Friday, 29 February 2008


to Layne Morsch of GW4's FC Lake Zurich, who just became a dad, in news-making circumstances We're all very chuffed for him and his family.

Goodbye Richie!

Big news in the FML universe today - two new beta test gameworlds have opened - so if you haven't got a place yet, best check your e-mail! And if you've got one, make sure you read all the instructions, eh.

Obviously a new world needs mods, and it's with sadness that I saw a good mate that I've made through FML, Richard H., leave GW4 to join GW7. Also, three other good lads - Gil, Si and Andy G., are all off to join Rich there as new mods. They've been excellent managers in GW4, have all grown in stature as time passed, and all showed the aptitude and willingness to help to become new moderators. Hopefully it will work out for them all - it's not all fun though lads!

That leaves us GW4 mods with a whole load to sort out, and not much time to do it in. The new GW4 season starts on Monday, and there's a lot to do. There's a trend all of a sudden for people to jump ship and swap federation, which I've not seen before and is a real pain in the arse for a mod.

I have to consider what the effect on my fed would be for guys ranked 17th and 30th suddenly joining out of nowhere and having to be put in the Championship, with guys ranked in the 300s. Is that going to be fun for my established members? I don't think so, so I took the bold step and declined their applications this time round. Feds have to be fun for all the members, not just the top guys.

Wednesday, 27 February 2008

Update Wednesday!

The servers have just gone down for GW4, with Marc Duffy from SI holding our hands to calm our anxieties over being FML-less for maybe as much as 30 minutes. How ever will we cope? It's always one of the most exciting times for me - when I log back in, the game will automatically update my client software, and I'll be able to get straight in to the new features. I can't wait!

This one should be a real zinger, as well - the match engine will be upgraded to match that used in FM08's new 8.0.2 patch (and my tactic is working pretty well in 8.0.2...), we're getting new kit styles and graphs - a real graphical overhaul that's proven popular elsewhere.

There are 4 public test worlds for FML - 2 500-user worlds that see regular updates as and when necessary, and 2 1000-user worlds that only get updates once a month. GW4 is one of these worlds - we seem to always get the update on the Wednesday afternoon of the off-season week.

Now I just can't wait to get stuck back in...

Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Shock result in Champions League Final

Many of the 'official' competitions in FML are hosted within the 'domestic' federations that I've discussed before. However, we also have the UFFA for inter-fed football goodness.

The inaugural GW4 UFFA season is just drawing to a close, and the Champions League Final produced a massive shock. Despite finishing 8th in the Casual FA, Ben Hodgkins' Hodge Hotspurs (now 22nd in the world rankings) trounced Dale Honess' hot favourites FC Coconuts 3-0 in the final to take the glory. Well done to Ben, an amazing victory.

Also pleasing for me was the performance from my DFA members - I went out to early favourites Joga Bonito FC in the last 16, and Rok Titovsek's AC Zebnik went out to GW4 giants 'The Hairy Nosepickers' on away goals, or penalties I forget! The real stunners, though, were Le Zhang's Real West Laker FC and James Tucker's Kaswell - both got to the semi-finals! Well done to one and all...


After a nice unbeaten run for the last couple of days, my main striker has got injured until tomorrow, and my form has stuttered.

Ironically, it's not stuttered due to scoring less - my wonderkid reserve striker has grabbed his chance with both hands and has hammered home 5 in 3 games. The lads are playing out of their skins but just not getting the rewards - I'll get over it.

The off-season is a hard time to judge form, as I've entered a load of user-created competitions to maintain form and fitness. There's the Scotsman's Perfunctory League (the SPL), a short league between some of the Scots in the gameworld, the Senior Practise League (the SPL...) and a few others. That means I'm playing wildly different opponents, whose style I'm less accustomed to. And I'm devising a mean new 4-3-1-2 while I'm at it...

User-created leagues and cups are massively popular. Naturally many are inspired by certain real life competitions, though my 'favourite' has always been the monster league - two leagues of 32 teams, playing each other twice, with the top 16 from each league going through to another league of 32. A true beast! The competitions can be ultra-quick or take months, they can have loads of rounds, league stages and knockout ones - a lot of flexibility. Teams creating a tournament are not allowed to make a profit, since the effort taken to host one is so minimal - allowing teams to make a profit from something so easy proved very unpopular. Should the host choose to charge an entry fee, 100% must be returned as prize money therefore - split in whatever way desired by the host.

Tomorrow is Update Wednesday (GW4 gets software updates just once a month), so that will be exciting - a lot of new graphical goodness coming, so look forward to seeing some of that action. Also a new match engine... always a trying time! Anyway, Mitze's excellent blog has some screenshots from the new update already, the lucky sod, so check it out!

Monday, 25 February 2008


Our 21 day season has finished now, so we've got a week off to frantically rebuild our sides and try out new tactics in preparation for season 4. I've struggled for goals over the past season - too much focus on being tight at the back, not enough going forward. I've ditched the 4-5-1/4-3-3 style tactic, and gone for a more offensive 4-3-1-2, used to great effect by some of the top sides.

That means trying to ship out one of my wingers, Dudu, who's on £16k a day so that I can afford to keep my new £29k a day striker - no spoilers here if I say it's Nicklas Bendtner who'll be alongside Briand for me now. These two young hotshots are both good all-rounders and should give me plenty of options up front.

The signing of Bendy, as I've taken to calling him as I can never remember how to spell his name, has pushed my wages to £276k a day - which means an excess wage tax of £26k, for being over the £250k limit. A recent plummet in the rankings has seen my daily income drop to £209k - plus £2k interest and the £20k fed daily income; still a big loss. Dudu must go.

Sold one of my (regen) kids, another winger, this morning for £100k and 10% of any future fee - not bad for a 16 year old, but that's 2 days debt at the moment...

Friday, 22 February 2008

'You'll never win anything with kids', well, ok maybe you will

Someone's asked about the youth setup in FML, so this will be the area for discussion today.

I've already outlined the system for getting hold of players, I think, in an earlier post - the same holds true for kids as well. If you want to sign any unattached player, young or old, in FML you do so through a 24 hour wage auction. That means someone bids on the player, and then anyone else has 24 hours to get their bid in. The highest bidder wins the player, paying the acquisition fee and the wage that the second highest bidder offered plus £1.

The only exception to this auction business is when you are setting up your initial squad - at that time you may sign any unattached player on a 1 season deal for their wage demand.

Typically youth players have a wage demand of £200 per (real life) day - the best will have higher demands. To set up and operate a youth squad, you have to sign each player yourself - the regens, newgens or FREDs or whatever they are called these days, the young regenerated players all start with no club. This may sound arduous, but it isn't - in reality, I sign a lot of youth players on 24 hour trial contracts, play them in friendlies, see how they cope and then bid to keep the better ones.

Auctions for most youth players are not contested - however, for the best the auctions can really heat up and drive the final wage offered for the player higher and higher. It's important to remember that there are plenty of players and not to bid more than you can afford!

Anyway, once you've signed a youth squad, what can you do with them? There are always unofficial competitions, obviously, and each federation offers a range of youth competitions. In the DFA that I run, I organise U19 and U21 leagues, and an U21 cup as well, and these prove popular. The U21 league is the main focus, and gets a fair pot of money awarded to it - so this subsidises some of the cost of running a youth setup.

However, youth football in my opinion is about investment in the future, so the user has to pay the lion's share out of their team's daily income - youths are very cheap, so it's not a big issue, and maybe that young MRC could be the next Gerrard after all...

The final query I guess is how do you know then who is a good youth player to sign? The Scouting Skills let you see more players as you learn more of them, but also unlock the 'Judging Potential' skill - this lets you get a vague idea of how good a player could one day become. There are 5 levels to the skill, with each level taking longer to learn than the previous one, but making the accuracy of the prediction slightly better. It's never fully accurate, and the predicted level won't be the same for everyone - leading to a lot of hilarity in the marketplace when you try to convince everyone that the 16 year old central defender with tackling of 4 really does have 5* potential...

Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Cheats not prospering, again

Like Stevie 'Fifth Official' G diving in the box whilst miraculously looking at the referee at the same time, you can guarantee that there will be people happy to try and cheat in an online game.

Cheating in FML is obviously going to take a different form to other MMOs, since there are no walls to make invisible so you can shoot through them, and paying someone to sit and kill Murlocs for 3 days won't help much either. But as I've said before, there are loopholes, and one of the biggest parts of the beta test has been to try and root out as many as possible of these.

The most obvious and open form of cheating is simply to look up players in the FM database. This is a route open to the majority of FML players, and one that is abused. There's little we can do - the main thing to remember though, is that the majority of FMLers will also own FM08, so it's open to all. Also, most people will know that Cristiano Ronaldo or Carlos Vela are good players in real life... So the advantage is limited - especially since I don't think FML uses the FM08 database - I'm sure I remember hearing in the early days that it was a modified database, with the 'playing field' levelled a bit...

Also bear in mind that a combination of Wage Demand/Acquisition Fees and the inability to sell a player for 7 days after he has signed prohibits rapid exploitation. The skills system will also limit the number of players you can see when you first join up, so not all players will be available to all new users. The loan system, also, was particularly abused - now it is pretty watertight. Measures like these really help to level the field as much as possible.

Cheating opportunities tend to be limited, since we all have the same tools. We tend really to be looking at exploits - things like top ranked sides setting up unofficial 3 team competitions, with a draw seeded by world ranking meaning they played a lower-ranked side in the final for a guaranteed profit. They get eradicated very quickly.

Other forms of cheating have been harder to spot - and that's where I, and the other mods, come in. When something smells fishy, it really stands out for all to see, and it usually gets reported very quickly. There's been a good few people removed from the beta for abusing exploits in the game, rather than reporting them - cheats stand out a mile off in FML, and won't be tolerated, even after retail. But in some senses those people who have been removed were our most valuable testers - each one gone is another loophole shut.

People coming into FML have to recognise that they are joining a real community; the other people in that community are worthy of respect and honesty. Anything else, as they say, just isn't cricket.

Monday, 18 February 2008

If you wanna be a record breaker...

So someone asked about records - as I said in the history blurb, FML records everything you do, ever, for posterity and banter usage, and the team/player performance is no different.

Now, I'm not in the business of doing people's scouting for them (not unless there is a fee involved, of course - another hint of a future feature there...), so I've blanked out all the player names here!

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So as you can see - everything you could wish for really. I'll also show off the Player History page as well - not for one of my players, obviously, and not for anyone you won't be checking out anyway!

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The stats at the bottom for presenting success rates as percentages are a massive step forward from vanilla FM, in my opinion, and I really hope to see them appear in FM09. For me, they've overtaken attributes in usefulness - it's all very well a player having 19 for passing, but if he's not going to fit into your tactics... Also, if your DCs have good heading/jumping attributes, but are failing to win a decent % of headers, you know there's probably something wrong with your tactics.

Friday, 15 February 2008


People may have heard a lot of waffle about inactive teams in FML, so that is today's topic - and it's a hot one.

Demand to get into the beta has been incredible - with less than 3000 places currently available to the baying public, and over 80,000 having registered an interest in testing, you could almost envisage seeing places popping up on eBay!

However, in my opinion, SI have targeted a wide audience - not just the hardcore FM gamer who's going to take it extremely seriously, but the casual gamer, to which the game is also being targeted at. This diverse mix of people come with different approaches and levels of competency as well, so the test gives a truer reflection of an anticipated retail userbase.

So, roughly speaking - SI send out a load of emails (Duffy's fingers must've just about worn off by now, all that emailing), people reply and get the hallowed download link.

This is the first hurdle - there are only so many spaces, so there can only be so many given the link... And having got this far, there are a sizeable number who don't respond, or who do download the client, sign up in the game, but then never sign in!

Of those who do sign in, some get lost during the setup processes; there's a lot going on when you first sign in, and if you don't have any background knowledge it can be daunting, of course - SI are really targeting this for improvement, and in-game help will really be a massive boost. Also, there are now a few handy wizards that a new user gets presented with which guide them through.

One thing I tried was to implement some FAQ/help sheets using the in game voting system - I didn't start the votes, so people could only see the description text and the vote options (which were links to other parts of the FAQ. A limit of 1000 characters for the description text kept things concise, and when a new user signed up I would email them the link to the FAQ and tips on where to find help - this approach increased the user retention rate by around 50%.

So why do people drop out? Is the game that bad? Well, no, not at all - there are many reasons:
  • Some are not technically able enough to get the client running; we're talking about people who don't know what a zip file is here. Beta testing unfortunately is slightly more complicated than normal gaming, though SI have really got this nailed now with things much simpler than they used to be.
  • Some don't 'get' the game. We see a few who come in wanting to be Liverpool. If we explain the concept of the game, they soon get it and stick around, but us mods can't catch everyone for a chat.
  • Some don't like online games, or talking/losing to real people
  • Many people don't like losing - this isn't FM08, you can't replay games, you can't cheat, someone has to be ranked 897th. The key to that is to be playing teams at your level, which is perfectly achieveable. And don't take it too seriously... there can only be one No. 1 rank at a time! It's like signing up to World of Warcraft and expecting to be Level 60 straight away.
  • Some think it's a demo, or treat it as such anyway. Come in, have a look around and leave again.
The thing is - all these are concerns in the beta, of course, and SI are tracking everything people do, what pages they look at - even studies on where peoples' eyes look at on the screen - everything they can to figure out anything that makes the initial experience harder than it should be. Those things will be fixed come retail.

I'd also assume that once people are paying the monthly subscription for the game - and I will certainly be amongst them - they will get round most of the issues above. If you're paying, you'll look for help, you'll probably be aware of the basic concepts of the game, the client install will be smoother... you get the picture. Inactivity won't be an issue come retail.

Thursday, 14 February 2008

The ups and downs of Federation Life

In GW4, we have federations (feds) based on time slots. The feds herd users into groups based on the times when they are most likely to be online and able to play a match. I'm a member of the DFA, the Daytime Football Association, since I mainly play during my lunch break.

I don't know if the same model will be used come retail, but anyway, it means that when you log in, you're more likely to be able to find someone else online to play at the same time. We've got 7 feds now in total in GW4, covering from 7am until 3am GMT. The DFA probably covers the widest slot, from 7am till 4pm GMT, and is ideal for people who work shifts, or live in the far east.

The DFA currently has 51 members, so I arranged it into two divisions - the Premiership has 22 teams, the Championship 29. This season's Premiership race is incredibly close, with James' Kaswell side and Koh's Kampung FC probably edging out as favourites. The division is so close that we can all take points off each other, and anything could happen. I have a good chance of repeating last season's 5th place.

At the end of the season, 3 teams will be relegated to the Championship. Teams that have been inactive - I'll post more on that soon - will be relegated, removed from the fed, or deactivated from the beta, depending on the severity of their inactivity. The DFA Premiership is really active this season, so the teams that get relegated will be decided on merit (or lack of it!).

Ideally, i would like 3 or 4 divisions of 22 in the DFA, though I would always restrict things so that no-one was ever more than 2 divisions away from the top flight. I decided to merge our Championship and League 1 this season due to the odd number of members - a bigger division means more games, and more chance of finding someone online too. We were lucky to poach a number of good sides from other federations this season as well, which helped a lot!

The other role of the feds is financial - the fed makes a daily payment to all members, the size of which is determined by the reputation of the teams, essentially. Also, the competitons offer cash payouts - so fed income probably equates to 20-30% of a team's income - a really important amount of revenue.

The feds are all unique as well, so the different organisers implement different league structures and payout systems. There are youth leagues and cups as well - From the Casual to the Extreme, FML offers everything you could want for you to get as involved as you wish to.

Wednesday, 13 February 2008


You get really attached to the club that you're running - after all, you've named it, signed all the players and lovingly guided them through hundreds of games. The game records your actions for posterity, and keeps track of a massive array of tournament performances, player and team stats; everything you could want to remember, and a lot you won't want to!

History Page:
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FML also keeps track of your Head-to-Head performance against other teams as well, which is vital for the all-important banter:

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Sorry Andy!

The player stats are also a bit more advanced than in FM in my opinion - you see success rates, as percentages, for tackles, passes, crosses, headers, shots on target etc. for each and every player. This is all stored season on season, and give you a great deal of information on what is working and not from your playing staff and tactics.

Anyway, all these stats and records, plus seeing your players in action of course mean that one soon becomes hopelessly attached to one's team. It took me an hour to accept a huge offer for my star striker, even though I knew it made massive business sense...

Initial Setup

I've been asked to talk about the sort of options a new user faces when they sign up to FML. Now, i know that much of this is likely to change before the end of the beta, so I will talk in fairly broad strokes about what's on offer. Also, it's been a long time since I started, so the memory's a bit hazy...

So... options. The big choice naturally is your team name. While you can change it at any time, clearly it's going to be a biggy. Before I got into the beta, one of my biggest concerns was that the random or comedy names would annoy my football sensitivities, and it did put me right off. Maybe I have some sort of OCD about formatting as well, to be honest, all lower case or capitals would right upset me. In reality, it hasn't bothered me in the slightest; some choose football style team names (Frecheville Blades, Winford Wanderers etc.), some go for something a bit more comical (The Holy Goalie, Leeds United).

One then can also choose home and away kits (there's a wizard to help choose from 20 styles just now and about a zillion colours; apparently some of the options don't involve red and white stripes), logo, stadium info (pitch dimensions, style of turf), upload a photo for yourself, etc. Again, lots of options - you'll be able to personalise your team to the exact degree you want. As a moderator, I have to keep an eye on the choices people make, and make sure that they aren't trying to avoid the profanity filter or choosing names that may be offensive to other users. We have an enormously diverse userbase, so it's an important task.

Some personal details go in - date of birth goes in, though only age is displayed to others, nearest city, nationality, country of residence - we often see people starting unofficial competitions to find e.g. the best team run by an Italian. Favourite club of course - naturally the Blades fans always do well, though I'm ahead of José Nadé as GW4's top ranked Blade just now.

There will be a lot more to come from Sports Interactive on this closer to launch that I'm not allowed to speak of yet as well - the key fact is that you'll end up with a team unique from any other.

Some idea of the possibilities are shown below in my team profile; of course, I can't let you see my cash balance!

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Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Rocking the Boat

I was going through the table for this season's GW4 Daytime Football Association Premiership - we're mostly a little over halfway, and I thought it would be cool to come up with some predictions for who will finish in which position.

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It came out quite nicely; I'm predicted 5th based on my points/game ratio, a repeat of last season's performance despite selling by far my best player in Sergio Agüero.

However, since selling Agüero, and replacing him with three terrific players thereby strengthening my whole team, things have been a bit hit and miss. I added in three more star youth players for big money today - and just as I should've been at my best, it all fell apart.

I've completely destroyed the harmony - rocked the boat too much. It's going to take time to settle - and settle it will - but in the mean time, it doesn't make my 7-0 exit to FC Lake Zurich in the UFFA World Youth Cup or the 2-1 DFA Premiership home defeat to surprise strugglers Denton City any less painful. But I will be back... after some non-ranked friendlies first...

Mad Skillz

I guess I've teased people by saying the Skills are an 'awesome new feature', so I should discuss what they are for people that don't know.

I'm going to steer clear of the comparison with the system used in the MMO 'EVE Online', but erm, well OK it's similar. The skills in FML are trainable manager abilities that allow a user to really specialise their team and make them unique from any other team. In my opinion, having seen FML without and with the Skills, they really are the icing on the cake.

So... What skills are there? Well, I don't want to spoil the surprise for people who haven't had a chance to get into the beta, because they're gonna have a lot of fun with it when they do get in, whether still beta or retail... but a few teasers wouldn't hurt, eh?

The Skills currently fall into 5 categories - Coaching, Physio, Scouting, Management and Learning. Within these are many subcategories. Most skills require you to learn other skills first, and each skill appears to have 5 levels - each giving a small benefit, but taking longer each time, and it would take 6 years to learn all of the skills on offer... so you're unlikely to learn them all - hence team specialisation.

The beauty of the system is that it means everyone can have a role in FML. Maybe you want to be a scout, and sell your valuable information for hard cash. Maybe you want to want to charge people to heal their players at your state-of-the-art medical facilities (another possible future feature). You could specialise in youth development... or developing a specific type of player (like I am).

The options are almost endless. But they mean that even if you're struggling with form, there will always be a reason to play, a goal in site, or a way out of your problems. They've really got people interacting, and they're great fun too.

Monday, 11 February 2008

Tactical Warfare

Another gripe I occassionally hear from users is with regards to the effectiveness of tactics - as if results are pre-determined, that their tactics don't work because of some flaw in the match engine, or that tactics just don't matter. There's an ancient proverb that speaks of this issue, and it goes something like this:

It's your tactics.

I've never, ever, come across a case of someone struggling where I've been unable to at least help improve a team's form. The key to improving performance in FML is amazingly to actually watch the games. Watch back poor performances, analyse where things are going wrong - do you tend to concede a lot from headers off of crossed balls? Push the defensive line out some. Your fullbacks are ineffective? Aye, they will be if they're more attacking than your wingers. A lot of people don't understand closing down - it doesn't refer to frequency! If things are going wrong, you must review performances.

Too many throw the baby out with the (dishwasher, as someone once said) bath water and radically alter formations and approaches. If you picked a tactic, it's likely it had some level of reasoning behind it - the fix is probably only a couple of tweaks away. If in doubt, ask a mod for advice, we're always happy to help, though it may not be instantaneous!

FML isn't like FM, you're not going to win every game, and being 50 or 500 ranks above someone else does not imply you're massively better than them - the biggest factor in the match engine, by a zillion miles, is tactics. And with such a variety on display in FML, you can be sure of a challenge - you won't be playing the exact same style every game if you want to succeed.


One topic that's come up for discussion a couple of times already today is that of signing players, be it at game launch (how will I compete if the early sign-ups hoard all the stars?) or via dodgy dealings (how will I compete if everyone else is cheating?). So let's have a chat about that.

The Transfer System in FML

First we need to understand the transfer system; I guess maybe not all that read this will be familiar with it.

FML's transfer system lies somewhere between eBay (or any other web auction site, of course), fantasy football and reality. Essentially, each player has two demands - one is for his daily wage, and one is his acquisition fee; the fee that a user must pay the bank to sign a free agent. Once a player is signed, he can be wheeled and dealed in the transfer market, sold to private bids etc. for however much someone is willing to pay...

The Initial Squad

Once a user gets into the game, if they want to sign a free agent, they will have to (a) start a 24-hour wage auction, which if they win they then (b) pay his acquisition fee to the bank. Simple. However, at startup, they can sign any free agent immediately for the acquisition fee. So, what stops early birds hoarding all the best players?

Initially, you're only given £500,000, and allowed to spend £100k maximum on wages. This is not a lot of money - last time, I got Tim Howard in goal, and a load of other players best described as 'promising'. Or terrible, one of the two. Anyway, the acquisition fee and wage demands of anyone half decent are pretty high, and make the initial squad quality pretty limited. Furthermore, with the recent addition of the skills system, users can no longer see all of the players in the gameworld. Finally, not all players are released into the world straight away; many are held back for new users who join later - every new user sees 25 players released into the gameworld.

All of this means that it doesn't matter when you join up - there will always be players to sign, and some of them will always be decent. Months of tests have also shown that it is perfectly possible to come into a world late and be successful.

Dodgy Dealings

So what about all them dodgy, scheming cheats then? One of the key roles of the beta test has been to hunt all the possible exploits in the game, and eliminate as many as possible. The result is a pretty rigid transfer system - the loan system in particular is mildly bizarre, to say the least, but it is satisfactorily functional, does its job, and is designed to limit exploitation.

There have been dodgy dealings, of course, but these invariably get rooted out. As a moderator, one of my jobs is to check transfer dealings - e.g. compare player acquisition fees to their transfer fee, and so on. We have tools at our disposal for this, and can request chat logs if needed. However, our biggest weapon is the user - practically all the players are shortlisted by someone somewhere, and they get a news item after any deal goes through on one of their listed targets. Users certainly when something stinks, and let the mods (and sadly, usually everyone else) know straight away. The mods then have the power to investigate and, if necessary, punish users. It's something SI seem to take incredibly seriously, and for my part, I'm pretty confident that cheats never prosper in FML.

Nik in FML; A Quick History

So, I'm a moderator in Gameworld 4. That means that I have to help run the Gameworld (the fourth one, no less), help out new users, make sure everyone behaves - and to make sure everyone is having a good time. One question I'm often asked is how I came to be a mod...

I get a bit confused about the timeline, but I signed up through a Eurogamer competition, and joined GW1 on June 25th 2007. We broke that world pretty quickly with our zany wheelings and dealings, and so it was reset and became GW2. Or maybe it was GW2 all along, I forget. Anyway, I was a regular user, with a team established in the top 200, then the top 100, and finally the top 50. But my star was beginning to wane; I was slipping, and looking for a new challenge.

An email came round asking for volunteers to help moderate GW4. The GW2 mods were (and still are) all nice guys, and seemed to have a good time, and the challenge appealed to my helpful nature. So I replied, asking for more info. I signed out of FML, went for a nap - I was off ill at the time. When I tried to sign back in a few hours later, I couldn't log in - and then I saw the mail... I'd become a mod. A fresh download later, and I was helping the one other mod, at that time, hold back the floodwaters!

So now my team, the Frecheville Blades, seem to be established in the top 50 in GW4, despite me spending more time chatting with, and helping, people than playing... More about them soon!


So... I've finally taken the plunge, and started a blog about my time in the great Football Manager Live beta test. Whilst I think about something to write about, I'd like to welcome everyone that might stumble upon this anyway...

If you have any ideas for content, things to discuss or questions to answer then let me know; they'd be warmly welcomed.