R Fanni, in the middle of R street

A few days from the patch that will paradoxically save PES2018. I say ‘paradoxically’ there because, on the face of it, PES2018 often seems to not be a game that needs saving.

I’m playing with (mostly) enjoyment. I’m getting through the sessions and the seasons. I’m bonding with my ML team as much as this new-style, low-individuality PES will allow me to.

So why the big anticipation for the patch this Thursday?

Because without surgery, PES2018 might not make it to the end of the calendar year.

I’ve had two shooting-range free kicks this season so far. Two. In PES2018, your most strategic decision is whether to take corners long or short.

This is still a decent computer game, no question about that. Often a good one. But it’s only sporadically a great PES game. I always want and expect PES to be great. ‘Good enough’ is simply not good enough.

For PES2018 ever be a great PES game, change has got to come. It’s still a respectable 8/10 sort of game at its best, even with all the issues. I’m very intrigued to see what a potential fix for the headline problems might do. Konami have previous here: PES2014. We shall see on Thursday.

Back at the ranch, I’m still second in the D2 table in season 3. After cruising for most of the season so far, I had one of those sessions. In a total of 12 matches (a single session thanks to the PS4’s Standby feature) I won perhaps 2 matches. Drew about 6. Lost the rest.

Veldwijk, who had been scoring for fun, could no longer score for anything. He got 1 solitary goal toward the end of the session.

As you can see, the 3rd place team has closed to within 6 points of my position, and it is only March in my Season 3. It’s a long old season in Division 2, and so there are enough matches left for me to slip up if I allow it.

Somehow, though, I imagine that the next time I switch on the game later today, things will be different. PES is never exactly the same game from session to session. This is the source of all the ‘patch has changed the gameplay’ rubbish that we hear after every balls ‘n’ boots update from people who forget (or never really knew) that PES plays differently from one session to the next under normal conditions.

This time, the imminent patch really will change the gameplay. Those of us who have played nearly every day since release (including me, except I rarely play at weekends anymore) will be best placed to judge by how much, and whether those changes have brought about the necessary conditions to turn PES2018 from a (so far) decent short-term football game into what it deserves to be: a long-term PES proposition.

The clock is ticking.

Updated: 14th November 2017 — 10:57


  1. Match 8 (away at Everton, Premier League match 1, Superstar difficulty)

    Fouls: 1 (ONE)

    Running average for the day: 0.37 (NOUGHT POINT THREE SEVEN)

    Sequence currently stands at 0-0-1-0-0-1-[new session]-0-1

    A decent match where I dared to take a 2-1 lead with a slightly different type of goal for me. Everton were not aggressive at all while I was ahead. Their one foul on me was when I quickly changed direction and they stuck out a leg. I was getting them before this patch.

  2. Match 9 (home to Middlesbrough, Premier League match 2, Superstar)

    Fouls: 1 (ONE)

    Running average for the day: 0.44 (NOUGHT POINT FOUR FOUR)

    Sequence currently stands at 0-0-1-0-0-1-[new session]-0-1-1

  3. Match 10 (away to Man Utd, Premier League match 3, Superstar)

    Fouls: 0 (ZERO)

    Running average for the day: 0.4 (NOUGHT POINT FOUR)

    Sequence currently stands at 0-0-1-0-0-1-[new session]-0-1-1-0

    At least I got beat well and good in this match, although Utd were curiously non-aggressive until early in the 2nd half and it was still 0-0 until I got careless, then the floodgates opened as I pushed up.

    No fouls though.

    That’s me done for this shorter session, I’ll be back on later tonight around midnightish for a few hours. I won’t do live updates then, but will continue to keep a running tally and will update in the morning, or in tomorrow’s post.

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  4. I just played two games with no fouls. There’s no change here, slightly more difficult if anything on SS and more relentless than before. I’m a bit jealous of your foul count NG.

  5. Cook – I think you’ll match my dizzying count over 10 matches.

    What to make of it all? When I was a barman in my teenage years, older customers when they were getting their drinks would often ask me to lower the jukebox volume as it was too loud for them. I was 19 and I loved loud music at the time, and I thought I was Tom Cruise in Cocktail, so I used to give the customers an enthusiastic nod, then disappear out the back for 10 seconds as if I’d gone to play with the volume. I’d just reappear and serve the next customer without catching the older customers’ eyes. The jukebox volume stayed unchanged. All I’d done was observe a formal politeness ritual where I’d pretended to take their concern seriously, and I’d given them the visual appearance of doing something, but I’d actually done nothing. I suspect we have just gone through much the same process with Konami.

  6. Ok, closed down PES 18 fully, installed the patch, applied love updates, managed to play a quick game before heading out

    First impressions are good. The patch has definitely changed things. James points were spot on but I’m also noticing enhanced positional awareness from my own players and com players. The game feels more responsive, and these were stats from my first match:

    I should also add the com finished with 10 players in this patch for a tackle that got a straight red.

  7. Paul –

    applied love updates

    tell us more about these updates…

    And Imma happy for your fouls count there. Again, still waiting to see the changes in my game. What’ll your average be after 10 matches?

  8. Played with the patch installed on pc. Ajax feyenoord on professional. 1 foul, not noticing much difference elsewhere. Will play some more over the weekend.

  9. Greetings

    No Pro Evo since June. Not really played anything apart from No mans sky.

  10. It’s the normal patch but whilst wearing an absorbent flannel mitten NG 😉

    I will keep an eye on things. More matches needed but was pleasantly surprised at the initial feeling.

  11. Three matches post-patch last night. Top Player in season three of my ML in Div 2.

    Brentford 2 Brighton 0. Fouls 0
    Sunderland 0 Brighton 2 (FA CUP). Fouls 2
    Brighton 1 Ipswich 0. Fouls 1

    It seems to me that the barging kind of contact between players is now a little more likely to earn a foul and even a yellow card but there’s still no change to being bundled over or shunted aside in the box.

    It feels like the AI marks a little tighter, defending feels more responsive and passing feels a touch different.

    One other thing I noticed a couple of times was a sudden and odd burst of speed by AI controlled players. One was by my RB, sprinting around a winger as if to get into position.

    Overall, PES 2018 continues to play a bloody good game of footy on the pitch but this patch has failed to address its most glaring flaws.

  12. Lloyd – I love No Man’s Sky but haven’t had the chance to play it since the last patch. How is it now?

  13. Had 2 more matches last night when I got hokme after my fruitful foul-laden first match, 1 foul and 0 fouls.
    The issue though wasn’t that fouls weren’t being given when they should, it was just that there were hardly any tackles made that could have been fouls, so in these instances, the game was right not to award any.
    They were those type of games that just don’t have any interruptions, where you struggle to get subs on.
    The few tackles that were borderline fouls that looked like fouls ion real-time, I went back and analysed the replays close up from different angles and each of them were legit tackles, where the AI got the ball.

    Will take a good full season post-patch to properly assess the impact of the patch, but the game definitely feels different, for the better after the patch, and my ‘click’ seems to have coincided with the patch as 5 wins from 5 have elevated me up to 3rd in the Championship, Mid January.

  14. Still bedding down in my Season 4 so I only had time for 3 more matches last night. I swear I see no changes in the overall gameplay in PES2018. If we all took a blind taste test challenge we would not know there had been a gameplay patch. What is this extra ‘tightness’ of which the forums speak? Can anyone describe to me exactly what it means and how it manifests in PES2018 after the patch, as opposed to beforehand? I suppose tightness is a cousin of ‘responsiveness’–? I am not being facetious. I need to have ‘responsiveness’ explained to me, particularly why it is an automatic universal good.

    Final fouls count for yesterday (late night session, shortened because transfer window): 1-2-0. I got those 2 fouls early on in that match and thought, wow, I have ARRIVED at last! Then nothing for the rest of the match.

    So yesterday’s overall sequence was: 0-0-1-0-0-1-[new session]-0-1-1-0-[new session]-1-2-0

    Making a grand overall average fouls count of: 0.53 (NOUGHT POINT FIVE THREE) per match. Which is pretty much exactly what it was before for me.

    I’m enjoying my new season in the Premier League and will be playing a lot over the weekend. But PES2018 is looking like the last new PES game I will ever play. They just don’t make this series for me anymore.

  15. NG – I would know there had been changes if such a ‘taste taste’ was done.
    My first match, despite being heavy on fouls (if you can call 4 & 3 fouls per team heavy) felt different, I too found the play ‘tighter’ and more responsive.

    By tighter I mean as in players were much more positionally aware, my full backs dropped deeper when they saw a midfielder look to ping through balls down the channels, I haven’t concede one single spammed lofted through ball goal since the patch.
    Also players take more touches on the ball when controlling, meaning you keep hold of the ball better, thus attacking moves ‘flow’ better, the auto-protect seems to have been tweaked to be more effective, allowing you to shield the ball against defenders better.
    As a result it feels as though you can string together passing moves more effectively, control the ball better, keep possession better, ie more respnsive.

    The debate is whether you want all players to be more responsive, or whether you want that tall gangly awkward CF to still have that heavy tank feeling. its hard to assess with my team because most players are all in their 70’s or low 80’s rating now, so don’t really have any players left that should feel a chore to handle.

    The game pace also feels faster, not sure if this is actually the case, or if the tighter more responsive nature of the game is just giving that impression.

    I will say, in the first match where I had 4 fouls, 3 of those fouls I would never, ever have gotten pre-patch, I see them all the time every match, those little nicks with a trailing foot or barges, always went unpunished but in that match they were given.
    As was the straight Red card for the Com player sliding from behind, again, never used to be given, even if it was a professional foul, and as well, one of the fouls I committed, was a blatant sliding late tackle, the ref waved it on as they were attacking in my final third, I then tackled the ball carrier, and the ref immediately blew, and pulled it back for a FK to the COM, I’d never seen the advantage rule applied like that before the patch.

    Lastly, post-patch, I noticed one of those annoying grey stats boxes pop up in the top left corner, you know the ones that sometimes cover half the pitch and you can’t see whats going on, just to tell you which players have touched the ball most times, well this one was a fouls count per team box, never seen that before.

    MY early feeling is that the patch has done something, its tweaked game play, AI balance, and fixed (almost) cursor switching, but is still too early to tell about the fouls.

    The problem is a mix of actual foul tackles not being called, but overarching that, COM teams not being aggressive enough and actually attempting tackles, these are the games that fly by with no stoppages and you end up making 88th min subs that don’t touch the ball.

  16. Paul – I’m liking the enthusiasm for the game that comes through your post! That’s the baseline enthusiasm I’ve had these past few weeks. It feels pretty good doesn’t it?

    I would only say that the game feels about 10% faster overall. As for everything else you mention – don’t see it at all.

    I’ve just put today’s post to bed where I touch on the problem, as I see it, of these ‘tightness’ and ‘responsive’ buzzwords not having any consistent meaning to all players and being bandied about willy-nilly – I don’t think ‘tightness’ means to most what it means to you (positional awareness), for example. Perhaps resume this debate on that thread.

    It seems from looking at the forums that most people have had occasional ‘blip’ matches of lots of fouls, but the overall trend is the same. That matches my experience, and our own experience is all we can base our views on.

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