Perverting the pyramid

In a development that will surprise nobody who has read the last few entries on this blog, I have played zero Master League on 2011 since a solitary session on the new PS3 last week.

Instead, the unlikely myClub story continues.

I have changed the name of the team.

Coventry City is very much a Master League phenomenon. The name and the custom kit rightly belong there.

I chose a new name for the club more fitting for the kind of adventure this feels like. PES Chronicles FC was the result. It still feels like a placeholder name. It doesn’t feel very ‘me’, somehow, to be waving a flag for the blog with the name of my online team. Think I’ll change it again soon.

I picked Fiorentina’s kit and badge to turn out in, even though the current version is far from the best version of the strip.

That lineup seen above is my 1-star Irregulars team. So far it’s my favourite team to play with in myClub, as it’s an exclusively offline team. I’m not brave enough to take them online yet, as I’m simply not good enough yet.

I took a break from the punishment of Divisions (6 losses and 2 draws in Division 11) to play a one-off Online match where the prize was a free Black Ball spin – a big deal for me as I have yet to get a Black Ball player. These are the créme de la créme of players in the game. The top players’ presence (and absence) really make a difference in PES online.

myClub is currently running a World Cup-themed feature that I just about understand. Basically, for this week, if you temporarily adopt the ‘skin’ of any World Cup nation’s team (in the same way that I have adopted Fiorentina’s ‘skin’), you get all manner of GP bonuses in your post-match kitty. I haven’t done it yet, and probably won’t do it. I’m bewildered enough with everything as it is.

My opponent for the Black Ball match was PAOK Thessaloniki, but he had taken on the kit and name of Nigeria to enjoy whatever bonuses he hoped to make.

Here are the two-minute highlights of the match. I’m in the deep violet kit, now, remember. You can see my hesitancy and naïveté from the very start. Fortunately, my opponent was not one of the clinical, ruthless finishers who tend to make up the average opponent.

A very, very lucky win. I created nothing in this match, no clear-cut chances, and I was reduced to taking the kinds of potshots you see me trying throughout. That effort with Torres at 0:40 might well be the worst shot attempt made by anyone online – or generally, in any football game – ever.

Online, I want too much time to play the same sort of game that I’ve been playing offline for 20+ years. An AI opponent will politely let you turn 180 degrees to lay the ball off to a teammate. The average online opponent won’t do that.

Stepping up to online play is analogous to what Championship players always say of adjusting to life in the Premier League. Suddenly, you lose a comfortable margin and your game is disrupted.

So this win was a fluke, an anomaly. I clearly didn’t deserve to win it, but my opponent fluffed all his chances. I did not fluff my one (lucky) chance, so the Black Ball was mine.

I excitedly rushed to the Hall of Spinning Balls, and I spun those balls.

And got David Silva (AMF, OPR 80, Level 1). Not the most energising result but with him being Level 1 he will level up to something much more than he is now.

Playing myClub means that I was soon anxiously scrutinising every single one of his stats. The PES database indicates he could level up to 95 for Ball Control. He’s on 87 right now and is not too shabby.

And that really is the most marked achievement of myClub. It makes stats, and how they manifest in players, seem to matter again. I haven’t drilled down into player stats this deep since the PS2 days.

I appreciate that some readers of the blog feel I skim over stats and the tactical side of PES in favour of the ‘big picture’ ML story. Some may wish I would talk formations and stats and skills in PES a lot more than I do.

They say be careful what you wish for.

Updated: 19th June 2018 — 10:41

21 Comments

  1. Another penalty at the World Cup and another winning bet for me.

    n-G – Surely your striker is offside on the breakaway leading up to you goal? Either way, well done on the win. Your opponent deserved nothing having wasted such good chances to score.

    I’ll have to have a look at these black ball one-off clashes. I’m still chuffed to have Mo Salah as my one black ball player and he’s certainly fun to have up front.

    I also saw some mention of a one-day-only Special Agent event coming up. That might provide some more big game players.

  2. NG – I have an increasing feeling that you will be getting PES 2019 now after all but with a suprise twist.

    Over the last few days I have been having an urge to play some PES as I miss the structure of moving up through the difficulty gears. With this in mind I picked up a cheap copy of PES 2017 then download and set up an option file. Looks good.

  3. Made use of the South American Special Agent offer to sign Saldano and that South American legend Phil Jones in MyClub last night. I think the 24hr offer included other so-called top players and Jones was a golden ball among them. I’ve stuck him in my A-Team as a rather imposing DMF.

    n-G – Where do I find the one-off black ball online game mode you described before? I had a look last night but couldn’t find it. I even ended up playing an offline friendly by mistake.

  4. Shed – it’s the Cup Challenge mode (bottom middle of the second screen I think) that prompts you to choose playing Online or vs COM. Choosing Online presents you with a longish list of Cups that you’ll be mostly ineligible for when starting out, but scroll all the way down until you see ‘Eligible’ and that should be the one.

    I didn’t boot up the game yesterday for the first time in a few weeks. I was busy and also had to check in on Fallout 4 – where I spent the whole two hours I played in clearing a settlement space and starting to build. I must have played about 3% of the missions so far, and around 0.5% of the campaign. Ridiculously massive game.

    Darryl – ah, the flip-flop. You did play a lot more CM than in a good long while, though, and I think you will go back to it at some point.

    When you boot up PES2017, please let me know if the myClub servers are switched off yet. That will indicate how long the PES2018 servers will last, which will influence whether I get PES2019. So yes, there is a strong likelihood that it will happen after all…

  5. NG – I will be on it later tonight so will have a look and let you know.

  6. Hi there, long time reader and only a very occasional commenter, always enjoy reading your blog posts though 🙂

    I’m still playing PES 2017 on PS4, I can confirm the servers were switched off about 2 months ago.

  7. Ah Pes 2019 is a definite day 1 for me now after believing for so long that my time with Pes was over MC has given me back more than I could have ever expected from the online cesspool. I have really noticed Konami are on what appears to be the final push of this edition with all of the special agents and gp//exp bonuses. When I began in March until now there was at best 1 free agent a week 1 offline cup and 1 online. Last week in tournament and cups there were 2 free players both 80ovr 85,000 gp and 8 free agents along with a month long exp tripled. This must be to let everyone see skilled up players before 2019 arrives.I have to admit being tempted by the Legend edition it is a package that appears to offer some value for people who will buy the game and never spend anymore real money such as myself.

  8. I have to admit to being hooked by fortnite, despite the lack of depth, repetition and ultimately futile effort (as I refuse to pay a bean for a few gimmicks I assume my progress will be reset each ‘season’). It’s the brief nature of the action and ease of pressing one button to get it going again that seeps away time. It will pass I’m sure.

    World Cup has gone dull and predictable for me.

  9. Uncle Turf – summertime madness that will eventually bottom out. I didn’t play myClub yesterday for the first time since the madness started. In many ways myClub is as much of a struggle as early-seasons ML was – in a good way – and I think it’ll be a long-term thing for me so I can dip in and out of it as and when.

    Gary – Another few weeks of steady progress with myClub and I have to say, I’ll be swallowing and words and pride and stumping up for PES2019 too. But it’ll be for myClub.

    The Rumour Mill – thanks for the info, at least they left the servers running until early summer this year, which should mean the PES2018 servers will run until early summer 2019. So I could still stick to my word and skip PES2019….

  10. day one purchase of PES2019 was always going to be your final destination not-Greg, it was just the nature of the voyage that had to be determined. Just think, you’ll be poring over the summer youtube footage from an entirely different perspective now!

  11. Apologies All, this is just a test as I can’t seem to post an overly long and poorly written comment from this morning as it keeps saying I’ve already posted it.

  12. abbeyhill – not impressed with the arcadiness of what I’ve seen so far. Zero fouls is here to stay it seems. I’ve been very amused to discover that there are no fouls online either, not even in the most boisterous and hyper-aggressive encounter. These can produce maybe 1 per side, but even that’s quite rare.

    Keith – there’s nothing stuck here in a moderation queue, so that has to be your browser playing up.

  13. NG – Cheers, really weird. Just tweaked the text and it still just wont post. I’ll try off my phone as I feel its really important for everyone’s day:

    So due to a combination of being easily swayed by others (NG), having all my carefully finetuned FIFA 18 settings set to default by a server crash (I was really enjoying the game up until that point, but now just cant get it to feel right) and picking up a cheap PS4, led me download PES 2018 lite on my PS4. The first time I’ve played Pro Evo on a Sony console since the Golden Age.

    I’m led to believe it has full My Club functionality. Going back to PES 2018 was a nice experience, albeit an unchallenging one, Thomas Muller my Loan superstar at the start single-handedly dismantling the Regular Com opposition in the first game.

    I’m going to give it a full go, because as much as I liked FIFA and was impressed by the amount of AI fouls and the shiny kits, PES 2018 just feels nice and looks amazing (if not as nice as on my Xbox One X).

    So cheers NG for getting some more life out of the game for me.

  14. Keith – I’ve added the text for you, agreed it is very strange. I also see the ‘you have already posted that’ message in my browser (Chrome) from time to time, usually when my login cookie has expired and I need to re-enter credentials. No real idea though.

    Good luck with the Lite version, interesting to hear how it turns out. Don’t neglect setting up shadow squads with the kind of players you wouldn’t normally play with! Having a team of absolute basement-dwellers is strangely the most fulfilling part of it for me.

    And play online as soon as you can too. I never thought I would ever hear myself saying that. I’ll probably be around for a game one evening next week – I will announce here beforehand. I skipped it this week.

  15. NG – Cheers to all the above.

    I seem to remember from my brief dalliance a year back that players stamina really does take a hit game to game, is that still true?

  16. Keith – cumulative stamina is a big factor. You can either rest individual players, or use an item to replenish stamina (the game is very generous with these items). My preferred method to replenish a whole squad’s stamina is to play a game with another squad, which auto-replenishes the first squad’s stamina completely. I do wonder cynically though just how much stamina matters in PES. I’ve played opponents who sprint-pressure with their whole team for whole matches without any noticeable degradation in performance. It’ll be interesting to see just how effective PES2019’s lauded stamina/injury mechanic will work online. ‘Once in a blue blue moon’, I suspect.

  17. I found that online one-game cup thing in the end, thanks n-G. Played a very decent fellow onliner (like yourself n-G *smirk*) and promptly lost 3-0 to his far superior, legends-filled side.

    Having watched a lot of this World Cup and dabbled in MyClub, I’m starting to feel a little bit of footy fatigue so I’m going to have a little PES break – as I often do. A bit of gamey-gaming is on the cards while I’ll still be keeping up with the latest World Cup/VAR events.

  18. Shed – it’s the luck of the draw online. I was matched with a player and team at about my level for my one-off Black Ball game. You can replay it over and over.

    I’ve gone the opposite way with football at the moment. I’m not catching too much of the World Cup, due to work – glad I missed all of yesterday’s live matches after seeing the ‘highlights’ last night. However I have this vague idea I’d like to try a Football Manager game again. I have never, ever, in all my years, across many iterations of the series, achieved anything of note in any CM/FM game, apart from the odd promotion. No silverware of any kind. All my FM careers have petered out or ended in the sack.

  19. n-G – Yes, you didn’t miss much from yesterday’s World Cup games although I did enjoy Spain vs Iran, purely because of how brutal Iran were and how close they came to an unlikely draw. The comedy attempt at a somersaulted throw-in at the end was utterly brilliant too.

    I haven’t played a footy management game for years and don’t plan to, purely because I know it would eat up time I don’t have.

    I’m playing Star Wars Battlefront 2 for more online fun and have been eyeing up midi-Shed’s copy of Fallout 4 for some post-appocolyptic wandering.

  20. Shed – Fallout4 is the ‘game’-game I’ve been waiting to play since my Metal Gear Solid fling a few years ago now. Took me a few attempts to start F4 but so worth it.

  21. Abbeyhill – 4668 9561 0789

    Banque des Anglais, Nice. You will be met by a mr blue….

    Mr Red.

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