Let's be honest, shall we?
Almost everyone on these forums in is some stage of the denial - grieving - acceptance process regarding this years Match Engine. To be clear, this I do not simply hate the ME, nor is this some nerd rage rant about how SI has stolen my money and molested my family.
The previous 2008 - 2012-ish ME had gone as far as it could go, and the new ME has made a few drastic changes, most obviously the collision checker and the first touch/trapping mechanic. The result, at it's best, looks dramatically more like real football than anything in the FM series so far.
But lord knows it isn't at it's best for very long. The primary complaints about comedy defending aren't even my primary concern. But the list of other glaring problems is a bit troubling. A few examples that everyone has seen:
Goalkeeper distribution: This one is scary because the latest patch notes actually said that this had been addressed. Obviously, when a goalkeeper with a mentality set to 1, no creative freedom, passing distance set to 1 and a defender distribute setting still hoofs the ball 60-70 yards downfield 9 out of ten times, something is wrong. What is troubling is that this should have been an easy one to solve. Remember when keepers used to throw the ball to a fullback? Yeah, not so much these days.....
"Off the Ball" responses to balls in the air: A defender boots the ball upfield, and as the ball falls gracefully to earth, one of our midfielders takes a step toward it, then turns and sprints at top speed away from where the ball was going to land, allowing it to bounce several time before reversing direction and sprinting frantically back toward to loose ball. The only way you haven't seen this happen is if you are watching your matches on "key moments only".
Back to the goal/defender passing bug: This happens in two different scenario's, but is actually just one problem. SI must have tired of the eyes in the back of the head phenomenon, and restricted a players passing only to others they could realistically see. This ME, if a player is facing away from someone, they no longer instantly spin and fire off a pinpoint pass. Which should be good, but unfortunately players now demonstrate NO awareness of what is going on behind them. The result: Strikers who receive the ball with their back to the goal now immediately pass the ball backwards, rather than turning to face. I have seen a player standing less than 2 yards from the net control a pass, only to be facing the wrong way, and boot the ball back to midfield rather than simply turning and taking a shot from 1 foot (hilariously, it was Ibrahimovic, making this the least realistic pass in history). At the other end, we have all noticed defenders unable to find anyone but the goalkeeper to pass to, because they seem unwilling to turn around, and, you know, face the field.
Dribblers overrunning the ball: Happens most with quick wingers. A player in plenty of space starts their dribble, only to leave the ball behind them and simply keep running. Looks embarrassing....
I won't go and and describe the problems with through balls, goalkeepers tracking long crosses, mid-fields collapsing in defense, or players navigating around the field while still lying on their backs, to name a few other issues.
So here is what I need to know: I can, for the most part, take into account most of these foibles of the ME (or disasters, depending on your point of view/level of hysteria). But the match engine is really pretty broken, and what I DONT want to happen, is spend a week creating a tactic that works, only the have something patched and be back at square one... and then do it again, only to see another patch a week later that again changes everything....
Previously, SI has released the game and then waited 3-4 months between major changes to the ME. Is that what we will be seeing again? Or will we be back to the drawing board every couple of days, as we saw happen during the beta?