Members of the FIFA 17 community are in turmoil after a Reddit user named girlfriend_pregnant discovered evidence within the game’s code that the title may support rubber banding after all. For the unaware, that’s not a term referring to a lag-induced effect in this case. In gaming, let alone FIFA, rubber banding is a term used to describe the game dynamically adjusting difficulty depending on how badly or how well a player is playing. In the case of FIFA 17, it seems like this practice may have been employed by EA Sports in both single player and FIFA Ultimate Team modes.
While this wouldn’t be a problem if EA Sports had openly said it had implemented this from the get-go, a producer had previously denied that the franchise ever involved such scripting. Since many gamers are putting forth plenty of real-life cash to improve their FIFA Ultimate Teams, most weren’t too happy to hear that the attributes of the opposite team may be getting a skill boost over their purchased player cards, reducing the advantage most of them seemingly paid for.
Some of the code uncovered by both girlfriend_pregnant and another Redditor seems to indicate that the rubber banding script – which EA Sports refers to as ‘Momentum’ – seems to change player attributes directly. These ranges from completely changing team chemistry itself (which impacts how well the team as a whole communicates) to attributes like Penalty Saving, Heel Passer, and even a mysterious attribute called Super Sub – a term for a player who comes in off the bench and completely changes the game with a stellar performance.
Some fans are arguing that a rubberbanding system unfairly punishes those who are playing well and will always tip the gameplay advantage to a player who happens to be losing. Since how the code truly effects FIFA 17 still hasn’t been fully confirmed, many other users have started a campaign on Twitter with the hashtag #ExplainFIFAMomentum, although EA Sports has yet to comment on the issue.
The negative drama seemed to coincide with the end of FUTmas, which was the holiday campaign that awards Christmas-time players with plenty of bonus content. While some people are unhappy with Ultimate Team for entirely other reasons, the studio has received some positive press of late for its actions to support LGBQT rights and for delivering a game that did, ultimately, breathe a breath of fresh air into the annualized title, especially with its series-first foray into a cinematic experience called The Journey.