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26-02-2021 04:53
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PCM.daily » Pro Cycling Manager 2020 » PCM 20: General
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My thoughts on PCM 20
Ripley
I moved from PCM 14 to 17 and now to 20 and have a first long career behind me in the new version. I want to share with you my thoughts on the latest changes:

The new promotion system

Promotion is now based on the quality of your riders rather than your results and the amount of prestige points you collect. While that more or less mirrors real life, it is definitely less fun. Essentially you trade several seasons as an underdog in the WT - relying on breakaways and a few lucky results - for several seasons in which you dominate the PCT. And when you finally promote, you will already have a very competitive WT team.

As I like to do, I picked the very weakest CT team, D'Amico. Moving up to the PCT took the usual two years by hiring the best riders at or just over the minimum wage. Turning it into a very good PCT team with 16 riders took another couple of seasons. Easily good enough for promotion based on prestige points. But I needed two more seasons – and a trick or two, see below – to improve the team even further to get into the WT, and they were boring. In the year I was promoted I already won the prestige ranking outright, scoring more points than any WT team, I also had more wins than any other team. And then I won the WT team ranking by a good margin in my first WT season.

And this was with some simulation and 3D races with my riders on automatic, with only very rare input from me. Had I played "properly"/aggressively, it would have been even worse.

So in my next career I will definitely use an editor to promote myself manually based on prestige points, switching back to the old system.

The sponsor problem

I'm not sure sponsors used to have a maximum budget, they do now and it's all very transparent, but... with D'Amico I could never have made it to the WT (with the new promotion system) with a maximum budget of about 100,000 Euros per month. I would have had to switch to a more "potent" sponsor (with a higher maximum budget). The problem is, in all my seven seasons so far, I never had an offer from another Italian sponsor. You now only get two new offers per season, in previous versions there could be a dozen or more and at least one or two would match your nationality.

A new sponsor would want a different national focus and with the new dossier system and sponsor offers only appearing on the 31st of July it's entirely too late for that. Without resorting to an editor you have to give up on a national focus entirely. It's something I don't mind, people who read my stories know I like a mixed team, but to make the game slightly more challenging this time I kept the majority of my team Italian. But now you'd probably change the sponsor's nationality every year and there's no way to adjust the team accordingly, by the time you hired riders to match your sponsor you will have moved on.

So instead, I had to use an editor to slowly increase D'Amico's (maximum) budget, which is also what determines how much a budget can rise per season.

The new transfer system

Finally some praise from me, I generally like the new transfer system. Gone are the days when you make an offer, have to wait for weeks for a reply and get the “he's hesitating” message for another week or so and sometimes he will sign with you eventually and sometimes he won't.

A slight annoyance is the role the riders sometimes demand. Even as a WT team I approached a rider with AVG 71 who wanted to be an "absolute leader". Delusions of grandeur. I'd probably also prefer to see the initial wage demand without having to spend transfer points. Riders cost less of these points depending on the division, as a WT team you hardly have to spend any points for riders with AVG 73 or less, but with a limited budget in the PCT and not knowing if you can actually afford that rider with AVG 74 or 75, it can drain those points quickly just to check and see that they are too expensive for you.

So it's not a problem in the WT, but it can be harsh in the PCT, when you have to increase your squad anyway, from 12 to 16 to 20 to 24 riders or so, you hardly have any of these transfer points to waste.

The morale system

i.imgur.com/G4R2jqH.png

While I generally appreciate the transparent morale system, too many riders are unhappy about not winning. Even AVG 70 riders get unhappy about not winning, apparently not realising there are many domestiques who never win anything in their careers. Others expect their first win of the season too soon. My best climber is still Kevin Colleoni (MON 80) and he was unhappy after just two stage races in February where he was up against the best of the best in the world and – predictably – couldn't win a stage. His motivation was already low when we started our first important goal race, T-A, and low morale negatively affects the daily form.

So I believe this needs to be toned down. If a good rider doesn't win a stage or race for six months his morale could drop, but not after a couple of races. And domestiques shouldn't expect to win at all.
i.imgur.com/6Km77FO.png

pcmdaily.com/files/Awards2019/team%20story.png
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/Awards2020/avatar.png
 
Ollfardh
Overall score? I'm tempted to buy a new game.
Changed my sig, this was getting absurd.
 
MacC
You have to take a step back and see how much the game has got worse in many ways...regions, scouting, team roles.

An annual game should be getting better, I can honestly say this game peaked in 2006
 
Ripley
@MacC: Rider roles have reappeared, but generally I totally agree. Especially, they shouldn't just drop features, they should keep them in as options. You can never have too many options to customise a game to your liking. For example, make the promotion by prestige points system optional instead of dropping it entirely.

@Ollfardh: Difficult to judge. I play the game for the long careers and I think not too many people do. I can add that Pro Cyclist mode has only gotten easier, as if it wasn't far too easy anyway. I played it for one season and this is what happened between January and December:

AVGFLMOHITTPRCBSPACDHFTSTRSRC
6660646864625460696760575659
7767807673705669787063686673

i.imgur.com/6Km77FO.png

pcmdaily.com/files/Awards2019/team%20story.png
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/Awards2020/avatar.png
 
Ulrich Ulriksen
How about race AI - I don't play long careers so that is the big one for me?
Man Game: McCormick Pro Cycling
 
Tamijo
I'd say the race AI is great, unless you want to base you "wins" on breakaway - they are more often reeled in than we are used to (only played CT don't know if it changes in longer races)
 
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Ulrich Ulriksen
Would rather have too few breakaway wins than too many. Nothing irritated me more than PCM17 where the breakaway was constantly winning 100km flat stages.
Man Game: McCormick Pro Cycling
 
Ripley
Well, pre-patch it was brutal. Everybody attacking and cancelling attacks in the first 50 km so you might end up with three escapees, but they'd each be on their own and caught very early. There really was no way in hell for any breakaway to win, except for rare races, once or twice a season, when suddenly a breakaway would win by 20 minutes and the whole race.

Those 100 km flat stages you are talking about are fairly rare, I think. And I have a couple of those for PCM 20 which can be won by the breakaway. They're usually on a circuit with tight corners and the peloton just can't race faster through them than the breakaway.
i.imgur.com/6Km77FO.png

pcmdaily.com/files/Awards2019/team%20story.png
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/Awards2020/avatar.png
 
markene2
The pathfinidng is horrible, riders get stuck all the time, maintain positon dosent work as it does in previous games, if you maintain position at 85% you still end up at the back.

AI at mountains is stupid, they gas themselves out immediately, we also had the morale system back in the 2005 with CyM5, its just laaaaazy from cyanide.

Not worth the money.

And yeah as another poster said, the game peaked in 06, 04 and 06 are still the best editions of this game, go play them instead
 
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