Season 7 kicks off with my squad looking the best it has ever looked. It’s what you would expect after 6 full seasons of Master League, but PES2018’s ML throws an unexpected (and almost certainly unintended) obstacle in the way of growing your team. There’s a massive disparity between Transfer funds and Salary budget.
At the start of this window I had around £230,000,000 (TWO HUNDRED AND THIRTY MILLION) in the Transfer pot.
My Salary budget? £9,000,000 (NINE MILLION).
Not enough wages for even one great player, not that they would come to my team at the moment anyway.
Still, I have fluked my first player rated 90+. I put in a bid for one Renato Sanches, whose ‘Chance of signing’ was 2/6, and he accepted. Scared of breaking the magic spell that had got him, I didn’t even negotiate the fee (a piddling drop in my quarter of a billion ocean), and so he became my first 90-rated player.
My full squad, First XI, and Formation for Season 7:
Much other wheeler-dealering took place as well. The highlights were a new keeper, Posavec, a new CB/RB, Danilo, and a promising young 88-rated striker, Raya. As well as a few others.
It’s only been 5 or so matches of the new season, but so far none of the new players seem very different from the others. Raya in particular looks and plays exactly like Lacazette, Stepinski, et al. The almost total erosion of player individuality in nuPES is by far its biggest sin against the illustrious name of ‘Pro Evolution Soccer’.
But, as I have mentioned quite a lot now, PES2018 still has something, and that something is keeping me playing. So who’s to say the magic isn’t still there, albeit in another form?
I’m firmly on Top Player now. By ‘firmly’ I mean that there will be no more occasional bouts of Superstar to see if I’m ready yet. I’ll be ready whenever I convincingly win every match on Top Player. That time seems a long time away.
I might well stay on Top Player for the remainder of my time on PES2018, however long that is. I’ve stopped berating myself for being still on Top Player when I ‘should’ be on Superstar by now. That rule of thumb might have applied in previous editions of the game, but not in this one. The AI (that we need) sees to that.
5 matches into Season 7 on Top Player. 2 Draws. 2 Defeats. And 1 Win, against Division 2’s Birmingham City in the FA Cup.
One of my defeats was an absolute thumping at the hands of Stoke. And I mean a proper mullering. I was hammered 4-0, at home. I have the slight excuse that when only 1-0 down I pushed everything up looking for an equaliser, then got done on the break, and then again and again when I still tried to push for a goal. But it was the kind of uber-tough AI performance that had me checking the settings afterward to make sure I was still on Top Player.
As January eases its way toward its middle, and the days start to lengthen again, PES2018 is doing well, overall, to still be with me.