Why relegation streaks occur

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I previously looked into why losing streaks occur in FIFA. In this article, I’m going to deal with a related topic – relegation streaks. Although often confused, relegation streaks and losing streaks are different phenomena with different causes.

Introduction

A relegation streak is a series of relegations happening in close or direct succession. The fact that relegation streaks occur in FUT has lead some people to believe that the game is rigged, and some have speculated that relegation streaks happen because EA wants us to spend more money:

“Been playing Fut since the start, started season 15 with a regular gold team and won every division up to second division, then i hit the handicap wall and just as quick went back down to division 5.”
(– da_fut_king on FUTHEAD)

“Well, since I started to use this squad I was relegated from division 2 to division 6 in a heart beat. I just can’t win.”
(– lelofarias on FUTHEAD)

“I too have previously reached Div 3 and then was relentlessly dogged back to Div 6 with most of the games being in the handicapped manner I described. (…) What do you when you are faced with this? (…) You think there’s a problem with your team and improve it by buying coins/packs to get better players.”
(– Paul on Ultimateteam.co.uk)

Being relegated from division 2 to division 6 corresponds to dropping from the FL Championship and into Northern Premier League Premier Division in the course of a few seasons. The closest we get to a similar streak of relegations in real life is a couple of examples of clubs being relegated in three consecutive seasons (Luton 2006-10 and Wolverhampton 1983-86) due to financial or legal issues, which of course have no parallel in FUT.

The lack of parallel to real life football makes it somewhat understandable that people start believing that something fishy is going on in FIFA, when they suddenly get relegated four times in five seasons.

However, the actual reason why relegation streaks occur, most likely isn’t momentum or handicapping. In the following sections, we explain how FUT’s divisional system in itself will cause relegation streaks to happen.

Short seasons, random outcomes

As most players probably have noticed, FUT’s divisions don’t work like real life football divisions. A couple of the differences are essential to understanding relegation streaks and why they occur.

The first difference I would like to direct your attention to is the length of FUT’s seasons. Basically, it takes 10 matches to decide your fate, whereas it takes 564 matches (46 regular matches per team + 12 playoffs) to decide who gets promoted and relegated from the FL Championship.

The problem with a season length of 10 matches is that it leaves a lot of room for coincidence. An average player, which most of us are, is able able to win approximately in 400 of 1000 attempts. However, that doesn’t guarantee that he will win 4 in a streak of 10 matches as well. Sometimes, he will win 6 in 10. Sometimes, it will be 2 in 10. A 40 % win ratio means that the chance of your next opponent being someone you can beat is 40 %. That leaves another 60 % chance of your next opponent being someone that you won’t beat.

On paper, winning 20 % instead of 60 % may seem like a huge performance drop, but in absolute numbers, 4 additional losses in 10 matches is bound to happen sooner or later.

Another crucial difference lies in the mechanism deciding promotion. In a real football league, the top teams are promoted. In FUT, your fate is decided via point thresholds.

Division Relegation threshold  Promotion threshold
10 >= 9 points
9 <=5 points >=10 points
8 <=7 >=12 points
7 <=7 >=14 points
6 <=9 >=16 points
5 <=9 >=16 points
4 <=9 >=16 points
3 <=11 >=18 points
2 <=11 >=18 points
1 <=13

 

What you should notice is that the difference between triumph and disaster is very small. In most divisions, 7 points separate success from failure. Just to add some perspective, Leicester (#1) and Arsenal (#2) ended 10 points apart in the 201615/16 season – during the course of 38 matches.

Hence, short seasons and tight point thresholds combined with the to-be-expected stability of most players is bound to lead to frequent promotions and relegations. No matter whether EA wants it or not, relegations will happen a lot due to the design features listed above.

How much is a lot?

Relegations will happen a lot, but how often is that exactly?

To answer this question, we created a simulation. We let 1,000 virtual players play 20 seasons each, i.e. 200.000 matches in total.

Our virtual players have exactly the same skills and hence also chance of winning, drawing or losing their next match. We set the W/D/L probabilities to 42 %, 16 % and 42 %, meaning that our virtual players perform like a real life average player. At the end of each virtual season, we determine whether the player got promoted or relegated, using the actual FUT seasons point thresholds as seen above.

What happened?

First of all, nearly all our virtual players experienced multiple relegations during those 20 seasons. 90 % of our virtual players were relegated 3 times or more, and 41 % were relegated 5 times or more. The average number of relegations per player was 4.2 per 20 seasons when we let our players start out in divison 5. In real football, it is very unusual to experience multiple relegations during 20 seasons, unless the club has financial problems. Most teams won’t even get relegated once during 20 seasons.

Second, a noteworthy thing: Our 1,000 virtual players started out in the same division but as seen in the table below, they ended up being spread randomly across multiple divisions. This is interesting when considering that they were given the exact same probabilities of winning and losing a match. I thing this goes to show that we shouldn’t worry too much about whether we are in division 5 or 7 for the time being.

Division after 20 seasons % Players
Season length = 10
1 1 %
2 7 %
3 44 %
4 33 %
5 12 %
6 4 %
7 <1 %
8 0 %
9 0 %
10 0 %

 

I would like to stress that the results generated by our simulation doesn’t depend on our exact choice of w/d/l probabilities. Even if we run the simulation with players with lower or higher win / loss rations, we still see the players being spread across multiple divisions. Hence, the results the simulation generated are relevant to the vast majority of the population of FIFA players: We all should expect to see frequent relegations.

How this links to relegation streaks

The fact that FUT seasons generates 4.2 relegations per 20 seasons is an important fact when trying to explain why people sometimes get relegated from division 2 to division 6 during the course of a few seasons.

First of all, we have seen that players get promoted and relegated more frequently but also more randomly. The average virtual player was relegated or promoted 10.2 times per 20 seasons, meaning that his divisional status changed more than every other season. We also learned that players, who were equally skilled, would be spread across as many as seven different divisions. When relegations and promotions happen that frequently, and when your divisional status to such a large extent depends on random factors, some relegations will happen in direct succession and hence become a streak.

To illustrate this point, we let our 1,000 virtual players play 20 seasons starting out in division 2 and counted the number of relegation streaks. After 20 seasons, 53 % of the players had experienced streaks of two consecutive relegations, 15 % experienced streaks of three consecutive relegations while almost 3 % experienced streaks of 4 or 5 consecutive relegations.

However, not all the accounts of relegation streaks are limited to actual, consecutive relegations, and by that we mean relegations in direct succession. Obviously, the number of relegation streaks becomes even bigger if we include the situations where multiple relegations happen in close succession. To illustrate this, we counted the total number of relegations over 10 seasons. 27 % of our virtual players were relegated 4 times or more during 10 seasons.

What these simulations tell us is that a significant number of players with “average” skills, i.e. like the most of us, should expect extensive relegation and promotion streaks to happen due to the combination of brief seasons and some very tight promotion and relegation criteria.

Second, many stories about relegations tell about someone getting relegated from division 2 and multiple divisions down. How come? In the previous section, we presented the actual point thresholds used to determine your fate in every division. What you should notice is that in all divisions between 2 and 6, you need 10 or 12 points to stay. That’s two (2) points in difference between division 2 and 6. Consequentially, you need to be able to maintain a win ratio of 4 in 10 to stay in any division between division 2 and 6. In other words, it only takes one (1) additional defeat per season to get relegated from any division between 2 and 6, and the fact is that sometimes, you just lose that extra match due to that the opponent simply was better or luckier or whatever.

You may of course object that it ought to become increasingly easy to maintain the necessary win ratio each time you drop a division. However, FUT’s matchmaking doesn’t work the same way as in  a real league system. In FUT, you don’t necessarily get matched against opponents from your current or a neighboring division. As the game uses ELO matchmaking, you always get matched against opponents with similar performance records, meaning that there isn’t a direct link between current division and level of difficulty. Hence, the only factor that makes division 2 more difficult than division 5 is the higher point thresholds.

Third, promotions happen just as randomly as relegations. Just as well as you may get relegated due to a minor fluctuation in matchmaking luck, you obviously may get promoted for the exact same reason. As a consequence, the fact that you reside in division 2 right now may largely come down to coincidence, meaning that you may get relegated as soon as your luck goes back to normal.

As a matter of fact, most players with average skills have a large chance of making it to division 1 or 2, provided they keep trying, but of course, staying is the difficult part. Below, we let our 1.000 virtual players complete various numbers of seasons and noted their best completed division during their career.

After 70 seasons (~700 matches), virtually all our virtual players had reached division 2 minimum once, and the vast majority had made it to division 1 after 40 seasons (~400 matches). However, that obviously didn’t imply that all of them still resided there after 20 seasons. As mentioned earlier, only 1 % of these players were in division 1 after 20 seasons, and only 7 % were in division 2.

The morale of this story is that while luck may take you all the way to division 1, it may unfortunately also take you back to division 7.

Percentage of players who make it to division 1 and 2
Percentage of players who make it to division 1 and 2

What would happen if EA increased the length of a season?

The main culprit in our astory is that the length of a season allows coincidence to cause a lot of annoyances, and inevitably also losing streaks. So, what would happen if EA increased the length of seasons and adjusted the point thresholds accordingly? To find out, we ran our simulation with a season length of 40 matches instead.

As seen in the table below, the outcome is significantly different. After 20 seasons, 95 % of the virtual players are spread across four divisions, and 72 % are found in either division 3 or 4.

Division after 20 seasons % Players
Season length = 40
1 <1 %
2 8 %
3 43 %
4 29 %
5 14 %
6 5 %
7 < 1 %
8 0
9 0
10 0

 

Another notable result is that consecutive relegations nearly cease to happen. We didn’t record any examples of consecutive relegations during 20 x 1.000 seasons. This obviously doesn’t rule out that there could be instances of 3 relegations in 5 seasons, but this will of course become less frequent as well.

An obvious downside is that you will need to become a better player and will have to play more matches to make it into the upper divisions. After 40 seasons, only 12 % of our average players have had a glimpse of division 1, and only 49 % have seen division 2. Most will reside around division 3-5.

Concluding remarks

We have seen above that relegation streaks will occur due to the season length combined with a promotion / relegation system based on predefined point thresholds. EA does not need to build a handicap system to ensure that people experience these streaks, in case they have an interest in making this happen.

Did they make seasons this brief on purpose? Well, of course yes. The obvious advantage of brief seasons is that it creates a lot of action. As explained in this article, nearly half of the seasons played during a season, will be decisive. This of course makes the game more entertaining, which in essence helps selling more copies of the game.

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  • Mark

    Do you yourself experience the game feeling sometimes like shit and sometimes easy as hell? I am not talking about the skill level of the opponent. What I mean is, sometimes regardless to the things my opponent does, the way my opponent plays, the stats of the players, sometimes it feels like your players are agile, can pass, are always in the right position, yet sometimes they are sluggish and hell and it is extremely hard to make good passes.

    Honest to god, I have played fifa so much, I am sure I can tell the difference between bad and good game and bad and good opponent. It just doesn’t feel right sometimes.

    Long story short, I tried the tools EA already provided, the sliders: I set them a little bit against me, and a little bit for the CPU, and the game feels exactly like when it feels like shit in UT. Also, I turned it around, put the sliders for me and against the CPU and it felt exactly like when everything is going right in UT.

    I know you have put a shit ton of time trying to prove the game isn’t manipulated, but if you can’t honestly say the game just doesn’t feel right sometimes, please go and give it a try and see how it feels.

    • Crlarsen

      I think most people recognize that feeling. Hence, I’m not questioning that the game’s difficulty changes like that. As for the sliders, I find it quite logical that you can reproduce it by adjusting them, as they pretty much control all core parts of the game play. Although this feeling obviously could occur because the game adjusts the difficulty for some reason, it just isn’t very likely.

      First, we lack a proper motive. The entire notion that the game for some reason will try to help out the lesser player simply doesn’t fit with the facts. As an example, we extracted match history records for 110 players (1000 different opponents). The result: People rarely come up against lesser opponents. In other words, the game levels things through matchmaking, not handicapping.

      Second, the phenomena you describe have other explanations. In the article below, I looked into why FUT seasons feels as inconsistent difficulty-wise as it readily does. What I found is that we should expect to come up against players from very different parts of the spectre within a particular division. If you come up agaist a far better player, it very often will feel as if the sliders have been adjusted: You will find it difficult passing, because he is all over you. You finishing will worsen because he applies pressure and doesn’t allow you to enter the better shooting positions etc.

      http://futfacts.com/2015/09/25/why-fifa-is-inconsistent/

      • Mark

        I already wrote a long reply to this but I guess it just went into internet heaven.

        Anyway, I am hckissa64 from the fathead forum. I am sorry, but I really don’t think you can achieve anything there on the forum, because your research isn’t throughout enough and you don’t have enough compelling evidence to change the minds of those who has decided the scripting exists. I say this with no bad intentions.

        I really want to objectively discuss the noticeable difference, regardless of the skill level of opponent, between when everything is going for you and when everything is going against you.

        Firstly, I really think the motive is there. The fact that you rarely come against lesser opponents, still leaves room for the motive for the points needed for staying in division, getting promoted or getting a title. And I am not talking only about when the game is against you and wants you to be relegated, I am also talking about when you just randomly end up getting a tie you didn’t deserve just to get a promotion. As you pointed out in the article about motives for EA to do this, the numbers were reasonably high for players to buy packs after losing, getting relegated or getting promoted. This makes perfect sense because imagine the amount of income EA makes through micro transactions on ultimate team.

        Second, I am talking about the noticeable differences regardless of what opponent is doing. Sometimes, when the game is going for you, your players make themselves available, AI defenders just randomly take the ball away, the first touch if pressured or not is always phenomenal, and your attackers are making more runs and just all in all the game feels very easy. You can easily pass the ball around the back to counter high pressure to look for better options. The marking is beautiful. Then the other side is from the other end of the spectrum, the passes are slow, go wherever they decide and the first touches are horrendous regardless of the pressure applied. Passing around the back with the exactly the same team is impossible although your defenders have all the time in the world. Same goes for the midfield, no matter how much you have time, the midfielder just can not figure out how to move his body towards other direction. All of this is regardless of the oppositions stats, play style or skill level. For example, I am in DIV 1 in the H2H seasons and I never struggle against high pressure, I can always pass around the back and find free opponents. In the FUT seasons, also in DIV 1, it is either extremely easy or close to impossible, regardless of how good players I have on the team in either case.

        I swear I am not a delusional person, I have just played this game so much with the same style of play that I can so easily feel and see the difference, it so noticeable.

        And when I tried the thing with the sliders, it feels exactly the same, it is either extremely easy, or extremely hard.

        This doesn’t mean that the game is already played before the game starts, and the best players of Fifa can still remain as the best players, but there is definitely something going on and it is not right.

        I am looking forward to your counter arguments, but please don’t refer me to an article cause it is frustrating writing a response while jumping back and forth between webpages.

        • Crlarsen

          “Firstly, I really think the motive is there. The fact that you rarely come against lesser opponents, still leaves room for the motive for the points needed for staying in division, getting promoted or getting a title. And I am not talking only about when the game is against you and wants you to be relegated, I am also talking about when you just randomly end up getting a tie you didn’t deserve just to get a promotion. As you pointed out in the article about motives for EA to do this, the numbers were reasonably high for players to buy packs after losing, getting relegated or getting promoted. This makes perfect sense because imagine the amount of income EA makes through micro transactions on ultimate team.”

          If I understand you correct, you are arguing that the game will make people lose because players have an increased incentive to buy packs after they lost a match (..got relegated and so on).

          As I mention in my article about EA’s possible motives, the problem with that line of thinking is that a match can’t have more than one loser under any circumstances, so even if losing indeed did give people an increased incentive to buy packs, EA still wouldn’t be able to increase net pack sales by manipulating matches.

          “As you pointed out in the article about motives for EA to do this, the numbers were reasonably high for players to buy packs after losing, getting relegated or getting promoted.”

          That’s a clear misunderstanding. Although a few people think they will buy more packs after a loss, there is an equally large group of people who say they will react opposite. Provided these people are correct when assessing their own reactions, you would need to determine who would react how if you were to intervene in their matches. This would be extremely tricky and also highly risky.

          Ask yourself a question: Are you generally buying more packs when you lose? Probably not. How likely is it that you would have been selected out as a good scripting target, i.e. a player who should be bombarded with random losses to increase pack sales?

          “Second, I am talking about the noticeable differences regardless of what opponent is doing.”

          Yes, I fully understand and I recognize the feeling. The difficulty fluctuates heavily, because the range of skill represented in this game is very wide. What did you expect?

          • Mark

            ”If I understand you correct, you are arguing that the game will make people lose because players have an increased incentive to buy packs after they lost a match (..got relegated and so on).”

            No, that is not what I am saying. I am not saying any game is preplayed, I believe the players who are really really good at fifa will still remain really really good in fifa and have amazing records, but I also sometimes the game is set to help you and sometimes to hold you back. This doesn’t mean that you can’t win games that are against you or that you can’t lose when the game is helping, in the end it’s the player who is in control of the sticks.

            To be clearer: So the motive to do this not to make certain people lose a shit ton of games or to have someone win a shit ton of games, but to guide the player towards rebuilding of a team:

            I don’t think you can argue that just by common sense thinking in a game mode where the core concept is team building, if the game feels bad, common player is most likely to put at least some blame on the team no?

            Then you buy expensive players, you build a nice new team after a season, the game helps you for a few games and it feels just so easy. Then in some point when the game is against you, the team feels bad again, you end selling your expensive players but you have to pay 5% tax for it which leave you with less money and therefore you can’t build a better team than the one you had.

            Really why do you think the 5% tax is in game? It is absolutely unnecessary in any possible way and is only there to have people invest more money in buying packs. And is a perfect example of the greediness of the company.

            ”That’s a clear misunderstanding. Although a few people think they will buy more packs after a loss, there is an equally large group of people who say they will react opposite. Provided these people are correct when assessing their own reactions, you would need to determine who would react how if you were to intervene in their matches. This would be extremely tricky and also highly risky.”

            I do not think it is a misunderstanding. Out of the people you surveyed a lot of people seemed to believe in scripting or whatever you call and the more people believe in scripting I think are less likely to buy packs, like myself, because it is a waste of money. Also the fact that you get a significantly lesser amount of coins after relegation means that people who buy packs with coins are a lot less likely to buy packs after relegation than promotion. I think there is many factors in play here and you have included only a proportion of them in your studies.

            ”Yes, I fully understand and I recognize the feeling. The difficulty fluctuates heavily, because the range of skill represented in this game is very wide. What did you expect?”

            Yes as I said I understood from your studies that the range of skill is very wide. I am talking about things that have nothing to do with the skill of opponent, or the stats of his players in the sense that there is no difference in certain games whether his midfielders marking is 30 or 80, rather the decisions AI makes. Player runs, player movement, player availability, first touches when no one is near, marking, etc. It is very noticeable. Also thinks like game speed changes within different games in seasons very noticeably regardless of absolutely anything. You must have noticed that? How is all that not manipulation of games?

            And as you said, the skill lever ranges so much, why don’t I get the same kind of feeling in h2h seasons? There I can always play passing around and never ever struggle again high pressure, or with first touches, or with player movement. If the skill level varies so much and effects these things, I should definitely notice at least some differences there too, right?

            And think about this, i know you are thinking we are like UFO hunters, but imagine how very hard it would be for anyone not from EA to prove this. You would have to know exactly what you are looking for and have computer wizards looking into algorithms in game, etc, only thing players like me can collect as evidence is how we can feel the clear difference: when the game is helping you, and when it is holding you back.

            And why would EA ever admit they something like this in game? Please, do not get me even started on how much companies lie for marketing purposes.

          • Mark

            Oh an I forgot to mention. In season matchmaking, why do they match me, a player from div 1, with a player from div 3 who has never been in div 1 and has an exact opposite record from mine, it makes absolutely no sense in fair matchmaking, does it?

          • Crlarsen

            I don’t know exactly how matchmaking works, but my best guess is that it will match you following approximately the same criteria as H2H seasons, meaning that it will select a player with decent connectivity who is within 1-2 divisions from you.

          • Mark

            Okay, if you find the time, please discuss my other reply too.

          • Crlarsen

            “To be clearer: So the motive to do this not to make certain people lose a shit ton of games or to have someone win a shit ton of games, but to guide the player towards rebuilding of a team:

            I don’t think you can argue that just by common sense thinking in a game mode where the core concept is team building, if the game feels bad, common player is most likely to put at least some blame on the team no?

            Then you buy expensive players, you build a nice new team after a season, the game helps you for a few games and it feels just so easy. Then in some point when the game is against you, the team feels bad again, you end selling your expensive players but you have to pay 5% tax for it which leave you with less money and therefore you can’t build a better team than the one you had.”

            First and foremost, how is that different from arguing that people will buy more packs when they lose?

            My point remains the same: You can’t have more than one person losing (or feeling bad about the game) at a time, and hence, the strategy you describe wouldn’t work even if people indeed were more likely to buy packs after a defeat or a match feeling bad.

            With regads to your speculations regarding the 5 % tax, it appears quite far fetched to argue that if a person sells a squad for 100.000 coins and pays 5 % tax, then that loss in itself will increase the probability that he buys packs. I mean: If there wasn’t a 5 % tax, he would have 100.000 coins instead of 95.000. It’s not exactly a huge difference.

            “Really why do you think the 5% tax is in game? It is absolutely unnecessary in any possible way and is only there to have people invest more money in buying packs. And is a perfect example of the greediness of the company.”

            It is obvious to me as an economist that the 5 % tax is a transaction cost, which makes life more difficult for coin traders. If it wasn’t there, they could move coins around all the time, and hence make it more difficult for EA to catch them.

            “Also the fact that you get a significantly lesser amount of coins after relegation means that people who buy packs with coins are a lot less likely to buy packs after relegation than promotion. I think there is many factors in play here and you have included only a proportion of them in your studies.”

            EA has full control over the size of the coin awards. If they thought it harmed their business that you get more coins after a promotion than after a relegation, the simple solution would be to either remove the coin awards or make them even.

            “Yes as I said I understood from your studies that the range of skill is very wide. I am talking about things that have nothing to do with the skill of opponent, or the stats of his players in the sense that there is no difference in certain games whether his midfielders marking is 30 or 80, rather the decisions AI makes. Player runs, player movement, player availability, first touches when no one is near, marking, etc. It is very noticeable. ”

            If your opponent is sufficiently better than you, it won’t matter whether his players are bronze or gold: Skill just matters way more than squad quality. Hence, it does indeed have a lot to do with skill!

            “…Also thinks like game speed changes within different games in seasons very noticeably regardless of absolutely anything. You must have noticed that? How is all that not manipulation of games?”

            I’m not sure I understand you here, but if I do understand you correctly, you are arguing that the fact that some seasons games are way faster than others must be due to manipulation. I would disagree to that, because as you just noted, there is a huge difference between the best and the worst players. Hence, games played even within the same division, will be extremely different.

            “And as you said, the skill lever ranges so much, why don’t I get the same kind of feeling in h2h seasons?”

            I don’t know why it is different. There could be many different answers. What I do know is that the mere fact that two game modes are different doesn’t prove that one of them is scripted.

            “And think about this, i know you are thinking we are like UFO hunters, but imagine how very hard it would be for anyone not from EA to prove this. You would have to know exactly what you are looking for and have computer wizards looking into algorithms in game, etc, only thing players like me can collect as evidence is how we can feel the clear difference: when the game is helping you, and when it is holding you back.”

            I actually disagree. Most of the studies I have made actually would yield different results if you were right. I’m not talking about actual, direct proof, but evidence sufficiently strong to draw a conclusion from.

            “And why would EA ever admit they something like this in game? Please, do not get me even started on how much companies lie for marketing purposes.”

            Funny you should ask, but I actually think that if it really was in the game, they would go out and advertize it’s positive aspects. Many handicapping believers like to pull forward the TV commercial from Madden 09, where a guy talks about something often referred to as a handicap mode, although it really was called game styles. EA made that commercial, and they put special attention to game style as a concept working to make matches more even. It’s not exactly a difficult message to market!

          • Mark

            ”You can’t have more than one person losing (or feeling bad about the game) at a time, and hence, the strategy you describe wouldn’t work even if people indeed were more likely to buy packs after a defeat or a match feeling bad.”

            Why can’t you? And why wouldn’t it work?

            About the tax: It is not far fetched. I buy 100k team, don’t like it, sell it, have 95k, how do I buy A BETTER team in order to do BETTER? Then you repeat this over and over and the amount of money you have lost is ridiculous.

            Also, the tax has been there since the beginning of the UT? Has the coinsellers been there all the way from the beginning?

            ”EA has full control over the size of the coin awards. If they thought it harmed their business that you get more coins after a promotion than after a relegation, the simple solution would be to either remove the coin awards or make them even.”

            This argument makes no sense. Of course just due to logic, they simply can’t make the prizes for relegation and promotion even. If they would remove them, what would be the incentive to play seasons? I know I wouldn’t play seasons if I wouldn’t get more coins that way.

            ”If your opponent is sufficiently better than you, it won’t matter whether his players are bronze or gold: Skill just matters way more than squad quality. Hence, it does indeed have a lot to do with skill!”

            This argument also regarding to what I said makes no sense. It would if a player would be able to control all the players on the field but they are not. There is a reason there is an A.I.

            How does a skill of my opponent effect on how much defender who is not pressured takes the first touch? How does the skill of my opponent affect how the player he is not controlling marks my player? How does the skill of my opponent effect how often my players make runs?

            ”I’m not sure I understand you here, but if I do understand you correctly, you are arguing that the fact that some seasons games are way faster than others must be due to manipulation. I would disagree to that, because as you just noted, there is a huge difference between the best and the worst players. Hence, games played even within the same division, will be extremely different.”

            How does the skill level of my opponent effect the speed of passing? How does the skill level of my opponent affect the in-game game speed?

            ”I actually disagree. Most of the studies I have made actually would yield different results if you were right. I’m not talking about actual, direct proof, but evidence sufficiently strong to draw a conclusion from.”

            If you are talking about your studies, as I said before not necessarily, and the studies are too hollow.

            ”Funny you should ask, but I actually think that if it really was in the game, they would go out and advertize it’s positive aspects. Many handicapping believers like to pull forward the TV commercial from Madden 09, where a guy talks about something often referred to as a handicap mode, although it really was called game styles. EA made that commercial, and they put special attention to game style as a concept working to make matches more even. It’s not exactly a difficult message to market!”

            Are you kidding? You are really saying that if EA would come forward and say that there is this thing called handicap and its nice, they wouldn’t lose all of their long time fans? I would be out the second they said that.

          • Crlarsen

            “Why can’t you? And why wouldn’t it work?”

            A match can’t have two losers, and the guy winning it won’t fell very bad about it.

            “About the tax: It is not far fetched. I buy 100k team, don’t like it, sell it, have 95k, how do I buy A BETTER team in order to do BETTER?”

            You don’t (necessarily), but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you buy packs instead. People could trade or they could buy another squad for the coins they got left. Or they could decide not to sell their squad in the first place.

            If the players you get in packs perform like crap after a few games, then why would you continue buying packs?

            Hence, the entire rationale in your thesis rests on a contradiction: You assume that people buy packs to improve their squad, even though they soon will learn that buying packs doesn’t improve their chances of winning in the longer run.

            “Also, the tax has been there since the beginning of the UT? Has the coinsellers been there all the way from the beginning?”

            The tax wasn’t there in the beginning because there wasn’t a market. Coin selling was around in FIFA 11 – maybe even earlier.

            “This argument makes no sense. Of course just due to logic, they simply can’t make the prizes for relegation and promotion even. If they would remove them, what would be the incentive to play seasons? I know I wouldn’t play seasons if I wouldn’t get more coins that way.”

            Please tell me what incentive people have to play H2H seasons (where there are no coin rewards) or FUT friendlies where there are no coin rewards other than match earnings. Absolutely nothing forces EA to put coin rewards in seasons. They could remove them the day after tomorrow if they wanted to.

            “How does a skill of my opponent effect on how much defender who is not pressured takes the first touch? How does the skill of my opponent affect how the player he is not controlling marks my player? How does the skill of my opponent effect how often my players make runs? … How does the skill level of my opponent effect the speed of passing? How does the skill level of my opponent affect the in-game game speed?”

            The skill of your opponent doesn’t mean that your players move less, but it may imply that you find it harder to pass the ball around because he is one step ahead all the time. The same goes for applying pressure on all other parts of the pitch. As in real football, a huge part of being successful is to stop the opponent from playing his game. That is exactly what the more successful FIFA players do.

            “If you are talking about your studies, as I said before not necessarily, and the studies are too hollow.”

            You haven’t put forward anything which could justify such a claim, and nothing you have written so far indicates that you have the professional skills to judge the methods applied here.

            For my own part, I can tell you that I formerly have been teaching statistics yo university students. Hence, I’m not exactly an amateur in this department.

            Other than that, I can only repeat what I just said:

            My research has indeed been targeted at finding traces of scripting. I didn’t find any, and I’m pretty positive, that I would have found such traces, if scripting did exist.

            “Are you kidding? You are really saying that if EA would come forward and say that there is this thing called handicap and its nice, they wouldn’t lose all of their long time fans? I would be out the second they said that.”

            Wouldn’t that depend on how it was implemented? No on says it would work like you suggest. The most likely scenario would be that it was implemented in an open way, meaning that it wasn’t a secret to anyone, and also that it would feel fair to both parties as it does in golf and a lot of other sports which use handicap systems.

            Other than that, a very fundamental thing: Handicap systems are per definition not needed when you have 12 million players to chose from. In that situation, you simply do matchmaking instead.

          • Mark

            ” “Why can’t you? And why wouldn’t it work?”

            A match can’t have two losers, and the guy winning it won’t fell very bad about it.”

            What does this mean? I do know that match can’t two losers, but I am also saying that sometimes the game is helping you sometimes it is against you.

            At the sametime game is helping you it is against someone, right? And of course the guy winning feels good, something like scripting wouldn’t work if it would always be against you, that is what i have been saying the whole time.

            ”You don’t (necessarily), but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you buy packs instead. People could trade or they could buy another squad for the coins they got left. Or they could decide not to sell their squad in the first place.”

            Yes people could trade, again 5 percent tax makes it a lot harder, thus making it easier for the casual player to buy packs. Of course they could buy another squad, but don’t you think that it is more likely to try and buy a better squad if you are losing? And yes they could decide not to sell their squad in the first place. And some probably do. But then how do they get a better team? You do not have to list all the possible alternatives for me.

            ”Hence, the entire rationale in your thesis rests on a contradiction: You assume that people buy packs to improve their squad, even though they soon will learn that buying packs doesn’t improve their chances of winning in the longer run.”

            It would rely on a contradiction if I wouldn’t say that the game is both helping, and being against you. Also, another thing about this scripting-handicap thing is that squads become more unplayable overtime. However, I do not want to discuss this, I want to discuss the noticeable differences in game that you are not giving any arguments for.

            ”Please tell me what incentive people have to play H2H seasons (where there are no coin rewards) or FUT friendlies where there are no coin rewards other than match earnings. Absolutely nothing forces EA to put coin rewards in seasons. They could remove them the day after tomorrow if they wanted to.”

            Thats a silly argument. For what you need coins for in H2H seasons? H2H incentives: Playing with your favourite team, playing against a player with similar skill level, playing with real teams, getting better

            FUT friendlies incentives: Same reasons you play friendlies in real-life, to practice, to learn more about your team, still get a little bit of coins, try out a team, just to play a game.

            Lets divide this to parts:

            ”The skill of your opponent doesn’t mean that your players move less, but it may imply that you find it harder to pass the ball around because he is one step ahead all the time.”

            Yes, my players do move less. That is exactly one of the easily noticeable differences I described. Please explain how he could be ahead one step ahead in the scenarios I described.

            ”The same goes for applying pressure on all other parts of the pitch. As in real football, a huge part of being successful is to stop the opponent from playing his game. That is exactly what the more successful FIFA players do.”

            How if my opponent is not even applying pressure effect the way I can pass the ball? Is he a jedi, too? And please cover my other points too.

            And please, for christ sakes, you said that you experience the same, that you can the difference yourself too, why can’t you go and try the thing with the sliders?

            Are you afraid you might find something that you don’t like?

            ”You haven’t put forward anything which could justify such a claim, and nothing you have written so far indicates that you have the professional skills to judge the methods applied here.”

            I am sorry if I offended you, but I don’t think you have covered enough ground on the area and you have only analysed the data from your point of view, while most of the exactly the same data can be analysed to support my point of view. Like the example I used about buying packs. I am sure if you have ”taught statistics at a college” you know this. And by the way, while that may give you more expertise, it is absolutely not an indicator that you are an expert, nor that you are undoubtedly good at what you do. There journalists who have taught journalism and are terrible at it.

            ”Other than that, I can only repeat what I just said:

            My research has indeed been targeted at finding traces of scripting. I didn’t find any, and I’m pretty positive, that I would have found such traces, if scripting did exist.”

            For this, I can only repeat what I just said: With all due respect, I do not think you have done very good job with it, and definitely not good enough to say you can lean towards the possibility of your point of view.

            ”Other than that, a very fundamental thing: Handicap systems are per definition not needed when you have 12 million players to chose from. In that situation, you simply do matchmaking instead.”

            So you don’t think theres a motive to manipulate the game when multiply that 12 million players times the price of lowest amount of fifa points. Come on. Really.

          • Crlarsen

            “What does this mean? I do know that match can’t two losers, but I am also saying that sometimes the game is helping you sometimes it is against you.

            At the sametime game is helping you it is against someone, right? And of course the guy winning feels good, something like scripting wouldn’t work if it would always be against you, that is what i have been saying the whole time.”

            Assume you have 1000 players playing random matches against each other, 500 matches in total. For the sake of simplicity, you can only win or lose. How many of these players will lose? 500.

            Now, imagine that you instead manipulate 250 of these matches. How many losers will there be in the next round?

            “”Hence, the entire rationale in your thesis rests on a contradiction: You assume that people buy packs to improve their squad, even though they soon will learn that buying packs doesn’t improve their chances of winning in the longer run.”

            It would rely on a contradiction if I wouldn’t say that the game is both helping, and being against you. Also, another thing about this scripting-handicap thing is that squads become more unplayable overtime. However, I do not want to discuss this, I want to discuss the noticeable differences in game that you are not giving any arguments for.”

            You beat around the bush now: The rationale you are suggesting relies on a contradiction: Namely that people will buy packs to improve their chances of winning even though they previously learned that buying packs won’t increase your chances of winning.

            “Thats a silly argument. For what you need coins for in H2H seasons? H2H incentives: Playing with your favourite team, playing against a player with similar skill level, playing with real teams, getting better”

            FUT friendlies incentives: Same reasons you play friendlies in real-life, to practice, to learn more about your team, still get a little bit of coins, try out a team, just to play a game.”

            By all means, and all those incentives would of course be present with in FUT seasons even if EA took away the coin rewards. Hence, my point from earlier remains valid: If EA thought it was harmful to their business that you get more coins after a promotion than after a relegation, they wouldn’t have made the rewards different.

            “Yes, my players do move less. That is exactly one of the easily noticeable differences I described. Please explain how he could be ahead one step ahead in the scenarios I described.”

            No, your players don’t move less. You feel that they move less because it is more difficult to pass the ball around, but you don’t actually know that this feeling happens because your players move less or because your opponent moves more and positionshis players better because you haven’t measured it.

            Neither have I, but I can guarantee you that if I bump into a better opponent, I would expect him to do exactly what you decribed here: Namely to cut off your passing options. Hence, nothing you are telling me sounds any different from what I would expect under normal circumstances.

            How if my opponent is not even applying pressure effect the way I can pass the ball? Is he a jedi, too? And please cover my other points too.”

            I don’t understand the first part of the question.

            “And please, for christ sakes, you said that you experience the same, that you can the difference yourself too, why can’t you go and try the thing with the sliders?”

            I don’t need to – I fully trust your judgement about the effect of the sliders. All I’m saying is that it doesn’t prove your point, because it works exactly as we should expect it to work under normal circumstances.

            Essentially, the sliders control all relevant aspects of difficulty. If you bump into an opponent who is better on all aspects, I would expect it to feelas if the sliders were adjusted.

            “Are you afraid you might find something that you don’t like?”

            No, as per above.

            “I am sorry if I offended you, but I don’t think you have covered enough ground on the area and you have only analysed the data from your point of view, while most of the exactly the same data can be analysed to support my point of view. Like the example I used about buying packs. I am sure if you have ”taught statistics at a college” you know this. And by the way, while that may give you more expertise, it is absolutely not an indicator that you are an expert, nor that you are undoubtedly good at what you do. There journalists who have taught journalism and are terrible at it.”

            This is pure hogwash. If you want to challenge my analysis, then by all means go ahead, but putting forward unsubstantiated, broad term statements like these isn’t doing the job for you. If you disagree with any parts of my methodology, then be specific, and I shall gladly explain it to you.

            (…)

            “So you don’t think theres a motive to manipulate the game when multiply that 12 million players times the price of lowest amount of fifa points. Come on. Really.”

            Come on yourself!

            So far, you haven’t put forward anything which could lead to the conclusion that you actually can increase your revenue by manipulating matches. If we go all the way to the top part of our conversation, you are still in the process of understanding that even if people get an increased incentive to buy packs, a manipulated match still can’t have more than one loser, and because of that, changing the outcome of the game won’t increase the amount of incentive to buy packs.

            Aside from that, you appear to have missed the important part of what I just told you: With 12 million players around, the notion of handicapping is pointless per definition, because the even matches you would obtain through handicapping can be obtained easily without it – namely through matchmaking.

          • Mark

            ”Assume you have 1000 players playing random matches against each other, 500 matches in total. For the sake of simplicity, you can only win or lose. How many of these players will lose? 500.

            Now, imagine that you instead manipulate 250 of these matches. How many losers will there be in the next round?”

            Assume you adjust the settings on all of those 500 matches. How many losers will you have? 500. Assume you adjust the setting again, but differently in the next round, how many losers will you have? 500. Will they be the same losers or winners, depends on so many factors, and this doesn’t mean that any game is pre set.

            Is there a difference between buying behaviour after losing and after winning?

            Definitely, just take examples from real life. Are teams most likely to substitute their manager if they win or lose? When they lose, but it doesn’t mean that some won’t even though they win.

            ”You beat around the bush now: The rationale you are suggesting relies on a contradiction: Namely that people will buy packs to improve their chances of winning even though they previously learned that buying packs won’t increase their chances of winning. of course, it wouldn’t work.”

            No, no and no. More examples from real life, teams that lose will try and buy players in order to try and do better even though the previously bought players didn’t help winning. Teams that win, will still too try and buy better players, and even if they lose after buying these players, they will still try and buy better players to win in the future. All in all, it boils down to how your team feels, and when the buying behaviour is most likely to happen is whenever you are getting more money -> relegation, promotion, title. Combination of this and the feeling that your team can’t suddenly perform, is definitely strong incentive to invest money in packs in order to get better players, to get lucky, to get more coins to buy more players etc. You didn’t for example include a reason such: ”team feeling worse than before” as a possibility in your ”ea doesn’t have a commercial reason” article for pack buying behaviour. Which is one of the biggest effects of scripting or handicapping or whatever you want to call it. Your arguments for the motive really are invalid.

            ”By all means, and all those incentives would of course be present within FUT seasons even if EA took away the coin rewards. Hence, my point from earlier remains valid: If EA thought it was harmful to their business that you get more coins after a promotion than after a relegation, they wouldn’t have made the rewards different.”

            The prizes are also incentives for the players to play the game mode more -> more coins -> better players, and playing more for ea means that it is more likely that more people play the game -> more time they spend with the game -> more possibilities for them to invest in fifa points to buy more packs. Your point in here is extremely invalid because the prizes are good for EAs business, because they keep players more interested. If this argument was true, you might as well say that they would remove Inform cards from the game if EA thought they were bad for the business. It makes no sense.

            ”No, your players don’t move less. You feel that they move less because it is more difficult to pass the ball around, but you don’t actually know that this feeling happens because your players move less or because your opponent moves more and positions his players better because you haven’t measured it.

            Neither have I, but I can guarantee you that if I bump into a better opponent, I would expect him to do exactly what you decribed here: Namely to cut off your passing options. Hence, nothing you are telling me sounds any different from what I would expect under normal circumstances.”

            This argument relies here on two wrong assumptions:

            1) If this was true there would be a noticeable difference in h2h seasons too, especially due to the ”evidence” that you have put forward on skill gaps etc.

            2) That the AI is controlled by the player, because most of the stuff I am describing have nothing to do with the opponents skill level.

            ”I don’t understand the first part of the question, and I don’t know what parts you think I didn’t cover.”

            When opponent is not applying high pressure, still I can’t sometimes pass the ball around because the power of the passes is ridiculous, they go wherever they want, the first touches are horrendous. Yet often and especially when the game is helping, when the opponent is applying high pressure I can do it extremely well. Based on everything you said and have ”proved”, this should be the other way around.

            Other parts you didnt cover:

            How does a skill of my opponent effect on how much defender who is not pressured takes the first touch? How does the skill of my opponent affect how the player he is not controlling marks my player? How does the skill of my opponent effect how often my players make runs? How does the skill level of my opponent effect the speed of passing? How does the skill level of my opponent affect the in-game game speed ( Noticeable differences in different games: overall speed of the game, average speed of passing, average agility of players, average highest possible sprint speed)?

            ”I don’t need to – I fully trust your judgement about the effect of the sliders. All I’m saying is that it doesn’t prove your point, because it works exactly as we should expect it to work under normal circumstances.

            Essentially, the sliders control all relevant aspects of difficulty. If you bump into an opponent who is better on all aspects, I would expect it to feelas if the sliders were adjusted.”

            If your assumption was true, should feel the same kind of extreme agility and sluggishness in different game modes that rely on matchmaking such as online h2h seasons.

            ”This is pure hogwash. If you want to challenge my analysis, then by all means go ahead, but putting forward unsubstantiated, broad term statements like these isn’t doing the job for you. If you disagree with any parts of my methodology, then be specific, and I shall gladly explain it to you.”

            I don’t have the time to write a thesis how your evidence is insufficient. For example, if you trust so much statistics, you should evaluate the time you have spent trying to prove scripting doesn’t exist and compare with the amount of minds you have changed. That should be a pretty good indication of how good your evidence actually is.

            ”Aside from that, you appear to have missed the important part of what I just told you: With 12 million players around, the notion of handicapping is pointless per definition, because the even matches you would obtain through handicapping can be obtained easily without it – namely through matchmaking.”

            If this was true, there would not be such a wide skill gap in game matches as your other evidence suggests there is.

            Btw, you should really think for whom it is harder in here to try and think ”maybe I am not right” when I have wasted a few days on this while you have wasted years. It would be definitely more devastating for you if you were wrong.

          • Crlarsen

            ”Assume you adjust the settings on all of those 500 matches. How many losers will you have? 500. …”

            Exactly. No matter how you manipulate the results, the number of losers remains the same. If losing makes people buy packs, altering the outcomes of random matches isn’t going to make people buy more packs.

            “Is there a difference between buying behaviour after losing and after winning?
            Definitely, just take examples from real life. Are teams most likely to substitute their manager if they win or lose? When they lose, but it doesn’t mean that some won’t even though they win.”

            The difference between a real life manager and a player in the game is that a manager’s performance may vary over time, whereas your FUT players perform at the same level all the time.

            If EA wanted you to buy new players because of such performance variations, they probably wouldn’t keep it a secret to younthwt performances could vary, right?

            ”No, no and no. More examples from real life, teams that lose will try and buy players in order to try and do better even though the previously bought players didn’t help winning. Teams that win, will still too try and buy better players, and even if they lose after buying these players, they will still try and buy better players to win in the future.”

            I’m really confused now. Now you are arguing that people will buy new players no matter whether they win or lose, which makes it even more pointless to argue that manipulating matches could increase pack sales.
            (…)

            “Combination of this and the feeling that your team can’t suddenly perform, is definitely strong incentive to invest money in packs in order to get better players, to get lucky, to get more coins to buy more players etc.”

            We already covered that a couple of times, and as I told you, a match can’t have more than one loser, no matter how much it is manipulated. End of story.

            “You didn’t for example include a reason such: ”team feeling worse than before” as a possibility in your ”ea doesn’t have a commercial reason” article for pack buying behaviour. Which is one of the biggest effects of scripting or handicapping or whatever you want to call it. Your arguments for the motive really are invalid.”

            It may be one of the biggest reasons for you personally. You are however the first person I have heard of who appeared to believe that your team’s performance would change over time. As I stated earlier, I highly doubt that EA would implement such a feature and not tell us about it.

            “The prizes are also incentives for the players to play the game mode more -> more coins -> better players, and playing more for ea means that it is more likely that more people play the game -> more time they spend with the game -> more possibilities for them to invest in fifa points to buy more packs. Your point in here is extremely invalid because the prizes are good for EAs business, because they keep players more interested.”

            I think you lost track of what we were discussing. You were arguing that EA had a commercial interest in making it difficult to get promoted because promotion would win you more coins than a relegation. I was simply arguing that if that was true, EA wouldn’ have made the rewards as big as they are. I don’t think the senetence above challenges that in any way.

            “If this argument was true, you might as well say that they would remove Inform cards from the game if EA thought they were bad for the business. It makes no sense.”

            Absolutely! They would of course remove inform cards from packs if they weren’t good for their business. I am on the other hand also absolutely certain that informs are good for EA’s business. It makes all the sense in the world.

            ”This argument relies here on two wrong assumptions:
            1) If this was true there would be a noticeable difference in h2h seasons too, especially due to the ”evidence” that you have put forward on skill gaps etc.”

            I haven’t put forward any evidence with regards to H2H seasons. What I do know is that the majority of players consider H2H seasons easier than FUT seasons in terms of the average skill level of the opponents. In conclusion, no, my point doesn’t imply that the things you experience in FUT should be present in H2H seaons as well.

            “2) That the AI is controlled by the player, because most of the stuff I am describing have nothing to do with the opponents skill level.”

            Yes it does. If you were a better player yourself, you would most likely know this. I’m sorry, but that’s the truth.

            “When opponent is not applying high pressure, still I can’t sometimes pass the ball around because the power of the passes is ridiculous, they go wherever they want, the first touches are horrendous. Yet often and especially when the game is helping, when the opponent is applying high pressure I can do it extremely well. Based on everything you said and have ”proved”, this should be the other way around.
            Other parts you didnt cover:”

            I already covered that above. This is indeed what happens when your opponent puts you under constant pressure.

            “How does a skill of my opponent effect on how much defender who is not pressured takes the first touch?”

            Your opponents accuracy and ability to predict the game allows him to get around your defender faster, meaning that you don’t get the required amount of time to complete a first touch, which under other circumstances would have worked put.

            “How does the skill of my opponent affect how the player he is not controlling marks my player?”

            You don’t know who he is controlling when you are on the ball. Besides, a lot of this is about letting the AI do the things it does right and use your own player to do the rest. It’s essentially what defending is all about: Let the defense stay back and hunt the ball with a midfielder.

            “How does the skill of my opponent effect how often my players make runs?”

            It doesn’t, but it affects that any of the runs your team mates make lead to anything.

            “How does the skill level of my opponent effect the speed of passing?”

            It doesn’t, but it affects the accuracy you require to make a successful pass and, as already mentioned, a successful first touch.

            “How does the skill level of my opponent affect the in-game game speed ( Noticeable differences in different games: overall speed of the game, average speed of passing, average agility of players, average highest possible sprint speed)?”

            Pretty much all the examples given above explain how the opponent will contribute to your perception of the match speed.

            ”If your assumption was true, should feel the same kind of extreme agility and sluggishness in different game modes that rely on matchmaking such as online h2h seasons.”

            Presuming the difficulty level was the same, which it isn’t.

            ”I don’t have the time to write a thesis how your evidence is insufficient. For example, if you trust so much statistics, you should evaluate the time you have spent trying to prove scripting doesn’t exist and compare with the amount of minds you have changed. That should be a pretty good indication of how good your evidence actually is.”

            I didn’t ask you to write a thesis but to substantiate your claims. What you essentially are telling me now is that you are unable to explain why you didn’t find my conclusions valid. Or to put it more blunt: You don’t know what you are talking about. You just didn’t like my conclusions.
            PS: Why do you think my am is to change anyones mind?

            ”If this was true, there would not be such a wide skill gap in game matches as your other evidence suggests there is.”

            By no means! If YOU were right, there wouldn’t be such a wide skill hap, because the game would close it down via handicapping. I actually didn’t say that I think EA are trying to level the playing field through matchmaking. All I’m saying is that if they were trying to level games, they would do it through matchmaking, not handicapping.

          • Mark

            I am sorry but arguing about this with you is impossible:

            1) You are convinced that the evidence you have provided proves there is nothing like scripting

            2) Problem with this is that every question, no matter if they have anything to do with the data you have provided, is backed up by your evidence and your interpretation of it

            3) Problem with this is that all of your evidence can be read both ways and is very contradictory, and can be therefore used to support both sides of the argument as I have done but you fail to notice.

            4) Another problem with your evidence is, as I have said many times that you haven’t covered nowhere even close enough ground. Do you see how 1,2 and 3,4 together make a problem?

            4) Problem with 3 and 4 is that you are not willing to accept that fact although I have pointed it out many times, yet to you demand evidence for my evidence for your not good enough evidence

            5) The fact is if you were right and had compelling evidence you would change peoples view on this subject. Then you say, ”well did you even look at it” I say yes, then you say ”well give me substantial evidence why it is not good” You can’t simply accept the fact that you have not proven anything. And I understand that you can’t believe that because you have spent so much time on this, and I am sorry for it.

            6) You confuse skill level of the opponent and A.I. You are not simply willing to understand or believe that what you call my evidence, my eyes, EA manipulates AI gameplay and game settings. I am not a computer wizard so I can not unfortunately see the game codes and such to bring any other evidence on the table on this than what I can clearly see and feel myself.

            7) You are unable to make the connection between how skill level of the opponent effects the gameplay in H2H seasons in comparison to FUT further proves my point that you do not know what you are talking about when it comes to easily noticeable differences in game. You even support this argument with your evidence although you have no evidence on this. In fact, the most the evidence you actually have point towards the direction that it shouldn’t be the way it is, if there wasn’t some kind of scripting involved.

            8) You failed to recognise although I pointed it out multiple times that I am not complaining only about losing, but about winning too, yet your arguments are supported just by losing.

            9) All in all, it all boils down to the fact that you are biased and think you know a lot more on this subject than you actually do, yet you fail to recognise it and thus act like all knowing all mighty who chooses what to analyse and what not to analyse.

            10) I am sorry for you, you have spent so much time on proving nothing, it is almost unfair.

          • Crlarsen

            “I am sorry but arguing about this with you is impossible”

            If you were hoping to convince me with the type of reasoning you have brought up, then yes, that is impossible, and the reason for that is not that I don’t listen or don’t understand what you are saying, but plain and simply that your arguments are poor and that you deny substantiating your claims. I’m sorry to put it that bluntly, but I’m not here to please anybody.

            “1) You are convinced that the evidence you have provided proves there is nothing like scripting

            2) Problem with this is that every question, no matter if they have anything to do with the data you have provided, is backed up by your evidence and your interpretation of it”

            The mere fact that someone brings up evidence which they collected themselves is not an issue, as long as they not only share their conclusions but also the data and the methods used to collect it, meaning that we are able to verify it ourselves, i.e. like all scientists work.

            If you actually read some of the articles on this site, you will notice that they (1) explain how the data was collected where necessary, (2) present the raw data where applicable and (3) finally present my interpretation. Like all scientists, I do not simply put forward claims: I also allow the audience to falsify my claims if they are wrong.

            With regards to your own line of arguing, the method above is something you could learn from. Below, there are some pretty grave examples of you putting forward claims without any sort of supporting argumentation explaining how you reached that conclusion. If you want to be taken seriously and appear credible, that simply isn’t good enough. This goes in all debates, not just the one you are having with me right now.

            “3) Problem with this is that all of your evidence can be read both ways and is very contradictory, and can be therefore used to support both sides of the argument as I have done but you fail to notice.

            4) Another problem with your evidence is, as I have said many times that you haven’t covered nowhere even close enough ground. Do you see how 1,2 and 3,4 together make a problem?”

            We have been around this a couple of times, and like last time you repeated those claims, I would like to request that you explain exactly where you think that things could be interpreted both ways, are contradictory or where I haven’t covered enough ground, as you call it.

            Otherwise it indeed is going to be impossible to have a discussion about it.

            “4) Problem with 3 and 4 is that you are not willing to accept that fact although I have pointed it out many times”

            The reason why I don’t accept that “fact” is primarily that you so far have rejected all requests to demonstrate that this really is a fact and not just something you write because you don’t like my conclusions, although you really can’t pinpoint any flaws in them.

            “yet to you demand evidence for my evidence for your not good enough evidence”

            Yes, I do demand that you substantiate your claims. I don’t just simply accept them as fact just because you wrote it. What did you expect?

            “5) The fact is if you were right and had compelling evidence you would change peoples view on this subject. Then you say, ”well did you even look at it” I say yes, then you say ”well give me substantial evidence why it is not good” You can’t simply accept the fact that you have not proven anything. And I understand that you can’t believe that because you have spent so much time on this, and I am sorry for it.”

            Looking at other aspects of life, there are plenty of examples of beliefs which are widespread and yet utterly wrong. Only a few days ago I saw that 22 % of the republican voters still think that man mate climate change is a hoax. There are plenty of other examples I could mention to prove the simple point that being right doesn’t aklways mean that people believe what you are saying.

            People have their reasons to believe in scripting, and one of those reasons is without doubt that it is a more convenient or pleasant explanation.

            All conspiracy theories, scripting / handicapping included, share a number of traits which I described in one of my previous articles. Essentially, no one believes in a conspiracy theory because it is more likely or makes more sense from a neutral perspective. People believe in conspiracy theories because they prefer the explanation it is offering over the alternatives.

            One of the things conspiracy theories offer is order: Bad things readily happen, but at least they happen for a reason and according to a grand master plan. One of the things one needs to understand is that the explanations offered by conspiracy theories neither make the current situation nor the future prospects any worse than they already are.

            The inclination to believe in conspiracy theories has many common features with religious beliefs (the concept of “the will of God”) and belief in fate (it was meant to happen): They are essentially ways of dealing with the anxiety linked to not being able to predict or control the events ahead of you. As this blogger put it,

            “We fear chaos. We are afraid of the uncontrollable, the untamable, and the unpredictable.”

            Provided that FIFA players are like people in general, this could be one of the reasons why scripting is appealing to certain people, despite the fact that common sense and a massive amount of evidence tells the opposite story.

            “6) You confuse skill level of the opponent and A.I. You are not simply willing to understand or believe that what you call my evidence, my eyes, EA manipulates AI gameplay and game settings. I am not a computer wizard so I can not unfortunately see the game codes and such to bring any other evidence on the table on this than what I can clearly see and feel myself.”

            I do not confuse it, and I already explained to you why the AI indeed will impact your ability to play, even though the AI does what it always does.

            “7) You are unable to make the connection between how skill level of the opponent effects the gameplay in H2H seasons in comparison to FUT further proves my point”

            You haven’t proved any point, and the mere fact that H2H seasons anf FUT are differtent from each other certainly doesn’t prove it either. You are jumping to conclusions and you are expecting me to jump with you. I’m not.

            “8) You failed to recognise although I pointed it out multiple times that I am not complaining only about losing, but about winning too, yet your arguments are supported just by losing.”

            No they aren’t. It’s completely irrelevant to the discussion regarding EA’s possible motives whether you are complaining about the weather or your losses. No matter what you are complaining about, you still haven’t presented a coherent motive for EA to manipulate matches. You seem a little feeble about whether you believe that people buy more packs when they lose or both when they win and lose. Either way, your theories doesn’t lead to the conclusion that EA can increase it’s revenues by manipulating matches, and I already explained why.

            As I already told you, changing the outcome of a game won’t change the amount of winners and losers. It’s as simple as that. Hence, it doesn’t matter what kind og results you believe are linked to a person’s pack purchasing inclination.

            “9) All in all, it all boils down to the fact that you are biased and think you know a lot more on this subject than you actually do, yet you fail to recognise it and thus act like all knowing all mighty who chooses what to analyse and what not to analyse.”

            Okay, now I’m biased and I know nothing about the subject. I hope you understand that these sorts of ubsunstantiated claims will bring you nowhere in a debate other than underline the fact that you obviously are making up conclusions which you aren’t able to substantiate.

            “10) I am sorry for you, you have spent so much time on proving nothing, it is almost unfair.”

            Not it isn’t. So far, I have obtained exactly what I was hoping for.

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