FIFA 13 Pro Clubs – Changes I Would Make
In FIFA 11, my Pro Club went 451-143-364 (W-D-L), or a winning percentage of about 47%. In FIFA 12, at the time of this writing, my club is 97-42-59, or a 49% winning percentage. When playing Pro Clubs though, I do not really think of our record in terms of winning percentage. I prefer to focus on “not losing percentage.” In FIFA 11 we did not lose the game about 62% of the time, meaning it was either a win or a draw. In FIFA 12, we did not lose just over 70% of the time. Despite the slight improvement in winning percentage, and the even greater increase in not losing percentage, the total number of games our club has played in FIFA 12 is only roughly 20% of the total number we played in FIFA 11. This is because while numerous improvements were made to the core game, the Pro Clubs game mode was largely left alone, which in essence made the mode worse. While I greatly enjoy the improvements made to the core game, Pro Clubs has consistently been my favorite mode, but if EA Sports wants me to shell out another $60 for FIFA 13, they are going to have to make some significant improvements to the Pro Clubs game mode. On this front, I have no shortage of things I would like to see.
1. Get rid of the ANY
This is Pro Clubs, which is supposed to be a mode where you play as your virtual pro on a team with other players playing as their virtual pro. Put everyone on a level playing field.
2. Number of players bonus
I understand the objective of getting as many human players on a team as possible. In actuality though, there are many teams that only have a few players on them. I fall into this category as I prefer to play Pro Clubs exclusively with close friends, rather than go on the forums and recruit people I do not know or be recruited. These smaller clubs are at such a disadvantage since the AI players’ ratings are so extremely bad.
3. Get rid of user goalkeepers or significantly reduce their effectiveness
The effectiveness of many of these 6’6” user goalies is absolutely absurd, and they are not really doing anything remarkable to earn their results. All a user goalie has to do is stand on the yellow dot marker and depending on their control settings, will automatically make save attempts. I would like to see manual goalie controls mandatory, or remove user goalkeepers from the Pro Clubs mode.
4. One on one saves and penalty saves
I believe a the breakaway and penalty saves rates need to be seriously looked at and reevaluated. Bringing the goalie out as early as so many Pro Clubs players are inclined to should be punished almost every single time. Have you ever watched a real football match? Goalkeepers just do not come 40 yards out of the box to attempt to stop a breakaway goal. Why? Because they would get torched. Every. Single. Time. On a related note, what is going on with the penalty save rate in FIFA? How often are penalties saved in top tier football? 25-30%, at the most? How often are they saved in Pro Clubs? 50-60%? A well placed penalty kick with good pace on it should be nearly impossible to save, regardless of which way the keeper guesses.
5. Club customization
Right now the only things you can do to customize your club is pick its name and the name of the stadium it plays in. You have to take the kit and crest of existing teams. For several years now, the FIFA series has had a robust Creation Centre web application in which users could create a customized kit for teams in offline play and head to head friendlies. While I am sure abuse is no doubt a concern, EA Sports has been extremely vigilant in censoring inappropriate content. I would very much like to see the ability to create a custom kit, with a custom crest, and name the AI players on your club, much like the functionality that already exists in the Creation Centre web app.
6. Borrow from FPS games
I would also like to see some kind of reward or progression system in place, rather than just a generic leaderboard that the average Pro Clubs player doesn’t even care about. This could be tied to club customization, as you win more games, you unlock more customization options, or unlock better AI players. I would also like to see the Pro Ranked Match mode overhauled, or at least a casual version created. Why can’t we join these games with friends? Being able to join this type of 11 on 11 pickup game would be a great solution for those smaller clubs that like the idea of playing as their virtual pro in a game with like-minded individuals, but simply do not have enough members on their Pro Club. Players can play with friends in the ranked modes of games like Battlefield and Call of Duty. Why not football instead of shooting people? A simple “Join as Party” button would go a long way for me here.