FIFA 11 developers tackle Clubs, quitters

Teamplay changes and anti-quit measures.

The developers of FIFA 11 have told Eurogamer that they are "confident" of fixing the things people find offputting about the multiplayer side of FIFA, but that people quitting out from losing positions "comes with the territory".

That's not to say the team is ignoring the harmful impact of "rage quitting", as lead producer David Rutter explained.

"One of the things we've been toying with the idea of is a gentlemanly defeat where you can request to quit," he told Eurogamer.

"Where if you're 5-0 down you can say, 'Look this is no fun, can I please leave?' And the other person can say yes or no.

"The other one we've been toying with is, if they quit then the AI takes over and you play out against the CPU.

"But it is incredibly frustrating. I guess take a certain amount of cheer from it that you've played so well that the other person is infuriated to the point of quitting. I think it comes with the territory of football games."

Clubs mode - in which teams of up to five humans competed against one another - came under fire last year after the developer reduced the quality of the NPC players who fill out the squads.

This resulted in annoying situations where human players, using "Pro" players they had levelled up, would be paired with child-like defenders and goalkeepers who could barely reach the crossbar.

"It's a tough one because we're kind of on the frontiers of what's been done before, so actually getting people to turn up and do these things is a challenge in itself sometimes," Rutter told us.

"Last year what we wanted to do was discourage people somewhat from being Manchester United and 'I want to be Wayne Rooney', and actually allowing them to become football stars in their own right.

"I think in many ways we achieved that and in some ways we didn't... We're pretty confident we're addressing the vast majority of things that people are unhappy about in Clubs this year.

"I can't talk about a whole bunch of stuff, but we are definitely having goalkeepers who are like goalkeepers, and you have defenders who are like defenders. But if you want to set yourself up as a five-foot centre-back, and that's your personality, then we're going to let you do that. The AI won't generate team support players for you based on ridiculous physical attributes."

Creative director Gary Paterson concurred: "Obviously we made a mistake with four-foot goalies and what-have-you, because it unbalanced the game. We're aware of that and we're going to address that.

"But the general idea behind it is that we want to encourage people to play with 10 players."

Check out our whopping FIFA 11 preview elsewhere on the site. Key features for this year's release include Personality+, which emphasises the full range of individual players' qualities, and Pro Passing, which is designed to result in more rewarding build-up play.

It will also be possible to record custom chants, and there are myriad other tweaks, like optional handball, customisable nets and - finally! - the option to save replays locally.

"What we wanted to do was to keep going with what we did with 08, 09 and 10, which is refining the brilliant gameplay that we've got now, responding to feedback, and doing some cool innovations as well," lead producer Rutter told us in summary.

FIFA 11 is due out for PS3 and Xbox 360 this autumn.

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