2% proof

Season 6 is underway—almost. I’ve hit another busy portion of so-called ‘real life’, and only managed to play 4 Training Matches since Monday’s post. My first match of the season will be the Champions League playoff, first leg.

I’ve done all the preparation. I’ve changed my kits (that’s the new home kit above—check out Captain Coynborough’s alpha male power walk). I’ve looked at the pitiful few players that I’m allowed to sign. And I’ve wondered a lot about what difficulty to play the coming season on.

First things first: I cannot bloody sign anyone!

After a pretty successful season where I was in title contention until the last few matches of the season, scored more goals than any other team, and qualified for the Champions League, my club ranking went up from the mid-160s to… 126th in the world.

Which means that I still cannot sign any established players of note. This seems to be simply how Master League is this year.

Some people seem to think this is a cock-up by Konami, but I see it as a shrewd calculation on their part. Consider: they introduced a whole new training and customisation system. Let’s be charitable and imagine that they gave that system some extended and careful thought. To whit, precisely how the boots, items, and skill cards would work within Master League as the seasons rolled by.

They must have thought something like this: “Hang on, if players are arriving and leaving every five minutes, there won’t really be a proper incentive to leverage the new system and get the best out of it. Come on, guys, how do we make the ML player focus on the new system…”

The solution? Nerfing the transfer market. At least for the first 5-10 seasons or so. When you look at your ML world’s 2% likelihood transfers, you’re being directed to the shop, and you’re being told to work with the players that you have using what you find there.

It’s a game-balancing act that isn’t finding favour with many. I’m not too sure about it myself yet. (Whaaat? You mean I’ve got to work mostly with the players I have now? Awwww….) But I do think it’s supposed to be like this. No bugs or glitches here, I am convinced.

I did buy one player—BEBE, a decent 75 OVR, 26 years old. The best I could get. I’m going to need cover for the coming season.

I had 4 pre-season (or post-season, or whatever they are) Training Matches to get through. All played on Superstar difficulty, as a test.

I drew 1-1 with Besiktas. I beat PAOK 2-0. I beat Andlerlect 3-1. I lost the final one, against Galatasaray, 1-2.

There was cheating and scripting—of course. Straight-from-kickoff CPU powerplay scripts were much in evidence. But no more so than on Professional, it seemed.

Overall, the games were played at a sedate pace. I’m on 0-bar passing still, and have conceived a new respect for it. The last-third nerf hardly bothers me now, because I rarely try the kinds of passes that I know are risky. A Castolis or a Zerkovic can play a 20-yarder through to a striker for a turn-and-shoot. Coynborough can’t do the same very often.

Last year I felt instinctively at home on PES2012’s Superstar, as my rather amazed first post indicated.

PES2013 feels just as wonderful on Superstar. Slow and steady for periods, and then fast in quick bursts, as football really is. I’m a big fan all over again. I know they’re not necessarily any guide, but the Training Matches went well enough to convince me that I need to start the season proper on Superstar. The time has come.

I intend to play the first 5 matches of the season on Superstar as a trial. If I’m not destroyed by the AI, I will persist. But I will go back to Professional for another whole season if there’s any sign that once again my reach has exceeded my grasp.

My very first match of the season on Superstar, of course, would be the first leg of the Champions League playoff.

The fixture list popped up, and I looked eagerly to see who those opponents would be…

Bayern fucking Munich. Holy sh–


  1. werd llitrah—you’re not missing out on any gameplay refinements as far as I can tell. You are missing out on the ability to disable autosave, and the option to start ML with the players wearing proper boots (not the generic black ones).

  2. Ng-phew paranoid me..boots schmoots..autosave..mmmm..gives me time to scratch me arse:-P..nothing to worry about til pes 2014 then

  3. Gonna have a session tonight after tiredness prevented me last night. Not sure about the update, not really had time to read through everyones opinion on here as I’ve only just got in from work.

  4. pre-patch I got screwed over 2-3 in my Euro Lge last 16 1st leg (dodgy penalty, sending off, etc), post-patch I got screwed over in the 2nd leg 3-3 (straight from kick off, every time I scored they did, hit woodwork twice at 3-2, etc). Absolutely no playing differences for me, but NG is right – I have had boots after both the league matches I’ve played having not had a pair for months. (Sniggers at the forum fury).

    I’m 1 point behind Man U with 6 games left. I will now be really hacked off if I don’t win the league as I’m confident of winning all 6.

  5. Mike—I still think most people haven’t had time to play with the patch. There’s a weird thing now where a new PES patch is instantly scrutinised for gameplay changes, when nothing of the sort has ever been trailed by Konami.

  6. Just to confirm the obvious – there is no difference in gameplay post patch. Nothing.

    What the patch did do is make me slow down my build up (I was looking for changes) and play the ball around a little more – something I often slip out of in desperation for goals.

    The result was a solid 2-0 win in the Europa and a 1-0 win Vs QPR.

  7. Uncle Turf—after watching the forums last night and this morning, it seems to me there’s a near enough 100% correlation between people who weren’t happy with the gameplay pre-patch, who then see mostly beneficial gameplay changes post-patch. It’s as if the patch gives them permission to relax and knock the ball about a bit to ‘test’ for changes. Of course there are no changes whatsoever, but the placebo effect is all about the power of the human mind, which is pretty formidable. Maybe Derren Brown plays PES.

    Don’t forget straight from kickoff’s cousin—the CPU’s ‘first attack goal’, after recovering the ball following your kickoff. And you then spend the whole of the rest of the match trying to recover that one goal.

  8. John—it’s all about wanting to see changes. For one match yesterday, feeling a bit guilty about my jeering of the whole issue, I tried to see changes. After just a few seconds of trying to see changes, the players suddenly felt a bit heavier while turning with the ball… That’s how it works. If you’re trying to see something, you will see something.

  9. The placebo effect indeed. I’m glad you lot are here, I can’t stand the forums, whatever the topic.

  10. NG – yes, I read Paul’s post with interest. The not retaining the ball yourself would seem quite a likely trigger although difficult to tell with my Euro game as they just waltzed round me like I wasn’t there. What annoyed me more than that was the way the shutters came down after 3 of my goals – it should have been 5-5. Max is the only person who seems to have broken the familiar to me with his outrageous shooting – did he take the red pill while I got the blue?

  11. tommyk—what the forums have taught me over the past few years is that there is a substantial—and vocal—subset of ‘the community’ that will almost certainly never enjoy any football game ever again, no matter what. PES2014 and the new engine will inevitably come with its own new set of niggles that will just prolong their agony. They’d be far better off seeing their PS2-era love of PES for what it was—just a passing phase, for them—and moving onto something else now, but habit is a hard thing to overcome.

  12. Uncle Turf—it’s that post-scoring dampening field that fascinates me in this PES, and seems new—or at least ramped-up—from last year. Work hard to get one goal and you have to put in roughly 70% even greater effort to get another one. Only sometimes, but it’s definitely there. I’ve noticed it more on Superstar since moving up.

  13. I’ve just peeked at the forums and am astounded by the level of change that people apparently see post-patch!
    I havent installed the patch yet as I was on a works night out last night but have all night to myself tonight so will give it a go, cant wait to play a new tighter, fluid, more organic, script free PES !!!!

  14. Paul—you never know, you might see something. But I think you’re happy enough with the game overall that you won’t necessarily be looking for changes. Like I said above, a patch seems to prompt people who might be having a bad time with the game to look for things to like again. Unsurprising really when it’s accepted doctrine in some parts that Konami make undocumented gameplay changes in patches (which they don’t, and never have).

  15. I am still playing professional level, south american side of the game. But I get amazingly frustrating with the cheating and scripting of the game. And, to make matters worse, I still dont find it great or real or fun to receive goals as it was, for example, on PES 5. There was some fun in taking goals, it was like we could say “great goal the computer scored”, but not in pes 2013. Its like “oh, the same cheating, just like their last goal”.

    Despite that, I still keep coming to it…



  16. Claudio—I had my first scripting frustration of the year this very morning—will be writing about it on Monday—and it did annoy me so.

    In general terms, time and habit dulls the novelty of PES. In 2012 you’re always going to have a fatigued reaction to much that used to delight you in 2005.

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