Game engine changes and the "long passer" quality

On Wednesday 17th, the crew introduced some changes to the game engine that had been alluded to for around a month. These changes certainly look to adjust the balance between long balls and midfield heavy formations, among other things.

Long passer quality

A new quality, long passing, has been added to the game. Between one and four players in each team have been randomly assigned the quality, which looks to have the following characteristics:
  • Improved performance with long balls
  • Increased probability of created chances being crosses
  • Improved performance from indirect free kicks (in the same way that shooting power affects direct free kicks)
All told, the quality doesn't necessarily look set to affect managers using 4-5-1 or 3-5-2 with pressure particularly much, although it may improve the chances of teams looking to use "long ball formations", such as 4-3-3 and 5-3-2.

Other game engine changes

There are a few other subtle game changes across different areas:
  • Fatigue will have a lesser effect on teams with less possession. This one will directly impact teams that use long balls (and therefore have lower possession), but it's not clear at this point how the effects of pressure compare i.e. whether pressing will tire players more than not having the ball quite as much.
  • Changes to win bonuses. Apparently, these didn't work quite right before.
  • Adjustments to "defensive strategies". The crew have been deliberately vague, which I do like, so this one could take some working out.
  • Preparing for formations. I think the effects may have been increased here. I know the figure was originally derived from something called the "bogey team factor", which was hidden so I would have presuemd to be quite small to start with.

Overall, I think the changes could be a step in the right direction, although I don't see a big shift from the 3-5-2 / 4-5-1 prevalence just yet. There needs to be a greater influence on chance creation introduced for forwards, IMO, as a number of managers are abusing the system's apparent disregard for low quality attacking players. I will be converting one fo my teams, Grim Fandango, into a long ball team, primarily using 4-3-3 and 5-3-2 I think (as these formations require just one player switch so they will use a similar squad composition). I aim to load up with long passers in defence and midfield, and will sign a decent striker with heading ability and see where that goes.