Here’s to you, Arcas and Castledine

The text in this screenshot sums up my most recent progress in Season 3 of Master League:

Post in a nutshell

What he says there. In 25 words he says essentially everything that the rest of this post says in 900 or so words.

(In the months to come there may be occasions when I don’t have time to do proper posts. If/when that happens, I’ll post neatly summarising screenshots like the one above and just chat about my PES life in comments. Seriously, that’s the fallback plan!)

Before we get to the great run referenced by my man above, a certain other milestone has been reached.

I’ve scored from a free kick.

Finally, it has happened to me. It’s my first free kick goal since PES2014. So forgive me if I milk this a touch:

That’s Alan Ljajic there with the swerving strike.

My regular free kick taker, Elijah Castledine, was sitting this match out due to fatigue. You can see me before the kick is taken trying to decide whom to give the kick to.

PES2016 remains a virtually free-kick-free zone for human players playing offline against the AI. Not great, really, but at least you do get them occasionally, and some of them are around the box. Which is a hell of a lot more than PES2015 ever gave us, so I’ll take it.

The other week I spent twenty minutes practicing free kicks in Training Mode. It wasn’t until I did that, and had a chance to indulge in plenty of continuous trial-and-error, that I really grasped how sensitive the infamous dotted line is — and how useful it is too.

That goal came at a vital time in a rivals match against Birmingham City. I won the match. It was one result in a string of great results that has seen me catapulted back up the table into playoff contention.

Here’s my post-January window First XI and squad. I got Vietto up front, Miguel Rosas out wide. This meant switching my two most important players, Arcas and Castledine. The former moves to the right and the latter moves permanently to the middle.

PES2016 season 3 January squad and First XI

Quincy Arcas and Elijah Casteldine are my two most important players. I’ve connected with them in a way that I so far haven’t with any other. They’re my Dalglish and Rush. My Shaggy and Scooby. When they’re both fit and on form, I don’t feel I can lose. It feels very much as if they’re going to be around for the whole of this career, whatever else happens.

I’m disappointed with how Reyes is developing. When I picked him up I said I’d be keeping an eye on him and gauging how he develops as an individual.

So far, nothing. His impressive list of skills simply do not show up out there on the pitch. This ties into a deeper reservation I have with PES2016, and also with PES2015: the nerfing of player individuality.

Individuality was always one of the jewels in PES’s crown, and I feel very uneasy with how it’s been watered down in recent years. It’s not gone, of course, but there has been a drastic drop-off. Ljajic handles more or less the same as Seferovic who handles more or less the same as Vietto who handles more or less the same as Giorza (a defender), to be brutally honest. More players handle essentially the same as more other players than at any time in PES history.

Still, at only 18 it’s early doors for Reyes, but he’s my Patient Zero in this. He has to become a distinct individual in the next few seasons, or I’ll consider the case closed.

So I’ve been on a run. On Friday’s post I said this:

I won’t be getting promoted this season. Not unless the Master League macro-scripting gods are very kind.

These were my results for February:

PES2016 season 3 Feb results

All good, solid, traditional PES-style scorelines. The toughest of those matches was the 1-0 against league leaders Fulham.

Here’s the table around the end of February/beginning of March:

PES2016 season 3 after 33

I’m 8th, and just a win or two outside the playoff zone.

After the above screenshot was taken I played an immense 3-pointer against Huddersfield that I did very well to get the win from. It took me above Huddersfield, but Burnley between us won, so just keeping me out of that psychologically important top-6 for now.

I’m going to do it, aren’t I? I think automatic promotion is out of the reach of even the most preposterously charitable league-table scripting (or is it?!). But with the momentum I’ve built here, if I don’t finish this season somewhere in the top 6, I might as well just hand in my PES badge at the door.


Finally today, a mini-compilation video that shows some memorable goals and moments from my fine recent run. There’s quite a bit going on in this video. Any questions, I’ll be happy to field ’em in the comments:

And here’s Castledine scoring a super-long-ranger that came just too late to make it into the above:



  1. Patch Update – All editing has stayed the same as before and first match was a daytime extravaganza.

  2. Lloyd – sounds good. I just read on the forums that all transfers STILL are not done. Its almost hilarious if true if it weren’t So sad

  3. Played a bit this morning to see if there was any obvious differences after the patch. Didn’t see any difference. I did though pretend to start a ML to see what extra players are available and there is now a host of highly rated players all available that were not previously in the Free agents/None renewal of contracts section and now with even the lowest clubs, most of these are abailable and willing to reduce thier salary.

  4. Hi guys on the patch – is it done already, usually they have a downtime sometime between 8am and 11am in the UK for this?

    Good news if it is done mind :)(Halilovic come to Papa)

    Played a couple last night and managed a comfortable 3-1 vs Arsenal second time round, 1-1 with Liverpool and 4-2 vs Sunderland, i’m back up to 5th and 3 pts from 4th. Touching distance of my goal for the year.

    Denis Suarez proving his weight in gold again. love this lad.

  5. Tommy – cheers for posting your squad, looks much stronger than mine 🙂 good to see some familiar faces but with higher ratings!

    How do you find Teixeira and Arnold i want to sign both but don’t have money or their attention 🙂 at the moment, both are one star in the attraction stakes.

    Talisca may have to come along next season too as he looks pretty healthy for you, and 16 year old Toni is just a bit too fresh at the moment to give Batshuayi enough striking support.

  6. The patch is downloaded and installed, but it’ll be midday at least before I get to actually play today. Looking forward to it.

  7. NG – I prefer the French lyrics on my Morricone box set 🙂

    Abbey – Who else but Quagmire 🙂

    #1 – I used in depth knowledge of Flem and Dutch…honest. I cant wait to wander back from the wastes to my secure little homestead and looting the raider corpses who have fell foul to my traps.

    Played 2 last night. 2-1 over Millwall (newly promoted) and a 1-0 over rivals Blackmoor City in the cup. I am as usual patchless but await any news on game improvements etc. I did find one of my created players, Werd, last night I think I could have got him for free as no fee appeared?! I got 2 mill for Yankov as well. First match in the Europa League is Dinamo Minsk.

  8. Werd – you’re kidding! Ongelofelijk.
    I just sold Coutinho, one of the few defaults i had an attachment to. Bastard wouldnt renew though and was offered 7mil So off with the git.

  9. #1 – He wasn’t doing much and teams were sniffing about him. Sods law the game after I agreed the deal he scored the winner against Millwall! “Flens” as they say in Dordrecht 🙂

  10. Hah! That they do 🙂
    The forums are going absolutely mental on the update, apparently transfers on the closing Day weren’t included So for instance martial is still at Monaco. Gold! Only in Konami – land..

  11. Yes and evoweb seems to be down. Possibly enemy action, or possibly the strange tendency forums have to perform database upgrades with unexpected problems at exactly the wrong time. I always remember WENB forums closing for ‘scheduled maintenance’ for 3 days at the end of PES2013’s actual release week.

    ‘The game just seems to run smoother’ — I’ve seen this all-time classic already on two of the other forums. Brilliant.

  12. Just had a look in edit mode and in ML. Still loads of transfers missing, but most are done. Kits and classic players untouched, thankfully. League structure needs re-jigging if you’re starting ML from scratch. New player additions drop into Other in ML.

    Still no giant heads or ride-on velociraptors though. Game breaker for me.

  13. Ah, So they drop in Other? Good! Then no restart and off to Superstar for me. Just had a theory – are the online rosters accurate? Maybe a ploy to push players more towards online / myclub where everything is fully up to date?
    NG – that maintenance shit is baffling, i remember it used to coincide with the biggest PES shitstorms.. At least on WENB.

  14. Tommy – I miss the penguin suits and funny rainbow ball trail in replay 🙂
    What do you mean be League structure rejigging?

  15. Damn Tommy – no velociraptors!!! and no heavy machine guns for fullbacks? this is a game breaker 🙂

  16. #1 — I’ve always suspected that a database upgrade is just a way of giving the moderators and administrators a few days off at a busy time. Certainly they’d be busy on evoweb right now and for most of the next few days, if it was up. Let’s see if it mysteriously comes back up in a day or two when tempers have cooled.

  17. werd – So if like me you transferred the 3 licenced Bundesliga teams into the PES League, they’ve defaulted back to Other Europe. Shouldn’t effect MLs already in progress.

  18. So, two days ago i decided to scrap my Zaragoza ML (liga Adelante) since i thought i had made a mess of my squad, and started a Lusitanos (Ligue 2) ML.
    First thing i notice is how different the secondary french league feels. Compared to the Spanish, players are much more physical, putting speed and weight where i used to face movement and passing. Could be in my head, a bit, our could be that i failed somewhere seting up team tactics, but its much more of a struggle.

    Second, when i got to January i had the chance to get Ciro Immobile for free. His salary is high, but since its half season i can get him and maybe sell him later for good profit. He comes, he is 81 overall. He makes about zero impact on the team… could be his TS? Could be that Coutinho and Yankov are almost as good in what counts?
    Will have to play him a bit more, of course. But so far no star.

    I will probably start yet another ML, as i want those young Benfica talents on my ML. Should be a handfull of promising players. Hope Konami doesnt mess that up.

  19. Luis — I have dark, heretical doubts about what has become of individuality in PES. PES2015 and now PES2016 both seem to have pulled way back from where the game was. It used to be the case that individual player(s) could come in and redefine a team and a whole ML career.

    It’s exactly the same as doubting the Bible, I know, and can easily get a Pro Evo man burned at the figurative stake, but I am almost on the cusp of declaring that individuality in PES is watered-down to a painful degree. Experiences like yours with Immobile are pretty common, I’d say.

  20. Luis – I played about 5 games with my Dunkerque team in Ligue 2. It did seem much more physical than the champ ML Im in now. The teams are a bit lower in stats in Ligue 2 but seem tougher to break down.

  21. NG – the whole player individuality has changed somewhat over time, Pablo Aimar used to be “my pes hero” full of tricks and treats but over the past few editions i’ve noticed that most players do behave quite similarly, it was a problem that Fifa used to have, I’ll cant quite remember if it still does as I didnt play this years and last years I only had for a month last year.

    so individuality isn’t really there anymore, Berbatov used to be another who was quite distinctive.

    having said that I’ve noticed Kovacic and Denis Suarez are two players I’ve grown very fond of. so your guess is good as mine as to whether players are actually uniquely different, my guess is that they have about fifty different player moulds and they just randomly drop them on players other than those over 86 rated

  22. stewdog – Forgot to say earlier, if you have the money, Teixeira is well worth a punt. A box-to-box workhorse. Arnold is very good too, but starts to drop early.

  23. Season 5 highlights!

  24. I can’t believe I abandoned ML for 2 weeks waiting for this non event of an update. Just having a quick look through Premiership squads, no Stekelenburg at Southampton, That Korean striker Spurs signed still isn’t even in the game, barely any of Watfords foreign legion. It’s a joke! Yet they’ve updated United to have Blind and Smalling as first choice CB’s and James Chester has appeared in West Brom’s squad. What a set of rat-faced knackers.

  25. Mike – Son Heung Min of Spurs and South Korea fame is in the S.Korea national squad just rename him and transfer him fake name Wonseok Pil

    I was going to reset my ML but there doesnt seem to be any point if they’ve ballzed up the transfers again lol. typical Konami. I did mine on September 2nd using and

    you can’t trust anyone bar yourself these days.

  26. I only had time to play 4 matches after the update today. The only thing I was banking on was a change to the frequency of daytime (sunlit) matches. Today’s spread: 1 daytime match; 1 dull afternoon (i.e. semi-night) match; 2 full-on night matches. This was the one thing I was sure would be fixed, as it’s really so straightforward to fix. No gameplay consequences at all. Far too early to say they haven’t fixed it, of course…

    Has anyone played a greater number of ML games and got anything more encouraging to report, daytime-wise?

  27. I have been buzzing about starting my ml all day… Seriously, I have no words for what a shambles this whole update has been.

    Gonna start now anyway, do the main missing tfrs myself in edit mode… The online aquads have been up to date for a while now… No words

  28. Pete – I feel your pain, its the same every year, you can’t ever trust a knobhead to do a man’s job. we all love the game, the same can’t be said for the developers, they are in it for the $$$ hence myclub.

  29. NG – my observations on night games: 3 games played with the patch, all night games.
    The rest of my observations: the game feels WAY more congested and my players are running through treacle. However I am putting this down to session-to-session differences in gameplay, I can’t believe they’ve altered gameplay in that sense (though maybe that is what Adam meant by “I hope it’s harder to score now”?). Keepers – no difference. Low corner shots – no difference (though they’re all but gone now – I’m convinced now that they’re a byproduct of low TS and bad defenders / keeper stats).

    As for the update itself – shambolic. Loads of transfers still wrong or just missing as pointed out by many others. I have no, simply NOT ONE single explanation that would explain why in God’s name this had to take a month. I’ve done a better job of it myself a month ago in three hours. Relieved I didn’t postpone my ML and feel for those who did, like Pete. I am utterly convinced that there is just one developer now “working” on the game. IF the gameplay differences I encountered are actually part of the patch, then Konami have actually made a game WORSE after patching, which would be sad and hilarious at the same time. I could go on but the whole thing is just very, very poor. All backlash on the forums is fully justified in my view. But hey, there is a silver lining: at least Abel Hernandez’ hair was updated to remove his ponytail. So that’s a relief.
    I will enjoy it for what it is for 11 more days and then it’s Fallout time.

    One last thing I’d like to add that shows how much Konami is in touch with it’s customer base. This is actually one of the “fixes” from the patch: “If [Pass Support Level] is switched [OFF], Low Cross cannot be made by ○ button ×2”. What the what?!!

  30. The only reason i can think of for any delay would be licensing issues with new entities in the game. All else is merely incompetence.

  31. The BBC site has a day by day transfer breakdown so been through the final 3 days and sorted out the prem… About to get started, there weren’t actually too many missing (no excuse) but I’m finally embarking on my ml adventure… Praise the sun

  32. NG – one of my first comments about the game was that the player individuality had all but gone. What a huge pity as that was the games USP but of course when you go down the direction they have gone that is the first casualty.

  33. Halilovic is back in the game, i might be the only happy camper 🙂

  34. 3 post patch games, 2 in mid afternoon gloom with hammering rain, one in mid afternoon gloom dry. Three completely different speed games – first was as has been said by #1 an absolutely treacle pudding. Every player seemed weighed down by lead boots and they were on the floor half the time from slipping. Second was much quicker and the rain seemed to offer zip rather than puddles. Third match was pretty much service as normal. I doubt I’d have thought anything had I not known there was a patch.

    Abbeyhill – that’s not a proper effort. You have to actually sell the game in anger, then buy it back to win the prize. Or for real hardcore, sell the console.

  35. I’ll need to play 10-15 matches before I know for sure, but I didn’t sense any differences gameplay-wise in the ones I played. Like I said I was expecting the night-dominated matches problem to be fixed. That’s what I’m baffled about. Such an easy thing to fix! Talk about low-hanging fruit. I feel for the squad-update waiters and their delayed-for-no-real-reason MLs, but the nighttime matches thing is truly perplexing to me.

  36. Oh shut up!

    ” alt=”” width=”570″ height=”113″ />

    He’s played 10 minutes all season.

  37. Evoweb is back up. Fascinating how some people talk about whole paragraphs worth of gameplay changes!

  38. Certainly PES2015, and before it PES2014, were changed by updates eventually. PES2015 in December/January of its year. PES2014 in April-June of its year(!). My current view is that PES2016 is the same as it was before. They’re talking on the forums about subtle differences (the usual post-patch thing) where natural day-to-day, session-to-session variance can’t be ruled out.

  39. I have played about a dozen games now post patch and have not noticed a blind bit of difference. I think a lot of people commenting on the forums are refering to on-line being better, which is pretty much why I don’t pay any notice to the comments now as 90% of the time they are talking about on-line play.

  40. NG – i certainly don’t doubt the eventual subtle changes and in fact look forward to them. I just think paragraphs worth of perceived gameplay changes are fascinating seeing as they could not even get the main purpose of the patch, ie transfers, right.

    On another note, like you i am more disappointed about the lack of nighttime – game fix than anything else really. Atmosphere is quite depressing as it is now.

  41. I think there is a slight difference in the movement and the speed of the ball (seems fractionally quicker) but I can’t tell if that’s just the colour of my new socks causing the illusion.

    They changed Divock Origi’s boots, so at least they nailed all the important changes.

  42. I’d literally never heard of Origi before I sat down to watch MOTD2 last Sunday. I’d put a tenner on having forgotten he ever existed by this time next year. Real football is froth. I’m still absolutely fascinated by the Martial hype-train juggernaut and what it says about media (it creates realities, doesn’t report them), and about English football (it’s mediocre — Martial would barely cause a ripple in Italy or Spain, and might not even get a game). Luther Blissett to AC Milan created an anti-media insurgency. Martial for the new Banksy!

    Darryl — indeed, and you often have to infer that they’re talking about online from the things they say and the style they say it in. E.g. somebody griping about speed = online player (we have options offline).

  43. Tommy – laughing at Lampard “the iceman”

    I really should spend more time reading the stuff Konami coughs up between games.

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