When Football Manager Classic was announced as a new game mode for Football Manager quite a few people were intrigued by what it had to offer, myself included. The game mode offered customisation of Football Manager and allowed us to tailor the game to our needs, or so I thought. When I first tried it I was disappointed as I was expecting much more license with what we could select and leave out compared to the full fat mode. I honestly thought we’d have some kind of options via tick boxes or something that would allow us to tailor the game to our needs, for example if I didn’t like the training module I could ignore that by ticking a box or deselecting an option somewhere that would then exclude it from the game. However after trying it for the first time I was deeply disappointed because it didn’t work like that at all and the stuff that is excluded was default and we couldn’t select what we wanted.
I gave it a chance and played around for a few weeks but it always felt too limiting, I couldn’t take full control over training so that meant no individual training, which for someone like me was a big deal as I like to focus on the player development side of the game. Add to this that we couldn’t select a lot of leagues to load we had to stick with the maximum of three. I felt the restrictions in place were very limiting, I know they wanted to make it streamlined and more simpler for those who don’t have lots of time on their hands. In theory it sounded great but in practise it just didn’t function how I expected it would, in fact I couldn’t have been more wrong. At the time it just didn’t suit me and while I liked the idea of a streamlined game with all the things I dislike about FM missing, it seemed FMC wasn’t the answer. So I stopped playing it and went back to full fat mode.
Over the last few years Football Manager Classic (FMC) has seen quite a few changes and while it still doesn’t function how I’d like it is becoming more and more appealing. I’d still like to be able to select what I want to play and which settings I use in FMC but I guess that would be a nightmare to code and have many issues with implementing something like that. However it is something I’d like to see at some stage. A lot of people I know dabble with FMC because they have limited time to spend on Football Manager so its ideal and practical for them because the seasons fly by on FMC compared to the full fat mode.
As I work for myself from home and my job isn’t really that demanding unless its the actual night of an event I tend to have a lot of free time, especially when the kids are at school. So FMC for me isn’t appealing from a time sense of perspective, although who wouldn’t like to complete a full season in a few short hours?! The reasons it appeals to me is player interaction. I simply hate it and I really do mean I hate it. This side of the game will be the death of me, it’ll give me an heart attack or some kind of hernia, its just so frustrating. I’ll give you an example;
One of my promising 16 year olds has never played for the first team, so I decide to give him a few chances in easier games or when I have a few injury/suspension problems. In most cases this turns out to be a nightmare especially if they do well, there agents will ask for an improved contract the first sign they’ve had a good game. Now if you reject this on the news screen the player will come and want to chat and it never seems to go the way I’d expect when this happens. In nearly all cases what I select doesn’t seem to matter (I know I’m not alone here thousands of others feel the same way) the player will have a strop at some point. If you can stall him until the end of the season then great but sometimes they come back and say things like ‘I can’t wait that long’ blah blah. And on FM15 because of the new fantastic interaction (Yes its sarcasm) I can alienate half the team because some spotty teenager thinks he’s Lionel Messi and deserves billions a week in wages. So now the teams morale as dropped and you have unhappy players so have to hold a team meeting. I must admit the team meetings often go well when you can explain why but still this shouldn’t be happening, it should be rare you piss off so many players in one go because you don’t give in to the demands of someone who’s not even hit puberty yet and doesn’t hold down a regular spot in the reserves let alone the first team!
Or if you do decide to give him a new deal this can also fail spectacularly as well. You’d expect to negotiate a new deal if you began to play some part in the first team, my issue here is with the demands the players can have at times. I’m not a rich club by any means but the youth and his agent can go from being on £1000 a week demanding £20k just because he’s played a few games which seems a bit wrong to me. So after negotiating they might lower the fee but even then its still not low enough for me and they’ll want £15k wages instead. This is totally unacceptable and I’ll break off contract talks. We don’t seem to have much room for negotiating or explaining to the player he needs to wait and while he might be a prospect he certainly doesn’t deserve any wage of that kind. On Football Manager player interaction is all or nothing and by that I mean all for the AI and the human gets nothing!
I’ve never been one for the player interaction side of things and have always allowed my assistant to take care of it. On FM15 though it seems to have gone to a all new level of stupidness and I’m not normally one for being critical of the game but the whole of the player interaction seems bust to me, it just doesn’t work like you’d assume it to. And each year it gets expanded on and each time that happens another bit of me is forced away from the game and its getting to the point where its just pure ridiculous.
This is where Football Manager Classic mode comes into it, you get none of this at all and that is the appeal. In fact if we look closer at how I play the game you’ll see FMC is ideal for how I play, let’s take a look.
- On full fat mode all I care about is player development, teaching them PPM’s, individual attribute and individual training. In earlier versions of FMC this wasn’t possible but now it is, I can play FMC and still control every aspect of training and development. That’s a plus.
- Team Talks I don’t care about really, I don’t personally think they are important. I have faith in the tactics I create and use and that is what matters for me personally.
- I think we’ve established I might dislike the player interaction side of things….
- Playing with lots of leagues on FM is something that is essential for me especially if I want to buy youths and develop them. Well on FMC you can now remove the league restrictions which used to be three only in the advanced options when starting a new game. So it’s no longer an issue and once again this is a plus for me.
- I don’t do much between games apart from scouting. So I tend to holiday through to the next game. On FMC there really isn’t much processing between games compared to normal mode it seems, you seem to move onto the next game in seconds rather than minutes.
- I’ve always wanted to play 50 years+ but there is no way I can achieve that on normal mode it would take me far too long. FMC though I can see myself doing that as the speed is fast and I don’t think it would take that long, even with many leagues loaded. I reckon I could play 100+ years in the time it would take to do around 40-50 compared to normal mode
Football Manager Classic mode is just more viable for my play style. I understand its not for everyone nor am I saying it should be, but for me its perfect apart from two things;
- No analysis tab
- Can’t use league edits that had others leagues etc
You can get around the analysis tab issue by saving the PKM and watching the game back via the ‘View Match’ option on the main screen of FM. It’s not ideal but I can manage if needed. In fact if it wasn’t for all the writing I do I don’t think I’d need the analysis tab as such because I find myself playing rather than over analysing every single detail of my tactic. I still think some kind of analysis tab is needed in FMC though to refine tactics and I know its an often requested feature so hopefully in time its something that gets added. Once it does I see no reason why I’d play the normal mode ever again as FMC would offer me everything for how I play while leaving out all the stuff I dislike about the game.
Having to use default leagues can be a bit of a drawback if you like to play in leagues that don’t currently exists or if you like to create your own league to make your experience more fun or realistic. It’s essential for some but for me there is enough leagues that come with the game as standard for me to enjoy them. So its not a massive drawback for me although I would still like to have the choice of using them if I wish too.
People often think FMC is a really watered down version of FM and don’t give it a chance but the difference between the two isn’t as dramatic as it used to be when it was first introduced as a new game mode. It obviously has some drawbacks but for me its turning out to have more positives that outweigh the normal game mode. There’s nothing I can’t do on FMC apart from what I mentioned above that I don’t do on normal mode. So why wouldn’t I want a faster version of all the things I currently enjoy?
Am I an FMC convert? Sure looks like it doesn’t it. If you hate the player interaction side of the game then maybe you should give it a whirl…