I’ve had early access to FIFA 17 for a day or two and I’ve been taking a look at career mode. While there aren’t a huge number of changes to the scouting system, career mode on the whole has had quite an overhaul thanks to Total Club Management. I’ll be releasing guides to the Total Club Management and scouting systems in the coming days and weeks, but here are four things I’ve learned from my hands-on look at FIFA 17 career mode.
Total Club Management
The most obvious change is the introduction of the Total Club Management system. This means that your success is now judged on five categories: domestic success, continental success, brand exposure, financial success and youth development.
How important each of these categories is depends on the club you pick, and larger clubs will have much more demanding objectives. For example, the youth development category for Barcelona may require you to scout a player with potential over 85 and increase their OVR by 10 points. For smaller teams, it might not specify a minimum potential at all because youth development is such a low priority.
Some of the objectives seem fairly straightforward. Selling more shirts seems to simply be a case of signing good players and getting your existing players into good form. Popular players will sell shirts, after all.
Still, it’s great to see EA trying to make career mode a bit more interesting. These objectives will vary from club to club, so no two careers should have the same priorities. And if it encourages more people to pay attention to youth scouting and career mode, then that’s got to be a good thing.
Stat growth is fixed?!
The second thing that has seen an important change is stat growth. We’ve all had experiences of scouting amazing-looking players, only to find that their physical stats just refuse to grow no matter what we try. It’s super frustrating and can end up making promising players effectively nerfed.
From what I’ve seen so far, it looks like EA have fixed that. The stat growth system seems to have been tweaked and now players of all types can get decent physical growth. I had a defensive midfielder who got a +5 boost to his strength, among other things – useful for those midfield battles. The winger above, meanwhile, has gotten much quicker.
Stat growth – both physical and technical – has seen some other growth. It appears that stats relevant to a player’s position can get better growth – that defensive midfielder’s strength boost, or the winger’s pace upgrade. Similarly, another winger I scouted had big upgrades to his finishing and long shots, making him much more deadly in attack.
Those stats grew +13 and +10 respectively. That was over the course of one season with absolutely no training at all, so it seems stats are no longer capped at around +7 growth per season. We can all welcome that change.
New academy design
Next up is a visual change to the youth academy and scouting reports. Instead of the FIFA 16 design, which had a list of names on the left and player stats and positions on the right, in FIFA 17 player faces are displayed very prominently. I know a lot of people will like this because it helps you identify with the players and makes them seem more real. It really does looks nice this year.
There’s more too. There’s less empty space than there was in FIFA 16, but each player’s OVR and potential values are much smaller than last year. The list of each player’s top five attributes has been removed, as has the diagram of his position on the pitch. These have been replaced by an Ultimate Team-style ‘summary’ of a player’s athleticism, shooting, passing and more.
While it’s nice to see the player faces, I’m not so happy with the other layout changes. Useful information has been hidden or made smaller, so it’s not as easy to quickly scroll through your players and instantly see their position on the pitch, or their potential. Hopefully this is something we can get used to.
Scouting is more expensive
The final change is a minor one, but it’s important. In FIFA 17, scouting is slightly more expensive than it was last year. For example, the cost to buy a scout with five star experience and five star judgement in FIFA 16 was £2.88m. In FIFA 17, it’s £3.4m.
Similarly, the price of sending your scouts out on scouting missions has also gone up. To send that same high end scout to Brazil for nine months cost £259,000 in FIFA 16. This year it costs £360,000.
At the lower end of the spectrum, a scout with one star experience and one star judgement cost £14,000 in FIFA 16, but costs £16,000 in FIFA 17. Overall, there’s been a price increase of around 15%.
While it’s not earth-shattering, it could make a difference to your team, especially if you wanted to hire one of the more expensive scouts. With the youth development objectives encouraging you to scout more (and with the risk of losing your job if you don’t), this change has the potential to have an impact.
So these have been three big changes that I think could really make a difference to scouting and career mode in FIFA 17. There have been some improvements, but a couple of issues here and there as well. Like I said earlier, I’ll soon be releasing full guides to Total Club Management and scouting in FIFA 17, so make sure you keep checking back for those.
Don’t forget to share your thoughts in the comments below with what you think of career mode so far. I also want to know what sort of things you want me to do on this website for FIFA 17, so make sure to tell me that too.