Much like myself, my younger brother has been an avid fan of the Championship Manager series and the subsequent Football Manager series. He has never ever played FM Live though, not until recently anyway, when he spent the at my place and watched me play FM Live for a bit and eventually had a go at playing a few friendlies with my team as well.
Naturally, he had a few things to say about the game and I feel that some of his observations make sense and are worth mentioning in this blog, and probably towards SI as well.
He immensely enjoyed the fantasy football aspect of FM Live. A chance to build a team from scratch and just use your nouse and instinct to work the market and tactics to achieve success. He thoroughly enjoyed browsing the database and checking how the game rated his favorite real-life players.
Whilst he saw the advantages of Returning Stars, especially for newcomers, he wasn't a big fan of this feature. In his opinion (and my own), retired players should stay retired. He proposed offering the Returning Stars system in combination with Youth Academies. All the graduates would be tossed in a large pool, the worse clubs get first pickings.
Youth Academies were a nice idea, or so he thought initially. When browsing the market for free transfer youths, he noticed there were hardly any and the ones that were there had been dumped by the larger clubs. I explained that the great number of academies meant that there were less players generated for the free market. He replied that this would mean that academies were the only viable alternative for long term planning regarding a youth team, in which case academies should be scrapped, since it's basically forcing the users to play the game in a certain way. As an alternative, he mentioned the drafts.
The last of his key issues was related to the time it took to build a successful team. My team is a Level 17 club, so he understood I had a pretty good team going. With him being less patient, he was afraid that if he didn't achieve success within the first three to five seasons, he might lose interest and stop playing.
According to him, (some, if not a majority of) people buy computer games because they want something to win at. He acknowledged that FML has no win button so if there was not enough success, he would quit. We have seen this in the post-reset GameWorlds, where hundreds left because they can't hack it.
So there you have it, the views of someone who never played the game before... Which conclusions should be drawn from this? Maybe I'll get back to you on that a bit later.