With less than 2 months remaining until the release of FIFA 19, holding back the excitement becomes harder by the day. Everything the community has been crying out for, seems to have been addressed within this year's addition, and provided that their servers are up to scratch, we could potentially be playing the best ever FIFA to date.
For now, we are smart to remain a little skeptical, as we have been burnt before. EA have listed off promises, new mechanics, game modes and settings before, only to leave us bored and un-fulfilled within a few months. This year however, it feels different, it feels believable, it feels like they are actually with us. So, without further ado, lets jump into these features, and break down what we can/should expect!
Ever since the introduction of the Weekend League, the player base as a whole have really struggled in finding value, or reason, to play matches throughout the week. With seasons providing such basic rewards, and squad battles becoming extremely repetitive to most, a new game mode was not only wanted, but was needed, if EA planned on prolonging FIFA’s lifespan across the year.
So, here we have it, the new game mode coming with FIFA 19, Division Rivals.
Unlike the previous system with seasons, where you begin at division 10 and work your way up, you are initially met with placement matches, which are used to determine your current skill level, and then place you within a division full of worthy opponents. Not only does this ensure that you receive a fair chance, in regards to climbing the leaderboard and earning yourself some rewards, but it also provides a brilliant matchmaking tool, that allows everybody to compete against players of similar skill, and progress as/when ready.
As mentioned above, the placement is only temporary, and by no means does this solidify where you will be stuck throughout the year. Winning games, and climbing up the division leaderboard, will allow you to potentially climb a division, while if you are really stuck and struggling, relegation may initially seem like a slap in the face, but being able to compete on a more level playing field is a blessing in disguise.
Next up, we have a factor that is potentially the most important addition to most, prizes. Yes, it looks like there will be prizes, and yes, just like with squad battles and weekend league, they will also be awarded weekly. The structure seems to directly mirror the format implemented for squad battles and weekend league alike. The higher you climb within your designated division, the greater the possible reward, simple!
The final topic for us to cover regarding Division Rivals, is how it will change the way in which we qualify for the Weekend League. Gone are the days of having to play in those “daily knockout tournaments”. Gone are the days of having to sweat out four consecutive wins. Gone are the days of smashing controllers simply because you struggled to gain entry into an event, that would in turn force you to smash even more controllers.
The new system for weekend league entry revolves around points. Winning games in both division rivals and weekend league, grants points, which in turn can be exchanged for weekend league entry, as and when you wish. Yes, if you plan on missing a weekend, those points can be saved and use when you will be available, an incredibly well thought out and logical move here from EA!
Player Pick is yet another unique twist, one that, at least in theory, sounds absolutely incredible. Packs have been a staple within FUT since its birth, providing excitement for the player and profit for EA. Over the past several years, we have seen EA implement new packs, each containing a different mixture of cards. While the pack size, price and possible contents vary depending on the pack, the logic behind them is always the same, you open the pack and receive the items within. Player Pick however, changes absolutely everything we thought we knew about packs.
Player Pick packs will apparently be available from both SBC’s and other packs. It has not been made clear just how likely you are to find these in packs, if the type of pack opened makes a difference, or if the SBC’s that provide them will be frequent or extremely rare, but what we have been told, is exactly how they work.
A Player Pick pack, consists of between 2 and 5 players, however unlike with other packs, you will not be receiving all of them. Instead, you will have a tough choice to make, as you can only pick one of these players. From the look of things, these players will likely be premium names or special cards, giving a real reason to select the correct player for your team. I’m sure that down the line people will find a reason to complain about these packs too, but a pack that increases your chances of obtaining a premium player, one who also fits your squad, seems like a great addition to me.
The final topic for us to cover within this article, is the addition of dynamic tactics. Remember how infuriating it is, starting a game and then either having to change your formation and tactics, or even having to sit there while your opponent does it? Well fear not, as with the introduction of dynamic tactics, this could be a thing of the past.
Dynamic tactics allows the user to setup and change between multiple playstyles, at the click of a button. While before you had the ability to change between attacking, normal or defensive, during a match, this expansion allows us to further customize our experience, adding changes such as formation and custom tactics too.
Each individual is no longer bound to the generic settings EA create, we now have the ability to become completely unique, and tailor our settings to match our playstyle. Whether your ahead and plan on defending your lead with a more defensive formation, or behind, and in need of that attacking formation which increases your chance of a goal, you can ensure that the change required is only a button away.