Things are bad. At this moment in time, I honestly believe I will be relegated this season. The PES2011 AI has closed a set of steely jaws around me and it won’t let go.
I’ve graduated to Top Player difficulty for my first season in the Premier League. As if that wasn’t enough, the latest PES2011 gameplay patch came out at the same time.
The forums have buzzed ever since with claims that the patch has cranked AI pressure up to an unprecedented level in PES. For once, I agree with them. I don’t recall ever previously encountering in a PES game anything like what I am currently going through.
The game is kicking my backside on a regular basis. Before, in Division 2 (on Professional difficulty), I was able to find a bit of time and space to build my attacks and create chances. Now, I cannot do anything without being swarmed by two or three AI players, all the time, all over the pitch.
I’m fascinated by the existential horror of what’s happening. My Master League career is collapsing in front of my eyes. It’s car-crash gaming.
Thursday and Friday last week I played two full sessions of five or six matches each without scoring a single goal. In about 10 matches, not a single goal—and not many chances of scoring one either.
In a state of some shock, I have now stumbled my way to the mid-season point. Things are worse for me than they have ever been in any Master League campaign, ever. I think relegation, for the very first time in all my ML years, is a strong probability.
Look at this table of shame—these numbers do not lie:
I’m second from bottom. 11 goals scored in 18 matches so far. Only Rangers below me are worse. A 5-point gap between me and safety.
If this keeps up, I will be relegated.
At first, I blamed Top Player. Now the consensus on the forums is that it’s the patch, and I agree, with caveats.
People have talked about and talked about AI pressure for many weeks now. I didn’t pooh-pooh the claims.
I believed them, but I believed that I had experienced the AI pressure and was coping with it in a different way (i.e. with a non-dribbling, pass-and-move, endlessly patient approach to the game).
But that doesn’t work for me any more.
I’m at my wits’ end over what to do about the AI pressure now that the deadly combination of Top Player and the patch have moved the goalposts a long, long way down the field.
The sane thing to do would be to go back to Professional difficulty, at least. But I don’t want to do that. I’ve done my time on Professional. I like to go to Top Player and stay there. And now I’m curious. Where is this crisis leading me?
I’m in shock, and in trouble. The deepest shock and most profound trouble I’ve ever known in PES.
Time for some damage control. The mid-season transfer window is at hand, and like many PES2011 ML players, I have taken to treating it as a negotiation and transfer window. I haven’t got any new players lined up, but I will have a good look.
But would new players really help me? Maybe the top-rated, super-skilled ones would, but they are a long way out of reach financially and reputation-wise at the moment.
My best chance of avoiding relegation this season is to go back to basics, and go out in each match with the determination not to concede, and just hope that my odd goals here and there might accumulate enough points to save me.
But the AI is steamrollering me for fun. It’s scoring goals in a way that I don’t recall it doing before the patch landed.
And, if this continues… If I never get used to life on Top Player, post-patch… If PES2011 effectively runs me out of town… What then?