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21-01-2019 10:16
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PCM.daily » Pro Cycling Manager 2018 » PCM 18: General
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Too easy to play - Too difficult to simulate
So I love pretty much everything about the new PCM. The management system has improved loads from the earlier versions that I played and the racing options are great too. I started a new career with a Continental Team and packed it full with young and promising players.

There's one problem though. The game is way too easy. I play on Extreme difficulty and I win about 50% of all stages (only pure mountain stages are difficult since my best mountain riders have 71-72) despite my stats being usually at best equal or quite a bit lower than my opponents. I can win almost any sprint with a 70-72 sprinter vs. 75-78 sprinters (unfortunatey I rarely meet great WCT riders). Now ofc I could just choose to not run a sprinttrain, to sprint earlier so that I'm powered out or to just simply not follow in the hills/mountains when I need to... but that seems very annoying and counter-intuitive. I love realism and I don't want to crush my opponents but unless I'm actively sabotaging myself that's kinda what's happening.

So I figured alright, let's just quick-simulate some stages to at least not win all the time. But that's the other problem. Quick simming seems waaaaaay too difficult. Even if my riders are among the 3-star favorites and in peak condition, they usually finish at best 10-20th. I had a hilly puncher with 75 hills, 72 sprint in a 2.1 race - far above any competition. I set him as leader for a hilly stage, ride for stage, gave him teammates etc. etc. and he came in 21st, even eating some seconds on the other "favorites" with 67 hilly stats. Likewise, I brought my peak condition sprinter to a race with "meh" sprinters. I got rank 1,2 and 4 with my 76, 71 and 69 sprinter in stage 1 and then decided to simulate stage 2. Result was 15th, behind sprinters with 68 in sprint.

Again, I love the game but this is beginning to be a huge problem. I don't actually know what I want out of this post. I guess I just felt like sharing and wonder if other people have experienced similar issues or if there's any decent solutions to this? :/
I agree with you, and would like an option for harder difficulty as well. I don't find sprints as easy as you, but i do find myself winning too much on extreme. Especially on downhill finishes, though rather because it seems hard to get the AI to compete in this scenario. I believe this has always been a problem in PCM, though it got a bit better. Simulation is not an option for me, I feel like I am missing a part of the story then. So, yeah, a more realistic difficulty would be the way to go. Unfortuneately I don't know if there is a way in the current version, and I have asked here before without receiving an answer. Hopefully someone can give os an answer. Smile
That is simply because you simulate on Extreeme settings giving the opponents a +XX bonus.

If you want to sim on a realistic level turn it down to normal and up again to Ext when you "play" - it is mad but the only way.

There is also ways to make Extreeme a lot harder, like give yourself only 5 or 10 options to pause ect ect - it is really only up to you how hard you want it.

That was just an example there is many ways - i tend to get quite realistic results as long as im not pausing every second.

If you're interested in weird music:
@Tamijo: Ooooh, so the diffculty setting plays a role when simulating? Dang that's good to know Grin Thanks a lot! I'll immediately tone it down to normal/hard, hopefully that will help! I suppose there's no cure for the game being too easy unless I go into the editor and make my riders worse than they already are xD

@purepasd: Yea, I kinda don't wanna simulate everything but it also feels really awkward to sabotage yourself in most races just to keep them competitive. I think I also signed up for too many 2.x races, so next year I'll only do 1.1 and better races. Hopefully that will help Grin
No sure about the difficulty (anymore) did some fast diggin and turns out some think it has no effect.

May be that the answer to your question is this:

If you're interested in weird music:
Yellow Jersey
On my side what I can tip you is to get Lachis Editor if you feel extreme is too easy, and there create a new dificulty level. I've had the exact same "issue" and it took away so much of the game's fun so I understand you completely.

See this thread also:https://pcmdaily....d_id=50043 and if you still have any doubt feel free Wink
@Tamijo: Yea, I tried it out a few times on normal difficulty and got a promising top 5 finish with a good rider once, but the other three stages that I simulated were top 15-25 finishes with riders that should definitely be capable of winning the stage. So yea, not sure if it has an effect or not. I'll try it out a few more times to see if it might make a difference.

@Yellow Jersey: That does indeed sound very promising. I'll grab Lachi's Editor and then prob tinker around with the difficulty until I feel satisfied Grin Thanks a lot for that!
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Another thing you could try which would at least help in the first few seasons of a career - start with a weaker team. My goto move is to pick the weakest team available.
Yea that's kinda what I did :/ None of my riders had a stat above 72 at the start of the season (aside from Moreno with 76 in hills) and the best average was 70 (aside from Moreno again).

The problem is that as long as my rider is in form and has a SP value of ~72, I can basically win any sprint unless it's against 79+ riders which I rarely see in 1.x or 2.x races. Hilly stages are fairly easy as well since I feel like they play out just like a sprint race. Favorites don't really attack, they just up their effort at around 20-30km but at that point it's pretty easy to just build your own sprinttrain and win the same way as a sprint stage as long as you have one hilly rider with 67+ sprint.

The only stages that are different and actually feel like a challenge are mountain finishes, but there's not enough of these in the game I feel like. Even half the stages classified as mountain ones have the mountain in the middle of the stage, which means even my 60 MO riders from JPN have no problem getting over them since the peloton is usually not pacing at that point.

I'll try out upping the difficulty through lachi's editor today. That seems promising Smile
I wouldn't call that weak, to be honest. The worst team in PCM 17 has riders with AVGs between 58 and 63. You really struggle in the first season, but of course you'll replace the riders with better guys for the same wage as soon as you can, and start getting better results immediately and so it only holds you back for a while. Upping the difficulty after that or in your situation should help, but of course it can't fully make up for the AI weaknesses.
Ulrich Ulriksen
Moldef wrote:
Even half the stages classified as mountain ones have the mountain in the middle of the stage, which means even my 60 MO riders from JPN have no problem getting over them since the peloton is usually not pacing at that point.

I think the lack of mountains in the lower level races probably reflects reality. Once you get to World Tour you will have more tough mountain races.

I agree with Tamijo that finding ways to limit your ability to take advantage of the AI improves the experience. Haven't played career in PCM18, so not sure if it makes a difference, but in older versions I never used the dot.

Not sure you will get ever get good results out of simulation.
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