Update 4 Jul, 2016: EA's investigation of the errors in FIFA Ultimate Team has continued, and they now say they're working on a fix.
Looks like the community was right. After first discovering an issue relating to FIFA Ultimate Team cards that made some of the higher level players seem slightly useless, the community was happy to find out EA were working on it. They've now got back again to say there is an issue, though haven't defined it.
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"Our work has shown that there appear to be some differences in how fitness and chemistry apply to some FUT items," says the post. "The differences appear to be the same for all FUT fans, but only applying to some FUT items, so we’re making some changes to ensure the attributes are being applied consistently across all items in the game."
They say that the fix will come as a title update to all platforms, and they'll let folks know when it's available. Hopefully with that we'll get to hear about the ways in which it was broken, though they might keep it quiet if it was particularly egregious. We'll hear more once they know the target date.
Update 29 Jun, 2016: EA have issued an official statement on their forums about the chemistry glitch, and are looking into it.
It's fairly rare we get a quick response from a company as large as EA, but they moved speedily on the chemistry glitch present in FIFA Ultimate Team. In a statement given on the forums, community manager Rob Hudson says that the teams were in over the weekend trying to sort it out.
Here's the full statement:
"Thanks to the FUT community for raising awareness of a potential fitness and chemistry inconsistency in some FUT items. After hearing this, our teams were in over the weekend and continue to thoroughly investigate the information. We will keep you informed with updates from the investigation.
"Our commitment to a fun, fair and secure experience in FIFA is ongoing, and as a community your feedback helps us achieve that goal. A special thanks for your continuous efforts across all channels."
No further updates have yet been issued, and there's no confirmation as to exactly how much of what the community figured out has proved true. However, they're clearly working hard on it and we'll update when they do.
Original story 27 Jun, 2016: A newly discovered bug with FIFA’s ultimate team cards seems to render many of the more expensive cards - those released in updates to the base game due to player skill changes, transfers or special events - worse than the “day one” versions that ship with the game. It comes down to how chemistry between players works, and the fact that it seems like no matter how well a pair work together, if they’re not day one the buff to their stats doesn’t apply.
The whole, messy, complicated situation is laid out in this video from YouTuber RighteousOnix:
If you frowned your way through that mostly confused, welcome to the club. The basics are these:
- Players have stats, governing their skills, abilities and operating as the mathematical backend of what happens in-game.
- Those stats are modified by chemistry, which is acquired from various combinations of players and managers.
- High chem is meant to put your stats up, which it does for “day one” players - the ones that shipped with the game.
- However, it doesn’t seem to be applying for players added afterwards, who are obviously much rarer, harder to obtain and therefore worth more.
- Therefore, a lot of these highly valued players are actually much worse than day one players, as a well-constructed team boosts day one stats to be superior.
It’s a real mess, as this massive and massively upvoted Reddit thread shows. Confusing the situation is a lot of people talking about how this is EA deliberately handicapping players who spend more money so they don’t totally dominate those playing with basic teams. That’s unproven - it could just be a bug, or a misunderstanding caused by interlocking systems the community doesn’t fully understand without access to the code itself.
It also doesn't apply to players that have improved options that are significantly better - chemistry only makes up for so much.
Here’s Onix’s second video, which explains a little more.
Any FIFA players out there? What do you think about all this?