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Tiger Woods 14 adds "Simulation" difficulty level to new game


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#1 JCat04

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 03:52 PM

It looks like all of the interest that was generated in this forum last year about Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13, for both the XBox 360 and Playstation 3 died off within a month of the game's release.  I think a lot of it had to do with the game's compromised difficulty, even in its highest level - Tournament, and its limited Online Country Club functionality.  I'm in a club of guys who are both hardcore golfers AND gamers, and we managed to keep a fairly high level of activity going through the end of September, when our season ended.   Out club is still active, but it's just a trickle of guys playing off and on.   The chief complaint is the game feels like it's on rails.  The swing mechanism is too tuned to allow for straight shots.  We also found the online country club was not geared enough for head to head play.  You had to play your club tournaments solo. with leaderboards that only updated after a complete 18 hole round.

From all appearances, the developers of Tiger Wood PGA Tour 14 - Tiburon - has taken a lot of game community feedback to heart with at least the *design* of the new game.  They've introduced a new difficulty that takes ALL of the shot aids out of game, including the worst offender of all - zoom to aim.  There's a good blog about the new Simulation Difficulty on the official site - http://www.easports....difficulty-blog.  

The game's presentation is also getting a major facelift, as it's going with a new option called "Broadcast Presentation".  It looks to be a blend of 2011 - 2013's True-Aim and the camera cuts and stat overlays we're used to seeing when watching a television broadcast of a PGA event. Here's a developer blog on this feature: http://www.easports....esentation-blog.

And to speak to our club's second leading complaint, we'll at least be able to play in Simultaneous multiplayer, complete with real time shot tracers of those who are playing the same hole in our simultaneous multiplayer 'group' (up to 24 players!?  I would think that would be a bit surrealistic... but the potential is there).  You'll also have a game negotiated  "live chat" connection to those in your group, if desired.  Finally, you'll be given all sorts of round performance data (longest drive, FIRs, GIRs, average putts, etc) of not only those in your 'group', but all others who have played and finished, or who are currently playing the same event on other holes!  It's really going to feel a lot more connected and dynamic this year from the sound of it.


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#2 Mountaineer

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 01:01 AM

This may sound ridiculous, but I wish they would actually add caddies into the game. Would make it a tad more realistic.
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#3 JCat04

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 05:15 PM

View PostMountaineer, on 20 February 2013 - 01:01 AM, said:

This may sound ridiculous, but I wish they would actually add caddies into the game. Would make it a tad more realistic.

They did add caddies in Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12, and the market reaction was very negative.  The caddies were too obtrusive and gave the gamer way more information than possible  Gamers said it automated the game too much and took player intuition out of it.  EA tried backing the caddie down a bit in Tiger 13, as the animated "pop-in" of the caddie was taken off the screen, but once again, the market complained that it made the game too easy.

If EA could include a caddie that handed the player a club, stood off the side, tended the flag, and gave yardage and elevation only, I don't think there would be any complaints.  I think it will be a while before we see that because of the viciousness of the criticism they received over the caddie implementation of the last two years.

#4 JCat04

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Posted 24 February 2013 - 02:02 AM

Big news breaking today about the Tiger Woods 14 demo scheduled for release on March 5th.  Gamers will be able to play in a mini "Connected Tournament" against other "live" demo players, in multiple difficulty levels.  It was confirmed that the "shot arcs (tracers) of the other players who are on the same demo hole in the Connected demo tournament in which you're playing, will be displayed in real time.  You won't get to see the body of the other golfers, but you'll know where they are, what stroke they're playing and you can follow the tracing of their shot from start to finish.

It hasn't been confirmed, but I suspect that we'll also get to see the much bally-hooed, Broadcast Presentation in effect for the demo.  This doesn't sound like your ordinary sports game demo based on what's being disclosed!

#5 LaBraeGolfer

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Posted 24 February 2013 - 10:42 PM

Sold my ps3 for clubs this winter thinking about getting a cheap 360 for the solo use of tiger 14 have to see if the games worth it first, but it needs to be so much harder on real courses, the predator is the only course (with the hardest conditions) that I can't conquer make pinehurst play like 3 under for the tournament.

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#6 JCat04

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Posted 25 February 2013 - 08:24 AM

I've read reports from two Tournament difficulty players who were invited to EA Sports Community Day about the Simulation difficulty.  One of them was able to break 70 in one round while playing it... and that was before EA Sports made the change with the strike meter fading as soon as you start your swing.  I don't think we're going to have many - if any - complaints about the game being too easy in simulation difficulty

One thing that hasn't been bought forth so far is that the distance control is going to be more difficult in Simulation difficulty  One of the developers whispered this to a gamer who was complaining that the attribute points he had allocated for putting seemed wasted.  The dev responded that you'll need those attribute points for putting if you're struggling with distance control this year..

#7 Graymulligan

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Posted 25 February 2013 - 12:38 PM

I'm excited.  tw13 wasn't a bad game, but the online options for club play were awkward at best.  If you didn't do all of the right things, you were locked out of a lot of game modes.  Folks who took the time to check out what was necessary and played those events, or made the changes to access other modes/online tournaments were fine, but for every person who waded through and figured it out, I'll bet there are 5 who didn't bother.

Streamline the club options, drop the whole "coin" purchase system for rounds on non-downloaded courses, and I'll be happy.  

Oh, and I'm tired of buying the same courses every year.  I've probably paid 30 bucks for the predator and highlands at this point, if I bought them before, stop charging me for them again.
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#8 HoosierMizuno

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Posted 25 February 2013 - 03:12 PM

so i have the choice to keep playing '13 with all the additional courses that i've either bought or accumulated through points or i can buy '14 and have to start over with the limited courses re-buying additional courses, and i'm basically getting a few legends players and a simulation mode that will probably just be a harder shot stick without any of the helps. this game seems to be a buy once every 3-4 years type game.
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#9 JCat04

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Posted 25 February 2013 - 04:38 PM

Getting more information on the demo now.  It will feature a 3-hole Connected Tournament at Royal Birkdale. The spectator mode and voice chat options will be available in the Connected Tournament demo. There will also be a "Quick Play" option available in which you'll play 3 holes at Oak Hill, under final round conditions with Broadcast Presentation in effect.

HoosierMizuno, I understand where you're coming from.  I grew tired of Tiger '13 because it was too easy to hit the ball straight, even in Tournament difficulty and it forced me to use "Follow Camera" - which destroys the golfer perspective - for Live Tournament play.  I bought some of the DLC courses for Tiger 13 using the in-game coins that I earned through gameplay.  EA Sports was inexplicably tarred and feathered by the media for "forcing" gamers to grind in order to earn courses.  It was an OPTION, they didn't hold a gun over my head and force me to do it!?  Anyway, this game seems to be one that will not only look different, but will play different and require more golfer intuition.  We'll be getting 6 more courses (up to 20) in the standard edition than we got last year, and 25 courses in the Historical Edition, for $10 more.

#10 Travis24

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Posted 25 February 2013 - 11:30 PM

Went out today and bought a ps3 just for this game, I've been playing tw11 on the Lackluster wii for the past couple months.  It might be a steeper learning curve on this setup but I can't wait till its release.  

Keep the updates rolling JCat04!!!


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#11 JCat04

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 04:28 AM

Travis24, are you planning to buy a Move to use with your PS3?  You might like it if you're used to playing the game with the Wii Motion + on the Wii.  I have the demo of Tiger Woods 13 on my PS3, but wound up buying the XBox 360 version instead.  I just like the 360's hand held controller better; the sticks feel more responsive.

I tried the demo with the Move and it worked good, the problem is that I was trying to execute my real golf swing with nothing buy the Move in my hands and it felt awkward, to the point that I was actually starting to hurt my back.  SKLZ golf makes an accessory for the Move that has a real club grip, a short shaft, and a mount for the Move, along with a "trigger" for the "T" button on the Move.  It reportedly has the feel of a golf club and seems to be well made.  Here's a link to it:

http://www.sklz.com/...CFQUGnQodlzYA2g

It got released too late into the life of Tiger 13 for me to venture into it.  It's cost came down a couple of months after its release.  You can now buy it for $29.99 on the SKLZ.com website, but I've seen it as low as $19.99.  It started out at $39.99.   I may consider the PS3 version after a while this year if the Move gets critical acclaim.  I know one guy who has the SimStix for his Move and he says it transforms the game into more of a simulation for him.  I'm in an XBox 360 Online Country Club that was a lot of fun last year and we're already reforming for Tiger '14.  I know I'll be getting the 360 version just for that.  I still can't help but crave something that's a little more realistic in terms of real swing feel though. I love the first person perspective camera option the Move adds to the game as well!

Edited by JCat04, 27 February 2013 - 04:33 AM.


#12 Travis24

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 10:55 AM

Yeah I will be buying the move this weekend.  I bought a new tv last month so I wanted to get a blue ray player too, also there's a few other ps3 only games I like.

I had considered buying one of those half club half controller setups for the wii, but felt the wii wasnt very precise in its moves.  Now I have a semi low fan above my head where I play so I think I will still pass on the setup.

#13 JCat04

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 11:48 AM

I realized that I'd missed part of what you'll be able to do in the demo.  You will be able to view the interface of legends of the majors and play one, or part of a Legends challenge.  Another twist you'll be able to add to the Legends is that once you've unlocked a legend, you'll get to use him in other competitions and equip him with modern day golf equipment.  Can you imagine what Ben Hogan could do with a set of Callaway RAZR XF irons!? :o

Edited by JCat04, 27 February 2013 - 11:49 AM.


#14 JCat04

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 01:03 PM

Jon Robinson of ESPN.com interviews Tiger Woods PGA Tour 14's Executive Producer, Brent Nielsen.  He touches on the new shot shaping swing mechanic and a few other details previously not discussed.   It's worth a read, Brent knows golf!
http://espn.go.com/b...es-new-features

#15 JCat04

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 11:34 AM

I’ve had some seat time with the demo over the past few days.  It does give the gamer a chance to try the new Simulation difficulty mode.   It is easily the most difficult scoring challenge of any of the Tiger Woods games of this generation, but I’m not sure its for all the right reasons.  There are two key reasons Simulation difficulty is significantly tougher to master: 1.) Advanced Shot Shaping and 2.) Analog Fade Strike Meter.

If you’re using Tiger Woods in the demo, the Advanced Shot Shaping requires that you track an “outside-in” swing with the swing stick, since Tiger’s natural swing tends to produce a fade.  The desired swing path axis according to the swing meter runs from 5 o-clock to 11 o-clock.  If you’re using a standard Xbox 360 controller, this is tough to reproduce smoothly, as the controller is built more so  to deliver an X and Y axis more readily.  The swing feedback meter often shows that my traces look more like a noisy sine-wave than a smooth, linear motion along this tilted axis.  The shot results bear out my lack of precision.   Keeping the ball inbounds is deemed to be a victory in my experience thus far, forget about hitting fairways.  I bet my FIRs are under 20% in Simulation difficulty to this point.  I see where this is somewhat analogous to a golf swing, but the swing path the meter forces you to take seems to be a bit out of scale and it seems like you’re making fade happen purely with your shoulders and arms.  I use my entire stance and address in real life to produce a fade and don’t “consciously” use my arms, torso, and shoulders to produce the fade.

The Analog Fade Strike Meter seems to be a bit more of stretch in trying to correlate to the mechanics of a golf swing.  You have to hold a cursor on a target on the desired impact point on the ball with the right thumbstick (although you can switch thumbsticks such that either can be the swing stick and strike meter stick), even though the cursor permanently disappears one second after you move it.  It’s difficult to hold the cursor on the desired impact point when you can see it, let alone after it’s disappeared and you’re having to rely on memory.  If you’re off on the strike point, the shot results vary from skulled or popped-up to shanked or toed, proportional to have far you were off with the strike meter.  It can be more frustrating and difficult than the same shot in real life!?

The above aspects make the game feel more like a controller interface mastery challenge than one based modeling a golf swing with movements and actions that are more analogous to the senses.  There is a learning curve with mastering Advanced Shot Shaping and Analog Fade Strike control and I have made some progress with it.  I just don’t think it will ever replace  the less contrived I interface of Tiger 13 as one that resonates with the senses more naturally, although it does make for a better scoing challenge, if that's what you're after.


Even if Simulation difficulty was the bee’s knees, I don’t think I’ll ever get over my disappointment in the presentation of Tiger 14.  The new Broadcast presentation is so hyper-active and perspective depriving that it puts me off right away.  I want to watch the shot take shape from my golfer’s perspective and appreciate what’s happening with its trajectory and direction, rather than being whisked away at the moment of impact to a Broadcast camera that’s all too often looking skyward at a ball with no frame of reference.  When putting, the Broadcast presentation takes you out of golfer’s perceptive once again at impact, and you can’t gauge how the ball reacted to the slope because of the obtuse angle the camera took.  You’re not given critical feedback to gauge the break of the “comebacker” because of this.  There really needs to be an option for the gamer to determine the point at which the Broadcast camera switch should occur.

I won’t go into Follow camera other than to say I’ve never liked it in golf games because of its astral traveling disruption of the golfer perspective that I crave.  It’s probably a better presentation option in this game, especially for putting and chipping, but it’s not one I can play a golf game with for long term.  It’s just not my preference in spite of many years of trying to accept it.

Edited by JCat04, 09 March 2013 - 01:15 PM.


#16 JCat04

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 11:08 AM

Got a bit of bad news (well, bad for gamers like me who have a fetish for a "Golfer Cam") from one of the developers in the official forum yesterday.  There will not be a patch to the presentation options to add a new camera presentation that would have answered the requests from a surprising number of fans for such a camera who frequent that forum.  The developer told one of the posters that they tried to put True-Aim camera in the package this year, but it was causing more issues than they had time to resolve.  True-Aim camera isn't exactly what most of us were talking about in the request for what amounts to nothing more than a delay of three or four seconds from the moment of impact and the Broadcast Camera switch.  While he didn't directly address this modded broadcast presentation camera, I guess it falls under the same banner, so either way - it is what it is (sigh).

This will wind up being a deal breaker for me.  There's a lot I like about the gameplay challenge and connected tournaments this year, but I can't suffer through another year of Follow Cam, which as always been a buzz-kill for me, and this hyperactive Broadcast camera that turns the gamer into a spectator rather than a player.  I think they've just patched and modded the core game engine for years now, and it's so unstable that it can't tolerate variances of even as small as a camera shift delay. :no2: .

#17 HoosierMizuno

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 09:15 PM

take a stale game and add some gimmicks and label it collectors edition and charge 70bucks....its the EA way
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#18 Brandon138

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 10:20 PM

Iv never been a fan of these games. It just doesnt feel like golf.

#19 Mountaineer

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 12:21 AM

View PostJCat04, on 21 February 2013 - 05:15 PM, said:

View PostMountaineer, on 20 February 2013 - 01:01 AM, said:

This may sound ridiculous, but I wish they would actually add caddies into the game. Would make it a tad more realistic.

They did add caddies in Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12, and the market reaction was very negative.  The caddies were too obtrusive and gave the gamer way more information than possible  Gamers said it automated the game too much and took player intuition out of it.  EA tried backing the caddie down a bit in Tiger 13, as the animated "pop-in" of the caddie was taken off the screen, but once again, the market complained that it made the game too easy.

If EA could include a caddie that handed the player a club, stood off the side, tended the flag, and gave yardage and elevation only, I don't think there would be any complaints.  I think it will be a while before we see that because of the viciousness of the criticism they received over the caddie implementation of the last two years.

Missed your reply, my bad... Better late than never lol. What I bolded was exactly what I was talking about.
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#20 JCat04

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 04:30 PM

View PostBrandon138, on 13 March 2013 - 10:20 PM, said:

Iv never been a fan of these games. It just doesnt feel like golf.

I think the reason for this is they fail to incorporate the inertial rhythm that is an inherent part of golf.  They've got what they call a "tempo" component in the swing interface, but it's more about thumbstick tempo than club swing tempo.  The virtual golfer feels virtually inertialess on full shots, and that's where it mostly lacks in feel.  I'd like to feel like I had a part in the control of the flow of the swing's backswing, torsional restriction at the top of the backswing, and the measured acceleration of the animated golfer's downswing.  Links 2004 on the XBox did a better job of modeling this component of the golf swing than any other console game in history, IMO.


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#21 JCat04

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 04:35 PM

View PostMountaineer, on 14 March 2013 - 12:21 AM, said:

Missed your reply, my bad... Better late than never lol. What I bolded was exactly what I was talking about.

No problem, this hasn't been the hottest of topics this year.  I think it will be a while before EA Sports goes down the caddie road again.  They responded to the criticism of the last two year's by not adjusting the caddies' role in the game to *why* people were complaining about them, they just took as "we don't want caddies!"

#22 KYounglas

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 09:02 PM

I think the new difficulty setting is pretty slick. It is pretty hard though. I've enjoyed playing the demo can't wait to pick it up!

#23 JCat04

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 10:08 AM

View PostKYounglas, on 21 March 2013 - 09:02 PM, said:

I think the new difficulty setting is pretty slick. It is pretty hard though. I've enjoyed playing the demo can't wait to pick it up!

If you are an EA Sports Season Ticket subscriber, you can download the full version of the game today at 1:00 PM EDT.  The Season Ticket will allow you to play the full game, with all the online amenities until Tuesday morning.  It's a good way to tell if the shipping version is going to get the job done for you or not.  I have heard a report that they at least fixed the annoying "zoom out at impact" bug that was in the demo when putting.  I'm still not sold on the lackluster presentation production choices they made for this game, but maybe they've polished the most annoying aspects of it, such as the aforementioned zoom-out bug, to the extent I can at least tolerate Follow cam to enjoy what looks to be some very satisfying game play.

#24 Friarrexx

Friarrexx

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 08:07 PM

Bottom line...EA can't make a sports game that's worth a damn other than soccer!




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