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PCM 2014 Presentation: What did we Learn?
Pro Cycling Manager 2014

Of the new career mode features, Rin's preview already covers the new Equipment features in quite some detail. This provides a new source of income for your team, alongside money from sponsors and the return of race winnings. The transfers mode has been changed with the addition of many new scenarios such as riders asking to join your team, and more competition between teams. There is no longer a salary cap to limit your ambitions, and the system does seem to lead to many team changes - Eyolfur's example career showed Froome, Contador and Quintana all moving teams for 2015. Illnesses are also a feature in career now, and you will receive messaged indicating a rider is unwell. This may or may not affect their performances. The role of a team doctor is also changed - assigning a team doctor to an injured rider will not reduce their time of absence.

The new darker interface of the whole game is showcased, and many ergonomical changes have been made. This is the reason for example, that the popular calendar part of the screen in Career mode has been removed, although you can hover over a part of the screen to see a list of upcoming races and click to simulate up to a particular race. This simulation will still be interrupted by 'breaking news'. It unfortunately will not be possible to change teams mid-career, as Cyanide do not feel this is realistic in cycling.

When playing a race there is a new pre-race menu which is now just one page with multiple different tabs. As some of Rin's screenshots did show you can now see the leading riders of other teams in the race, and the Top 10 favourites for a stage with their stats. Although bizarrely, Mountain is not one of the stats displayed here.

The other important tab is for Strategy mode. This needs to be filled in if you plan to do quick simulation or want to make some or all of your team 'act like AI' during 3D mode. You can choose up to two team leaders and give all riders orders relating to relaying and attacking. In 3D mode, these orders are only followed if you select the Automatic action for a rider. For example in the mountain stage Eyolfur played, he controlled Movistar and set Valverde to automatic, while controlling Quintana himself. These strategies can be changed mid-race, and do not apply for time trials.

Speaking of time trials, Cyanide are aware of the problems with winning Team Time Trials but this has not been changed. Indeed, Eyolfur actually recommends simulating such time trials if you find them too boring or challenging. On quick simulation, changes have been made to make it more likely for the human controlled team to win. But do not expect detailed simulation to return as it is hard to maintain with the new strategy changes, gave unsatisfactory results, and was rarely used anyway.

If you choose to play races, you might notice that small changes have been made to the AI in three areas: Mountain AI, the way teams chase breakaways, and the relaying behaviour in a breakaway. Only the Mountain AI was expanded upon - and this has been made less predictable. For example some leaders are more likely to take risks and attack early, rather than wait for the final climb. In the example stage this meant attacks on the penultimate climb, but whether the ineffective AI tactic of attacking on the flat before a climb remains in the game was not covered. Eyolfur was keen to stress that it is not easy to make changes to the AI, as a small change could easily break the game - and the AI does have to be balanced so that it works in the different career, single race and online scenarios.

On multiplayer mode, one of the most popular bits of information which Rin revealed was that you no longer need to open your ports to be able to host a game. The game will use an intermediate server to allow anybody to host - but it will still be beneficial to open your ports if you are able to do so. In particular, by opening ports you will able to play via LAN.

There does not seem to be any changes to the Armada mode (no form of transfers system like in FIFA), which means that Omnium has not been returned to the game. Omnium had been susceptible to problems in the past, and Cyanide also feel not enough people were playing Omnium to be worthwhile - although a petition is available if you feel otherwise! It will not be possible to play with custom stages online at the time of release, but if Cyanide have time, this may be possible after a future patch.

In terms of compatibility with previous games, the stages are compatibile but as usual, it is recommended to convert if you want to make use of new stage editor features, although no information has been emerged about new parts of the stage editor since our first interview! .dem files were asked about, but it did not seem like either Failured or Eyolfur knew what they are for, or why stage makers would like more. The compatibility of graphics has been discussed in this forum topic. Eyolfur recommended that some changes be made to existing graphics to make them look good in game, and to take advantage of the new automatic mini-jersey creation process.

An always popular request for PCM is a 'Be a Pro' mode, but Eyolfur made the point that they do not want to simply copy FIFA - and that football has its differences from cycling. But, as I hypothesied last month, it is clear that the automatic mode could be deployed in such a way that you only ever control 1 rider.

Finally, some 'miscellaneous' bits of each information: The nationality bonus for a rider in a home race remains, but has been reduced; You can only protect a leader with 1 rider; and there are no current plans to release the game on Mac - as that requires a lot of changes to be made to make the game compatibile.

#1 | Ruben18 on 10. June 2014 19:40
Hahahaha "changes on the AI"
#2 | Failured on 10. June 2014 19:49
Great article SportingNonsense, it sounds great! Grin
#3 | baseballlover312 on 10. June 2014 20:36
"Although bizarrely, Mountain is not one of the stats displayed here."

I sense a patch in this feature's future.
#4 | Mulligan123 on 10. June 2014 21:13
"the return of race winnings"

Its great to see this return !
#5 | Thatguyeveryonehates on 10. June 2014 21:16
Speaking of time trials, Cyanide are aware of the problems with winning Team Time Trials but this has not been changed

So it'll still be impossible to win TTTs?

And no doubt it will also continue to be impossible to lose time trials that aren't 100% flat. Cyanide is pathetic, this is a huge game breaking bug that's been in there for years.
#6 | valverde321 on 10. June 2014 21:18
#3 It could be that it changes. Its a flat stage so Mountain shouldn't have any affect. If it were a mountain stage, maybe SPR would be removed in place of Mountain on the briefing screen f.e.
#7 | Lachi on 10. June 2014 22:08
#5: I don't see any problems with TTTs. Just simulate them. Simulation works perfectly and flawlessly and on top of that, you gain time for more interesting stages.
#8 | SportingNonsense on 10. June 2014 22:48
#6 On the presentation it was a Mountain stage played, but there was no Mo stat on the briefing screen, it was the same stats as in the screenshot
#9 | 547984 on 10. June 2014 23:36
Article is great! Grin
#10 | CountArach on 10. June 2014 23:48
Cheers SN I've been waiting for something like this.
#11 | Naskela on 11. June 2014 05:03
i really don't hope the new MO AI is so unpredictable that Froome will attack too early on several stages during a tour i would find it easy to win if that happens and totally unrealistic if he attacked with 30k left while wearing the yellow jersey so i hope they have balanced it right. seems great for the Ardennes!
#12 | searmh on 11. June 2014 08:41
really cant wait to simulate stages and watch the action. probably wont buy till patches sorted but excited
#13 | Selwink on 11. June 2014 09:40
Assigning a team doctor surely means a boost of performances now Pfft
#14 | Stromeon on 11. June 2014 10:33
Thanks for the article SN - really helped to summarise everything from the stream Smile

I do wish they would do something about adding more .dem files in the future though, I wouldn't have thought that it would be too much of an issue to include more in the game considering there are already some there.
#15 | valverde321 on 11. June 2014 18:42
#8 - Then hopefully it is patched soon Pfft
#16 | zachbastian on 12. June 2014 07:29
Sound to me, like we once more will have a not finished game.
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