Correction of "match times" in the newly opened leagues
As you know we have opened leagues in 8 new countries this season. However, there was a small error in the allocation of match times for the league and national competitions in these newly opened leagues.
We had previously announced the match times to be
0200/1400 UTC : USA, Brazil
0300/1500 UTC : Romania, Norway
0900/2100 UTC : Greece, Turkiye
1000/2200 UTC : Australia, Malaysia
We were surprised that the mistake went unnoticed (or may be those who noticed didn't report), but these will be fixed for next season.
Two new competitions will start from next season.
1. Challengers Trophy
This will be the third tier international competition with the same structure and competition format as the champions cup and super cup. 32 teams will take part in a two-legged group stage with 8 groups of 4 teams each. Two teams qualifying from each group will then progress to a two-legged knockout phase which ends in a one-legged final.
2. Pride Shield
The winner of the Champions Cup and the winner of the Super Cup will face each other in Round 1 of the following season in a one-off match.
The qualification spots for all the three international competitions are also re-allocated starting this season. Two teams from each country will enter in these competitions (total 6 teams), top 2 teams in the division 1 of each country will qualify for the Champions Cup, next two for the Super Cup, and the 5th and 6th placed teams for the Challengers Trophy.
Player Rating updates
We know we have tweaked rating calculations of players a couple of times already in recent seasons. But this time it is intended to make the ratings much more in line with a player's ability to perform in the match simulator, as we try to accurately reflect a player's real performance potential in his rating calculation.
From next season, a player's rating will be calculated based on the effective value of his key attributes. The effective value of each attribute will be calculated based on his "experience" attribute as described below.
1. If the attribute is higher than the player's "experience", the effective value of that attribute will be the average of the displayed value of that attribute and his "experience".
2. If the attribute is lower than his "experience", then the effective value of that attribute will be same as the displayed value.
3. Rating is calculated after applying a weightage to the effective value of each of the player's key attributes. The key attributes for each position will be the same as it is now, and the weightage will also remain unchanged. You can find the key skills and percent weightage for each position in the tutorial
Use of "Experience" attribute in the match simulator
In the current match engine, experience of a player is used separately to simulate "reading the game", "vision", and "decision making" during each situation that arises during a match. Even though this is a good approach, this makes the use of experience attribute a bit complex, and more importantly causes unexpected imbalances between the perceived rating of the player and his actual performance output on the pitch. So we are taking the route of simplifying things going forward.
The direct use of the experience attribute will be dropped, and instead it will be applied on other attributes indirectly by using it in the calculation of effective value of attributes as explained above. The effective values of all other attributes (except stamina and hidden attributes including those revealed from scouting) will depend on experience of the player, and these effective values of the attributes will be used by the match engine instead of a player's actual displayed attributes.
Intensity instead of Pressure in Team Instructions
Currently, your team instructions while setting up tactics allows you to specify "Pressure" as "Always", "Own Half only" or "Near Goal". We have found that this is a bit confusing even for users that have been around for sometime. We have also decided to change the way it works, so decided to rename it to "Intensity".
Intensity means how hard your players will work (or try to work) during a match, in terms of game tempo, running off the ball, apply pressure and cover opponents to try to win the ball back when not in possession. This is slightly different to how "Pressure" works right now since it is considered only when you don't have the ball. "Intensity" will now reflect the overall effort - both with and without the ball.
Playing at higher intensities will cause more fitness loss for your players, so it is advised you use it with caution during phases of the match. Coupled with the changes to "Fitness Loss" as detailed below, it could be something that you need to manage carefully in your tactics going forward.
Stamina and Fitness Loss during matches
The fitness loss of players during a match would be reworked slightly making the "stamina" attribute a bit more important. It would mean that players will lose more fitness in high intensity matches, and will no more be able to play two such matches every round without significant drop in fitness unless they have very high values in stamina. Managers will need to lower the intensity for friendlies and "easier" matches to manage fitness of players throughout the season efficiently, and this will also encourage them to train more stamina on players especially since stamina is not part of rating calculations.
There might be more updates ready for the next season, I will add them as they get confirmed. We will also announce this in the News in another week, just waiting to make sure we have covered all important updates that needs to be announced.
And as usual, please feel free to discuss this below.