All about the specialists

The recent changes to the specialist rating need more explaination. Main reason is that we needed to adjust some values after the update – which by the way is totally normal for such a large change, as the behaviour of thousands of users is simply not a thing we can test beforehand. I am quite confident that most of you are patient enough!

The new specialist rating

First things first: Why did we change the specialist rating in the first place?

There actually are plenty of reasons: The old specialist rating (SR) was hard to understand, even for power gamers. It was rather intransparent. Sometimes it even was misleading, because you could easily setup a bad SR5 team. Furthermore, in 541 a SR of 5 was nearly not achievable. And finally, it made it nearly impossible to add new specialists. That said, let’s conclude that it a good thing to replace the old SR by something better.

Now the new setup screen allows you to see at once if a specialist is positioned correctly or not. Still, you need to understand things like:

– DM headers are strictly worse in defending than CB headers and thus are not counted.

– In contrast, in 343 DM headers are counted as offensive players who DO work.

– In offensive formations, the hammer does nothing and is not marked neither counted.

– Crossing specialists are only counted if you have at least one offensive header because defensive headers only are not very effective.

– Man-to-man-markers do nothing in 541, as they are designed to „close holes“, and five defenders leave no such „hole“.

– Crossing players also work on central positions

– But headers don’t work if placed on the wing.

The experts among you knew all of that before, but now each and every manager can immediately see it, and that’s a good thing.

That said, the new specialist rating is still not perfect. For example, if you place two man-to-man-markers in 442, only one is actually effective, but the SR will count both, as they are both positioned correctly. Same is true for two CB HE. Aces are always marked, even in 442 if you have no playmaker.

We are going to improve that in the near future, but not neccessarily in the rating, but on the specialists themselves. Our objective is to make the simulation transparent for all of you!

Specialists in the analysis

As you know, the analysis sometimes shows „Specialists“ as reason for a match result. It does so, if it sees a relevant difference in both team’s specialist rating. Before the update, that relevant difference was 2 or more. Obviously, as specialist ratings now can reach 11 and are not 5, we needed to tweak that value, so we changed it to 4.

Unfortunately, it turned out yesterday that this was not enough. Many teams with previously strong setups with new specialist ratings 6 or 7 lost to a SR 11 team and then concluded that they also would needed to switch to SR 11 – and that meant remove all superstitious players.

Of course that was wrong, because we did not change the strength of those formations at all. Still, you can loose with such a formation – but not because you lack specialists, instead the reason is simply bad luck or the other team was equally strong in total and then there is no guarantee you always win. Some managers even started selling their superstitious players instead of waiting until we do the right thing – adjusting the analysis output.

That’s what we did this morning: The threshold for the analysis displaying „Specialists“ has been raised to a SR difference of EIGHT or more. And, yes, if a team with SR 11 beats SR 3 (or SR 8 beats SR 0), then the lack of specialists is really propably a reason for the result.

So, as a round up, let me say thank you for your positive feedback on our largest update since many months. We are confident that the changes are great to have and we say thank you for your support and patience!