Experience has taught us nothing

If PES2019 is going to be a thing in my football gaming life, it needs to feature the above.

The above screenshot is the post-match EXP-adding screen in myClub.

Levelling up.

myClub in PES2018 added player levelling as a core mechanic. Just as in Master League, players playing matches, and doing things of note in those matches, levels up those players.

You can slingshot chosen individuals, to a certain extent, by applying extra EXP in the form of Trainers and Special Trainers. I’ve done that with Castledine to get him into the low 70s OPR and notably improve his passing.

How much the stereotypical online player – the drooling, sprint-pressuring, Ronaldo-Messi-Neymar-loving player – knows or cares about this aspect of the mode is debatable.

I care very much about it. I would not still pick Castledine, and I would not be playing with a squad of no-hopers, if it were not for that romantic dream of seeing if they could be world-beaters one day.

So I trust the levelling-up mechanic will still be in the all-new myClub of PES2019. If so, I will buy, and play the game – and probably take a peek at ML too, no doubt. If not, then my former solid cast-iron Vow not to touch PES2019 at all, will come back into force. Simples.

The Konami experience of recent years has shown us that they’re more than capable of ripping out elements of game modes for obscure purposes of their own. Why would they remove Levelling Up from myClub, you might ask? I can think of a reason: they don’t want players like me ‘wasting time’ developing low-rated players when we could be spending real $$$s on top-rated players in the new ‘packs’ they’re introducing.

We shall see. I think, rationally, that it should be okay. Surely they wouldn’t be so petty. But bitter experience with Konami cautions me to keep my mouse finger away from the PES2019 pre-order page. Anyone remember Master League in PES2010 and PES2011? Who would have thought that majestic mode would ever have been sabotaged so cynically and ruthlessly? But it was.

Playing with my C-squad of Irregulars over the past few weeks has been a joy. They’re a 1-star team, even with the silky presence of my levelled-up Castledine and the likes of Kramaric too. I only wish I’d started with them from day 1 back in September. Where and what would they be now? I have wild dreams of them being able to stand toe-to-toe with one of the uber-teams in this mode. Imagine that 9-month story coming to fruition right about now.

This morning I fired up the console for a single-player match with my Irregulars. I’ve been stuck for two weeks on ‘Professional Stronger’. This is a difficulty-within-a-difficulty level that is peculiar to myClub’s single-player mode. All I need are two back-to-back wins on this level, home and away, to ascend to ‘Top Player Weaker’ – and so on up to Superstar and beyond.

But can I get a win on Professional Stronger with my Irregulars? Nope. I keep coming up against user teams (AI-controlled) packed with stars who dominate me and quench all goal-scoring efforts. I still average 1.5 goals per match, but can’t seem to shut them out at the back.This match was so nearly a 2-1 win for me, with some good chances missed at the end.

I will get there one day. This is a new, lighter way to play PES for me, which fits perfectly with my routine as it currently is. Work and general life are busy.

What of Master League? It might soon be time for me to take a curious peek at my old save in PES2018 – not opened since, when was it? April? Round about then.

Updated: 6th July 2018 — 11:10


  1. Just been speaking to all the guys, PESUniverse etc, that attended the Konami Windsor playtest days, they said they asked Asim the same question and he couldn’t reveal whether MyClub will still have player development as all new MyClub info will be releaed by Konami officially at a later date, but they told him they’d be gutted if it was removed.

  2. Paul – if it’s removed, this flowering of myClub will be cut off immediately. I won’t be interested. It ‘feels’ very Konami-like to remove it, doesn’t it? There’s an overhaul of the whole mode. There’s a new focus on packs of players. There is a precedent with what they did to Master League after PES2011… Deep foreboding here.

  3. Sadly, I think you’re right NG, the emphasis will be on spending GP or real ££ to buy packs of players at varying skill levels, the training of players doesn’t fit in very well with this model.

    Guess we’ll have to wait for the info.
    And the PES 19 menu screens make me want to fall asleep, such dull slate grey bland affairs, lifted directly from the mobile game. Shocking decision.

  4. Paul – totally, and player development in myClub functions as a brake on the direction that they want to take the mode. There must be a large chunk of myClub players doing what I’m trying to do – and you as well – and not going the Ronaldo-Messi-Neymar-real money route. This grouping would be large enough to annoy Konami and make them regret putting development into PES2018’s myClub. So I suspect it’ll be ruthlessly ditched. PES2018’s version could forever be ‘the one where they had player development (that appealed to players from Master League)’.

    Could be ultra-cynical of us to think this, but again, look at the evidence of where Master League is now compared to what it was in PES2010 and PES2011.

  5. I just can’t see it working.
    Yyou buy a pack of players, say for example in that pack is Drinkwater, rated 76 OVR.
    Can you then train him somehow and push his OVR over time, as you can currently?
    Maybe he just develops as in ML with EXP points affecting his stats, until he reaches his peak.

    I can’t see being able to use trainers and special trainers to develop him, as you could either turn him into a beast, or hit a max ceiling, say at 80 OVR, which would counter-act the development mechanic and make it pointless.

    This is assuming players in packs will no longer use the ‘levels’ mechanic.

  6. Paul – there’s no inherent reason why players presented in pack format (rather than spinning balls format) can’t level up is there? I bet they still do the ‘mystery guest on Question of Sport’-style animation to reveal them and everything.

    So Drinkwater appears in a random pack at Level whatever-he-is, and can be EXP’d up to his max level just as now.

    Also, you could buy Level 1 players on the transfer market, if there is one.

    The only reason to remove levelling up is to prevent players like us and other ML-inspired players focusing on development as we have been doing. I’ve had Bale for weeks now but could not care less about him. I might melt him down for the EXP too.

    What would be very interesting in PES2019 is if they stick with player development and allow a persistent transfer market. Which would create problems of its own (an instant culture would spring up of farming EXP in order to sell high-value Ronaldos etc.; you’d soon have GP millionaires). So I think, all in all, player development has to be ditched or a transfer market can’t happen. One way or the other, this Arab Spring of myClub is under threat!

  7. You worded it much better than I did NG. Thats what I was trying to put forward, once the info comes out hopefully it will clear up any assumptions.
    Obviously ML will be my go to choice, but would be nice to know there is MyClub there as a fallback once MK has ran its course.

  8. Problem is how will you know before day one? I suspect you won’t so you’ll have to either wait or gamble. The weight of history and a complete shelf makes me feel you’ll do it.

  9. Abbeyhill – good squirtling? Managed to get a shiny blastoise and the full set of sunglasses squirtle, wortortle and blast. Keep missing out on the mass participation raids though.

    Call me an old grouch who has been through this before but…I can’t quite get into the whole nation expects business. We’ve played two games against very poor opponents, lost to a decent second string with our very disappointing reserves, won ugly on penalties and then completely bossed the match yesterday. We feel like a quite allardyce/pulis team in so far as we are heavily reliant on set pieces. It’s all very good and beyond expectations but Italia 90 felt completely different, much harder, much more of an achievement.

  10. I would be out completely without exp I have enjoyed it more unbelievably with the top players than even the lower characters my Mbappe for example, I got him at level 1 which was 74 OVR is now an Level 54 and 88 OVR. I can remember his first goal, first hat-trick, first time he tore through an opponent and made the difference. It’s for me all about the growth which in turn leads me to my own growth take my set-up I in pes found my set up and moved forward MC has forced me to re-evaluate so many times after seeing my own demotion to Div 7 and a horrible streak I had to alter my game from the ground up now back up to Div 3 I am playing better football than I ever have ML never encouraged changes like this you built up a team of world beaters with a preferred formation and did just that.
    I do not believe they will remove EXP I do believe they may try to monetize it e.g. slower growth less special trainers, less exp from unwanted players to a/// buy 5 levels upgrade for $3.99 or get your special trainer pack for $9.99 the exp system would be very easily exploited this way but for those of us with patients…….

  11. Paul/Uncle Turf – I’d hope there’s no realistic way to prevent news emerging before day 1 as to whether or not PES2019’s myClub has player development. If news somehow is suppressed, that would be very suspicious in and of itself, and strongly indicate it has been removed. All in all, I’m still not committing to pre-order.

    And Uncle Turf re. the current ‘real’ football… I part-agree, with the proviso that England didn’t really start playing well in Italia 90 until they were 2-1 down against Cameroon in the QF. Then they stepped it up a gear and rapidly got back into the match and won it in normal time. If they go down 2-1 on Wednesday have they got that extra gear? It seems to take them an extraordinary effort to make a basic chance. I think they’ve made an average of 0.75 clearcut chances per match since the Panama anomaly. Sweden played very oddly on Saturday, the complete opposite of what I was expecting. But Croatia have also been staid and uninspiring in this tournament I think, one match excepted. Who knows, but I’m not super-keen to see a Mbappe-Maguire faceoff. Semi-final and honourable defeat fits the narrative better.

    I’ve also got my pre-tournament Belgium bet, of course. I’m mercenary and unpatriotic enough to want my ninety quid winnings more than England to win the World Cup. Only 20% joking.

    Gary – me too. No player dev in PES2019 myClub means no buy from me. Master League was destroyed by crazy counter-intuitive decisions. Let’s see what Konami now does to a ‘Master League Online’-style mode that they finally positioned just right in PES2018, IMO.

    I think it all revolves around the in-game transfer market. If it’s a FIFA-style human-to-human one, and there’s player development in the game, you could acquire a Level 1 Mbappe, level him up a bit, then sell him for ten/twenty/a hundred times his Level 1 value. You know this would happen. What effect would that sort of thing have upon the transfer market over time? You would see exploitation and EXP farming and all kinds of unsavoury shenanigans. If human-to-human trading/selling is in, player development won’t be.

    That’s if human-to-human trading is in of course. It might all be in-game and in a computer-controlled market where you can only buy, not sell. As in PES2018, where we don’t buy Scouts from other players but from the game.

  12. #1 – that news has been on the forums for a few days, all of it too vague IMO to draw any conclusions. We’re getting ever closer to the time when we’ll know once again that once again, a PES has appeared with virtually no single-player support. I would love to be proven wrong so much. Being wrong about this would seriously be the best thing that has happened to me.

  13. Turf – sadly not, back from holiday last night and completely forgot about the Squirtle event until the final hour, missed out on the shinies!

    Don’t disagree re England, although even in 1990 we were a bit crap in the group stage and lucky with the draw and penalty decisions in the two following rounds. It is only the brave effort against West Germany that really sticks in the memory

  14. Up to Division 8 now. My record in Div 9 was Won 7 Drew 2 and lost 1, with a few 4-0 thumpings, so was pleased with that.
    Have won 1, drawn 1 and lost 1 of my first 3 matches in Div 8.
    My team is now up to a 3 star team, so am facing better players with better teams.
    Online scripting/Bias is definitely a thing though, of the games I’ve lost, which haven’t been many, I have dominated every one, with more possession, more shots, more shots on target, but some matches its blatantly obvious the PES gods are against you.

    Goalmouth scrambles, posts being hit, players switching off, especially evident after a 5 match or more streak, the game wants to ‘bring you down a peg’ so gifts the other player more control and chances.

  15. Been flirting with myclub this weekend, picked back up where I left off just after launch and I have a stack of gp to play with as it had been simming games in my absence, or something.

    Still learning the ropes though. How do I earn more coins?

  16. Tommy – you get awarded coins quite randomly for various things, rather than earn them. GP is the main currency. The ability to pay for things with coins is how they want to tempt you to pay real money for them. You can get by on GP.

    Paul – even in my small way I have seen scripting in action online. I’m the lesser player in most encounters and have seen the game favour me at times so I’m not always up against it.

  17. nG – It’s a new manager I’m after. Seems all but 2 available are coins only purchases.

  18. Didn’t really feel like starting up myClub over the weekend with so much footy on the telly and…well…everywhere. I did do some on-line levelling up on Star Wars Battlefront 2 though which passed the time while it’s too bloody hot.

    I’ve noticed a few people my/our age saying how they feel surprisingly calm, almost not fussed, about the fact England are in a World Cup semi-final. I’ll admit, I never thought I would see the day again, and I can’t wait to see where the story ends for this very likeable bunch of players. I’d love to be celebrating in front of the telly on Sunday (certainly not in these beer-chucking big screen pens they have everywhere including here on Brighton beach) while making sure my son realises what a HUGE moment this is.

    I also noticed that the BBC greeted our victory by playing footage from 1990 as if it were some kind of laying to rest of that part of our national team’s history. I wasn’t sure if Gary Lineker was all misty-eyed over seeing the Sir Bobby Robson on screen again or if it was the farewell to his flurry of goals and our “unlucky” defeat to the Germans as a measure for our national team game in this country.

    It’s all very much how we feel about PES isn’t it? There will always be new games with new features and modes but some will feel like they’re not OUR games. PES 5 and 6 are our Mexica ’86 and Italia ’90 and while it’s amazing to see what’s happening now, it comes with at least a tinge of sadness that we can’t experience it without the inevitable comparison with how we felt back then.

  19. Shed – England are 2 games away from immortality.
    To come into the tournament with no expectations, play as they have with guts and spirit, and for such a young side to keep their temperament in some of the shambolic cheating matches they have been involved in, has been superb.
    Its lifted the country and made the nation fall in love with the national footy side again.

    No superstars, no primadonna’s, no golden generation constantly under-performing, just a hungry bunch of lads enjoying representing their country.

    You’ll get the Turfs, Darryl’s and NG’s that will poo-poo it all to some degree by stating they don’t care but if you are a true footy fan of any description, then you would have enjoyed this world cup.

  20. Tommy – that’s one of the ways they want to tempt you into buying coins. You’re awarded coins for various things – one of the sub-menus has a list of accomplishments (‘used a Trainer item for the first time’ etc.) that earns coins. You have to individually check each item to redeem the coins. If you head there next time you’re in-mode, you’ll probably find you’ve accumulated a fair few coins in the way you have GP, and they might be enough for the manager. I’ve been happy enough spending GP on the few that are available via that route, and some weeks there are more than others.

  21. Shed – the amazing thing is suddenly discovering there’s a generation who have no memories not just of 1990 but even 1996 and 1998.

    And yes, PES5 is the series’ 1966.

    Paul – I was really enjoying it until the Round of 16/QF stage, since when it’s all went a bit stodgy. Still waiting for England to actually put in a performance (Panama doesn’t count, and Tunisia wasn’t a great performance). The lack of chances England are creating doesn’t bother you? As a journo somewhere quipped yesterday ‘football’s coming home, probably from a corner’. Michel Platini once sneered that English teams seem to play for set pieces because they have little to no ability to create chances from open play. Still, Greece won Euro 2004 playing much like England are in this tournament, so it is possible, and I’m still enough of a wide-eyed romantic to hope for it to. Croatia are totally beatable and look quite ordinary most of the time. France or Belgium would create chances almost at will, though, so that’s a worry.

  22. Paul – Absolutely. I’m savouring every last moment of this very special time and I’m glad I’ve been glued to the whole thing from the very start. We’ve got World Cup bunting up in the garden, a replica World Cup trophy by the telly and a lovingly almost complete tournament wall chart on the kitchen wall. There’s even an England flag in my shed window.

  23. n-G – I watch the other matches for the thrills and spills of fluid football and superstar players. As for England, I couldn’t care less it came home via a rebound off Raheem Stirling’s machine gun tattoo following our one corner of the game. This is England man, not entertainment!

  24. Me too, as the phrase goes…I’m not saying I don’t want to win it and I keep telling mini turf that he’d never experience anything on a par with the reaction if we did (queen dying is probably the only other huge level national event comparable). What I’m saying is that I haven’t caught the fire yet, haven’t been particularly entertained by England, haven’t seen anything that feels it will resonate down the ages – but I accept Abbeyhill’s comment about how poor 90 games were up to the semi. No doubt the fullness of time will enrich the story, and they are a very likeable bunch (dele Ali aside for me) with a particularly good egg manager (where for him from here though – surely not club football which was a failure, fa technical director or the like I imagine). I’m not going to watch most of the semi as we have taekwondo training on a Wednesday and general consensus was to just go as per normal, I was more than happy at that.

  25. NG – really? Must’ve missed that.

    You all must be excited seeing England come this far. Must say I wasn’t expecting this. I’m still gnashing my teeth at the fact that The Netherlands failed to even qualify. Oh well, I’ll still always have 1988 as a distant memory and 2010 as a not-so distant one. I do hope either England or my next door neighbors Belgium win it.

  26. #1 – well it is quite exciting. Although for me England were a bit fortunate in 1990 to get so far I have great memories of 1996, especially as I managed to get tickets for the games v Scotland and the Netherlands. Would be amazing if we could reach the final. Paul did correctly predict that England would do surprisingly well this time, against the conventional wisdom

  27. NG – Englands lack of a ‘stellar performance’ Panama aside, and the failure to create lots of chances is a worry, but they’ve got this far by doing enough to win, something the ‘golden generation’ were never ever able to do, tournament after tournament.

    As others have commented, the 1990 side didn’t put in many vintage performances either, and again, when they needed to show some metal to pull through that Germany semi, they couldn’t.

    The Euro 1996 performances were as good as its gotten as an England fan in my lifetime, some of the displays were superb, especially the way we dismantled a mighty fine Dutch side with the SaS up top.

    I predict the final, but think either Belgium or France will have too much for us.

  28. Paul – in the interests of footballing superstition I’m going to stick with the ‘bah humbug’ approach right to the bitter end. It’d be tempting fate to switch now. It’s never been the case that you have to be the best team to win a tournament.

    Shed – I think you also had an each-way pre-tournament bet on Belgium. Interesting viewing tonight. If Belgium win I’ll be ahead on the World Cup as a whole. But for losing on matches with Argentina and Germany in them, I’d be well ahead.

    Where has VAR disappeared to in the knockout games? I miss the referees’ dramatic trots to the sidelines.

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