FIFA 10: EA Sports Answers Your Questions

Though FIFA 10 will launch tomorrow in Europe, the game won't be in U.S. retail stores until October 20. To mark the upcoming release, I've got the second of our reader Q&A sessions, where you guys ask questions of the EA Sports producers about your favorite games. This time around, we've got FIFA...

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Though FIFA 10 will launch tomorrow in Europe, the game won't be in U.S. retail stores until October 20. To mark the upcoming release, I've got the second of our reader Q&A sessions, where you guys ask questions of the EA Sports producers about your favorite games. This time around, we've got FIFA 10 producers David Rutter and Marcel Kuhn fielding your questions (and your occasional egregious offenses to grammar and spelling). Take it away, guys!

Gameplay/Online

93soccer: Will it include some sort of punishment online for players who quit near the end of the game because they lost??

David Rutter: Same punishment as before – loss and disconnect. You can still search for low DNF% users when using our quick matchmaking engine, and thus avoid the worst offenders. FIFA 10 is incredibly fun to play and we'd love for everyone to be fair players... but realistically that won't happen. Sore losers will always be there.

While we're talking disconnects... Our rule for disconnects at the beginning of a match was simplified: For games with under 5 minutes played, stats are not tracked. For games played longer than 5 minutes, loss and disconnect are applied.

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Trckstr: Pleasse fix the player selection during gameplay and allow players to cycle through players as opposed to the guy who is closest to the ball. I lose matches because I 'm selecting a defender that is behind the opposing teams striker instead of the defender facing the attacker.

DR: We've considered this in the past – but the problem would be if you cycled past your player you'd be even further away from getting back to him. Similarly the game is always evolving around you, so you'd be potentially chasing the player you wanted.

We have improved the system to bias towards a player that we believe will be most useful. You could also try using your right stick when you're not on the ball. Push in the direction of the player you're after. This is a great way to select a player you'd otherwise potentially not get to. Another strategy I find useful is using secondary press to send an AI player to the ball whilst manually positioning a player that I'm in control of in a more 'intercepting' path. Hope that helps.

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brian is king5745: Will we finally be able to bend and curve passes and through balls to runners?

DR: Skilled passers will be able to do this – although it's not controllable by the human player. If you want more control on your passing and thru balls I can highly recommend our manual settings though. You can really dictate pace and direction.

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Charles_Dickens: At the official FIFA forum, me and about 50 other people participated in a thread in which we pretty much decided that if you play in an online match then there's a possibility... a possibility, mind you... that you'll end up being handicapped.

We all said pretty much the same thing: specifically, that there are times when we just 'feel' invincible, and know pretty much within seconds that we're going to win the match - while, to the contrary, there are other times when our players will suddenly respond like mush, and never score goals or even make passes properly.

So I want you to ask the EA FIFA team a question that, as far as we can tell, no journalist has EVER asked them: I want to know if the online play in FIFA has a handicap feature.

DR: No it doesn't. We spent a lot of time looking into this following the reports – but there is nothing in FIFA 09 that causes positive or negative 'ebb and flow' in matches in the manner that you're describing.

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samir192: I'm wondering whether the ball physics in FIFA 10 will be improved because whenever I shoot in FIFA 09, the ball always spins backwards. This is very unrealistic, when you consider C.Ronaldo's shots!

DR: This year we've done lots of work to improve the balls physics. Everything from passing, through balls, and cross pitch passes have been improved.

With respect to shooting – the way the ball moves depends on how you strike the ball, determined by your direction and speed as well as the direction, speed and spin of the ball. With FIFA 10 you'll see more variety in the way the ball moves, all be it a truer simulation of the ball in flight. At the moment I can assure you C Ronaldo has very satisfying shots from the ball in play as well as free kicks etc.

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Ouuba: Will it be possible to choose is the radar in the bottom of the screen visible at all times or will it fade when the ball goes to the bottom of the screen? In FIFA 09 the radar is terrible! Only because it fades away when the ball goes to the bottom of the screen and you can't see anything when it is faded.

DR: The 2D and 3D radar system is retained from FIFA 09. So unfortunately for you – it'll still fade out in the lower portions of the pitch. That said – if we kept it visible it really would interfere with play. We know because we have tried. At the moment we can't find a better place to put it though.

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JSein4: I would like to know if the AI on the player side of FIFA 10 will be more user-friendly, especially on the defensive side. Players in older versions of the game used to sit around, waiting for the ball to come to them, or running away from the computer on defense, not even trying to get the ball. There were problems with players not even tackling at all but just running around in circles with the computer, hand in hand.

DR: We've improved urgency AI logic, with over 50 new movement cycles, delivering more responsive positioning, and improved trapping intelligence so players now have a better awareness of where the easiest, most natural trapping position is and advanced positioning. This effects defence and attack. Defenders multi-task and play the pitch more intelligently, covering dangerous spaces left by out-of-position teammates and our attacking players analyze space more effectively, curving their runs to stay onside etc. We also did a lot of work to make sure that players are always trying to face the ball, whether it means running in a different fashion or just turning their head and shoulders more so they can see the play. The result is that players not only look more intelligent, but position themselves better to react to the situations unfolding around them. This not only greatly increases our animation quality and variety in locomotion, but also can result in more responsive actions because less often players put themselves into difficult situations.

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LucianoJ: Will the freekicks be improved?

DR: We've improved freekicks in a number of ways. From the basics we've included the ability to switch the kicker in the game at the set piece using the trigger button. Defending players can also move the wall left and right using trigger. Top, side, and back spin on the kicks is also more intuitive, and you can drive the ball under the wall if they jump too. Although they might not

The coolest new feature for free kicks though is our Created Custom Set Pieces. From the new Practice Arena you'll be able to record up to four totally personalized free kicks in 8 quadrants. The 2 quadrants by the corner flag will correspond to both free kicks and corners in those areas. In the practice arena you select players with the right stick, then moving them around with the left stick as in standard play, you'll be able to record their movements, for multiple players, edit their paths, assign them to the D-pad and trigger them in game. We're still debating internally about whether we'll be allowing their use online at the moment.

LucianoJ: Will there be one MLS stadium in FIFA 10? What new leagues are in? Russian? Argentine?

DR: We haven't included any MLS stadia this year – but there will be some pretty exciting news for fans of another major stadia later this year. And we can't confirm any new leagues at this time. EA Sports did announce the Russian league for current gen platforms – but unfortunately we didn't get to add this to PS3/360 this year.

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Manager Mode

Reuben777: Have you guys fixed the manager mode scheduling bug for the premier league? No more playing league and FA cup games on the same day please! And no more winning player of the year after scoring a 10 rating and playing on 1 game in the season

Marcel Kuhn, producer for Manager Mode: Hi Reuben, great question. These were annoying me as well. We have tried to address the scheduling issue and I have not seen it in FIFA10, so we believe we've successfully eliminated that issue. In addition we've addressed the 11 of the season problem you've mentioned. Players now have to have played in a minimum amount of matches to make it into that team now.

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Danny Odishow: In FIFA 2010 manager mode , will the increasing of players ability be more close to reality ?
MK: We've done a lot of work on Player Growth this year, so depending on a number of factors, Physical, Intelligence and Technical attributes will increase, peak and decline. Each player in the game will have a potential that under ideal circumstances they'd reach. How closely they match that 'perfect score' depends on the environment they're playing in, how frequently and well they play, etc. It'll be down to you to closely monitor who your gems and also rans are.

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impreza-me: Why are there never any managerial staff in the technical area and no subs on the bench? Also in FIFA 09 the scouting option is very basic. In FIFA 10 would you be able to keep tabs on certain players and watch their match progress? Also in FIFA 09 I found it near impossible to sign a player on loan, and nearly all players that are available on loan are rubbish, why is this? has it been fixed?

MK: The arenas you play in have the subs' benches built into them like they are in reality. Unfortunately we're not able to render players onto them. You make a good point and we also want to address this as seeing action in the technical area adds to the football atmosphere. We could have added them in for FIFA10, but they would have been static and always the same. Therefore we wanted to wait before tackling this feature and do it right when we get to it.

Scouting has remained fairly basic in FIFA10. What we changed is the issue with the names not matching the country of origin (Sorry – no more Garreth McFadden from Brazil!), the overall rating of the scouted player not being closely related to your scout level (Sorry – no more 85 rated players with a level 5 scout) and we've addressed a nasty issue where all scouted players had the same physical stats (Sorry – no more full squads of 6'1'' sized scouted players).

Be a Pro

Milanetto: Can we be able to do a Be A Pro on Fifa10 with more than 1 player on the console? Up to 4 players at least? Plus have Be A Pro for exihibiton match the same. Why can't you do more than 1 player?

DR: Be a Pro: Seasons features a Multiplayer mode with up to 7 players total on PS3. All users can lock to a different player, and choose either the home or away team. Be a Pro match is still meant as a one off 1-player match, showcasing the mode's performance feedback and great camera.

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bobjim999: Will Be a Pro Mode be limited seasons again?

DR: Yes it will. It's about qualifying for the 'International Cup'. This year our focus has really been on improving Manager Mode authenticity.

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Soadfan8182: Will we have more control over our player's destiny in Be A Pro Mode? (ex. request trades, conduct interviews)

DR: No. As I mentioned above, this year our focus has really been on improving Manager Mode Authenticity, so we've not worked so much on Be A Pro (Offline) this year.

Miscellaneous

Pollo459: Can we be able to change players numbers on career mode again?

MK: Yes, we've added a screen that allows you to change the kit numbers of all your players in Manager Mode at any time J.
Miscellaneous

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Preuytu: When will they include ALL countries that are Fifa sanctioned? I"m sure EA can pack all this information within one Blueray disc. That way you everybody can play every continent's cup. Also, you can have a real qualifying league/tournaments leading to the World Cup.

DR: Every year we look at new leagues and teams – and when we can we sign them up. Unfortunately the area of licensing is very complicated – sometime no one owns the rights to something, and other times multiple parties do. EA SPORTS, and the FIFA team do take the issue of licensing seriously and really do invest a lot of time and effort in securing as much as possible. It's not about disc space. It's about legalities and money I'm afraid.

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itel94: Please tell me about the cleats used in the game. Are they all authentic or stupid EA cleats? Are all the strikers still wearing the red Nike's because they looked bloody awful in the game. Also please take a look at all the kits because some of them were wrong last year. Like the yellow Arsenal kit had black lettering instead of red and things like that.

DR: We use a large number of licensed football boots – FIFA 10 will have something like 38 licensed boots, of which 33 are new. You'll only be able to select around 29 of them though for legal reasons. All the kit manufactures provide us with reference for how their kits are going to look and we make them before they're available in the real world. The manufacturers all get signoff for those kits too – so we actually submit the kit to Arsenal before the game leaves to be manufactured. We very rarely make mistakes – and always do our best to correct them when we spot them.

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mad_krips: Will the international roster be boosted?

DR: We're trying to…

mad_krips: Can we have more replay saving options please? The 10 second uploads suck, and we can't review matches played online either. It would be nice if we could save replays to our hard drives or upload directly to youtube (the PS3 can do that, not sure about the 360)

DR: We didn't get to implement locally saved highlights and replays this year – but we're going to try to get this done for FIFA 11. Our focus this year has been on Gameplay first and foremost – and we're sure you'll really notice the difference. Hopefully that'll go some way toward appeasing your disappointment for replays, etc.

mad_krips: Lastly... When will Ronaldinho's face come off the cover and off the menu screen? 3 covers is ok but it's coming on to 8 now, I think we've had enough.

DR: We will have an announcement on our global cover athletes and packaging in early August so stay tuned for that!

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