Doc FUT Diary is a new addition to our website. It reflects the personal experience of Patrik “Hody” Hodapp, a very well successful FIFA Ultimate Team gamer.
A thanks for stopping by, this is the first of hopefully more topics about my team in FifaUltimate Team. It reflects my personal experience on this game mode so some of the readers might find helpful information while the others can just enjoy the entertainment. I choose the thread title “Doc Fut” because I work a lot with excel sheets to track my player performances, tactics etc. – so I take a rather academic (nerdy) approach on FUT and feel sometimes more like a a Doctor than a Gamer.
My Retroperspective on one year FUT
I don’t remember exactly when and most important why I started to play Fifa Ultimate Team (FUT) at all. I was playing Fifa since the early days of FIFA 97 in 1996. I played offline career mode, always coaching my home town team SC Freiburg to glory winning the German league repeating. Sometimes I would play on line pro in pro clubs and during the last years I played on line seasons – of course with the “Breisgau Brazilians” as well. The Sportclub Freiburg got its nickname for love of short passing fast paced technical football – more about that later on.
Like I said, I don’t know why I even started FUT. I just remember that it was still on my PC system I have hazy memories about some feedback that I got at my German on line magazine Tribe-Online about a FUT article that made me try it out myself. To cut a long story short, I did not invest much time, as I was planning to go next gen as soon as EA announced that the PC would not have the new ignite engine for my favourite game.
I got my Xbox One as a Day One Edition and thanks to my research I could at least carry over my Fifa level and my EAS store coins. The very same day my ultimate team club was founded. I only have vague memories about the early days. I think I started with a BPL team like most users do. Soon later I switched to a Seria A team as I could play my favourite players like Pirlo, Balotelli or Guarín.
Beforehand I had to realize that I would not get my sweethearts out of packs, as they are like a lottery and even though I lived some years in Ireland the lucky charms did not seem to work for me. So the next step was to learn the art of trading, set up four or five Fifa accounts, had five internet browsers running day and night and started to make massive FUT coins. First I was bartering with players, later I specialized in consumables and club items until I could finally afford my most desired player – Zlatan!
During TOTS I spend 500K (500.000) Coins in packs and the best player I got was regular Suarez, which I could have bought for around 80k that time. In all my pack openings I got two inform players, which of course sold only for the discard value of the card.
Packs are like lottery, the odds of getting the players you want are next to nothing. I think that a lot of FUT players let them self be fooled by YouTube pack openings where the YouTuber draws three informs in 3 minutes due to the magic of video editing and the fact that almost all YouTubers have coin sponsors and while the regular FUT guy opens 5 to 10 packs the YouTuber while open 30 to 50 packs for that reason.
Playing mostly in 4-4-2 I advanced quickly in on line leagues until I got fed up of missing a promotion once and getting relegated twice, even though I had a full inform Seria A team and other teams with many informs too. At that period of time I was discussing with my FUT friends if the game would handicap or script us, if we’d use too many informs in our teams.
Allow me a word on “inform” players. Like just mentioned I had a lot of them and I feel confident to say that most of them are not worth the coins – especially strikers. You will most not notice a difference in scoring and performance to their regular or rare counterpart. The same appeals to wingers. Defenders are a bit different, as they tend to get more solid with their inform versions, or maybe because they don’t rely on measurable stats like goals or assists.
The most rewarding inform players can be easily filed in three categories:
– First of all the “out of position” informs like I would call them. Inform cards that differ from the regular player position. Francesco Totti for example has a very poor pace for a left wing but his central forward card is a godly on the pitch, as the pace does not matter any more.
Similar with Alessio Cerci, his right mid never did anything for me while his central forward card is fantastic as CAM or striker. There are more examples, like Neymar that is kind of weak for a striker, but perfect on left wing.
– The second category is the “average or poor cards that get good or fantastic as inform“. A wonderful example is Leonardo Bonucci that I would not have bothered to use a non-rare card but is a rock in defence on his inform card, winning every header.
Ciro Immobile, the striker recently transferred to Dortmund, is hideous on his normal card, but a decent scorer on his TOTS card, the same for Diego Milito and his inform card.
– Last but not least the third category, I call them “hidden stats“. Most people look on increases in shooting, pace or maybe dribbling. But those increases only make a difference the second category.
The only striker that I ever found to be really improved by this was Mario Balotelli that was lacking a little pace to become a total beast. The hidden increases that I am talking about are the stats for vision, strength and most of all interception. Blaise Matuidi or Jeremy Toulalon received more than a 10 points increase on their IF/TOTS card and will keep your midfield clean.
My personal plan for FUT 15 is to compare players with the inform cards and only buy them if you there’re major stats increases of plus 5 points or if they fit into one of the three categories.
Afterwards sticked to only playing offline games, until I stumbled across an article on how to beat even the legendary CPU by using game mechanics.
Although I never used this technique, it ruined offline leagues for me.
Neat less to say I went back to on line divisional play experimented with a few formations and tactics and got back in the ring- or better on the pitch.
My breakthrough came when I watched a YouTube series about how to play in division one and change my player switching to manual mode, which all of a sudden made a big impact to my game and quickly brought me from online division 5 or 6 to division 3.
During the world cup, when player prices came down, I bulked up with Messi, Ronaldo, Bale and most players I always wanted to play. I even could afford the Klose legend card – which I reviewed here. This left me with six teams, all about 84 t0 86 rated.
My best scorers (which minimum 15 games played):
|7||ZM||Borja Valero IF||52||3||0,06||8||0,15|
In division 3 I was missing two points for promotion to division 2 with two games left. In the first game I came across a BPL team. Walcott on the right, Etoo and Sturridge up front. I think I had over 60% of possession and more shots. My opponent did not do bother to do invest time in build-up play. Once he came into possession, a lob pass from his penalty box to an outside player, sprint, cross, goal. Even though I switched to ultra-defensive, knowing from the line-up what would happen, I could defend most attempts, but not all. While Ibrahimovic and IF Balotelli would hit the post or the crossbar again and again, my opponent scored on crosses or on bounced balls from my IF goalie. The next game got stuck on the opponent team’s screen and I had to close Fifa after some minutes due to no progress. Of course it counted as a loss and I remained in division 3. My final hindsight came when I lost the very next game with my BBVA squad to a low rated squad by counter goals and a cross.
That was when I finally realized a few things. First of all I won’t let myself be fooled by the name of the game mode, even though I could own the Ultimate Team by means of player value or stats, somebody with a low rated team will still beat you with a low rated team. Simply because of being a better gamer – there a videos of pro Fifa players that win division one with a silver team with Mlapa or Eddie Johnson or that beat a full legends team with an average gold squad.
Secondly I won’t let myself by fooled by having Messi on the box, as the game does neither reward technical finesse in players nor a short fast passing play style like Arsenal or Barca’s Tika-Taka. The governed rewarded player attributes are strength and pace – why isn’t Ibarbo on the box? Technical fast players like Messi, or Eduardo are simply pushed away by defenders, that they would dribble senseless in real life. The most rewarding play style is LB+X through balls by defenders that lack a decent starting pass in real life and crossing. There will always be gamers that will legitimate utilize these mechanics and glitches of the game to their advantage. No juego bonito!
FUT 14 will be history in one month. Player price inflation just kicked in, I sold my players and have now approx. 18.3 Millions coins. I made new squads with the untradeable cards that I got like many other after the worst period of EAs server period, and filled the open spots with some unexpansive additions (weird when you own millions). I started to play my friends on a bit of on line leagues again and the difference is next to nothing. Surely I miss wiggling ponytail and the goals of Ibrahimovic, or the straddle-legged free kicks of Ronaldo but my win-loss ratio is barely effected – was a good idea to keep Ibarbo.
So now I am waiting for Fifa 15 and FUT 15.
The Author: Patrik “Hody” Hodapp