Category Archives: FIFA

A Guide to Videogaming Marathons

We’ve all had epic videogame sessions: long weekends spent blasting away aliens online or fulfilling our fantasies of being a premier league superstar. But what if you want to take your gaming sessions to the next level? How do you do that?

In recent years, videogame marathons have become more and more popular as a way for gamers to raise money for charity by doing what they love most. From personal gaming challenges for a local cause to full-on organised team events spanning the globe, playing games for extended periods is a great way for gaming to do some good in the world.

Earlier this year, I took on the challenge of playing Fifa 15 for over 48 hours non-stop in order to set a new Guinness World Record and raise money for the amazing Special Effect charity. So I thought I’d share my experience in order to help anyone who’s thinking of doing a videogame marathon in the future.

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Here’s a few of the key things that I learned to help you through your horrific ordeal awesome fun times:

1. Know Your Limits

Playing your favourite game for an extended amount of time may sound easy at first, but there’s a hell of a lot of things that you have to consider when playing for this massive length of time.

Things like fatigue and morale are massively important especially for longer sessions. The longer you play the harder it will become to maintain concentration and you will start to forget what was ever fun about playing videogames. Your reaction times will also decrease dramatically so it’s worth planning ahead in regards to what game modes you’re going to play during the later stages. I gave myself breaks from the main game by occasionally opening up FIFA packs.

Don’t underestimate the physical toll this will take on your body. Towards the end of my Fifa session my hands had swollen so badly I was barely able to hold a controller. By the second day, one of my support staff called a doctor to make sure I wasn’t permanently injuring myself (I wasn’t, but the thought of never being able to play Fifa again no longer fills me with horror).

2. Pick Your Game(s) Carefully

One of the reasons I decided to take on Fifa was that at it’s core, it’s pretty simple to play. While you don’t HAVE to be any good at the game you choose, no-one wants to spend 24 hours getting hammered by their opponents. It’s just not good for morale. So look at games that feature a non competitive multiplayer mode or maybe some co-op to get friends involved

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If you’re going for an official world record than there will be restrictions as to what games and modes you can play, but charity events like Extra Life allow you to choose whatever game you like. Take advantage and pick a game that has multiple game modes in order to provide some variety.

3. Get The Right Team

As with anything in life, it’s important to surround yourself with the very best people. This is hugely important, especially if you’re going for an official world record. Guinesses’ guidelines are very strict on just who you can have in your support team; you can’t just pick a selection of your friends and family to step in and you need at least one expert witness.

For non world record sessions it’s still pretty important to have the right people around you. For starters, an understanding partner will go a long way if you’re planning to park yourself in front of the living room TV for the best part of a weekend.

I was incredibly lucky to have a great team in place for my marathon, especially in the latter stages when things got really tough for everyone. I will openly admit that it was my team that had the most difficult job throughout, all I had to do was play games while they had to manage all of the paperwork and technical issues, as well as deal with any members of the public who wanted to get involved.

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4. Choose the Right Place

If you’re going to settle in for a long session of anything then it’s important to be as comfortable as possible – not too comfortable mind, we don’t want you falling asleep midway.

Most gaming marathons can be done in the comfort of your own home. However, world record attempts must be done in a public venue so make sure you can find somewhere suitable that is willing to host you for that amount of time. Mine took place in London’s premier gaming themed bar, The Loading Bar. Even then, make sure to think about things like decent wi-fi and enough power outlets.

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5. It’s Not All Red Bull & Pizza

It may “give you wings” but Red Bull isn’t necessary the best thing to use to keep you going through the night. For one thing it’ll dramatically increase the number of visits you’ll make to the bathroom. Alcohol, with its drowsiness-inducing effects, is obviously a no go for serious marathons too.

I tried using energy drinks throughout my marathon and had mixed results. Monster Energy made me feel ill and gave me a sore throat, despite me having no issues drinking it previously. in the end I went with a couple of large bottles of Lucozade to keep me going.

My support team constantly kept me motivated and awake far more than the energy drinks. By the end, we were quizzing each other about random things in order to keep our minds awake. That, and the the inspiring heartfelt ballads of Taylor Swift

6. Don’t Panic If things Go Wrong

Obviously, if you’re doing a personal marathon from home then there’s not much that can go wrong, bar maybe a power cut or an impromptu drop-in from the in-laws. However, if you’re doing an official record attempt then there’s a hell of a lot of planning and effort that goes into things to make sure it complies with all of the official rules (every toilet break was timed, key moments had to be filmed, volunteers had to be constantly awake etc etc etc). Nothing would be quite so heart breaking as everyone putting all that effort in over 48 hours to later be told it’s disqualified.

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7. Be Grateful

The hardest part for me was putting together my support team in accordance with Guinesses’ strict guidelines. Getting strangers to volunteer their own time for little to no reward is a big ask even for the most charitable. There’s no way I would have lasted the full time without their support, insults and general tomfoolery. I was also incredibly lucky to get this opportunity to support one of my favourite charities. Be grateful! You get to play videogames for 24 hours+ straight!

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Are you planning a gaming marathon? let us know. or maybe you’re thinking of having a crack at a world record of your own? feel free to get in touch for any advice or even if you need an expert witness :)

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10 Things We’d Like To See In Fifa 15 Ultimate Team

It’s fair to say that the introduction of Ultimate Team in Fifa has been a success. What was once a bolt-on bit of DLC has been promoted into an integral part of the full game, leading it to become the most popular feature of the series by far.

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But despite all it’s good points and hugely addictive nature, there is still room for improvement. We at GamePointsNow thought we’d take a look at a few features that we’d like to see EA implement in the upcoming Fifa 15

1. Let Us Win Players

fifa-14-ultimate-team-next-gen-transfer

When I first heard about FUT back when it was DLC, I expected it to be about picking up players from your opponents. After all, it’s basically a trading card game . Adding the option to select a card from a team you beat would really add an extra incentive to all matches, especially when playing the better teams.

While currently you can occasionally win special card packs through winning select tournaments, the ability to win a TOTW player or other special cards would allow players more chance of actually getting some of the better players into their teams. At the moment, you can spend millions of coins on random packs and end up no better off. At the very least, guarantee us a TOTW or Legends card in special packs.

2. Pink Slip Matches

Source: Youtube

Source: Youtube

Pink Slip matches (where players gamble high value cards in one-off matches) are already popular amongst the online Fifa community, but to do it you need to game the transfer system. EA should include it as a mode within the game and introduce a whole new risk/reward factor into already tense online matches.

3. Scrap Fifa Points

Bargain!!

Bargain!!

Why does EA think having multiple virtual currencies in one game is a good idea? The only thing you can do with FIFA points is buy card packs, so why deliberately obscure their value by making you buy FIFA points to then buy packs of cards? Drop the points and just keep the gold coins.

Additionally, let us buy gold coins direct in-game. There’s already loads of websites across the internet that offer this ability through a number of TOS breaching methods, so why don’t EA just allow players to buy direct from them and cut out all the grey market middlemen?

4. Release FUT as a stand-alone game

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Earlier this year EA announced that FUT was by far the most popular mode in the series, with over 500,000 transfers taking place every hour. In fact. FUT is so popular amongst some players that they only play that mode and ignore all the other features of the game. While Fifa already sells by the articulated lorry load, releasing it as a cheaper downloadable title would get more people to play, and grow EA’s revenue even more.

5. More Variation In Tournaments

Oh look Villa AGAIN!!

Oh look Villa AGAIN!!

If like me you play the majority of FUT offline,the you’ve probably noticed how uninspired the offline tournaments can be. You can often end up playing the same small handful of teams which soon becomes boring. Why not incorporate your friend’s Ultimate Teams into the rotation?

The game already pulls that information and lets you play an offline version of their most recent squad. If anything, it could encourage more people to give it a go online.

6. Generations

Man Utds pre season squad exposed

Man Utds pre season squad exposed

One of the biggest gripes FUT players have is that every year you have to start all over again each and every year. While it is understandable with players ratings and clubs changing each year, surely allowing you to keep a select few players or something would ease the pain of abandoning your finely tuned squad.

7. Bring Back The Collection

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Back when FUT first started in Fifa 09 it included a feature known as ‘The Collection’, which was basically a virtual sticker album for collecting and displaying players. Instead of selling your unwanted players, you would add them to your collection in return for some coins and the possibility of bonuses for completing teams. If anything, it would make duplicate/rubbish players a little less useless and introduce an interesting decision as to whether or not to sell certain cards for a high price or try and earn a bonus for competing a set.

8. Improve the Transfer Market

oooh shniy

oooh shiny

Considering the transfer market is the crux of FUT, the in-game system isn’t all that great. Quite often the servers will crash mid search or you don’t get enough time to react to a listed transfer. Another annoyance is the fact you can’t search for special cards like TOTW player,s so you have to trawl through hundreds of auctions in order to find the card you’re looking for. A few small tweaks here and there would greatly improve the experience.

9. Customisation

or you could design something like this..

or you could design something like this..

FUT is a game mode that allows you to create your ultimate (ahem) custom team, so why on earth can’t you design your own kits or badges? Yes, I know you can buy kit cards, but allowing players to create custom kit designs would be a great addition. We all know gamers can be amazingly creative when given the chance, so there would be some awesome designs out there. Plus we’d get to dress John Terry in a shirt covered in penises.

10. Actually Punish Quitters

&%$*(&~@!$%*!!

&%$*(&~@!$%*!!

AAARRRRrghhhhhh! Rage quitters are the bane of the online gaming world, yet very little is actually done to combat them. Even more annoying when it costs the innocent party player contracts. The few proactive steps EA take against players who quit out when losing still feels about as meaningless as UEFA’s financial fair play punishments.

Strip persistent quitters of players or even impose temporary bans to really make them think twice before disconnecting when 2-0 down. Obviously, the hurdle with this could be in identifying genuine disconnections but measures such as checking the frequency of outages could be put in place to assist in this.


Want to show off your Ultimate Team or let us know what you’d like to see implemented? let us know in the comments below, on Twitter (@TeamGPN) or on Facebook

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Games We’d Like To See Add VR Headset Support

When it was announced that Facebook had purchased Oculus, there was an outcry from gamers who bemoaned that the Oculus Rift VR headset would become nothing more than a fancy way to check your status updates.

OculusRift1

But we got thinking that maybe Facebook’s involvement could be a good thing. With access to a much bigger audience and a bottomless pit of money, maybe more studios will be attracted to VR support. With Sony also jumping on board the VR bandwagon, it could make for some exciting new experiences ahead.

Working alongside a traditional controller, a VR headset could add a whole new level of immersion and control options. So here’s a few titles we think would be perfect for the VR treatment:

Alien Isolation

Please don't beep!!!

Please don’t beep!!!

As we explained in our hands on preview the team at Creative Assembly have painstakingly done all they can to recreate the tension and atmosphere of Ridley Scotts 1979 classic movie, so we think it’d be perfect if you could immerse yourself further into the game.

While the section we got to play was terrifying enough, being able to actually peek from under the tables or frantically check over our shoulder while opening a stuck door would ramp the already pants wetting tension up to 11.

Gone Home

Well this looks cosy....

Well this looks cosy….

Upon its release last year, many argued that the stellar Gone Home was more of an experience than a game, in which case it was one of the best ‘experiences’ of the last year. The small team at indie studio The Fullbright Company created a truly immersive and engaging adventure by using clever storytelling mechanics, which let you unravel the story at your own pace.

The final moments of the game will stay with many gamers for a long time, but think just how much more emotional it all could have been if you were transported right inside the house, using Virtual Reality.

Mirrors Edge

Don't look down...

Don’t look down…

OK, so this one may be a long shot, but we’re not expecting you to start launching yourself over the sofa wearing a £300 virtual blindfold. The world of Mirrors Edge looks simply stunning, so to be able to absorb it via VR would be incredible. Although all the jumping around could make this an issue for those who suffer from motion sickness.

Minecraft

Ooooh Lego....oh wait

Ooooh Lego….oh wait

Everyone’s favourite Lego simulator is already massively popular, but just imagine how much better it would be if it actually felt like you were holding the blocks and carrying them around your pixelated virtual world?

Sadly however, developer Notch promptly scrapped a planned Oculus version from atop his high horse almost immediately after the Facebook deal was announced. But hey you could always play with real Lego.

Fifa

I could take him if only I didn't have a dodgy knee.

I could take him if only I didn’t have a dodgy knee.

With VR support, the monster Fifa series could finally help players live out their wildest fantasies (well the ones involving a round ball and 21 other men). While this is probably only workable in the series’ less popular “Be A Pro” mode, the chance to experience stepping out on the hallowed turf of your favourite team before spooning the ball straight out of play could be interesting.

Outlast/Slender

Well exploring the spooky mental home seemed like a good idea at the time...

Well exploring the spooky mental home seemed like a good idea at the time…

If there’s one genre that would benefit from more immersion, it’s horror games. Although why people would want to further immerse themselves into a scary mental hospital full of weird mutant mental patients is beyond us. For those adrenaline seekers, VR implementation would really add a whole new layer to these already terrifying titles

Kinect Sports

I'm already British number 2...

I’m already British number 2…

Kinect Sports has some good ideas at it’s heart, but the implementation lets the series down. No matter how good Kinect gets you’re still just jumping around like a goon in your living room. With VR support, we could be looking at a world where Tron-style VR sports games could be a reality.

Forza/Gran Turismo

What you don't know is that this is really a Renault Clio...

What you don’t know is that this is really a Renault Clio…

Hardcore racing nuts have always been known to seek out new ways to take their experience to the next level and VR headsets could offer just that. While other tech has already offered head tracking, a VR setup could allow racers the ability to fully look around the cockpit and around corners. When coupled with a decent racing wheel setup this one certainly has potential, it would practically be like sitting in a real car.


Whats your take on VR? Will Facebook’s involvement take the Oculus Rift from niche accessory to valid gaming platform? Let us know in the comments below.

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Which is more likely: Getting Ronaldo in an FUT pack or getting struck by lightening?

Cristiano Ronaldo (IF5) 95 Purple iMOTM Large

We now know that the odds of getting Ronaldo in a FIFA FUT Gold Pack are around 75,000 to 1. But how does that compare to other rare events? Here are 5 things more likely to happen than you getting Ronaldo in a FIFA FUT gold pack:

1. Making it rich on the Antiques Roadshow: 60,000 to 1

2. Dating a millionaire: 215 to 1

3. Becoming an Olympic athlete: 662,000 to 1

4. Finding out your child is a genius: 250 to 1

5. Being murdered: 18,000 to 1

Caught in the Storm

But don’t worry, the odds of getting struck by lightening are 576,000 to 1 so you’re faaaar more likely to get Ronaldo in an FUT pack than that electrifying experience!

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What are the odds of pulling Ronaldo in a FIFA gold pack? (And how to improve them…)

 

For many players, FIFA Ultimate Team is the cornerstone of the modern FIFA game. Earning coins, trading players and buying gold packs to get those elusive top rated players can become a thrilling, addictive and expensive hobby. Have you ever wondered what the odds of getting your favourite player in a gold pack actually is though?

ronaldo3

Never tell me the odds

Without having EA explain their working, it’s almost impossible to figure out exactly what methodology is being used to randomise players in packs. With real life trading cards, the task is simpler: the manufacturer will produce fewer of the rarer cards and make sure they’re randomly distributed between packs.

As FUT is strictly digital, EA can similarly control the economy by ensuring the number of top players that crop up in packs is a lot lower. It’s assumed that EA assign each player a weighting, the lower that number the less likely that player is to be found in a gold pack.

Let’s start simple. Imagine Ronaldo’s face on one side of a 6 sided dice, Messi on 2 others and Ibrahimovic on the remaining 3. You have a 50% chance of rolling Ibrahimovic, 33% chance of Messi and 17% chance of Ronaldo. As soon as you add more players to that you will need to use a bigger dice and the chances of getting the top rated players keeps decreasing.

In FIFA 13, there’s around 5000 players (plus item cards) which means you need a ridiculously large dice and an even bigger slice of luck to ever draw one of the top players. And because duplicate players can be drawn, every time a pack is opened your odds of getting Ronaldo stay static. Every single time, it’s like rolling that giant dice and praying to the FIFA gods.

Dr. Norbert Wiener Standing at Blackboard

We can work it out

EA has never released the official weighting (and would be unlikely to ever do so), so in order to surmise their calculations, we turn to the ever helpful UltimateDB which tracks a field it calls ‘cardweight’. UltimateDB’s cardweight field tracks the number of times that a player is traded to give a clue of the relative rarity of a particular player. For instance, these player currently have the following cardweight:

Player Cardweight
Gareth Bale 23
Mario Gomez 46

In the example above, Bale has been traded 23 times throughout the period that UltimateDB monitors trades and Gomez has been traded 46 times. Thus, it can be said that Gomez is traded twice as often as Bale and so Bale s twice as rare. Bear in mind that one of the limitations in UltimateDB lies in not having an accurate record for players that are never traded (as they are kept by the original owner).

The creator of the site has stated that roughly speaking, you can divide 300,000 by the cardweight to get the odds of getting a particular player in a pack. So for Bale you would use this equation:

23/300000 = 1 in 13,043 chance of getting Bale.(As there are 4 players in a standard gold pack, those odds would improve fourfold to 1 in 3,260)

Ronaldo is one of the rarest players in FIFA with an UltimateDB card weighting of 1. This gives a 1 in 300,000 chance of pulling Ronaldo or a 1 in 75,000 in any single gold pack (which has 4 players). To put it another way, you have more chance of getting 5 numbers on the UK lottery than pulling Ronaldo. When was the last time that happened?

 

There’s little that you can do to improve your odds as it mostly relies on the generosity of EA’s whims. The best way to dramatically reduce your odds of pulling Ronaldo is to wait until a Happy Hour and purchase the more expensive rare-card only player packs.Of course, you could always buy coins from a FIFA Coin Store.

So next time you go on a pack opening spree, you need to ask yourself: Do you feel lucky?

Have you beaten the odds? What are the best players you’ve pulled in FIFA gold packs?

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