Users Online Now: 1633  |  November 21, 2017
NaturalSelected's Blog
FIFA 12 Career Mode: Fixing the Transfer Window Stuck
Posted on July 5, 2011 at 09:20 AM.

85/365: In Soccer We Trust...

My last post discussed three areas that should be improved in FIFA 12 Career Mode. You can read it here.

With the embargo on Career Mode information lifting next week, we'll know more about what's coming in the next version of FIFA. Ahead of that, I'd like to give my breakdown of how to fix one of the more frustrating parts of FIFA 11, the transfer window.

Problems with transfers start with the lack of offers that come in during a given summer or winter window. For example, if you play as Arsenal (as I usually do) and you put Cesc Fabregas up for sale, you are very unlikely to receive an offer. Of the dozen or so times I've ran through the summer window with Arsenal, he's sold once. This doesn't make sense, because even though he is an expensive player, his youth and potential make him a sound investment for clubs with large transfer chests. The same can be said for many other players in the game; you might only see a single offer for the player in the span of a year or more.

This also leads to a lack of flexibility for clubs that need to sell. If you get relegated from a league and are somehow able to keep your job, you'll struggle to sell off all the high wage players in time to recover your finances. It seems the mode was primarily designed for clubs being promoted and buying new players, as that process at least works some of the time.

So, how then should these issues be addressed? I believe it starts with a player's value.

Addition: Customize a Player's Valuation


FIFA 11 (and previous versions) determine a player's value programmatically and as players progress and regress, the valuation changes regularly. On top of this "base" value, the team management should be able to adjust up or down what they feel that player's value actually is. For example, if the game believes Bendtner is worth 11 million pounds and I don't, I can dial that down to 7.5 million and try to get him sold. Conversely, if I believe Jack Wilshere is the future, I double his valuation and ensure nobody comes poaching his talents. No slimy agents here!

The beauty of this system is that the game already does this on the CPU side, it's just not visible to the user. For example, some players have a listed "valuation" but when offered a transfer close to that value, teams refuse and say the player is actually worth considerably more than the listed price. So now the user can dictate the same to other teams in career mode: this player can be had for less, and this one for more.

Additional Transfer Options: Firesales and Loan Agreements

Colourful life...

Once custom valuations are in, the next step is to add more "statuses" for players that are on the transfer block. First, additional options for selling players are needed besides "For Sale" - this is too limiting. What's needed is an expression of how good the offer for a player needs to be in order to sell. My recommendation would be three levels - "Not for Sale", "For Sale", and "Ready to Sell." "Not for Sale" basically means that the offer needs to be so good, that it's impossible not to accept it. My thinking is CPU offers would only come in at greater than 150% of a players valuation. If Wilshere has a value of 20 million, I customize it to 30 million and set him to not for sale, the CPU won't even submit offers under 45 million. "For Sale" is similar to now, except that CPU offers can come in as much as 25% below the player's value, which should mean there are more offers coming in overall than in FIFA 11. Finally, "Ready to Sell" means that it's a firesale, and the CPU offers as low as 50% of the valuation in the hopes of stealing the player. When this is active, you should always see multiple offers for a player, unless you've set your custom valuation too high.

For loan agreements, I'd like to see a couple new additions. Instead of just short term and season long, I'd like to see one month, three month, half-a-season, and full season loans. Also, with half-season and full season loans, I'd like to see the ability to the player purchase afterwards added on as part of negotiating (with the valuation set before the loan deal goes through.) This could make loans a lot more dynamic for both user and CPU teams. With this addition, the user should obviously be able to loan out a player for purchase as well. If I'm not sure Carlos Vela will ever make the first team, I could loan him for a season and give the target team and option to buy at a price I can accept.

Also, and this is essential for EA to fix, players who were on loan the previous season should be loan-able and/or sign-able the next season. Currently the "this club has currently switched teams" message comes up for players returning from loan spells. Totally unacceptable given that often players move on after being loaned out in successive seasons.

Addition: Let the User Negotiate


This one shouldn't be hard to implement and I'd be surprised if it's not already in FIFA 12. In certain situations in FIFA 11, if you offered a CPU team an offer below a team's valuation but they were otherwise willing to sell, they'd tell you to offer something closer to 'X' and they'd consider. The same could happen when negotiating terms with a player. Simply put, the user should be given the same chance in FIFA 12. If I get an offer for Nasri at Clichy at 5 million, and I'm willing to sell but don't want to move him for less than 10 million, I respond to the team with that higher number. Then the CPU team can either continue to negotiate or call off their interest.

Sounds simple, but without it it's often hard to turn an offer for a player, since so few offers come in. It'd be nice to get the most out of a transfer, especially if it was to a rival.

Addition: Player Happiness and Career Events

Pink Sunset of My Dreams Free Creative Commons Waikiki Beach, Hawaii

This is the one area that I think is probably too much to add in just one iteration of the game. I'd like to see both the form and the overall happiness of each player fluctuate throughout their careers. Fabregas would ultimately be unhappy at Arsenal without winning trophies, for example. And unhappy players would see a dip in form after a time as well. Further, if a team puts a player up for sale that was very happy at the club, you could see that action have an impact on the player's on-pitch performance.

Unhappy players, even those "Not for Sale", would generate interest from teams if they thought they had value. You could also add player "affinities" to certain leagues and certain positions. Play that players out of position or transfer him to Turkey, and he becomes very unhappy. Even more important, injuries, altercations, and bouts of depression could all randomly undermine a player's performance. This happens all the time in the real world, but it's underdeveloped in Career Mode.

Given the complexity of that system, I'd be surprised to see it appear in FIFA 12. But even if two of the features above end up in the latest game in the FIFA franchise, the mode's depth will increase substantially.
# 1 druez @ Jul 5
Great post. Lets be honest, what we really want is Football Manager and FIFA combine. Or at the least Fifa Manager and FIFA combined. Both of those games what what you described above. One is an EA product. I would be ok, paying an extra fee to add fifa manager system to FIFA.
# 2 NaturalSelected @ Jul 5
I've never played either, but that may end this year. An integration would be very cool, but seems unlikely.

Given sales, I still think adding options like these to FIFA series makes sense.
# 3 JMUfootball @ Jul 5
Fifa Manager is entirely text based, correct? If that's the case, it shouldn't be too huge of a game to be housed entirely on your console's hard drive. What could it be, 8 GB tops? If that? I'd gladly set aside 8GB for a permanent install of the FIFA Manager engine on my XBox hard drive if it meant integration with FIFA '12 (13, ...etc)

It's a shame that console games don't design integration options like this - PC games have been allowing mods and add-ons since forever. If Fifa Manager is released on PC I wouldn't be surprised if the community figures out a way to integrate it into PC FIFA '12, via third party modding.
# 4 Sanchez_Mareno @ Jul 5
Some well thought out ideas. After a few years off i think i may buy this years edition
# 5 misterbroom12 @ Jul 5
I agree with all of this. I posted ideas similar to these in the FIFA12 improvements thread I believe and personally hate the current system. I too play as Arsenal and never have received interest for Fabregas, which as we all know based on the past two summers, is ludicrous. The options you posted should easily solve the problems we all endure and ideally the "morale and form" integration to a players role on a team would make the transfer market perfect. You would be able to see random events through different save files and from season to season with players becoming unsettled at different clubs.
# 6 druez @ Jul 6
They aren't entirely text based anymore. Both have match engines where you can see the game played in 3d, but you don't control your player.
NaturalSelected's Blog Categories
NaturalSelected's Xbox 360 Gamercard
More NaturalSelected's Friends
Recent Visitors
The last 10 visitor(s) to this Arena were:

NaturalSelected's Arena has had 131,084 visits