, or—and this is the horror!—as a stopgap while waiting for FIFA… It used to be the other way round.

    It sounds though as if you’re instantly getting back into it. I don’t know yet if 2013 is going to be a lasting PES (a year-round PES), but it certainly seems like the best one we’ve had on next-gen.

  24. R2 shooting is a beast in PES13. and so noticeable between different players.
    Try one with the liks of Ronaldhino and the technique, animation, bend and accuracy is apparent, whilst trying one with the likes of Carrick is much less effective.
    You can really pull off those old classic Owen/Henry type shots where they open up their body and whip the shot into the far corner.

  25. Paul—I adore PES2013’s shooting and cannot accept the criticism of it on the forums. It’s right that lesser footballers should have a terrible shot, and that it should all scale up with individual stats and traits. This is how it has to be. My one concern is that long-range shooting seems disproportionately overpowered for some players (and thus, items and boot-boosting might be unbalancing in the long run).

    But it’s still week 1. Still week 1! We’ll see how it all plays out.

  26. I think the shooting is spot on. Obviously the top players can blast it almost every time but – like in real footy – even the lower league plodders can occasionally hit a screamer.

  27. John—exactly, I think the shooting is balanced just about perfectly, with my only slight concern being at the top end of the spectrum rather than the bottom. I don’t expect to unleash blasters with journeymen midfielders, except occasionally when running onto a loose ball or whatever.

  28. Saying that, I have begun to suspect that you’re far more likely to hit a howitzer in certain situations – like when picking up a clearance from a corner for example.

  29. John—yep, it’s easier to hit a screamer from a loose ball than it often is to dig the ball out from under your feet and hit one. They’ve modelled the ‘Gerrard pounce’ kind of opportunist blaster, and nerfed the double-tap R1 that knocks the ball out of dribbling feet. As long as the system overall has balance, I’m for it, and like I say, I love PES2013’s shooting and wouldn’t change it.

  30. PES13’s shooting is the one thing above all that they have absolutely nailed.
    I love it. Its perfect. I love how you can hit a screamer from a standing position without any backlift with some players, and also love that every shit goes exactly where you aim, except under exceptional circumstances like presssure, tight angles or off balance, just like IRL.
    I know last year we was of the opinion that the central shooting was a byproduct of a balancing act, to keep scores down, im of an early opinion that this years balancing act may be shots going wide.

    Im currently playing through a Copa Libertadores Comp as Flamengo, and have had an array of shots from all kinds of positions fizzing wide, but its so much more realistic than the shot going straight down the middle.
    like IRL, a majority of shots do go wide, and when one flies in, it makes it much more rewarding.

    The only thing thats concerning me at the moment is the erratic form.
    IN the Copa Libertadores mode at least, my players fluctuate wildly from game to game. Lots of blue/purple arrows and players that are on a red arrow and score in one game, are suddenly purple arrowed the next game.
    I have to play a wildly different team every game which isnt very realistic.

    Not sure if it will be a long term concern in ML, time will tell.

  31. lol, glad to hear you’ve got better control of your shits these days, Paul! How is the scripting looking in PES 2013? I remember that was one of the things that eventually put you off 2012

  32. Paul—an unfortunate typo that will now have to stay in place, considering abbeyhill’s reply…

    I’ve had the same thought about the wide shots. Plenty of times I’ve thought it’s a certain goal but it goes wide. As I said last year several times, I prefer it being ‘massaged’ in that direction than defaulting to straight down the middle.

  33. Abbey – i saw that unfortunate typo as soon as i hit Post!! haha…
    Ive only played copa libertadores as competitive matches so far, so far so good….. havent once felt aggrieved by any goal ive conceded, how that will pan out though i’ll only know after a few seasons of ML.

    Signs are good though, helped largely by the improved control and confidence in the game play mechanics.

  34. abbeyhill—it takes many seasons for something like scripting to really have an effect. The early seasons are marked by annoyance with the Defaults (starting to get to me now), and ‘micro scripting’ in passages of play. E.g. PES2013 seems to have a thing where you can pull off a great tackle, but the player you tackled with will be stunned for a couple of seconds and lose the ball again.

  35. Paul (and all)—I’m sorry to report that I still haven’t found a fix for the comments preview box not working properly. It’s a bit deeper of a problem than I thought. I’m currently scouring the relevant forums looking for a fix.

  36. PES 2013s shooting is beautiful. Try some shots with Ronaldo and you’ll see what I mean

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