Hodor Hodor Hodor

I have climbed back onto the myClub horse Online. After a week or more of playing all Offline.

It was in Divisions. I played 3 matches, which is about my limit, I think.

I find that playing online is rather stressful. It’s the sense of there being somebody at the other end with all their expectations and impatience. It’s peculiarly draining and anxiety-producing.

You know when you’re walking along a corridor with a door at the end, and you can hear somebody walking just too far behind you for you to politely hold that door open for them (because it’s impolite to stand there and make them run to the door)? And so you push through the door, let the door swing shut and carry on, but wonder if the person thinks you’ve just been rude for not holding the door (even though it would have been rude for you to hold the door and make them run to it)? That kind of burdensome social obligation is what I feel when playing Online. I’m just not mentally set up for interactions with other people in that way. It’s no good pointing out that this sense is all largely, or wholly, in my own mind. The point is that it exists.

If this whole myClub thing really lasts until PES2019 – if there is a PES2019 – then I will be a 50/50 offline/online player.

I was lucky with my opponents in these three matches. My first opponent (post-match stats above) was probably the best single opponent, in terms of him being somebody who played ‘properly’, that I have faced in the past few remarkable weeks. It’s rare that I am outdone on possession.

Note the number of fouls there. This was a full-blooded online match, albeit not quite as aggro-filled as most. Finishing with 0 fouls per side is distressingly common online.

What does a ‘proper’ online myClub match (by my estimation) actually look like? I recorded this entire match and might upload it later for perusal by the curious. It’s a huge file, though, and I have a slow upload connection, so I might not get around to it.

I really notice the difference with my new quality CB pairing – Hummels and Boateng. Having two black-ball defenders in the heart of defence is a startling change from having O’Shea and Aké there.

I limited all 3 of these online opponents to virtually no clearcut chances at all. The first opponent’s goal only came when I tried to walk the ball out of defence, as you can easily do against the AI, but which is often deadly against a human.

I next took my 1-star Irregulars Squad online to see how they’d do. My opponent was another 1-star team who had ‘Ibra’ on loan. I made four clear-cut chances in a first half that I dominated, but missed them all. Ended up losing 2-0, both scored spectacularly by ‘Ibra’. But it was another good match against an opponent who played mostly properly.

Next I switched back to my 4-star ‘A’ Squad. They’re pretty decent now. Hummels and Boateng at the back. Victor Moses and David Silva in midfield. Bale and Bacca up front.

I got a victory. I played a Uruguay player – myClub is still running a weird World Cup bonus system where players can re-skin their teams in national colours for various rewards.

This player was the least wholesome of the trio, but he was still a cut above the usual online opponent. Back and forth the battle went. I was outmatched in various ways, but I hung on and snatched a jammy goal in the second half. Then I switched to a low Defensive posture (2/5), held the line deep, and grimly hung on until the final whistle. He had a couple of half- and quarter-chances but my solid new black ball defenders withstood the pressure.

Here are two brief highlights – I’m the team in white. First up is a glimpse of the only clearcut chance he made, which he fluffed; and then comes my goal:

It was a jammy goal as I wasn’t aiming for Bacca with the return floated pass from Silva – it was meant to go in the middle.

And so I bagged my first win in Division 11, after 3 straight defeats. These new CBs are really showing up for work.

Updated: 3rd July 2018 — 11:08


  1. Digging around for my last comment it looks like I jumped the PES ship late October, my earliest departure yet. Only completed 3 ML seasons, I just lost all love for it. Same old problems and pitfalls.

    True to form, I’ve recently picked the game back up again as the 2019 news starts coming in. Dropped the difficulty down to Top Player and it’s enjoyable again.

    By my count I have 67 posts to catch up on. Best put the kettle on.

  2. Tommy – start around April and you’ll be quite quickly caught up. PES as we knew it is lost forever as an annual new game.

  3. NG – great title and analogy with the social awkwardness of holding the door open. Very true indeed. Another situation I often find myself in is when returning to work at lunch time. Sometimes you will see a colleague as you approach the building. However, that person is still a good 30/50 yards away. To start acknowledging them now would appear way to keen. So instead the best option is to pretend to be looking down. Now the timing has to be right as when they are in the correct zone you have to lift your head up and say hello and pretend you have just seen them. As for World Cup did you seen Japan’s second goal yesterday as it so reminded me of a classic PES type goal.

  4. Darryl – you would enjoy a book called The Meaning of Liff (not a typo) which famously addresses the whole corridor/acknowledgement thing. See this link for a taster: http://www.arielbirdoff.com/2013/12/6-words-that-will-change-way-you-walk.html?m=1

  5. nG – I’m working my way through. I did check in from time to time, but it’s hard to keep up when you’re not interested in the game.

    If I’m reading it right, you lost count of how many ML seasons you had finished towards the end of season 5. You jump straight to season 7. So either you lost count, or stopped caring. Probably the latter.

    I always feel the urge this time of year (new PES run-up) to start a new ML just so I can sign some cheap gems with a D2 side. This is when ML is at it’s very best, when there are no regens about and the money is still as tights as a duck’s arse. Do away with the free milions given to you by your chairman every season, and you might get a better game, IMO.

  6. Tommy – just checked, and at the point just before Christmas where I took a temporary hiatus from PES here, to the point where I returned here, it does seem as if I miscounted and skipped, but I think it was a season I didn’t really cover on the blog, as I was playing it semi-secretly whilst trying and failing to like FIFA17.

    As for the finances in ML, you’re talking about House Rules, and there’s nothing more depressing for a PES game than having to do that to enjoy the thing. One of many symptoms of the fatal disease that has finished it off. What we have now really is a whole other game, stripped and streamlined with one aim in mind, which is myClub. This is no longer a process that we can reasonably say is in progress – it’s something that has happened and is irreversible. My playing myClub isn’t really a case of ‘if you can’t beat them, join them’, although there is an element of that. It’s much more a case of playing a new style of football game, one that ironically showcases a core PES feature – individuality – more than the single-player game can do nowadays.

  7. …aaaand I’m caught up.

    Interesting to read you investing into MyClub. It seems to have changed your stance on purchasing PES 2019 from a firm NO to a MAYBE at any rate.

    I dabbled with MyClub, in PES 2017 mostly and found it to be mildly entertaining for the most part, but only played offline. I have never owned PS Plus for the PS4. MyClub is basically MLO with added randomness, created for the soul purpose of implementing micro transactions, which is the thing I hate most about modern gaming.

  8. For any of you wanting to reflect a bit more deeply on your hobby I’ve been made aware this book is free to read online for the next 60 days (not read it myself yet though)


    Obviously this only applies to those who don’t rot their brain with ‘community ball spinning online sprint clamping nonsense’, or erm fortnite…

  9. Uncle Turf — scrolled through to check the publication date — crucial when it comes to video game theory, when even last year might as well be 50 years ago — and it’s 2018, so that’s good. Then I hopped forward randomly to read a random paragraph that contains: ‘Video games are necessarily an embodied experience.’ Which seems to mean involving physical micro-movements and swaying in sympathy with the on-screen movement, etc. Hmmm. Something sweaty-palmed like a PES or a Fortnite, yes, but the likes of Football Manager? Civilization? I don’t think so. So I’m guessing that that chapter was entirely about the tabloid-baiting GTA/Fortnite-style action video games, or worse, the whole book is. Still, always worth reading this kind of thing, so I go to save a copy for later… and it’s all blocked. Any way to save an offline copy?

  10. Cheers mate

    I too find online gaming to be absolutely distressful, though I had never before blamed the social awkwardness of it. But despite I’ve been following and enjoying your shot at myClub, the whole thing made me truly realise how much I despise online gaming.

    Apart from what was told by Tommy regarding micro transactions, very true indeed, it is terrible not to be able of only thinking about the game itself, but also all the other “feats” online gaming brings with it: rage quits, player styles that seem particularly hateful (but that in fact could be people’s way of enjoying their free time)… You can’t simply play the game as meant to be, you have loads of other variants that are added as well and the end product becomes a whole different thing.

    In football gaming, is it possible to adapt yourself to online gaming? Well, yeah, I think so. But damn if managing teams is where the fun belongs nowadays I might as well just jump back to championship manager (actually I’ve tried but it’s just not as rewarding anymore)

  11. NG – same here, just tried and couldn’t save it. I suspect it’s not possible as they’ll want the academic audience to buy it for future ref (although like you say it’s exactly the kind of work that can date horribly). I simply got an alert from a list and thought I’d share – I have no additional access.

    In fact in a couple of months I’ll be cut off completely from academic publications,the withdrawal of online privileges for downloading hurts more than not being allowed on campus physically. Till then I’m going to bleed the databases dry.

  12. NG – thanks for the link and yes I love that kind of stuff as I can relate to it all after 29 years of working in an office setting.

  13. n-G – I’m still not really feeling the narrative of player development in myClub that you seem to be. The best things about the mode is the Panini stickers like ball spin and the fact it’s a chance to play PES while taking a much needed break from ML.

    I’ve said before how I get all anxious playing PES online, in much the way you state n-G. I also get added anxiety from the risk of being interrupted at any moment and the fact you can’t just pause the game.

    Uncle Turf – That “book” looks like a hard read to me, not least because it’s not written on paper as books should be.

  14. Hello guys,
    Hope all are well, just back from a 2 week holiday in Ibiza, so haven’t had any gaming time, except for one Solitary MyClub match when I got back yesterday, got the Maradona Gift and a black ball which was Verratti.

    Have to say that those slamming this WC as boring have been proved totally wrong, one of the most exciting tournaments for years, with the exception of south american teams insisting purely on diabolical cheating tactics.

    Also seen the PES 19 news coming out, some of the videos I’ve seen do look very encouraging. Also read the review from the guy that attended Konami’s play test day and played purely against the AI, encouraging signs on the AI and fouls front there too.

    Have the PES 19 kit template now so any kit requests will be taken, ready for PES 19, for those who will be buying it.

  15. Araraquara – I’ve often mentioned here that I’m a long-term and avid online chess player. You would think that online chess – turn-based, with each player allowed to take up to two days per turn – would be pretty much immune from online player douchebaggery. But it’s not. If you’re in a winning position – a ridiculously winning position, i.e. you’ve got three Queens and your opponent has a pawn – your opponent will not resign, and he will take the full two days to make each one of his moves. A double-whammy douchebaggery that demonstrates why other people are the worst idea we ever had.

    Shed – I think you’ve got to set up a low-ranked squad and invest in it (invest time and effort) to start feeling the player-dev burn. Or just carry on as now, because it’ll all be moot pretty soon. It’s one minute to midnight for PES2018.

    Paul – trust you had a good holiday, and it was before the World Cup that I predicted it’d be poor. I had no idea VAR would be such a sensation. Note how its use has decreased in the Last 16, and how a larger proportion of those games have been the familiar grim toil we’ve seen in tournaments past. Not a coincidence, I think.

    I’m not impressed at all with the PES2019 news, none of it. If it wasn’t for the myClub thing disrupting matters, I’d be firm in my decision not to get any more of these pseudo-PES games that we have now.

    (If I do, though, and it seems likely, I’ll be in the market for a kit or two, cheers!)

  16. NG – I did, very good thanks.
    VAR has been used well, so many of those nailed on rule infringements that often go unpunished such as shoving, pulling, shirt holding etc, have been given, shame the american clueless ref last night lost his bottle and didn’t consult it for many of Colombia’s awful, cheating tactics, and headbutts.

    The PES 19 snippets I picked out by the guy who played against the AI, and as a Master League fan himself were:
    – More player weightiness
    – Enhance Player ID as in star players feel much different from weaker players
    – More ball weight
    – Improved and varied shooting and passing
    – More aggressive and intelligent AI
    – More fouls (he noted 6 in one match)

    Obviously these can only be taken with a pinch of salt as one person’s isolated experience, but its more of a positive sign and not.

    No worries on the kits, taken the Konami template and layered it all up into a PSD so I’m ready to go.
    Had a look too and the template has only changed slightly so most PES 18 format kits would still work in 19.

  17. Paul – I was one of the biggest culprits for slamming this world cup before it started and am happy to say I have been proven wrong (on this occasion). It does happen.

  18. Darryl – I never expected the quality to be so high either mate, by quality, i mean entertainment of the matches more than actual quality football, the last WC was poor in comparison.

  19. Paul – Opened up that template in photoshop. I’m amazed just how many layers and how much detail goes into them. Thanks!

  20. I was onboard for this World Cup from the start but even I have been surprised by the quality of the matches and the entertainment value.

    Having England in the last eight is an added bonus and last night, watching on the edge of the sofa on a hot night, tense while watching England play both well and not-so-well felt very 1990 to me. I also love it when something as trivial as a footy match tops the headlines ahead of the usual stream of Brexit and stabbings.

    Paul – Welcome back and great work on the kits. Having taken a much needed break from ML while still keeping up with PES through MyClub, I’m beginning to feel like PES Day will be a thing again this year after all.

    Those bullet points you posted are the first I’ve heard about PES 2019 and while I don’t believe them for a moment, it at least gives some hope that Konami have done some proper work on the game rather than just flop out a tweaked PES 2018.

  21. Tommy – A lot of those layers is just noise, I have created my own template based off the Konami one, with layers for Shirt front and back, left sleeve, right sleeves, left short, right short, left sock, right sock, etc etc so I can just colour and apply designs easily and quickly.

    Shed – Thanks, those bullet points were from a vid posted on twitter of the playtest day at Konami Windsor, where someone actually had the nous to play the AI not another human, and those were his impressions after about 10 matches offline.

  22. My scepticism about that one source saying ‘fouls might be fine/were fine for me’ is that we’ve heard similar noises from some quarters throughout the 4 editions that the series has had the problem (which isn’t a problem at all, of course, but a deliberately crafted design choice on Konami’s part). Plenty of people have said and still say that they get loads of fouls in PES2018. I am far too polite to say I don’t believe them (and would love to see some evidence in the form of post-match stats screenshots of five consecutive matches, not just one match).

    I’d wager quite a bit of money that those post-match stats would show AI fouls at something like 5-1-0-0-1, and so on, with the ‘plenty of fouls’ match being the kind of anomaly we all get from time to time.

    PES returning to a model in which there are appreciable amounts of AI fouls per match would be a massive concession to the single-player game. Given how much it would wreck the online side of things, it would be as gigantic a move, in effect, as them deciding not to cater for multiplayer anymore. Not ever going to happen. I will eat a humble pie made in the shape of a hat if it does.

  23. n-G – Seeing as FIFA markets itself as a simulation of the football – unlike PES which only sort of does – I wonder if VAR will be added as a feature at some point. Maybe this will provide a few fouls in nu footy games just as it has seen at least some rules applied in the World Cup.

  24. Shed – I Cannot see any validity or reason for VAR in a video game.
    VAR is there to review incidents which are missed or misinterpreted by the human eye, in a video game, the COM knows whats going to happen, it knows whether a foul is a foul, or a ball has crossed the line, or if a red card is a reed card, it would have know reason to go back and review itself.

    They could maybe implement it as a purely cosmetic feature but it would slow the game flow down and would ultimately be pointless.

  25. Shed/Paul – imagine the onliners watching a VAR review in a video game. When FIFA did goalline technology it was already absurd – surely VAR is a step too far?

  26. Had a few games on MyClub last night, promoted up to Div 9, and drew my first match 1-1.
    Got the free black ball player that was part of the Maradona / Black ball gift, but No Maradona anywhere?!?! do we actually get him or have i missed something?

  27. Paul – occasional commenter Metz popped up last week to tip us off that myClubbers were getting Maradona. But it turns out that the phrase ‘Maradona and Black Ball player’ is actually Konami-speak for ‘one random player from a list of Black Ball players that includes Maradona’. Caused me and Shed a lot of confusion last week. Amazingly, in the few discussions I found about it online (Reddit for one), it seems nobody else thought that the wording meant we’d get Maradona and a black ball player. Just us oldies. Must be a youth thing.

  28. Pants. Nevermind, he wouldn’t fit into my 2 star team anyway!

  29. Shed – brexit and stabbings – a wonderful summary of the modern news agenda. Looks like we are about to add Russian spy shenanigans as well.

    You will of course have seen me quoted in the guardian the other day? A piece on managing sports pitches in a prolonged dry spell. The height of my liberal metropolitan elite lifestyle…. Of course as most of the world knows me as turf and has no idea who I am the phone has not been ringing off the hook.

    I’m completely sucked into fortnite, trying to sneak games in whenever I can. I hate being hooked but know it will pass. It has to as there is so little substance yet that quick fix, no investment is part of the appeal.

  30. Paul – I was going to drop my Maradona into my Irregulars and see what happened online. Might have been ‘fun’ for the last few weeks of PES2018’s myClub. I think PES2019 will be a go for me. I find myself quite eagerly anticipating getting in on the ground floor in myClub PES2019, and not interested at all in Master League. Which is exactly what the Konami strategists want, of course. But I don’t see myself as enabling the destruction of single-player PES. That is something that has already happened. At least 3 editions ago.

    Uncle Turf – same with myClub really, although I think it has a chance of lasting, as the squad-building element is very more-ish, and it has a satisfying single-player side too. Is there single-player in Fortnite against bots?

  31. NG – why Not! worst case scenario, you’ll get a good few months out of MyClub, and as you say, starting on an even keel with the rest and seeing how you can develop squads will be interesting, theres always the ML mode waiting should you want a dabble, theres worst ways to spend £40.

    My Brewster is now up to level 39, and up to 67 OVR from a 52 OVR and Level 1 bronze ball.
    I need to invest in some trainers, or just convert my ‘A’ team to trainers and use those, as I hardly ever play with that team, I find 2 star teams and players around the 300-500 rating mark usually provide a much more enjoyable game of online football.

    We must be due a rematch sometime whenever is convenient for both?, with no pre-arranged schedule to adhere to, just a random match anytime you fancy it.

  32. NG – I don’t think so, there’s a save the world mass player v AI I believe (never played) but the battle royale is either you against every other human player or you and X mates/random strangers v other random humans. Honestly, if you’re really unlucky the game might last seconds, yet it’s so easy to press to end it and reboot for the next fight that hours can go by before you realise you’ve missed everything you planned to do that night.

  33. Paul – I’ve yet to do one of my early-evening ‘open houses’ but I’m afraid it would have to be one of those slots only, sorry. I know you have muscles to look after at that time.

    I’m heavily invested in the squad and player development side of myClub – and the fact that it is married to a different way to play PES is refreshing too. Very interesting the other day when I took my 1-star Irregulars online for the first time and really felt them all. In a non-creepy way.

    Uncle Turf – some expert advice please. About a patch of garden lawn that was in trouble before the hot spell. It hadn’t been cut all winter and the first mow of summer really destroyed huge chunks of it. I was watering it with a hose every day and it was showing signs of starting to recover. Now the heat seems to have reversed all that. Is there any point in continuing the daily water routine? No hosepipe ban here yet.

  34. NG – without seeing it and knowing what grass/soil et al is in situ…sounds like you’ve just hugely stressed it. If grass is long and you cut it right back to lawn length you are removing a lot of the plant’s ability to grow and look after itself. It will still grow as it’s growing point is so low but it will have so much less leaf for photosynthesis, respiration etc. If it wasn’t all grass ie. if there was moss, weeds, etc then that cut will have simply weakened its ability to compete. You’ve effectively broken the centre forward’s leg before the cup final. The watering will have helped it recover a little, although it’s only one aspect, but doing it on a daily basis sounds a bit excessive for a lawn if you are watering quite a long time. Soil has both available and unavailable water in it and its whether the plant can draw that water out. A professional football pitch is mainly sand so they water heavily as it drains so fast, a big lumpy clay soil like say a Scottish half dug out pond…will retain lots of water and its more about altering the structure so that it doesn’t stay boggy and sodden. Personally I’m not watering my now very yellow lawn, the grass will recover in due course and unless you’re Wimbledon so what if it’s a bit crispy out there. I’m restricting my use to keeping the tomatoes, cucumbers and strawberry plants alive, we’re not yet attuned as a nation to just how precious water is – a future sci fi type scenario sees it on a par with oil, even Bond speculated on that in quantum of solace.

  35. Played 2 MyClub matches late last night, in Div 9, won them both 4-0, Brewster is turning into a beast, very strong on the ball for a small player and tons of pace, a ball into his feet backing against the defender then a quick 1-2 with Brewster running off the last defender and using his pace is proving to be a useful tactic.

    One of the matches was classed as a ‘Special Match’ – Not sure why, is this just some random thing?
    Was against some lad called Chris_10_x or something he had won his last 5 matches, trounced him 4-0, and got a special trainer, a scout, 12 stamina cards and 6,800GP for the win. not bad.

  36. Uncle Turf – cheers, and I did stop watering it a few days ago, first because it seemed to be doing no good at all and second because it strangely seems a bit better in the total crispy dryness. It’s been a while since there was a single drop of rain. I wonder when the media will start getting us all hopping up and down about water not falling from the sky.

    Paul – Special matches do seem random yes. I’ve had two. Got disconnected in one and lost the other. 6800GP?! That’s some decent reward level there.

    I wonder if the rumoured ‘traditional transfer market’ for myClub 2019 allows for players like yourself, having trained up a Brewster to a respectable or even amazing level, to then offer him for sale on the open market (as is possible in Ultimate Team, albeit without levelling first)? That would add an interesting extra layer to the made-up world.

  37. A healthy reward for one match.
    MyClub in PES 19 has done away with the spinning balls, its now player packs, as per FIFA UT, so you get several players in a pack, much like a Panini pack, with chances of a Bronze, Silver, Gold or Black Foil player in them.

    MyClub definitely needs a transfer market, I’d keep the scout system too but also have a standard auction house for players.

  38. Paul – I’m disappointed to hear the spinning balls are history. After sneering at them for so many years and finally getting to semi-grudgingly like them – quite a lot too – for them to suddenly be replaced by UT-style packs is a bit disappointing. And after a match with my Irregulars this morning I realise I need player levelling-up to still be a thing. It would be very Konami for them to suddenly remove the feature as part of the trumpeted overhaul. If there were no player levelling in PES2018 myClub, I would never have got into it, as today’s post later will discuss. The Irregulars would be a pointless exercise without the allure of slowly climbing the hill with them. So I’m still not pulling the trigger on the PES2019 pre-order. I want to hear that player levelling is a thing in PES2019. Then the trigger will be pulled.

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