Almost a full season ago PPM made some pretty big changes to the game engine regarding tactics and counter-tactics, and the ability to score goals.
Now, 100+ days later, how have those changes stacked up? Did PPM screw the proverbial pooch with the changes, or did they improve the game?
To be perfectly honest, I believe you could ask 100 people that question and most probably end up with a 50/50 split on the resulting thoughts. Clearly, a season on and the changes have been met with plenty of mixed emotions.
For a little catch-up, the primary changes were the reduction of counter-tactic strength and a much greater influence put on the shooting attribute. Up until this season, if someone player the Offensive tactic, you could guarantee an advantage by playing Defensive, and so on. This season that changed, with tactics being much more influenced by actual team strength. Of course, counter-tactics DO still work, just not as much or as good as they used to. The changes to the shooting influence was the biggest and most felt change to the system though, with teams who had dominated on the scoreboard finding it hard to put the puck in net this season. My own team, who had averaged 150 goals over seasons 5 and 6 dropped to just 128 this season.
So were the changes an improvement?
I can’t speak for the thousands of other managers in the Powerplay Manager community, but from my own experience the changes were, for the most part, exactly what PPM wanted them to be; as could be seen from my own goal scoring figures.
The issue however, is how do you train a strong team that uses the PPM Tactics to your advantage while still playing to the strength of your team? First of all, you need to think team first, instead of just thinking tactics. PPM Tactics are no longer a pick and play thing; they require effort and a team that can actually play the style of tactic you choose.
By this I mean, if your team has very few snipers (high shooting attribute players), then one could argue that the offensive attribute would be less effective for your players. Saying that, the other side of the coin is that the offensive attribute could mean you take more shots, and as they say, the more shots you put on net, the more chance you have of scoring goals.
The PPM Guide talks about the individual tacts at Powerplay Manager and gives a description of the type of team you need to have in order to best benefit from them. I suggest you read the tactics section of the guide often, as knowing this information will not just help you win games, but will help you build a MUCH more stronger team going forward.
PPM Tactics aside though, you need to score goals, and to do that, PPM have made it VERY clear that you need a highly trained shooting attribute on your players. If you ask around the forums you will find that most often, teams with the most goals and best seasons all have a lot of highly trained scoring players. This is no coincidence, and is pretty much the way PPM wanted it to be when they changed the influence of the shooting attribute.
Lastly, I want to briefly talk on the game importance option when you setup your games. This season saw the change from the 3 step (Low-Normal-High) importance system to a much more detailed 5 step (Very Low – Low – Normal – High – Very High) system. As with all my previous posts, I suggest playing on the lowest possible game importance you can while still ensuring wins. Teams who favoured the higher importance are now at a disadvantage in the playoffs because they have much lower seasonal energy for their players. So please keep in mind that while game importance is often overlooked, is is as vital a PPM Tactic as any of the other things I have touched on in this post.
Good luck to all the teams in the playoffs this season, and to those fighting for promotion or to avoid relegation. Remember, even if things don’t go well, there is always next season.