Wednesday, December 26, 2018

End Of Year Post 2018

This was one of the most uneventful years in history for me.

You can easily see the uneventfulness by checking on how many days of vacation you have left to take off from work at the end of the year. For me, I had half of my days of still to plan when December came, so I only took half of it during the other months of 2018.

I only left the country twice, as far as I can remember. The first time I left was for Switzerland for only a weekend, the other one was a vacation in Tenerife, Spain. My first visit to a southern European country, by the way.

The trip to the island was perhaps the best vacation in terms of beach, swimming and the like for a long time. I especially enjoyed swimming with the fish (not sleeping with fishes, as the mafia says).

Even though it was a little stressful to drive a rental car and get around a place I don't feel too familiar with, I could enjoy the beaches and the sun.

The rest of the year was so filled with uneventfulness that I won't be able to remember much 10 years from now. What I can remember, but will easily forget, is a surgery I had in March, but that's not a big issue, and an injury I had in early November. I had an akle injury and couldn't walk much for the rest of the year.

Apart from that, I don't recall anything... And I also had nothing to write about on this blog. There isn't much to expect for 2019. I don't have huge plans. Right now it's one of these times in life when you just want things to stay okay...

So maybe that's what I can hope for.

Sunday, October 07, 2018

PES Card Collection - Tutorial / Guide / Tips / Walkthrough

As I have noticed before when creating a guide for Underworld Football Manager, I now notice that PES Card Collection also doesn't seem to have a real, thorough guide or walkthrough. So I am creating one myself!

PES Card Collection Tutorial / Guide for advanced players

PES CC title screen in late 2018

The following paragraphs will help you through your advanced game - it is not a beginner's guide but rather tips for people who see themselves playing the game for several months to come. Therefore, I take for granted that you have read the "help" pages within the PES CC app (settings - help). You know what GP and BP is, what Limit Breaks (LB) are, what a refraction ("shiny") card is and you know how the game in general works.

I found useful information online, especially in the neoseeker forum for PES CC (thanks to all the active people there), but I found it rather difficult to browse through hundreds of pages, so I am collecting what I found interesting into one big guide / walkthrough / tutorial - whatever you may call it.

Here are the tips and tricks I will cover:

  • General tips and tricks for a good long-term game
  • Recurring events in PES Card Collection
  • Recurring draws in PES Card Collection
  • FAQ

  • Before I start, let me just say that I didn't play this game from the very beginning, but I have played it for more than 3 months and I've come to some conclusions that you may find useful, hopefully.

    Let's go!

    General tips and tricks for a good long-term game

    Refraction Card Busquets
    My "shiny" refraction Busquets card

    If you are relatively new to the game (you have played it less than 6 months), it will be very useful for you to know some of the events and draws that you might face. It's part of the nature of this game not to know what's going to happen until the moment a new event or draw is "updated" into the game (usually on a monday morning).

    The number 1 tip I can give you straight away is: Be prepared for situations before they come up! Whether it's a special event that requires you to have specific players, whether it's coins you need to access prizes, or whether it's a specific line-up that fits the criteria for an event - be prepared, because it's costly to run after the requirements once an event has already started!

    This is the reason why I'm creating this guide / walkthrough / tutorial - I want you to know what you can expect and what you should prepare for. So keep this #1 tip in mind - be prepared!

    PES Card Collection is a very vivid game that always has a new event or draw coming up basically every week. As you will see in later parts of this guide, these events or draws come with different conditions or twists. Here are some basic preparations you can make to always be on the safe side (besides having a strong team):

    Keep Prime Balls (PB) on stock

    If you are an addicted PES CC gambler like me, you tell yourself every sunday:"tomorrow I'm going to take it easy and not rush into the next event with all GP restores and without spending prime balls to achieve a 5 star player".

    Then, when the event comes, you are suddenly swept away by excitement and spend all your GP or BP bottles and play lots of matches.

    That's not wrong as it's part of what makes the game fun. However, you should always keep in mind the possibility that, perhaps next week, your favorite national team or group of players (defenders, midfielders etc.) will have their own unique draw event.

    If you want a guaranteed 5 star player, you may often need 500 prime balls (250 for the first draw, 250 for the second). Even then, you are not guaranteed to have the specific type of player card you seek, as other "normal" 5 star players may also be drawn. So if you are absolutely eager to have a special "striker" card or your favorite country's superstar, prepare yourself to have many prime balls at your disposal.

    The way I think of it is usually in double draws - 500 for one guaranteed 5 star, 1000 for 2, and so on. The more prime balls you keep, the better your options, especially when you consider that the 8th or 10th draw may even guarantee the specific player card group you are looking for.

    On the other hand, remember that it is possible not to use these 250 PB draws at all and spend the PB in order to resore GP during an event. It's up to you and may even yield more efficient results.

    Fun fact: Sometimes, there is an 11 draw with a guaranteed 5 star player even in the first draw (250 balls). Keep in mind that this could occur the very next week! You wouldn't want to miss such a chance.

     Save 3000 Elevens Coins (or more)

    Elevens matches should be a part of your everyday routine. These coins come in handy for different reasons. You can buy up to 10 bottles for 50 GP restoration each per week, 2 per day max. You can also trade them for skill items (which have a monthly limit).

    However, every once in a while, there is a special Elevents Match event where you battle a special team and can earn special prizes. These cost the regular Elevens Match coins. The biggest reward is usually a 5 star player for 3000 coins.

    There is no need to rush into things and earn 3000 coins in only a couple of days. Just keep earning those coins and keep a "no touching" stash for times when the event comes around! There are also other prizes like a 30% 5 star player chance draw, so perhaps you can keep more than 3000 coins, a lot more! Sooner or later, you will use all of them up within hours when the event is active!

    Extra tip: Usually, and even outside the event, you can buy a 1000 coins guaranteed medal card. From what I have read on the forums, this is not worth it, as it's often a weak card that you may use for fusions with a 5 star player you happen to own, but if you're unlucky, you don't even have that player or it's not a 5 star player to begin with. For 1000 coins, you can buy a lot more instead!

    Save medal players / 3 star players with a 5 star equivalent

    Medal players are players that exist for the purpose of being fusioned with their higher-grade counterpart. For example, you may have noticed that super strong players like Messi or Griezmann have 3 star player cards even though they should be 5 star players because of their legendary real-life abilities.

    When you come across a 3 star player and you're not sure whether they are a mega star or just an ordinary lower class player, go to the PES card database (under settings) and, while having 5 star players enabled in the search, enter the player's name (with correct spelling) to see whether he actually has a 5 star card.

    Some players have 5 star cards only in special events. Sometimes, a grade 89 striker, for instance, will be a grade 90 striker during the "striker" event. But that's a rare occasion and who knows if you're going to get that player. But for regular superstars, keep their 3 star cards - this includes Messi, Ramos, Busquets, whoever you may want to have on your team IF you get them one day. Don't sell a 3 player card just because you don't have the respective 5 star player YET.

    Have many slots for your collection and collect all sorts of players

    You can increase the maximum number of cards you may own under settings - prime balls store. There is an option where you can increase the collection card limit (expand card box). It only costs 5 prime balls per increase and will be a permanent change.

    It is very useful to have a large collection of cards for various reason. Here are some reasons:

    • having lower star cards for fusions with 5 star players later on
    • having a pool of very different player cards for required events (nationality-wise, in terms of primary stat, position-wise, club membership etc.)
    • you may need a lot of players to have different line-ups (a grade 1200 team, 3 teams for an event that requires 3 teams, a PVP team, a road to glory team, and so on) 
    It is very useful to keep strong players that belong to various teams. I try to keep at least one 5 star player for each national team represented in the game, as well as one 5 star player per club represented in the game.

    The reason for this is that an event may occur (for instance, Rising Stadium - see more further down) where those cards offer a boost to your success. So it's good to have them in case you need them.

    You should also keep some of the lowest grade players (grade 50 to 53). There is an event (the PES CC Island Event) where some achievements need to be done by a team with an overall grade of only 1200. I will go into detail about that later.

    Keep refraction ("shiny") cards under all circumstances

    Very rarely, you will get a card that has some shiny, rainbowy colours. These cards are called refraction cards and they may affect player cards of all star levels. It could be a 5 star player, but also a 3 star player that can be merged (fusioned) with a 5 star player card. Whenever you put a normal card and a refraction card together with a fusion, the end result will be shiny.

    Refraction cards have better stats than normal cards. They are roundabout 3 grades better than they usually would be (for instance, my grade 94 refraction Busquets has a stronger overall stat than a normal 97 Messi).

    Even if your player card doesn't have a 5 star equivalent, you may want to keep him. Maybe someday there will be a 5 star verson of him (either because of a special position event or because he has grown stronger in real life). Even if he never becomes a special card, the player is useful in his grade peer group and may be used well in a grade 1200 match (see the Island event for more).

    This is all for the general tips. Let's go ahead and talk about some events...

    Always complete daily quests

    You need the resources!

    Recurring events in PES Card Collection

    With this part of my guide / walkthrough / tutorial, I want to give you an idea of the events and what to keep in mind about them before they even start.

    There is a certain rotation about these events, but I don't know if anyone has figured out a pattern here. What I do know after playing for about 4 months is that some events take place once every 2 months maybe, others may not be seen for more than half a year, but often times, events come back after a while.

    If you know what to do and how to be prepared, you can gain an advantage over other players or finish getting that new 5 star player really quickly. So let's browse through some of the events (this list is incomplete since I still have to play this game a lot more).

    Ren Pa Doh

    I have not played this event myself and can only rely on what I found in the neoseeker forums. This event took place in February 2018 in the wake of the Chinese new year from what I understand.

    The way I understand this event, you can play with one or two player decks, but the best bet is to have 3 separate teams. This means: 11 unique players, 7 unique bench players, and the same thing 2 more times, totalling 58 players. It seems that you should spread out the strength of your team accordingly, so if you don't have enough 5 star players, maybe add a 4 star here and there so you have 3 equally good teams. All you need to do in preparation is to keep your card collection box big enough and not sell every unneeded player immediately.

    This should work fine, though, since you are already following my advice from before, where I said you should keep strong players from every background (1 Croatian 5 star, 1 Barcelona league 5 star, 1 Champions Leage 5 star and so on).

    Jewel Chaser event

    Probably my least favorite event. This event relies on luck too much. The rules are simple: Beat an opponent (a real human player's team) from a list that you may refresh for in-game money. If you win, you get a jewel. Collect all different jewels and your set is complete. Then finish the next set. For each complete collection, you get a prize. This prize may be a 5 star player, but if you are unlucky, it's only some carat points (used to get rewards the further you progress).

    There is also sometimes a gift box displayed. Matches with gift boxes give you immediate rewards if you win. Again, this could be a 5 star player, but the chances are very slim.

    People report that this event, on average, gives a good amount of medal players. Some players even claim that they purposefully don't complete a jewel set in order to keep the GP cost low (a match initially costs 10 GP, after one complete collection, it goes to 15 per match, after that 20 and then stays there).

    I personally will try to only have 10 GP matches and definitely not complete a set. Also, even if I choose opponents that are 3 leagues below me, I often still lose, and for me, that's too much of a waste of precious GP. This one is a pass for me most of the time.

    Championship: PES Fest

    An often recurring PvP event that uses BP tokens instead of GP. You play a match against a real-life opponent, much like a ranked match, and hope to defeat them. The main focus is EP generation, so if you have strong players with EP bonus skills (and maybe a formation that supports EP generation), this one might be for you.

    To me, however, this one is often a very mediocre game as I am faced with stronger opponents half the time. There are some decent rewards for at least playing as many matches as you can without spending extra resources, but chances are that you won't excel at this unless you are hardcore.

    Eleven Match Event

    An event where you play Eleven Matches with other players as you would also usually do. The difference is that you can buy better things with the coins, mainly a singular 5 star player for 3000 coins. So, like I said, keep a big stash of coins for this event. You will need it. Also included may be national team strips, draw tickets, 30% and 10% draws and other useful stuff.

    Rising Stadium

    One of my favorite events, because it rewards players who prepare themselves. During this event, you use GP to play a match against the AI. This sort of match is comparable to a skilled match - easy, medium, hard. The harder the match, the higher the chance to trigger a "stadium" (also, the ratio for "rising balls", an in-game currency, is higher in the harder matches)

    Once a stadium appears, you can clear it without having to play a match, but you will need BP or "rising balls" as a currency to do so.

    The stadium will be cleared by players you have that fit the scenario. There will always be one specific group of players that will have an advantage there. The first time I played, they were the German national players, the next time, it was Playmakers of all nationalities. Apart from that, players that are high level, high star and limit breaks will also give you an advantage.

    You may want to consider pulling a 250 PB draw at the very beginning of the event in order to stock up on players that are favored in the event. Apart from that, you should keep many players of different backgrounds and hope that one of them or more already give you an advantage.

    Here are some tips for you during this event:

    • Level up the event-specific players immediately as the event starts
    • If you have more than 11 players of the preferred type, try to do fusions if you have more than one of a kind
    • If you can easily win those, do the hard difficulty matches more often - they not only give you a 99% (almost 100%) chance for a stadium, but also have a higher rate of dropping rising balls
    • Prefer to complete stadiums that have a good chance for a treasure chest, as this will increase the meter for a mega or giga stadium (in turn, this means you can also abandon stadiums that don't offer a chest)
    • Before you go to bed, open up some stadiums to clear immediately when you wake up again (most stadiums have 11 hours to finish)
    • If you have the chance, almost finish a stadium, then finish it off hardcore with a 5 PB overkill - this will add further points to your tally and let you move up the ranks faster

    Side note: Rising Stadium events often come with Legends Cards events. The legend card may be part of the rewards (both as an Extra card, often around grade 92, and the hard to get Legend with a grade of around 98).

    PES Island

    Arguably everyone's favorite event. During this event, you can play lots of matches on different difficulties on maps that look a lot like Mario Party stages. For every match, there is a reward for clearing it and another reward for clearing 3 specific objectives. These may be the number of goals scored, a specific number of special skills used, or even things like "win with a team that has a total grade of 1200 or less". Oh yes! Better prepare for that!

    The great thing about PES Island is more than one thing. Let's see... the event doesn't reset! A couple of months down the road, you will be able to start off where you left off and finish new stages or clear stuff you didn't finish last time. Great!

    Another great thing is that you can also use these stages for farming items you need. Need medium skill items? Play the worlds that offer them. Need medal players? Play some of the higher stages again and again.

    Some of the objectives are really hard and will require you to try and try again. Sometimes you will need to "finish the match with a 5-3 score sheet exactly". It's hard to plan for that. Just keep trying.

    As for the 1200 grade requirement: I found it useful to pack my bench with grade 50-52 players, then use a mix of grade 70s and grade 90s players. Some things to keep in mind: It's better to have a grade 90 and a grade 70 player than a grade 85 and a grade 75 player. The grade 90 player has massive skills and a very high max level, while the grade 70 player can still have the same basic C skill that a grade 75 player would have.

    Try to have many grade 90s players in your team while still having a stable team. You may have to experiment a lot with your grade 1200 team. I found it very useful to put grade 90s players in key positions (CF, DF, CB, GK) and put weaker players where they can work as a team. Also, if you have a player who is limit-broker (for instance Level 73 instead of 70), use them, they can overpower your enemy! And maybe you have a grade 70s refraction card? Stronger than it looks!

    "Joint Team" event

    I forgot how they called this event, so let me try to describe it: It's very similar to Elevens matches. You enter the event, place a player in the line-up, and hope that many other players will add their players, and then the match starts. The more other humans add their players, and the more you dominate the other team, the more bonus points you get.

    There are some pieces of advice I want to give you here:

    • Unless you know other people in the game and make appointments with them, focus on the bonus times only, otherwise you will lose resources, play against tougher teams, and totally get frustrated
    • Use the bonus boost when the line-up is full
    • Try to find other players who are very motivated and make a union with them
    • Use a very strong player that you have, preferably one that has had a limit break, as the total level of the players used counts
    • Be careful when opening up a new match  - if it's bonus time, there is a chance someone else is also opening up a match and everyone is running into "the other room".

    "Special League" event

    I also forgot what this one is called. Here, it's all about the special player stats. Did you ever notice that every player card has one dominant stat like "Speed" or "Power"? During this event, you are supposed to create a team based purely on these stats, so your best bet is to have enough players to create a "stamina" and "speed" team, then have a "power" and "defence" team the next day. The better you can adapt to these changes, the higher your rewards will be in the long run. Apart from that, I remember this event as being quite okay and fair and the rewards seem to be in reach.

    This is all I can offer for now when it comes to events. I'm sure I forgot some (or haven't seen them yet). I hope this could be helpful to you nevertheless. Let's go on with some frequently occuring draws and the law of the draw.

    Recurring draws in PES Card Collection

    When I speak of recurring draws in the context of this guide for PES Card Collection, I am talking about the draws you can get in the "draw" section at the bottom corner of your game menu.

    These draws usually include a single draw (for 25 PB) and an 11 draw (for 250 PB). The 250 PB draw always has advantages. Not only do you get 11 player cards for the price of 10, the 11th player called (called "excelsior") usually has a higher chance of being a 5 star card, sometimes even a guarantee.

    Here are draws you can expect in the game:

    • Nationality draw (either one national team or two national teams, for instance Germany or Italy/Colombia)
    • Position draw: Strikers, Playmakers, Guardians
    • Talent draw (players may have a talent already active when obtained)
    • Prometheus (was that the name?) draw (6% instead of 5% chance for 5 star players for the 1-10 slot position of the draw, small chance for Legendary player)
    • Guaranteed first time 5 star player draw (a draw where the first try already offers a 5 star player - may be combined with the option of playing the draw once more if you're unhappy, but then you have to settle with the second choice no matter what comes out)

    Please note the following when it comes to draws:

    • Always read the text for the draws even if you are very excited
    • Don't expect to get the player you want, or even the player class (nationality / position you want)
    • Read the ratio of the draws and the schedule of the draws (what can you get in the first, second, 5th draw?)
    • Keep in mind that grade 90-92 players are more likely to be drawn than 93-95 and so on
    • Also keep in mind that the presented player group (Italy national team for instance) is only part of the chance. Sometimes, they only have a 34% chance of being drawn, you could still end up with a totally different player than what you hoped for

    One thing you should ask yourself all the time is: If a draw with [enter player group] comes up tomorrow, will I have enough Prime Balls? Do I need Prime Balls in case the draw event comes up?

    By the way, the more Prime Balls you have, the higher up you can move on the draw schedule (the 8th draw may be better than the 6th because of the chances of getting what you want - read the text provided by Konami in the draw description).

    Next up, some frequently asked questions...


    I need a specific player position as a 5 star player (for example, DF). What's the best draw to get the job done?

    Your first instinct may be to wait until the next Guardians draw event. During a Guardians Draw, the 2nd, 4th and 6th draw guarantee a 5 star player, of which 34% will be a Guardian (which in turn might be a goalkeeper though!). The 8th and 10th draw will guarantee a 5 star guardian, who might also be a goalkeeper if you are really unlucky.

    When I was in your position and did 6 Guardian draws, I was unlucky and only got one 5 star Guardian defender, but 3 (!) goalkeepers of 5 stars among other 5 star players.

    I found another way for you to try your luck, if Guardian is not what you wanna try (although it could be worth it).

    The other option you have is to look at the card database and find a national team (or maybe club team if these draws occur) that has a high chance of having a defender drawn.

    Let me give you an example of how this might work:

    Take Argentina for instance. I sorted the database for 5 star players by team so you can see them all in the screen shot (the shot was taken during the Guardian event).

    As you can see, of all the Argentinian players available, the "lower grade" players (within the 5 star community) are all defensive players. Lower grade 5 stars are traditionally more easily drawn than higher grade 5 stars.

    The other 5 stars are massive superheroes that, even if you wanted a defender, you'd probably still kiss your screen for if you got them. These include Messi, di Maria, Higuain, Aguero and Dybala. All great players.

    If you try an Argentina draw and an Argentinian player is drawn (of which the chances might not be optimal, but again, you must try your luck), the chance of getting a defender will be higher than the chance of getting a superstar striker. Other positions (pure midfielders, weak strikers etc.) are not present here.

    This may apply in similar ways to other teams. Check out the national teams of other countries and ask yourself: What is the most predictable outcome? Which players positions are more common? Which are lower grade than others? What's the worst that could happen to me?

    And always remember: Unless you go up to the Xth draw, you won't have a guarantee that you get the respective player type, so it will always be a question of luck and probability.

    Should I keep and limit break a 90 grade player?

    Indeed a good question. Maybe when you were a beginner at this game, you thought to yourself that you should only keep the best players and discard all the ones with a lower total strength (which are the lower grade types).

    The tradeoff with lower types in the 5 star realm is that grade 90-92 players are more common. This also leads to better chances of direct limit breaks with identical cards.

    Some cards that I have come across multiple times include:

    • 90 Parejo
    • 90 Jonas
    • 91 Lacazette
    • 91 Immobile
    • 92 Koscielny
    • 92 Mkhitarian
    For you, it might be other players.

    It is absolutely possible that the number of identical cards you get mean you can outgrow a grade 95 or higher card before you get one. After all, grade 90+ cards are more common than a 98 Messi, for instance.

    In the end, you have to make your own assumptions. For me, it was easy getting rid of Lacazette even though I had limit broken him at least once. Since he had only striker skills and I already had a 95 Mertens which I knew I would manually limit break, I let go of all other lower grade strikers from that point on (central forwards that is).

    However, it is a completely different story with Koscielny. I have had more than one limit break with him and haven't seen any central defender yet that is stronger than him, even though there are plenty in the game. So I'm happy every time he shows up in a draw. Also, even if I get a better defender, there will always be at least one other central defender position available for him. I can't say the same for central forwards in the formations I use.

    How do refractions and talents carry over during fusions?

    I only have some personal experience with this, but I'll try to answer this from what I read on the forums.

    If a fusion takes place between identical cards and one of them is "shiny", that effect (refraction) will carry over. I know from first hand experience that it did when a 5 star non-shiny "ate" a 3 star shiny, and if it's the other way around, there is no reason why the refraction effect should be lost.

    A fusion also creates a new talent, but from what I've read, old talents from the player who is used up can still stay alive after a fusion. This may even go for several talents. If a player already had a talent (let's say a 3 star player) and a fusion takes place with a 5 star player, the 5 star player will inherit the old talent and gain a new one through the fusion. The fusion meter, however, will only increase by one digit (from 0/5 to 1/5 instead of 2/5). So it should be possible to "stack" various medal cards for the same player and then perform a number of fusions with the mother card later.

    Help! I can't perform a fusion!

    There are some possible reasons:

    • The player you want to use up has a higher level than the one you want to keep as the base card
    • The player you want to use up is either favorited (yellow heart in the corner) or is part of a formation
    • The players are from different series (regular league versus champions league) and therefore don't fit together (don't ask me why, it's Konami's fault)

    Why are bonus times more often at night than when I'm awake?

    Because Konami favours Japanese players and all the bonus times are based on the daily routine of an Asia-based person, I suppose. I don't know if this is the way it was programmed before they knew it would be an international an not only a Japanese game or if they just like to cater to their local geographic more (the Japanese national team, interestingly, seems to be the only team whose members you can only get with purchased PB), but it's the way it is. It's unfair, yes. At least all of us here are rich enough to play games on mobile phones though, so we are privileged anyway I guess.

    What is the best formation?

    The answer is very individual and not absolute. Here are some thoughts:

    • The best formation FOR YOU is a formation where your best players can play in positions that suit them and their abilities best
    • Try to get your hands on a formation that you can level up and put improvement points into
    • When using one of those special formations, remember that some bonuses go for one player, others may affect several players at the same time (for instance, 3 central defenders can benefit from the same bonus for CB)
    • A formation depends also on the type of match you play. I use 4-3-3 a lot against the AI, but use my super defensive 4-5-1 against human opponents a lot. You decide what is best for you, depending on the players you have!

    What are the best player skills?

    Again, there can be lots of arguing about this. First of all, A-skills are better than B-skills, which are better than C-skills. Some skills work in almost any position (for instance, defensive skills can even work for strikers sometimes, as shown by players like Mandzukic). Other skills are very much dependent on the position on the field. A shooting skill requires a player to be within shooting distance to the goal.

    Generally speaking, defensive skills are almost a must have for your back line. Have one, better two defensive skills per player. Be careful when using strikers out of context: Some strikers are really made for central striking, and even though they can play in the midfield, they can't use some of their special skills there.

    The midfield benefits a lot from passing and dribbling, wingers (right forward and left forward) are really great with dribbling too. Some midfielders can do well with shots and defensive skills, but it depends on the formation you use.

    Do "Team Skills" even work if the player with the Team skill is on the bench?

    Yes, it seems that way. In your team management, you can see in one of the sub-menues which players affect your team. You will see every team skill active and every player affected by it. This is the reason why your bench should be full with 5 star players if possible. Even a 5 star goalkeeper on the bench can be useful for defense team skills, even though I have never seen a goalkeeper being replaced for an injury (or otherwise).

    The End - for now

    I hope you liked the tips and tricks written here that are compiled in this guide or tutorial. As mentioned before, this is only the stuff I collected online and not purely my own research to boast about, even though I put some thought into it. I hope that the people at the neoseeker forum know their input is appreciated. Thanks and feel free to share the info to other players. Feedback and updated information is also welcome, though I can't guarantee that I will update this page.

    Sunday, December 31, 2017

    End Of Year Post 2017

    This year it's gone by really fast. It didn't really feel like there was a lot of 2017.

    Let me sum up what happened this year:

    • Made one trip to Ireland (first time ever) in May
    • Another trip to Singapore, early July
    • Amrum (North Sea) late July
    Three major vacations in one year were great. It's something to keep up, especially with one country being a new one.

    We also got a cat, Akasha, in November. She must have been born in early September, maybe even September first, we don't know for sure. This cat was very shy at first but turned out to be very social, loving and playful.

    On a wider scale, 2017 was a very political year. Not only was it the year right after a big American election, which Trump won (we will remember how misleading the media reports were, considering it was not unlike the Brexit vote), there was also a German election. It is not the election itself that was really the milestone in a negative way, but in some way I feel that the election represented the changes that Germany has gone through. It all leads back to the "refugee" crisis of 2015. Most people in other countries won't understand what this means for Germany, because in other countries, laws are different. Here, whenever people come, they stay. It's that simple. And the people we got in 2015 were, even if they were real refugees, very different people who, let's say it mildly, are at odds with the German culture. To put it even more friendly, it's the German system who doesn't fit to them, if you won't put it the other way around.

    To be more clear: I believe we will look back one day and say: 2015 was the year it was decided that Germany will be changed forever. It doesn't matter that it was changed genetically. What matters is that freedom of religion, safety and especially freedom of speech will be affected because of very conservative islamic communities building up in the future.

    Back to 2017: Even though the elections politized a lot of people and had a shocking result to some, things stayed the same basically. The reason is that there has been a stalemate for some years. There were two big political parties, one of which has been suffering losses for over 10 years now. The other big party is also losing, but stays the strongest party, and that means that the chancellor who got us into all this trouble will stay in power for another 4 years.

    Away from politics... what else happened? Not much, I think. I would mention terrorist attacks, but now is the time to acknowledge they have become a boring *yawn* part of our lives. But I do remember they were new and unheard of in the early 2000s. I will not forget that. And whenever a politician comes and tells me otherwise, I will slap them in the face (in my mind).

    2017 was in some way a standstill. My other blog I use to generate income has been standing still. I only write when I have to and I don't put much effort into it any more. But in some way I feel that's okay because I'm looking at the stock market again, it has some potential perhaps.

    What is there to expect in 2018? Let's see:

    • Turning a childfree life into a permanent reality
    • A trip to Tenerife (first time in Spain at the same time)
    • small trip to Switzerland to visit a cousin
    • Probably many retirements in my main job, which will bring changes
    • Weight loss (there have been many ups and downs in 2017 and now I have to start at a very high weight)
    So far, not that much is planned. I'll see how it goes. Bye!

    Friday, November 10, 2017

    Why Do Websites Change Design All The Time?

    Before I start: Last month I forgot to post something. First time in the history of my blog that I don't have a post for one month of the year! This is not good for my obsessive compulsive disorder.

    Why do websites constantly change their design? Here is an example:

    Hey, are you still using the "classic" yahoo mail design? Do you want to change to the new design?


    Why does everything have to change every year? And why does it have to change to the worse?

    In the last 12 months or so, the amazon associate program, google adsense, xanox affiliate network, my online broker and yahoo mail have all changed their design. And I liked all of them the way they were (except for yahoo mail, because that's a piece of shit anyways).

    Especially when money is concerned (affiliate programs), you just wanna create your monthly reports and print them out for tax reasons. You don't want to get involved in new fancy designs, find where the hid the buttons you used to find easily, or even rename things.

    I don't mind if websites get better, but can we just decide to stick to one design for 5 years maybe? It's really mentally exhausting, and on top of that, I am in favor of a slick design that doesn't need a lot of text and many on-screen elements or scripts in the background. Can we just have a simple design and keep it? Please?

    Here is how I like a design:

    Everything that does not have a purpose: Keep it white (no racism here).
    Buttons: One colour (corporate design stuff)
    Tabs: The other corporate design colour
    Number of tabs, buttons, menus: Start with a small number, then spread it out when you hover over some of the fewer options... then it can get a little more complex, because it's not all on one screen from the beginning and at all times.

    Just like in all areas of life: If you want something to be done, you have to do it yourself. Well, I can't, and I won't. Just let me do my stuff, okay?

    Friday, September 29, 2017

    AFD: Useless political drama

    There have been elections in Germany recently. And oh, my god, there was so much political drama because for the first time, a right wing party called AFD entered the parliament.

    In Germany, this is seen as a big issue, because Germans can't distinguish between right wing parties and nazis. Basically, everyone who is "right" is automatically a nazi. And when you take Germany's history into consideration, everyone is afraid that history will repeat itself.

    Now, to be fair, this party has some representatives who have uttered ambiguous (whatever the spelling is) messages. You could say that they are fishing for votes from nazis. Yes. But that doesn't mean that the whole party (or all the voters) are nazis.

    Funny enough, most people who are against the AFD, bring up all kinds of reasons why it is stupid (yes, "stupid) to vote for them. They bring up all kinds of elaborate reasons. For example:

    • The AFD does not even have a concept for pensions and retirement benefits
    • The AFD has financial / tax plans that benefit rich people more than poor people (the supposed target group)
    • The AFD can't provide solutions to the problems they complain about

    All of this may sound like legitimate critisism, there is just one problem. Voters in favor of the AFD vote for the AFD for very, very simple and straight forward reasons:

    • To veto Angela Merkel's 2015 decision to let 1 million immigrants (labelled as "refugees") enter the country on a permanent basis
    • To protest against the rising influence of Islam in Germany
    • Most AFD voters don't believe the AFD will solve problems, they simply mistrust ALL other parties

    On top of that, you should note that there are virtually no other alternatives to vote for if that is your political position. Let me walk you through the options:

    CDU: The party of chancellor Merkel. She decided to take in refugees. You vote for the CDU, you support Merkel's decisions
    CSU: A party that has a strong position against the intake of refugees, asking for an upper limit of refugees per year. The only problem: They can only be voted for in one state (Bavaria) and are in a union with CDU, making them basically the same party in effect!
    SPD: The social democrats. They were in a government coalition with the CDU, making them Angie's partners in crime (or in a brave act of humanitarian efforts, if that's your point of view). Voting for them basically means you still support the intake of refugees. It is a social party after all.
    Green party: They are very much in favor of refugees
    Left party: They are in favor of all poor people and therefore not opposed to taking in refugees
    FDP: A liberal party. They are in favor of a Canadian model immigration program, meaning they want qualified immigrants who are given points depending on how qualifiied, suitable etc. they are. The only problem with them: They share similar views on other political topics with the CDU, making them a frequent coalition candidate in the past. In other words: Voting for the FDP will extend Angie's chances of being a chancellor in a CDU-FDP government.

    When you go through all these options, you quickly realise that you can either vote for a party that wants to have many refugees from Africa, the Middle East and whereever, or you can vote for a party that technically is against taking in too many refugees, but then you directly support Angela Merkel who will then claim "the electorate is on our side".

    So this is why 12.6 per cent of all people voted for the AFD, the only party that is clearly against Merkel and her choice to flood Germany with mostly uneducated and sometimes criminal nincompoops.

    I should note at this point that Germany has a tendency to mix humanitarian acts with "we need highly qualified foreign workers". This argument does not work in reality, however, politicians use it to fool the public into thinking that bringing in ANY foreigners is better than not bringing in foreigners at all. The reality is that many poor foreigners would love to enter Germany to seek asylum and gain easy financial benefits, while few highly qualified Chinese, Indians and other specialized workers feel attracted to a country with a complicated language that is kind of isolated culturally.

    It's as simple as that.

    The next thing on the list is the alleged nazi problem with the AFD. I see two options here: Either, the AFD radicalize themselves further and further until they are basically unvoteable by the German public (12.6 per cent is not the amount of nazis in Germany... it's people giving them the benefit of the doubt) or they democratize (?) themselves to the point where they become a right wing, but not radical hater party. Then, they can continue to attract people who have conservative views within what's acceptable in a democracy.

    And I think that's what we will see.... it's all not too dramatic.

    Saturday, August 12, 2017

    Stuck in limbo

    Man, life is really annoying right now.

    I notice that something is wrong with my neurotransmitters. I'm constantly unhappy, easily angry, often stressed out and never satisfied. At the same time, I'm trying to lose weight, which seemed so much easier a couple of months ago.

    When I go home from work everyday at 11:30 (I'm a part time worker), people say "man, wish I had your life". Then I wonder: why is it that everyone feels this way but I can't even be happy about it, even though I KNOW that I'm lucky?

    I'm walking through a goal-less and meaningless life right now. I make video game achievements and saving money my priorities so that I have anything to live for. The bad thing is that the video game achievements are shallow and without long-term reward, and saving money doesn't work because life always takes money away anyway. Crazy dentist costs, unexpected bills, being screwed over financially, wasting money because you can't find time to look for cheaper contracts. Whatever I do, I've been stuck at my current balance for a year now.

    I would like to be happier. I don't want to say "I'll be happy later" or "I'll be happy as soon as X happens". I know it doesn't work that way.

    Other people seem to be happy. At least they have this ability of laughing when small things are good, pleasing or funny. It takes me more things to enjoy myself.

    I still get thoughts like "I'm falling back into a depression" sometimes. I can't escape it completely, I guess.

    Sometimes I keep a "to do" list, but I can't work all these things off because I'm suffocating with the daily tasks. Too much time is wasted doing housework or paperwork or paying off another bill and stuff.

    I also waste too much time with the cheap thrills I need. I need youtube and video games. No longer do I have a hobby. I'm tired all the time and not interested in doing anything. My weekends are so boring that I do housework to keep myself busy and get the workload done for the week. I would rather do housework on weekends because I'm bored and I prefer having more time to myself when I get home from work.

    What would have to change to make things better?

    • I need to go to a doctor and get my amino acids checked. More money down the drain, but I'm tired of conventional "take this pill" medicine. It's on my list of things to do, but I lack courage to explain myself.
    • I need to get some long-term "things to do" done so that I can return to a life where I don't stand in my own way.
    • I need to lose weight to the point where I can finally focus on healthy nutrition without having to constantly anger myself over too little weight loss
    • I need balance... just don't know how to feel more balanced. But I've been wanting to really be alone for a couple of weeks. When people speak of this "lonely island" and what to take there, it always sounds like an emergency situation. But I really want to go there.

    The only good thing I take from my current situation is a very strong confirmation that having kids is not ever going to work for me. I'm too overwhelmed with life as it is. I'm not even that much attached to life. Even though I might be pessimistic about my parenting abilities, and can't speak of experience, I know in my heart that not ever having kids is the right thing, the "rightest" thing to do. It really, really wouldn't be a good idea otherwise. But it still makes me furious to imagine that I would have to justify myself in front of family members.

    Wednesday, July 19, 2017

    Unbelievable coincidences

    I have a tendency to be paranoid. Sometimes I think that things that happen to me are so unlikely that, if I was insane, it would be understandable if I really believed that someone is setting me up.

    I know that it's not real. There isn't REALLY someone trying to mess with me, like a Truman Show or something. But I keep making these sarcastic remarks about when weird stuff happens because it IS really weird.

    In short, unlikely and unbelievable things happen that just seem as if they are there to annoy and outrage me.

    For example: Today, I wanted to write in my other blog. For each blog post, I need a picture, and I already had a picture in my phone. The thing is: In order to move that picture from my phone to my PC, I have to do all sorts of things. I could either use a cable (but before that, I need to remove the outer casing etc.), or I could send the picture to myself from my email and then access the picture from my email again on the PC.

    It sounds like a stone age way of accessing a picture, and that's because it is. My PC doesn't have blue tooth and all that shit. I think there should be an easy way nowadays, but apparantly, not yet.

    Well, let's fast forward a little: Usually, sending myself a picture like that is possible, even though it's tedious and annoying. But today, it got worse. I sent myself the picture without a problem: I opened my yahoo mail app, sent the picture to the same yahoo mail account, then opened yahoo mail on my PC's internet. The email arrived with the attachment, but yahoo mail is so slow that it simply didn't open the mail.

    I thought: "Hmmm... maybe the internet connection is weak". But no, the internet on other pages worked fine. I googled the problem and found out that many people have problems with yahoo mail because "yahoo mail has 1000 scripts running in the background". I agree with that assumption because I noticed this before. The problem is: I have many important things running on yahoo mail. Not only all of my private and professional contacts, also some of my accounts like Amazon run with this email. So in order to change my email address, not only would I have to let everyone know, I would have to make sure I also change my email account with all the logins I have for other websites!

    Back to the main issue: I tried sending the picture to myself on ANOTHER email account I have, this time with Gmail. Gmail is totally different, loads quickly and doesn't take ages. The problem here was that when I tried to download the picture on my PC, the download only STARTED, but NEVER completed. It was at one point stuck at 1,7 MB out of 2,3 MB, another time at 2,0 MB out of 2,3 MB. Whenever I tried, the download always "got stuck" at some point and I had to cancel.

    So, let's recap: 
    • Because my technology is super old, I have to resort to ridiculous means of tranferring a picture from my phone to my PC, both of which are centimeters apart from each other
    • Using a cable is too difficult because my phone has protective casing around it, I can't remove the card, I can promise you that I would scratch the phone screen to death
    • Sending an email to myself is the only option, however...
    • 2 SEPARATE email accounts fail to provide me with the file because either, the mails can't be opened or the download doesn't work in the most "almost there" way possible
    • We are talking about 2,3 MB!!! In the year 2017!!! That is so embarrassing that I even blush and feel ashamed for my own PC.
    This drives me insane, especially when you consider that getting that picture is just a very small part of writing that blog post. It's not even worth mentioning. It's as if I want to leave a house, drive a car to the petrol station and refuel it, but when I try to leave the house, I get stuck in the doorway because.... some technicality... Some urgent repair in the stairway or something. Then I try to jump out the window, but the window won't open, even though it used to open just fine. And the same with all the windows.
    Yeah... that kind of analogy. Oh yeah, and one of the windows ALMOST opens, but just to the point where I can't squeeze through.

    So... yeah, I get the idea, if I really believe that someone wants to annoy me, I can go straight to the mental hospital. But at the same time, I have to somehow be content with the fact that this is just a REALLLLLY strange way of life that I have with REALLLLLY strange and unusual things that keep on happening again and again. I could write a book with all the strange, unusual, unfair and unbelievable things that happen.

    And I'm not talking about things that just happen without a reason and don't ask for suspicion. For example, on the way to Singapore, I missed the connecting flight and was stuck in Switzerland. The consequences were unpleasent. I lost the seat reservation for the next flight, was stuck in the middle seat, couldn't sit next to my wife, had to stay at a hotel, didn't sleep much. But here is the thing: I ACCEPT that this is a normal incident. It's not extremely unusual. Some things happen. Missing a flight, or missing the bus, or having ONE thing at a time go wrong, doesn't make me paranoid. What MAKES me paranoid is when several things happen at the same time that LOOK LIKE they are scripted reality. When things that go wrong look orchestrated... to the point where, even if I try different things, it's NOT SUPPOSED to work out for me.

    Just to make it clear: I don't mind bad luck once in a while. But it should be realistic. Singular occurences, not chain reactions of things going as if to screw over my plans. It's really a bad sign when I think about my own life as "this is unrealistic".

    Today, the message was: YOU DO NOT WRITE THAT BLOG ARTICLE. I got it... and gave up for today.