Autocorrect keeps saying Richardson

Very close to the end of Season 2 in my PES2018 Master League. I hope to finish somewhere in upper-mid-table. I think if the season was about 6 matches longer, I’d have snuck into the playoff spots. But it isn’t and I won’t, so there’s another season in Division 2 in prospect. Another long slog, but I anticipate being promoted next season, so I find myself looking forward to the slog.

The current table:

One of the ongoing ML stories I’ve been monitoring is the performance of my mid-season signing, Richarlison.

In real-life, Richarlison is one of those enigmatic players who turns in a sensational performance once in a while, but then isn’t seen or heard from again for months at a time. He’s a Theo Walcott, in other words.

I got Richarlison in the January window, and he did nothing. Each time I picked him, or brought him on as a sub, he might as well have not been playing.

One of the hallmarks of Pro Evolution Soccer in the current console era has been the awful, stomach-churning way in which player individuality – for so long one of the mightiest sticks that we used to beat FIFA with – has been progressively pared back in the name of you-know-what. Online fun flowing responsive balancing blah blah blah bullshit.

In particular, I scorn the advent of the AMF/SS/CF hybrid players. Typical of nuPES, these players are emblematic of the un-PES turn that the series has taken in the PS4 era. There are so many of them, and they are so nearly all the same that they might as well just be called Player 312 and Player 313 etc., because their actual names mean almost nothing.

It’s quite depressing to click on a player in the squad selection and see at least three other positions light up. Yawn. A feature this common has very little value. Anyone remember Duffy from PS3-era PES? A right-back who could also play as a DMF/CMF. What a novelty he was. And then there were occasional Paul Warhurst-types of CBs who could also play at CF. Another novelty.

How many of those multi-position players were there in old-school PES? About 1 in 100? And how many are there now? 1 in 20? 1 in 10? Whatever the figure, there is no denying that multi-position players have rocketed in PES in recent years, and IMO it is not to the series’ benefit.

So I’ve been watching individuality in PES2018 with a very, very careful eye indeed. To the point that it is my one and only real House Rule: I am assembling a squad in which every player – every player – must manifest old-school PES individuality, or they will be moved on in the next suitable transfer window.

I’m giving each player at least half a season, or a full season if they show promise, to ‘prove’ themselves.

The great news is that individuality is still present in PES2018, in quite surprising ways too, but it really has to be burrowed for.

This Friday’s post will see me list my entire 24-man squad, and award each one a special Individuality rating out of 10. The ones who rate at 5 or above will stay. The ones who rate below 5 will go.

Richarlison’s head was well and truly on that chopping block. He was destined for a rating of about 2/10 (really, he was that poor). Until this one particular match. Before this match, I actually said to myself out loud ‘Last Chance Saloon, dude’. (I have started saying ‘dude’ in contexts like this, in lieu of having an actual motorbike-riding midlife crisis.)

What happened? Hat-trick happened.

I enjoyed each and every one of those goals, and the match as a whole, which was a 4-0 demolition job, a rarity for me in these still-tight opening seasons of Master League.

Richarlison’s individuality rating crept up to a 6/10 after this. It will go down below the 5 mark again if he returns to anonymity in what remains of the season.

Predictably, after an individual and team performance like the above, in the next match Richarlison was back to his customary ‘might as well not be on the pitch’ status.

This is something I have noted before in nuPES, and am convinced is a reality: any player who has an outstanding match will be nerfed for the following match or matches. There are plenty of instances of this nerf not happening, of course, but there are far many more instances of it happening for it to be anything other than a deliberate, programmed ‘balancing’ decision, in my opinion.

And as a team, we were also nerfed. Nobody was allowed to score. The opposition – a sturdy QPR outfit – beat me 1-0.

Updated: 31st October 2017 — 11:36


  1. NG – Great post dude. One of the big losses is modern PES games is the need for a big strong DMF as they just all seem alike now. I shall look forward to Fridays post.

  2. NG – I edited some of my home brew defaults for my ML.
    Motion sliders ie Hunched running, arm movement and goal celebration etc, it really brought the game to life. Like the old days when you could recognise a player without looking at his name tag.

    Jay – Im well jel of your wass screen set up courtesy of Mrs Jay.

  3. Werd – where the hell have you been ?

    I too would like to see a return to players being a one position man, with the exceptions of course of those versatile players that can play a couple of positions, but nearly every single player in PES nowadays has at least 3 positions to their armoury, and of course constantly playing players in new positions opens up that position too.

    I’m currently 8th heading into February in Season 3, play off spots are only a couple of points away, if I don’t make it, then I will give it another season, now on -1 speed, with expected promotion.

    I’m finding that when signing a player, the players preferred instructions need to match yours very closely otherwise he just doesn’t perform.

  4. Werd – Cheers.

    I’ll out a player for your big, strong DM with individuality. Fosu-Mensah. Incredible. I’ll put it out there – real faces may be much more likely to be individual as it suggests more attention to the player has been given. Especially a scanned face. *prepares to be told i am wrong.*

    Video is halfway uploaded to YouTube. The game before was delightful – a 3-2 win coming from 2-0 down to league leaders. Unfortunately in my instinctive desire to record the winning goal it lost the game that I had been recording! I recorded the next game instead.

  5. Paul – attending two funerals within a week did not help the atmos in schloss Werd.
    I havnt even completed a ML season. Chopping and changing much more than usual. With PES 2017 I had got promoted and was into season two before NG!

    I have 3 ML saves, Nancy, Novara and Notts County…sigh

  6. I second the utility player nonsensory, and it’s not just the last year or two – in 2015 I have a 4-1-2-1-2 sort of thing going on, where I have two strikers (one cf, one ss) backed up by an advanced amf, right on the cusp of the ‘changes to ss’ line. It’s position Otam made his own in 2012. In my squad Harry Kane, Luca Toni, payet, totti, ayew and cisse can pretty much play in any of those three slots without any impediment to performance. It makes careful squad building completely redundant, you could effectively stick Messi anywhere and he’d handle the same as ronaldo or Neymar.

  7. Thats SS jay?
    if so, it looks a mess. I didnt see a single instance of Liverpools Gegenpress, which is supposed to have been faithfully recreated with them being a licensed partner club, and that goal at 4mins, Pizarro running the entire length of the pitch whilst the defence just rang alongside him – shocking!!!!!

    I also cant believe how much time on the ball you are given by teams in SS, is this indicative of most matches?

  8. I wouldn’t say it was indicative of most matches. It is indeed SS. I purposely run the video to the settings to show as much. It certainly doesn’t feel like they give me plenty of time on the ball. I play away from them a lot. I keep the ball and keep it away from them. If I try holding on to it or going through middle every time I lose the ball and am surrounded. It’s a 442 with an SS right behind a CF and 2 DMs. Let’s me go back and forward without isolating striker. Moving the ball wuickly is key.

    That Pizzaro Goal was bizzaro. Certainly not typical of space given on SS. I always do well against Liverpool. Saying that, their right back was nowhere near me when I got the ball and I sprint burst twice in the run. If their CB came across I would’ve dunked it to striker.

    I’ll happily upload more. I’ve got a few extended/full match highlights saved up from prior seasons in ML.

  9. Jay – is your Shimizu an albino?!

    I think every PES player since PES2015 has used that give-and-go move as a way to unlock defences. Holding the ball long enough is the key, and it’s easy to be robbed of the ball or have the return pass smothered – I think this is where frustration often mounts.

    The Pizarro goal was at least a tidy finish, but yes the AI strangely did not cover itself in glory there. I remember the forums buzzing in release week with talk of how passive the AI is on the wings, but see very little of it myself.

    Overall your gameplay does seem a touch faster, in general, than mine (and Paul’s) on TP, but is this a function of SS difficulty, your game-speed setting, life in the Premier, your personal style, or all four? I didn’t notice you playing especially direct, so I assume it’s a cocktail of ingredients.

    Paul – forgot to say last night, I noticed you keep your strategy markers on all match. I always turn mine off immediately, and they pretty much stay off. I’m also very stingy with the ATT/DEF levels, only going to 4/5 or 5/5 if I’m chasing the match in some way, or cruising and wanting to showboat a little. Saw you get done a few times with your SBs pushed up.

  10. Cheers – Like I said, happy to upload more. I’ll find one on TP for comparison sake. – Shimmy

  11. Ng, re the strategy markers, before I changed formations Id play about with them as I saw fit, I had them set to Deep defensive line, and attacking full backs, often keeping deep defensive line selected to try to mitigate the through ball spamming, and would enable attacking full backs if I was comfortable or was chasing a goal.

    Now, after my formation change, I leave them all on as they supplement the formation and play style. GegenPress & False full backs, and Tika Taka & hug the touchline.
    This gives me width for wide attacking options/crossing opportunities, and see’s the fullbacks push up, but with wide midfielders dropping into full back positions when needed. The gegenpress just pressures the CPU in midfield and defense.

    I’m still not convinced by these, more tinkering is required I think.

    I find attacking options, especially on the counter, a little laboured unless I use an attacking level, usually 4/5, but this can leave you exposed as you mentioned.

  12. My instructions if anyone’s interested:

    Frontline pressure
    Defensive line two bars
    Compactness all but two bars

    Possession game
    Short pass
    Support range bars all the way up

    Tiki taka
    Centring targets
    Counter target (CF)
    Counter target (SS) *

    doing this to both keeps pitch big and stops them dropping.

  13. Don’t forget tonight to have your candy xrayed in case anyone has slipped anything into it…..

    (This hoary chestnut just days after the joy of measuring time NG)

  14. Luckily, by the time I was done with work, and gym, and got home it was late enough that all the little brats that were out trick or treating had been and gone and we didn’t get any knocks.

    No PES last night, an in-bed Netflix binge on Homeland instead, but did watch a few PES youtube videos, a guy called ‘SpoonyPizzas’ has produced a number of videos going into depth about certain features of PES, in one he explains the advanced tactics really well and also the science behind the form arrows, was quite a good and useful watch.

  15. Paul – that guy has practically made a video a day since PES came out! So many videos! It does baffle me that some people don’t utilise the advanced tactics and other instructions, but each to their own. If you can enjoy and achieve success without them fair enough!

  16. Jay – I always do use them and often play with them on, particularly the defensive ones that are meant to gather all your players behind the ball and pack the box (but strangely don’t). I’m a huge, huge sceptic when it comes to the efficacy of the settings. Can you demonstrate that there’s an objectively different result from, say, setting your defence to play more compact, than not? Yes, the wing-walking tactic will have your players congregating on the wings, and pushing ATT/DEF up to max keeps a CB playing up front, etc. There are tactical settings that have palpable effects in terms of where a player or players will go and stand, I’m not denying them.

    But by advanced tactics I always take it to mean the deeper menus with the sliders where we set our teams to play compact/loose, favour central/wide play, etc. – I submit that these have either no effect at all, or so little effect that it’s effectively the same as none. I believe that any effect they might have is pretty much negated by our hands-on control over the players and team.

    Even the Hug The Touchline-types of macro-instruction don’t really change the game that much, as things are calculated to ‘balance’ such manoeuvres. You might remember FIFA a few years ago trumpeting its custom free kick/corner routine designer. Everyone played with it for 10 minutes and then forgot it. Why? Because it didn’t matter what kind of routine you designed, no matter how intricate – the game was designed to ‘absorb’ it. It was just a cosmetic addition. Our PES sliders are more of the same. Since their introduction in PES circa PES2010, I have always suspected that tactical sliders for sure are just makework.

    Uncle Turf – just as with the killer clowns, everyone knows someone who knows someone who knows that that definitely happened…

  17. NG – having the support range up high & tiki taka definitely keeps my team less spread out with more passing options. Likewise attacking fullbacks does what it says – I get quite a good amount of assists from LB and RB. Ruskin is so far my all time leading assister, tho majority did come on TP in Champ. The other two I use are counter target and again they evidently work for me. I’ve had ones that are little to no use for me. This could be, like you said, negates by my playing style or even the formation I use. For example, if you set hug the touchline and false full backs, they’ll negate themselves – further still if you don’t play with wingers or wide midfielders and just full backs.

    As promised, here’s a full game on TP from two seasons’ back. Usefully, it is again vs Liverpool.

    And below is another full game on SS, a season before the one linked yesterday.

  18. Jay – it’s the slider-based ones that I believe have little or no effect. I’m on-board with Advanced Fullbacks and Hug The Touchline and the like, which obviously do have an effect — but here, I think it’s pretty much only cosmetic, surface-level effect. Hug The Touchline is one of my tactical options and I don’t notice an increased incidence of wingplay with it on. Ditto Advanced Fullbacks, which is not one of my options now but used to be. With ATT/DEF above default, you cannot get my fullbacks out of the opposing half. They roam at will.

    But the slider-based ones, support range and tiki-taka etc. – I cry foul over these and always have done. If you went into those sliders and adjusted them to their exact opposite, would your gameplay noticeably change? I strongly doubt it.

  19. I have hug the touchline on and my wingers absolutely do literally stick to the touchlines, without it on they move infield more.

    Tika Taka doesnt seem to make my players move any closer to the ball carrier, and its meant to, im not sure if advanced tactics overrides game plan tactics or the other way round?
    If you had support settings set to low so players are spaced further away from you but then had Tika Taka set to on, what would happen?? close passing options or players further away?

  20. Man nG, you are preaching to the choir here. The only players I find to feel different, are target men and certain full backs. Oh, and Arcad.

    My biggeste gripe remains how they do scripting in Master League. I am fine with the the AI playing out of its skin, but I despise it when my players, who were just so slick, can’t make the basic passes anymore.

    Anyways, tried Fifa 18 this weekend. Doesn’t have the tactical depth, but man, it is fun. And that tactical defending system is way better than Pes.

  21. Mr Noodles, thats one of my biggest gripes, the way that the AI is unbalanced so that small weak teams play like Barcelona, Barcelona Play like Barcelona, so theres very little variation in the feeling of matches.

  22. Konami seems to be of the opinion if the AI can’t beat you, we will make you lose. I mean, tap-ins hitting the bar, so on. Drives me bonkers.

    I really fear my own team sucking out of the blue (even with glowing blue arrows) more than any team. And yeah, like you say, I’ve played hundreds of matches, but they all felt the same. Apart from the Euros semis I lost on pk’s.

  23. My striker has just gone from being nicknamed The Terrible (weird praise) to the The Net Buster. This has more impact than advanced tactics IMO……..

  24. nicknames are pathetic, where they dream these odd names up from I’ll never know, and they have absolute zero effect on anything.

  25. Are you telling me the fact Shimizu has been nicknamed The Asian Tiger means nothing?

  26. Is that because you were known as Paul ‘the grouch’ when you played?

  27. I was known as ‘the robot’ roberts Turf – breaking goal scoring records year after year

  28. I was known as “Charles I.”

  29. I scored a peach of a goal today that’ll make it into Friday’s post alongside the special individuality-ratings stuff. It was the kind of goal that astonishes you when it goes in – ‘did that just happen?’ Not a super-duper long-ranger, no, but another kind of spectacular. Might even make it a ‘what happened next?’ sort of thing (where you have to guess how the goal is scored).

  30. Is it a 50 pass team tika taka goal NG?

    I played to the conclusion of another season yesterday. 6 points behind Manchester City with 3 to play and needing to win the league to keep my job. Manchester City drew 2 so I was only 2 off going to the last game. Classic PES catch up mechanic. They had bottom of the table in the final game but could it happen, their goal difference was superior so only a Manchester City defeat would do for me. I snuck in a winner with 10 to play and waited for the final whistle judgement and lo and behold there’s the David Pleat. It felt contrived and undeserving to be honest.

    I’ve decided to up the difficulty to Legend for next season.

  31. some form of bicycle kick maybe NG?
    Had a few games last night, still nowhere near that ‘click’. Am tinkering with advanced tactics. have turned all of them off except for Gegenpress which I only use in the 2nd half, if needed, and just leave Tight Marking on which works really well against teams with one CF.

    I see Adam Bhatti’s twitter feed this morning – info will be coming in the next few weeks about the patch apparently, so could be almost December before we get any news, let alone the actual patch, Konami are a bonafide Joke.

  32. Cook – that’s classic league table scripting, right there. So you’re still on Challenge?

    Paul – update sounds good, hope we see it next week.

  33. Step in the right direction. House rules can’t effect those things but we can continue to encourage squad rotation until injuries are addressed by other means, such as not playing players on any form of downward arrow.

    Let’s hope the patch delivers

    PS. I keep seeing posts from the future! Like, an hour ahead roughly!

  34. NG – Still on Challenge Mode. The game has appeared to help on two occasions, once in the cup last season (GK player of tournament and last minute OG by CPU in semi-final) and then this league title. I survived one season without meeting the target but the Chairman rating went from 90% to 25%.

    Paul – Patch sounds great. Despite Konami cocking things up regularly they have a fairly good record of patching things up. PES 2014 was sterling work, especially considering nobody was playing it.

  35. Cook – I imagine as spring rolled around and nobody was playing PES2014, some auteur-type in the PES Productions dev team was allowed to make PES2014 into the proper PES game it became because it didn’t really matter if the onliners didn’t like it. Things have changed bigly now and it’ll be very intriguing to see the fouls in PES2018 post-patch. My personal view is that all PES2018 needs are fouls to make the matches stand out as individual occasions and potentially move the game to 8-9/10 territory. I’d be happy just by going ‘up’ to PES2017 levels of fouls, which is a bit Stockholm-syndromey of me. If they’ve gone any further there’ll be the mother of all hullaballoos from the online fraternity – the scraps of info I hear from there indicate the constant sprint-pressure is as terrible as online football gaming has ever been. That’s the reality they’ve got used to, consequence-free button-mashing, and anything that threatens that will be howled down.

    Jay – I see no hours. But have changed the server time anyway.

  36. Well if the patch does introduce satisfactory levels of fouls then I will gladly accept all the thankyou’s, considering it was my direct conversation with Adam, and constant bashing of the fouls on twitter that ultimately led to them taking it on board and doing something about it.

    Cook – you are too lenient. You miss the point that taking 3 months to patch a game that was released with so many basic issues even after 3 years of development, is quite frankly, unacceptable.

  37. NG – point very well made as I never thought about it like that. You are spot on as keeping on-line gamers happy is crucial in the first few months. However, come February/March it really doesn’t matter, so we see some experimentation on the patches front. Also 2015 had a great patch late on that transformed the game. I also remember a few on here abandoning the game before the patch arrived. I played Fifa first that year, due to the late arrival of the game and then played PES post patch. I also remember 2013 having quite a few patches.

  38. just a shame crap like that still exists in the game…

    Why on earth does my defender, who is in a prime spot on the line to clear the ball, do this ????

    And this, scripted goals? in order for the COM to score, the ball is allowed to pass through my players body.

  39. That’s a terrible still of that ball/leg mashup, harks back to the days of spider exorcist players.

    Nothing I’ve seen and heard from the collective group of sensible commenters on here has made me want to buy 2018. Especially not when I’ve just bought the Lego ninjago game….Abbeyhill, it’s insane – imagine mortal kombat moves made cartoon like and speeded up amidst smashable environments.

  40. Paul – indeed but things like that have always been in both Fifa and PES haven’t they?

  41. Evening all. Just a quick update on USBgate. Mine turned up today and was recognised as 128GB. I had about 4GB of music files at work so I copied them to the stick four times and then played random files from each copy. The music played and Media Player recognised the cover art. So far, so good.

  42. What was it meant to be Chris? 128gb or more ?

  43. Turf – I am currently playing Star Wars Lego with the little one as one of five old games I got by trading in PES 2018. Great game.

  44. Hi Paul. It was meant to be a 128, so all appears genuine. It’s got a USB connector one end and micro USB the other so my next test will be to plug it into my phone and see if it is recognised.

  45. looks pretty good Turf, although some of the harsher reviews are suggesting £40 is a bit excessive for 3 hours of content in story mode? Ninjago Movie book is our current bedtime story, hopefully La-Lloyd will sort things out with his dad

    still vaguely intending to play PES2018 at some point but luxuriating in some of the finest RPGs ever crafted – Zelda Breath of the Wild, Witcher 3, Golf Story – absolutely superb

  46. Chris99/Paul – my 2TB Wish USB arrived yesterday, only had time to open it today and plug it in. Shows as 2.1TB free in Finder on MacOS. It’ll be a day or two – maybe even Monday – before I get a chance to test its capacity properly. It’s a nice slim little thing though, and yes, I was surprised by the Micro USB connector.

  47. nG – Did you not see both connectors when you ordered it?

  48. not-Greg – I remain a sceptic not least because, even with 3D NAND manufacturing processes, it would be impossible to fit 2TB of flash storage into a ‘nice slim little thing’!

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