Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Most Games Without Losing

Last week I ended a run of 80 games unbeaten, obtaining in the process the new record in GW7, beating Rich's previous record of 60 games.

See below...

This was the squad I did it with...

That form got me up to 3rd in GW7, a position I stayed in for two weeks (now currently 6th).

A lot of managers in GW7 don't think much of LB and RB, where as with my tactic they are pretty important. I had Guilherme at LB and Eboue at RB - both running forwards often. Eboue was an absolute diamond, he got 32 assists and Guilherme 47 - although the stats don't tell the full story. They powered down the wing and won me loads of corners, which in turn turned into goals for people like Ledley King. He was solid last season, scoring 37 goals himself.

The key was having a solid backbone. I had a brilliant DC in Ledley King, great attacking DL and DR that worked perfectly with my tactic (Guilherme and Eboue), a proven AMC in Aquilani and Balotelli really came of age at ST. Naturally it would be great to have 11 world class players, but unless you are absolutely loaded, it's not gonna happen. So you should aim to have great players in the key positions for your tactic at least. One amazing player in one position isn't enough. Sure if David Villa is through on goal he will score, but if you have 4 complete plonkers at the back and a clown of a keeper... you're gonna leak a lot of goals!

Newsletters and Raising Community Spirit

David Hamill on the forums posted a message about his DFA newsletters and correspondence to members within GW4. I've got to say they are great, going by the examples he posted.

This then spawned a discussion about how such newsletters could be used in FML and then turned on to the general point about creating more of a community vibe within FML. At which point I chimed in...

"I wouldn't pay for the paper, but I like the idea of it.

I think FA Organisers should have more tools at hand for match reports etc...

Need to try and make these sorts of thing as easy as possbile. So under the DFA page there should be an extra page for organisers that shows them key games, like cup finals, but also it should flag up games where extraordinary things happened - like a player scoring 4 or more goals in a games, milestones being reached by clubs and/or players, record high scoring games etc...

Then the Organiser could click on the game that interests him/her and then click a button to write a match report. A box would appear for them to type their report into and it would also have a side column with all the key events from the game in (like Eto'o goal '76) and if the Organiser clicks on an event in the column it would insert it where the cursor was situated in the report.

Once the Organiser has finished the report, they can hit send and it will go out to the members of the FA.

A way to really encourage more community spirit within GWs is to make it easier for people, give them the tools they need. At the moment the only way to truly get involved is by hanging out in the Lobby for extensive periods of time. Otherwise it is just pages and numbers on a screen and millions of mouse clicks.

This sort of thing could very well be the difference between someone that cant win in FML staying or leaving. If you can show managers that the game isn't just about winning, then they'll want to stay. It should be a living and evolving community that people want to be a part of.

There needs to be more ways for managers to get involved with each other. Incentives and encouragements. More opportunities to do business with and collaborate with other managers, whether it be a feeder club agreement, or the ability to bankroll another manager's youth academy in exchange for a cut of the player sales or first pick at a certain age. Those examples are quite detailed and intricate, but just rough ideas.

I am very friendly with about 20 managers in GW7, but I think that is just because I am online A LOT and I am very chatty in the chat rooms. If you are a more casual user that isn't quite so chatty, then the game could end up feeling a bit sterile; you log on, read your mail (which is probably hugely backlogged), look at your squad, look at transfer market, play a few outstanding games (glglgl, gg wp), then you log off... rinse and repeat. I know the game is really what you make of it, but if more could be done to entice, encourage, and excite managers, then they'd WANT to get involved a lot more.

Now the main gubbins of the game are complete, I think we should all concentrate of coming up with viable ideas to help emphasise the community side of FML. The game will be buzzing at retail for the first 3-6 months - but this is more about longevity and I will be a bit miffed if I spend 4 seasons developing my youth players only for my GW to then die because no-one can be arsed anymore. Although I think it is great that people will have the opportunity to switch GWs whenever they like at retail, I don't necessarily think that should be openly encouraged. No-one would give a crap about the English Premier League if Arsenal, Man U, Liverpool, Chelsea etc... chopped and changed their leagues every couple of years.

People reserve the right to do whatever they want. But with the right systems and incentives in place they might want to stay and be apart of a GW for the longhaul."

Check the full thread (if you have Beta access) here: http://community.sigames.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/5032001723/m/3952093304

My name is Gav and I'm a FML'aholic

My name is Gav (jeej on the forums) and I manage Flying Dilla Dubstep in GW7 on the Football Manager Live Beta Test. I've been in GW7 since it began at the end of Feb and I thought now might be the time to share my thoughts, blog-stylee!

When GW7 started it was like a 5 year-old's first day of school. Everything was bright and exciting, yet there was a bit of nervousness and apprehension too.

I auto selected my squad, then sorted the wheat from the chaff and kicked the really crap players to the curb. Then I scoured the open market for players to fill the gaps, whilst staying within budget. My initial squad was ok and faired pretty well, but most of us were caught cold when some of the GW7 inhabitants that had played in previous worlds used their enhanced knowledge and experience to pull a few choice tricks. My boys were still lacing up their boots when one manager pulled out the big guns and signed Samuel 'bloody' Eto'o. Ouch - he ripped us all to shreds, often scoring at least 3 goals a game.

But it didn't take too long for people to start earning money through feds (now FAs) and friendly comps. And as more players became unlocked (as new managers joined GW7) more superstars were signed. My first big name players were Rafael Palladino, Giorgi Chiellini and Raul Albiol. Palladino had the skills but was far too inconsistent upfront - hindsight tells me that the most successful strikers in GW7 have bags of pace, and Palladino didn't. Chiellini was immense playing as an attacking left FB but I eventually sold him for (what as then) big bucks to help fund other improvements. Still miss him. Raul Albiol was my rock, easily one of the top 5 CBs in GW7. I sold him to Rich's Hairy Nosepickers at the beginning of season 3 for the sum of 6.25 million.

Since then I've done a fair bit of wheeling and dealing. I have been a top 50 ranked side for the past two seasons and a top 10 ranked side for the past season or so. Peaking at 3rd place where I stayed for about a week. Then Rich's regrettable Sexxxy Saturday Football comp ruined it all, but I wont go into that!

I am also FA Organiser for the DFA (Daytime Football Association). Our playing hours are 8:30am - 12:30pm, British time. I am currently based in Australia, so it actually works out to be my evening time, which is spot on. Hence the DFA has a mix of Europeans wanting to play in the morning and Asians and Australians wanting to play in the evening. It is my job to recruit teams to join the FA and also my job to administer the running and rules of the relevant leagues and cups - relegations and promotions etc...

Well that's a brief introduction to me, my team, and my general experiences thus far. I'll aim to update this daily with regards to what has been going on both for my team and Gw7 - I hope you will find it informative and enjoyable to read. If you want to ask me anything or contact me with regards to your own experiences on FML, drop me a line: gavin.handley[AT]gmail.com.