I know a few of you guys are not playing this years game so I may be talking to myself here but anyway...
My Master League 2017 Journey
My first look at this years Master League was when I saw the trailer, it looked like there was some significant improvements like the deadline day window and expanded team roles for each player.
After a full afternoon of editing team names, kits etc I stared the new game off with Internazionale because Serie A is almost a full licensed league plus they are my Italian team. I have to say I was impressed with the improvements to the menus and the player profile page where the players move, breath and blink - a nice touch instead of just having an image of them like previous years.
Look a Renato Sanchez below (one of my early signings) He looks like the fucking Predator! What a BEAST! and already developing.
also the top stats are green now, not red. It caught me out at first but i'm slowly coming round to the idea...kind of makes sense, Konami sense!
see Aubameyang's Speed and Ex Power stats below
This is one area that has greatly improved, with some nice new features. You now have more setting to choose for individual training, adapting a players role and style of play, with the green arrows indicating what specific stat will be boosted and how much.
or you can focus a player on one area like dribbling for example when all related stats get full boost.
Skill training is back, where you can train one player at a time in a skill to add to there in game actions. Some you have to do manually during a match and some are automatic.
GK - N. Leali - 80 OvR
CB - J. Tah - 80 OvR
RB - Fabinho - 81 OvR
CMF - Renato Sanches - 82 OvR
CMF - Y. M'vila - 80 OvR
RMF - L. Sane - 82 OvR
AMF - Kaka - 79 OvR (Legend - sign him for the training and income boost)
LWF - O. Dembele - 79 OvR
CF - Aubameyang - 85 OvR
I don't have all the exact transfer fees to hand but if anybody want to know I can find out.
I see a lot of people say this year is very hard against the COM and they cannot score goals, or win games...This is very true...but see it as a good thing that its not as easy as previous years.
The responsive and adaptive AI is very good, it challenges you constantly during a game. I like to play on the counter attack with pace and through balls, it quickly learnt this tactic and instantly tightened its defence to reduce the space for through balls and played a deeper defensive line to stop my quick wingers and forwards from getting in behind. It forced me to play a passing possession game to make them come out for the ball in order for me to play my style.
Yes the replays are blurry and the grass looks shit but i'm still really enjoying the start to this years game. Is it as good as last years...No!...but overall the Master League set up has improved and the new AI makes up for some of the other Konami bullshit to make me want to keep playing it.
I know they made football on the pitch harder....but they need to do something about ML still making unrealistic transfers/shit happen...
I like being in a promote/relegate league for the challenge, i started with Fulham, and 28Mil, and before the first transfer window closed I had a 4.5 star team, after starting with the default roster....
I got Alex Sandro LB from Juventus for 19 mil, no way does this happen IRL ever. Even if Fulham were European Champions no way....but upper mid team in Championship....from Juventus....never in a million years. i was also able to get Aymeric Laporte from Bilbao for 16 mil....no way.
It should be VERY hard to get a player on a good team/league to come to a inferior team/league....
Players rated over 80 should be WAY more costly....with Agent's fee's and crap...so you really have to prioritize if you're on a smalller budget....
Gameplay is top class, second to none, but a few small problems ruin it for me on the pitch:
1. There is a physical contact rating/body control but I don't quite understand it. I was using J. Boateng, and numerous times Neymar came over and smashed me...I got suspicious about this...as it seemed the defender was able to outmuscle or get the advantage every single time against any attacker, in 100% of situations.
I created a 6'5" 270lbs DMF, with 99 ratings across the board, even then on every difficulty level....Lionel Messi/Neymar even Insigne on Napoli, was able to smash him shoulder to shoulder and either knocked him down or knocked him off balance and won the ball every single time...they got the better of the collision.
I think this is Konami's easy fix to try and make the defense more formidable but completely bogus....
2. I posed on another thread, it seems slow and steady build up is not really possible, I mean a million pass build up is, but not a slower paced methodic approach waiting for openings, holding the ball...as even in conservative/total defense teams...the defender on the ball is sprinting 100% of the time....won't play the lanes ever...so you'r[e forced to sprint yourself or pass....you can't strategically move/protect/hold up the ball without sprinting or you will lose the ball....try on superstar difficulty and just hold down teammate pressure you will win the ball 100% of the time before they reach your 18 yard box.
3. Ground Driven free kicks, anything outside 20 yards, is slow as hell, the goalkeeper could, go and take a shit, and come back and still have time to save the ball, not just save, but catch, even at MAX power with a 99 kick power/attack/everything....overall ball speed is too slow on the harder shots....though pace of the overall match flow is right on point...
I understand that it's easier to do what Konami did for this stuff, than make a perfect fix, as the formulas and balance are probably extremely complex more than we will ever know.
The different playstyles are cool, but in general seems like a more advanced version of Tecmo Bowl strategies....don't know if any of you outside the US will understand that, but like a game of rock, paper, scissors....I do understand that intuitive AI is a very complex thing...
Post is already getting long, so I'll save the rest but...no doubt it's better than any game on the pitch...but those are things to look out for...
Just my two cents...I appreciate the discussion guys.