A Better Balance Between Attacking And Defending
FIFA 18 made it really easy to attack with efficiency, but the same thing can’t be said about defending.
After FIFA 17 relied too much on AI defending, EA likely tried to make defending more precise and manual for 18. However, ultimately we got stuck with unresponsive defensive players who could not afford to make even the most basic mistake.
FIFA 18 score lines are often quite high, which diminishes the “magic,” skill, and effort of scoring a goal.
If attacking is easy in execution, defending should be easy as well. That way, players can focus on strategy and tactics as opposed to complicated or ineffective inputs.
Whether that means defenders can turn/recover from tackles quicker, or whether the AI gets into better positions, the end result should be more consistent defending and reduced score lines.
Some people want FIFA to be arcadey, and others look for a simulation of the sport every iteration. Regardless of your stance, FIFA 19 needs to have a better balance between attack and defense.
If you’re a FIFA vet and can recall the past 10 years of the series, you’ll realize that passing is wildly inconsistent almost every year.
Sometimes it required so much skill that it created a barrier to entry, and unrealistic first touches from 90+ rated cards.
Other times, you could literally pass it around with your eyes closed (I love you FIFA 10, but your passing was hilarious).
FIFA 18 skews closer to “eyes closed passing” than anyone really wanted.
Everyone’s familiar with the somewhat wide driven pass to the striker that somehow becomes a perfect through ball.
Everyone knows you can ping pong it in a 2 striker formation with a CAM until your face turns blue.
Everyone can hold the ball forever, should they have the patience.
The assists in FIFA 18 are simply too effective. I’m sure we’ve all seen the clips and gifs of the trainer showing one direction, and the ball going into a completely different one.
So what does skill based passing actually mean? Well, increasing the importance of vision and actual passing attributes is probably the key here. Reducing the assist level would help as well.
Of course, the game has to appeal to more casual players as well. Maybe the answer here is to reduce the assist effectiveness in online play outside of friendlies.
Nerfed Driven and Half Turned Shots
This is the kind of point you can sum up really quickly, or write an entire thesis on.
Simply put, driven shots are way too easy to score, from any angle and with almost any player.
Goalkeepers need more animations and better AIto deal with them, or the driven shot needs to have its accuracy reduced.
Plus, you can fire off driven shots on the turn with almost 100% accuracy. This has resulted in medium and high level FIFA player being completely reliant on the driven shot.
With how quickly attackers can create space, it makes no sense to have a shot type that is hyper effective.
Diverse and effective Tactical Options
4-1-2-1-2 (2) continues to dominate FIFA 18 due to its gameplay balance.
When you think about it, that’s pretty wild! To be effective with a formation like that in real life, you would basically need to be Real Madrid at all times.
And sure, you can build your FUT club to be even better than Real, but so can your opponent.
It makes no sense to have a narrow formation like this dominate a virtual representation of football, when you could easily spank with a 4-3-3 variant in real life.
Unfortunately, wide play is not super developed in FIFA 18. Although the full backs are much better than before, they still don’t link up with wingers and other players in effective combinations.
This greatly reduces the gameplay diversity.
When you think to real life, the 4-2-3-1 is sort of the “fall back” option for many coaches who want to start balanced/defensive, but you end up seeing a huge variety.
Some big clubs play with 3 at the back, some play on the counter, others go wide, and some can hold the ball in the opposing third.
A lot of this stuff is missing from FIFA, and my hope is that FIFA 19 can give us some more options and better AI understanding of the sport.
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