When Fifa 16 came out, I was more excited for it than I have ever been for any video game. This excitement quickly went away when I realized that there were several broken gameplay mechanics that can ruin the fun of a game of Fifa, and minimal additions to keep those who grind out hundreds or thousands of games playing and striving for new goals. I have won D1 in FUT 26 times so far this year, which is MILES better than how I performed in any Fifa I've played previously, but I can honestly say I've had the least amount of fun with Fifa 16. I sincerely hope that Fifa 17 is better, and here are all the things I believe will make it the best Fifa yet. I'll split this up into 2 sections: gameplay fixes and game additions.
Have the gameplay be consistent and feel the same in all modes.
It is so frustrating that sometimes the game can feel ridiculously smooth and responsive, while other times it feels like your players have lead in their boots. We've all had stretches of amazing gameplay where skill moves are crisp and clean, no-touch dribbling is deadly, and where playing Fifa just feels like second nature because of how responsive it is. This is when Fifa is fun; the real frustration and overall unpleasantness happens is when the game is overall a lot slower, and players don't respond to commands quickly. This is the biggest issue I have with the game, and it needs to be fixed to create a more enjoyable experience for the players.
I also think that the online seasons/FUT gameplay should be the same. I'm in D1 in both, and while I play FUT much more because that's where the real competition is, the gameplay in online seasons is superior. Player movement is more realistic, and there is overall less randomness.
Fix the passing mechanics.
Stop pre-determining certain through balls to go the keeper. When a marked player and an unmarked player are standing in the same general area, the pass should never go to the marked player. When I try to do a driven pass and my player's body is squared up towards his target, the ball shouldn't be a knee to chest-level bullet strike.
Fix first touches.
A professional footballer should have virtually no difficulty controlling an open pass. Oftentimes, great passing attacks are ruined due to a player having an awful first touch for no apparent reason. Players will also take extra touches even when you tell them to pass, clear, or shoot, which leads to both conceding annoying goals and missing out on goalscoring opportunities. Players will also not lock on to through balls when the pass has been pre-determined to go to the keeper, which is annoying when the pass is well timed and well placed.
Fix the goalkeepers without bringing them back to the Fifa 15 level of how bad they were. There needs to be a complete rework.
I am 99% sure that EA took the exact same goalkeeper engine from Fifa 15 and just tweaked some sliders so that keepers would be able to do two things:
1) Be insanely good at saving power shots inside the box
2) Be insanely good at rushing out of the box to clear the ball
It's incredibly frustrating to have a great attack ruined by a ridiculous close range save from the keeper, but then that same keeper will watch as a 30 yard longshot sails over his head. Goalkeepers are insanely good inside the box, but terrible with shots outside the box. The auto-rushing is also annoying, because it bails out bad defenders playing a high line.
Nerf sliding tackles.
These are a joke. Terrible defending gets rewarded because slide tackles, even when mistimed, are like heat seeking missiles. People can slide from terrible angles and still win the ball, and when slide tackles are mistimed, the player on the ground just gets in the way and stops the attack. It also doesn't matter who you use, the difference between the slide tackling effectiveness of Phillip Lahm and Neymar is minimal.
Make longshots a less regular occurrence.
I don't want to see them completely eradicated, because Fifa is meant to be fun and everyone loves banging one in from 30 yards, but longshots are so overpowered this year that scoring one isn't even an achievement. It doesn't take any real skill, and doesn't promote good buildup play to get a shot in the box, which is what teams in real life try to do.
Improve the referees.
They are so inconsistent. Lightly graze someone's shoulder in midfield and get a foul and a yellow card, but trip someone in the box and nothing gets called. The best way to desribe refereeing decisions this year is "random". Something that gets called in one game migh not get called in the next.
Collection Book/Throwback Cards
A system like NBA 2K's would be amazing. Collect all the players on a given squad, and get a high rated special card of a player on that team or a Throwback Card (if they could figure out the licensing), a player that used to be on that team that performed very well for them.
This would motivate people to play more matches, and would increase the value of players that never get used. Every card would be worth something.
Better tournament/draft/divisions rewards.
Other than the FUT birthday cup, tournament rewards this year have been abysmal. EVERY tournament should have increasing rewards; the more you win, the more fifa 17 coins/packs you get. During the FUT birthday cup, I actually felt an incentive to play the game, which is something I haven't felt in a long time.
Draft rewards are also inconsistent, sometimes they are good, but I personally believe that if you win all 4 matches, you deserve to make profit 100% of the time.
Division rewards are terrible too. There is hardly any fifa 17 point in continuing to play Divisions after winning D1, because the reward doesn't change. 15k, and a kit you have to discard every time after the first win. Like tournaments, the reward should gradually get better with each D1 win.
Fifa Street: Make it a mini-game, a FUT game mode, or at the very least a paid DLC.
How fun would this be? Looking for some relief from stressful Divisions/Draft? Play Fifa Street/FUT Street! It could be like the 2014 World Cup add-on, where it is separate from regular UT and you get different players specifcally for the Fifa Street mode.
Even if it's not in FUT, that would be great too. This would be a great opportunity to make FCC points more meaningful; you could unlock legendary players for Fifa Street in the catalogue. Wouldn't it be great to have a 5-a-side team of Oliver Kahn, Beckenbauer, Zidane, Ronaldinho, and Maradona? You could play in online/offline tournaments, against friends, or just regular single matches, and earn more FCC points to unlock more cool players, stadiums, etc.
Massively improve the player career mode, integrate it with pro clubs.
If Fifa's player career mode was like NBA 2K's, I probably wouldn't play FUT as much. I know that sentence is a major red flag for EA, but you could easily make money off of a player career mode in the same way that 2K does: charge money to obtain a currency (in 2K it's VC) that could also be earned by playing games with your Pro. There needs to be an engaging story. You could work your way up from the youth team to the first team, while juggling a personal life on the side where your decisions affect your career. Also, expanding on the Fifa Street idea, NBA 2K has a game mode called "MyPark", where you take your personal career player and match up against others in pickup games. This would be extremely fun in Fifa, you could go into a park by yourself or get some friends together and be on the same 5-a-side team. There could be a catalogue where you could spend FCC points to unlock cool clothes, hairstyles and accessories for your player. Also, the player from your career mode could be transferred to pro clubs.
I'm sure there were a lot of things I forgot, so if you guys have any suggestions to make Fifa 17 better, leave a comment! Fifa is my favorite game, and it hurts to see EA do little to make the game better when there are so many obvious ways it can be improved.
EDIT: The following are things that also can be improved that I forgot to mention in the original post:
- Player switching
- Being able to save custom tactics in FUT
- Fantasy Draft (not in FUT, draft a team in a fantasy football style to play against friends)
- Throw-ins (players not getting open/taking terrible touches)
- Mutual quit in FUT
- PING instead of latency bars