Exclusive Fifa 13 Pro Clubs Interview Garreth Reeder
We are pleased to announce our exclusive Interview with EA Sports Fifa Online Producer Garreth Reeder on Fifa 13 Pro Clubs. Garreth has taken some time out to answer some questions posed by the FVPA Clubs Community.
We work hard to run one of the biggest and most dedicated Clubs forums around and bring exciting new features to our loyal fanbase! But it’s not just about a Website or Forum, we really do care about the Game Mode Pro Clubs. It's important for us to ensure the feedback we receive regarding Pro Clubs is directed through to the right people who will take it in. We can't guarantee feedback or suggestions will be implemented but we can tell you, that the times where EA have come to us and asked us to research on a particular issue, we have done.
The recent announcement
on Twitter during Gamescom detailed out the key 9 things that have been worked on for Fifa 13 Pro Clubs, of course the game itself has had a lot of improvements and will have an impact on the overall look and feel. The changes announced, like the online VP has been met with positive responses but other features that we really hoped would make it in like Customisation of Club’s, Kits, Badges etc have met with a some negative feedback. There is a balance and hopefully some of the questions posed to Garreth will have answers explaining the why’s and wherefores sufficiently !
We are really looking forward to getting our hands on Fifa 13 Pro Clubs and the exciting new challenge this year’s instalment will bring. Spurred on further by the successful pilot, taking Pro Clubs to an offline event (#i46) and looking at how we can build this into a larger and even better experience!
Many thanks to Garreth for taking the time to answer the questions submitted!
Here’s the interview Enjoy
-------------As you know the FVPA have been around since 2009 and have made a large contribution (via iFVPA) to the world wide community who set up and dedicate their time and efforts into pushing the boundaries of Pro clubs and enhancing the experience as much as possible. Is this something that spurs you guys on, knowing the mode is gaining popularity and a sense of organised structure?
Yes, definitely. It’s great to see where the mode’s fans take things, and that’s usually beyond what we can do or even think about. You’re providing a great resource.Is there a strategy in place that links 13 to Fifa14/15 Clubs mode, is there a long term vision, if so could you expand on this a bit more?
I really can’t talk about that yet of course. But kudos for asking!Do you see Pro Clubs as an emerging Mode that has the potential to become more popular than other Modes?
I personally don’t see Clubs ever becoming more popular than FUT, Seasons or Career mode – those modes are enormous, have massive popular appeal and don’t require the extra work of organising your teammates. But I do think it has the potential to be next in line behind those modes, very large, and equally important to us.Would you say that Pro Clubs is one of the most sociably interactive modes in Fifa?
Most definitely. Also the most passionate. How much of the communities feedback or input has affected Fifa13's Pro Clubs mode?
Outside of putting Seasons in the mode, everything else has come from the community for the most part.Will 1000 point teams still be able to match up with 10,000 point teams or has the match making been fixed to search for teams with similar points similarly to H2H seasons mode?
Matchmaking will be like Seasons (based on Division).Are teams likely to be penalized for quitting out of games a) during the ready up screen b) before 5 minutes ? If not have you worked out a possible points decrement multiplier formula to deter this type of behaviour?
The ‘ready’ screen has been streamlined somewhat to only show the captains and number of users and the kits. The old screen of readying up all the players was a little redundant. However, the five-minute rule still applies in case of lag/kit clashing etc. We are re-assessing the five-minute rule for the future, but we need some way to account for issues and allow a fair quit. Currently this is abused in some cases, but I think the benefits outweigh the negatives here.Will teams be forced to utilize a human Any player?
No, you can use the new matchmaking options (which are saved from game to game). We have a rule for ANY and GK. If you set these to ‘Match Mine’ we only look for another club that has your current setup. So for example, if you don’t have an ANY, you’ll only play another club with no ANY. Same for GK; if you have a Human GK, you only play another club with one.Are there any new features for virtual pros to be more customizable giving them a different and unique feel?
Player size, selectable animations, movement animations, flair and shooting animations. The starting attributes and final attributes have all been tuned for your player as well as the CPU teammates. We took the ratings from all the players in the top leagues and came up with a ‘prototype’ player per position/role, making the attributes much more realistic. We also looked at the top peaks for all attributes in the real world, then saw how much you can gain in each attribute. The result is that the Pros start higher in FIFA 13 (73-75) and don’t get quite as high. This results in a more even playing field, and less of a gap between beginners and vets. Hopefully user skill will therefore be more important than raw stats in FIFA 13 vs FIFA 12.Due to the disappointment of the VP Hack which was very prominent during FIFA12, Is there a code or system implemented to stop hacking of virtual pros in Fifa13 once and for all?
Yes, Pro growth is now stored on the server. We will also still be keeping an eye on the server logs for any hacks, as we did in FIFA 12, but the new system will make that a moot point. The added bonus is if your save file gets lost or broken, the next time you start Clubs your Pro’s progress will still be there.Are there any new accomplishments to unlock that are not tedious such as 1000 standing tackles?
All accomplishments are new this year. I’m sure there will be more feedback on the stuff that is too easy or too hard for FIFA 13. We will, as always, be listening. Are there more GK traits as the default number doesn’t even fill the 5 VP slots that can be selected?
We don’t have any new GK traits this time.Will the impact engine be reduced in its effect so that penalties and players falling over each are not the deciding factors in whether a game is won or lost?
The gameplay guys have done lots of tuning to the impact engine for FIFA 13 for sure. There’s been lots of coverage of that over the last few weeks and at Gamescom most recently, so have a look at some of that to see what people think.How has the GK VP situation been addressed to limit the fact that there are only a certain number of ways to beat a human VP GK as they seem to save the majority of 'normal' shots?
We have made a few changes here. We’ve fixed a bug and reduced the automated positioning when playing as a semi or manual keeper. We’ve reduced the attribute peaks for GKs that you can get when ‘maxed out’ (more realistic). Finally, all users playing clubs must be on at least Semi assistance for FIFA 13.The current situation rewards 11 man teams for playing much weaker 2 man teams and avoiding other 11 man teams in search of easy 'player bonus' points, has this been fixed?
There will be no more player bonus in Seasons... just the three points.Will Managers have greater control during club matches, can they pick & chose which players are positioned in the wall, whilst defending free-kicks?
This will be the same as FIFA 12.One of the most popular bits of feedback we receive from our community regularly is Customization, is there any news on this that you can share with us regarding Badges, Strips, Stadiums etc?
This was a tough one. It was in the plans but the scope just got too big to do this properly as well as doing all the other things the community had asked for in Clubs. We really wanted it, but it’s not made it in there this year.Are there any plans or solutions to prevent Clubs avoiding each other to maximise their points haul upon entering Match room lobby?
As above, there are no more points as we knew them in FIFA 13...Is there any way of keeping your Players Club Statistics in Fifa13, if your Virtual Pro leaves his Club to play in an international (iFVPA) club and then returns?
I honestly tried to look at this, but unfortunately the way the servers are set up, the Club specific stats get wiped for each new club you play. It just wasn’t possible to address this for FIFA 13 unfortunately.
Is there any news regarding online Pro Clubs Tournaments similar to Cups in Head to Head Seasons?
This is as you’d expect in Seasons... bi-weekly cups based on your division. We’ve added a Trophy Cabinet for your club, too!Many Thanks again for taking time out in your busy schedule to talk to us and answer the questions submitted by our great Community! We look forward to playing Fifa13 Pro Clubs!
No problem. Thanks for supporting clubs and being good sports!
Kelley and Mark