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Preparing for FIFA18 : Release information, new features, and preparing for Ultimate Team
It's that time of year again. With the date of FIFA 18's release fast approaching, and the hype train (as always) gathering storm, I decided it would be a good idea to write an article to cover everything you will need to know about it's release, and also give you some advice, specifically to do with Ultimate Team, on how to set yourself up for success.
As you can see from the image above, FIFA 18's official release date will be the 29th September 2017. But this is far from the only release that may be important to you to happen.
- Usually, as we have witnessed in previous FIFA editions, there will be a BETA, in which selected individuals will get to play a pre-release version of the game. They usually do this around the time of the article upload, so please check your E-mail inbox's in case you were one of the lucky ones to be selected.
- Next comes the Ultimate team Web App, which I will go into further detail below. However, this is usually released around 10 days before the official release, so check on or around the 19th of September, to ensure you are getting all the advantages you can before the release of the game!
- Thirdly, we will have the actual Demo release, which will be around two weeks before the game is scheduled to be available. Within the demo, we see usually a match in Kick off, The first chapter of The Journey : Hunter Returns, as well as some exploration of Ultimate Team
- Penultimately, we have the Early Access version, in which you usually get an allotted amount of time 3 days before to play up until release day. So expect this on the 26th September 2017. It gives you chance to play the game early, and quench that thirst for FIFA before anyone else.
- And finally, we have the full official release, as stated, on the 29th September 2017. By this point, most of the details of the game will already be garnered, but I will still certainly be hyped. All of the above serve to feed into the official release, which is (in my opinion) a great way for EA to keep our interest peaked in the month leading up to it.
Obviously not everything about the game has been leaked yet, but we've certainly been given an insight into exactly what will be EA's focus for this year, as well as what the community is excited about going into release. They are available all over the internet, but I will try and bring you all of the information here. Some will be unconfirmed, some confirmed, but here they are!
- New dribbling - EA have stated they have completely overhauled the dribbling system, with Motion Technology being what they are constantly enforcing. According to EA, players will now move and react exactly how you want them to when using your analog sticks. Something which I must admit I will be eager to see, as I believe FIFA 17 had a terrible set up for dribbling.
- The Journey 2 - Although this isn't a feature as such, EA will be following up last years The Journey, and within it, the biggest change is that you can customise Alex Hunter, the titular role, as well as a possibility to move outside of England, with Cristiano Ronaldo as a voiced character eluding to this.
- Atmosphere - Finally, it seems FIFA are addressing an issue which I have long lambasted them for. The stadium atmosphere. When you watch your player sprinting the sideline in celebration, having scored a 30 yard belter in the 90th minute of a game, you expect the feeling of the crowd to take you away. In FIFA 17, you were met with the same 4 fan templates all repeating the same animation. Hardly thrilling. They are tackling this , and apparently, There will be giant flags, the crowd will swarm towards players and even climb over their seats to get as close as possible . Sounds perfect!
- Live substitutions - Going into your menus will be a thing of the past in FIFA 18, as live substitutions will eliminate that chore. Obviously if you want to alter formations, roles and Instructions you still have to go there, but a like for like swap will be offered you as the game goes later and later. FIFA have insisted there is an algorithm in place to choose the correct man for the job.
- Overhaul of the crossing system - I will admit I'm unsure exactly of the details, but the EA website itself has stated we will now be able to whip the ball to the spot, arch deliveries over the defence and ping crossed to the back stick. This will be a welcome change, as crossing in FIFA 17 was pretty awful .
- New animations - As always, another year of FIFA will be met with very small changes, its FIFA's second year on Frostbite as an engine, but they have mentioned that there will be more fluid striking and heading, as well as movement and finishing animations. Lets home they remove some from last year (Players complaining, the infamous jump over invisible slide tackle etc etc.)
- Finally, Team styles have been boasted about by EA. For the first time, there have been talks of Barcelona's famous Tika Taka, and the high press (or geigenpress) of Liverpool. Hopefully this will make the AI much more interesting, but I have yet to see any examples of this so far.
Although some of you may be unfamiliar with Ultimate Team (particularly first time buyers of the game) It has fast become the most popular, and honestly the best game mode in the FIFA Franchise.
Really quickly, the objective of the mode is to earn coins by playing games or trading players, and build up your Ultimate squad to play online . There are a tonne of other features which I have covered within other articles, so I won't dive too much into it here.
However, what I do want to do is discuss how you can set yourself up for success before the game even comes out, and getting the jump on your would be competitors is something I strongly advise if you have a passion for this game mode.
So first up, the most obvious advantage you can gain in Ultimate team is to play the market before anybody else does. The web App usually releases around 10 days prior to official release, so expect it aroundb the 19th of September.
For those of you unfamilar, the Web App essentially allows you access to squad building, Squad building Challenges, the Transfer market, and packs. This will allow the successful traders of FIFA to begin much earlier than the games release, and if you understand the market correctly, you can earn a huge profit on release day.
Essentially, this is because of the simple concept of supply and demand. If you can get players who will be absolutely wanted by the general public (I'm looking at the likes of Lukaku, who recently transferred to United ) there will be a relatively small amount of the community buying and selling. However, when the game releases, there will be a huge number of players who never used the Web App, meaning certain players Skyrocket in price with their demand.
WARNING! - Do be careful however, as smart players will know this will occur and sell players at insane prices pre-release, its all about getting a feel for what players sound cheap, and making investments smartly.
However, for those with less time, or even less patience to sit and study player prices, or the biggest deals, the web app will give you free items every time you log in . This can vary from packs of players and consumables, to coins. Even if you do nothing else other than log in every day, you will start FIFA in a better spot than if you didn't.
I do, however, highly recommend investing the free coins and players you get into the market, as this is where you will make the "free money". You essentially invest money you wouldn't have had anyway, so the gamble is low risk ,and potentially high reward!
Some of the best investments I find (and I won't give away all my secrets!) are English players, as there is always a demand for them early in the game. Players with pace (even if FIFA isn't dictated by pace anymore, there are still a huge number of players who value this over everything else) and players with abnormally good stat lines. (An example of this would be just how insane Son was on the previous FIFA). A lot of it is guess work and much like real investment, takes time to study and understand the game.
I will continue to update this article as the game gets closer to release, and hopefully by the time it comes out this will be a very fleshed out article on all the features coming to FIFA 18.
Please check out my other guides if you want tips and tricks on how to be successful in FIFA, as well as the different game-modes and in depth instructions on getting the most out of each of these.
Any questions, do not hesitate to leave a comment below!