Sneak Preview: New PPM Tool Surpasses Expectations

Those who have been reading my content for some time may remember a review I did a long time back about a PPM tool that helped you determine your players true strengths via the EOR and EQ calculations.  Well, I am very pleased to announce that the creater of that tool, Wessel, has been working on a brand new, updated version of the tool, and let me tell you, it’s really good!

A little bit of history first though.  Wessel has been in the process of creating this tool and it’s previous versions for the last few years.  Originally the tool was developed as a WordPress plugin, which allowed you to import your players data and it would tell you the results.  Following that came a Greasemonkey script, which gave the tool direct access to many features on the PPM website itself.  This tool has been one of my favorites for a long long time.  The newest version breaks the chains of Greasemonkey, and delivers a knockout punch directly via the Firefox Addons system.

Functionality

Let’s get straight to the things you want to hear… what the heck does this tool do, and why should you be interested?

The primary feature of the tool (right now) is to display your team in a way that highlights which players are best for which positions.  As you know, having a successful player on PPM takes more than just offense, defense or goalkeeping, it requires a ratio of different attributes all working together to create the “perfect player”.  Over exagerated I know, but you get the point.  The basic player display screen of course doesn’t give you this magic number, it only lists each of your players attributes.  But the PPM Tool does.  Using a combination of mathematical calculations the tool will convert your players attributes and display them using their EOR (Effective Overall Rating) and EQ (Effective Quality) figures.  Not sure what EOR and EQ are?  I direct you to an older post of mine which can be found here.

Current featues in the preview version of the tool:

  • Display your players strenghts based on EOR/EQ
  • Select which multiplyers to use in EOR calculations (Energy, Chemistry, Experience, etc)
  • Set and adjust your training rations directly from your team settings page.
  • Turn the tool on and off which a click of a button (on your team page).
  • Export your team directly to a CSV file.
  • Currently the tool ONLY works in the soccer version of the game.  Others coming.

Other than the requirement that you use the Firefox browser, there are no issues with the tool.  As a regular Firefox user myself, this of course did not bother me at all.

The Design & Style

The best way to describe the style of the tool is to say it’s seamlessly built into your PPM team page, so it looks like it’s part of the page. 

Players page with the tool turned off.  Notice the button to switch it on.

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Players overview page with the tool turned on.

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With the tool turned on, the columns now have all new headings to display the EOR figures.

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The team settings page now contains your ratio settings.

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Release Details

Right now the tool is in development (hense the sneak preview) and is currently unavailable for download / install.  It is being worked on and hopefully a full release date is just around the corner!

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5 Ways To Improve Your PPM Soccer Team

ppmsoccer03The evolution of the Online Sports Manager Game, Powerplay Manager since it’s inception has been quite incredible, so it’s understandable and expected that the game engine that drives the game(s) has also.  For better or worse, the football / soccer and hockey game engines have undergone continual tweaks and adjustments since day 1 of season 1.  I have been involved in different online manager games for a number of years and PPM is by far the most active of all admin, and to me, that can only ever be a good thing.

Of course, the other side to continual tweaks to the game engine is that we as managers need to study the changes and constantly adjust our playing style to ensure we stay on top of our games.  This is part of PPM that I really like the most, as It creates a certain amount of trial by fire to the game.  That doesn’t mean that it’s a guessing game.  In fact, quite the opposite.  Knowledge equals power, and once you know and understand the finer points of the game, your winning percentage will greatly increasel.

So here are 5 things you can do that will help you develop a stronger team and play a stronger game (in no particular order).

1. Dominate The Midfield

In one of the big changes to the game engine in the last few seasons PPM made some major improvements to the way the game looks at, and plays the midfield.  In football, ball posession is often won (or lost) in the midfield, and ball posession is the first step to scoring chances and of course goals.  PPM are always keen to make their games as realistic as possible, so this particular change had a lot of us hardcore football fans nearly salivating!

ppmsoccer01Your midfield (both central and out wide) should be one of your strongest (if not THE strongest) positions on the field.  The quickest way to see the strength of your midfield is to look at your team page and look at your team ratings graph (similar to image on right)

Having core players here could quite literally be the difference between a win and a loss.  In my opinion I believe you should play at least 4 midfielders, 2 in the center position and 2 out wide.  Depending on your opposition (see point 5 in this article), your players (point 2) or how offensively talented they are (point 3) your tactics may vary here.

2. Position, Position, Position!

Left back, right back, full back, striker, forward, center midfield attack… great phrases, but what does it mean in relation to having a strong team?  There are actually 2 things you need to understand when it comes to your players positions. 

The first is to ensure that they are in fact being played in the correct position.  Playing a center defender at left back may sound ok, but in practice the results may be something entirely different.  If you do test different players in different positions be sure to take note of your team strength (ie. team info page) after the daily game update.  This will give you an indicator of any major changes.  I wont get into attributes and EOR in this article as that will take too long, but you need to make sure that your players are where they should be.

The second part to this is your players preferred side.  There are 3 different types of preferences for this; left, right or universal.  While this “mainly” applies to players who are in the wide positions it can also apply to central players also.  Above all else the most important thing you need to remember is to try and NOT play someone who prefers  one side on the opposite side of the field.  For example if you have a left back who likes the left side, don’t play him on the right side!  Research shows doing so could result in an drop of attribute rating for that player between 10% and 20%!

3. Shooting, The Forgotten Attribute

You can have the most talented player in the league but if he has zero finishing skills he’s never going to score a ton of goals.  All too often I see players who train up their team with 1 or 2 scorers (usually forwards) and then wonder why their team scores less goals a season than their opposition. 

The fact is, the shooting attribute applies to ALL players with the exception of only the goalie!  Last season I spent a lot of time training up shooting on my midfielders and defenders to see just how much of a difference it really made.  The image below shows the current top goal scorers in my team so far this season. 

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Of those top 6 players, 2 are forwards, 2 are midfielders and 2 are defenders!

How much you train your shooting is entirely up to you.  I would recommend between 40% and 60% of the defense attribute for defenders (depending of course on the quality of the shooting attribute), between 40% and 70% for midfielders (50% – 80% for attacking midfielders) and for forwards 70%+ or their primary attribute. 

4. Use Line Tactics That Suit YOUR Team

Line tactics are another thing that PPM have spent time tweaking within the game engine over the last few seasons.  No longer can you play a crazy (unrealistic) tactic and still dominate a game.  But that doesn’t mean you “have” to play a cookie cutter style of tactic.  While many play a default 4-4-2 style of game, it is my opinion that if you train your team right, you can be far more successful with tactics that are designed around your teams strengths.

For example, if you have a center midfielder who has a very high shooting then you could play a 4-1-2-1-2 tactic, where you have 4 defenders, a defensive midfielder (played back in the central position towards the defenders), a winger on the left and right and the high shooting attacking midfielder at the top just back from the 2 forwards.  This would give your team essentially 3 attacking players while keeping your midfield strong (see point 1 in this article).

Alternatively, if you only have 1 quality striker but have a strength in the midfield you could play something like a 4-1-2-2-2 or 4-2-2-1-2 where you have 5 players in the midfield with either 2 back as defensive central midfielders and 1 attacking or switch them and have 1 defensive mid and 2 attacking mid.

The line tactics you play should always match the strengths of your team. Just remember, don’t play crazy lineups!

5. Know Your Enemy

Updating your game tactics and lines everyday can take less than 5 minutes and can be a major decider in you winning or losing.  But before you do that, take a look at your next match and check out your oppositions analysis.  See what tactics they play, how they manage their energy / game importance and which of their players are the biggest scoring threats. 

Once you’ve done that, take a look at your lineup and decide what (if anything) you need to change or tweak.  Doing a little research can go a very long way with PPM!

Tomorrow I will be posting an article touching on the same issue but with regards to your PPM Hockey team.

Not playing PPM yet?  Why not join today?  It’s 100% free and you can play either Hockey or Soccer! 

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PPM Tool: The Extreme EOR and EQ Tool For PPM

I am pleased to present to you all another fantastic PPM Tool that can be used to help manage your team. This tool was created by PPM Manager “Mr Orange” and is quite possibly the best EOR/EQ tool I have seen.

You can access the tool at http://ppm.wesselvanderveen.nl.

Here is a simple breakdown of the features:

  • It will List your teams EOR and EQ (taking into account experience and chemistry!)
  • Provides recommended training based on your ratios
  • Allows you to customize your ratios and create custom ratios (ie. PP Point, etc)
  • It will work with both your soccer and hockey teams at PPM (training is soccer only)

Before I go into any details, I want to explain one thing this tool does which makes it stand out in the crowd. Most EOR and EQ math are based simply on attribute figures. While this is a rather good indicator of a players strength it lacks one vital bit of information; experience and chemistry. Mr Orange has cleverly written these into his EOR math, so the figures you see actually include the boost your players get from their experience.

For this reason, the figures you see are in many ways more accurate than the traditional attribute based EOR math. Furthermore, you may be shocked to find that your players whom you considered the best are not actually the “best” based on this EOR. I only mention this as both a warning against confusion and an explanation of the math.

Your Player Data Pages

First, you need to log in. If you’re not yet a member join from the front of the site.

The tool is used by uploading particular pages from your PPM team. The tool will take the content on those pages and pull the relevant information out to display on the screen.

Those 4 pages are:

  • Hockey EOR Calculation:
    http://hockey.powerplaymanager.com/en/edit-line.html?data=2-4
  • Hockey EQ Calculation:
    http://hockey.powerplaymanager.com/en/players-practice.html
  • Soccer EOR Calculation / Training:
    http://soccer.powerplaymanager.com/en/lineup.html
  • Soccer EQ Calculation:
    http://soccer.powerplaymanager.com/en/players-practice.html

Note: You MUST use the URLs above, or the system may not parse the information correctly.

To save those pages, simply load the pages in your browser and then right click on the page and select “Save Page As”. Choose somewhere on your system to save the page.

Setting Your Player Ratios

Before you want to go and add your content you need to setup your ratios. In the settings / ratios menu you will see options to adjust your hockey and soccer ratios (see below).

PPM Tool 1

As you can see from the image below (soccer ratios), you simply adjust the ratios as you see fit, making sure that the primary attribute is 100. The ratio system works the same as the PPM Automatic Practice ratios work. Make the relevant changes and hit save. Note, you can include things like shooting if you see fit.

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Uploading Pages & Viewing Data

PPM Tool 3Now that you’re ratios are set, you can go ahead and upload your first player data page. In this case I am going to view my Soccer teams EOR figures. So in the information menu, go to the upload page (see below) and then following the instructions on that page, select the saved file for soccer EOR (lineup.html) and upload it.

Once uploaded you can now head over to the Soccer EOR page.

Again, in the information menu, this time browse to Soccer, then to Effective Overall Rating and then the first option “EOR PER POSITION”. (see below)

PPM Tool 1

All going well, you will now see a page that displays your Soccer team, including all their attributes sorted into columns for each position similar to the image below. The figures you see are the EOR figures for each position. The highlighted EOR for each player is their highest EOR position, which in 99.9% of cases, should be the position you play that player in.

PPM Tool 1

As i mentioned at the top of this article, don’t be surprised if the EOR of some players is higher than you thought it would be, or even if some players are considered “better” than others on your team. These figures include experience, which does have an incredible affect on your team strength.

Note: To view your PPM Hockey EOR Data simply follow the same steps above but instead upload the edit-line.html page and select the hockey EOR data in the relevant menu.

Viewing Training (Soccer Only)

The player training screen can come in very handy if you’re not sure how to train your players. Once the page loads, you will need to click on the player name in the left column, and this will drop down a new section similar to that below. The data shows your current players attributes and your desired attributes based on your players primary attribute and the ratios you set for your team. In the case of the player below, as my desired are all lower than my primary, it is the primary i need to train.

PPM Tool 1

Why Use This Tool?

Possibly the biggest question, right? The most powerful feature off this tool is its ability to help you setup strong lines based on EOR. Not only that, but if you set up custom ratios for positions such as point play on the powerplay (hockey) or center midfield attack (soccer) you can work out which players are best used on special teams. The set piece tool also gives you a HUGE bonus when managing your soccer team.

But even if you don’t want to use it for those reasons, it’s still a fantastic tool for simply viewing your teams growth over time.

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EQ & EOR: The Player Training Power-Duo

EQ and EORA commonly overlooked part of the PPM gaming system is the use of effective training. This has always seemed strange to me because training is the number 1 most important feature of your stadium or arena for long-term growth and success of your team.

The problem isn’t a managers lack of ability to train. Indeed, almost all managers I have spoken to have expressed that they try really hard to build a solid team but simply do not know how to best build their team. Sure, we all know (well, most anyway) about the preferred ratios (2-1-1, 4-3-2 in hockey and things like 4-3-3-1, 4-2-2-2 in soccer, etc), but ratios are only one part of expanding your players skills.

How do you know what a players true value is?

Average Quality is a great figure, but is actually fairly worthless when it comes to the true value of a player. For example, a Right Wing hockey player might have a really good quality in their Goal and Defense attributes but lower qualities across all the others. Their average quality might be up in the high 70% but for a winger, goal and defense are not important attributes so the average figure is skewed. Likewhys a forward soccer player may have high quality defense and midfield but low quality offensive and shooting attributes. Their average is high, but as a forward he would be a low quality player.

So is there a way to solve this and get a true value figure?

Yes, there is. Effective Quality (EQ) and Effective Overall Rank (EOR); 2 figures that work alongside each other and give an accurate description of a players skills and qualities. In short, they become an accurate replacement for the current OR and AveQ figures.

In part 2 of this article I will explain what each mean and describe how you too can work out the true accuracy of your team.

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