Kick Off 2 diary

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Kick Off 2 diary

Postby dnielsen » Tue Jul 28, 2009 3:18 pm

In honor of 3 times World Champion Gianluca Troiano and 2 times World Champion Spyros Paraschis, I am changing to NOPBD. I already played a few online sessions with it, and it's a blast. Come November, I am going to be absolutely LETHAL with this work of beauty. My poor adversaries will barely have time to blink before the ball is in their net. :D :D :D
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Re: Kick Off 2 diary

Postby dnielsen » Tue Jul 28, 2009 3:32 pm

Mastering player switching is one of the most important skills in KO2. The tactic most suitable for learning to master player switching is 424, so that you don't risk getting into the habit of relying on the "density of computer controlled defenders" defensive crotch of 532.

One type of mistake that it is very beneficial to iron out is "chasing the ball with the closest player" when it would be better to get rid of the player and change control to another player who can actually meet the ball more quickly due to the speed of the ball. For instance, if the opponent makes a lob-pass to his forward, you are often tempted to chase the ball with nr. 6 when defending in 424, but it is often crucial that you get rid of nr. 6 asap and change control to nr. 5.

Since the defenders are more spread out in 424 and the player switching situation is thus less chaotic, defending with 424 gives you a good chance to recognize and practice the few different methods of player switching that it is beneficial to master.
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Re: Kick Off 2 diary

Postby dnielsen » Tue Jul 28, 2009 4:19 pm

When was Alkis in his best KO2 form ever?

He was a convincing World Champion in 2001, but the general level of play quickly evolved after that, and I reckon also the level of Alkis' play.

In 2002, he was equal with Rikki Wonka. But then again, the level of play was still evolving quite rapidly and perhaps reached a first peak in 2003, where Martin Jeffrey was stronger than the Rikki Wonka of 2002, and where Martin Jeffrey was rather equal with Alkis in their semi-final.

In 2005, Gianluca was a level or two above everybody else, and Alkis had a tough encounter. But besides those semi-final games, Alkis' stats were very convincing.

Then, at some point, Alkis declared he would stop practicing regularly. Did this hurt his form?

In 2008, Alkis was the main organizer of the WC in Athens. In the lead up to that, tons of tournaments were played in Greece, and Alkis was doing very well in them. He entered the WC confidently, signalling that he had a few new tricks up his sleeve, and that anything but a medal would be a disappointment (a medal that he duly got). My secret historical Elo calculations indicate that Alkis was in his best relative form in 2008, and when you couple that fact with the fact that the general level of play was probably higher than in earlier years, I speculate that Alkis was in his perhaps best KO2 form ever in 2008.

My impression of Alkis' performance in the 2008 WC is that he was in some kind of cruise mode during the early rounds, while being very preoccupied with organizational demands. He conceded a few draws early on, but generally had no problems and along with Gianni and me, he was the only undefeated player going into the quarter finals. In the quarter-final, he made a spectacular come-back against a Spyros. In the first semi-final leg against me, he played very well, but perhaps lacked a bit of luck where the randomness of lobs and lob-passes worked a bit more against him than usual (for instance, a diagonal cross going right next to the goal instead of being just right for a header-in). I don't read much into the second semi-final, as it seems the monumental pressure of the organizational work and the competitive situation soon left Alkis in a rather resigned state of mind. Out of gas, so to speak. Indeed, in the bronze-medal game against Panayotis, Alkis stroke back and convincingly ensured his medal and honor of being the best Greek in the WC (then again, Panayotis was probably devastated in that game after his semifinal with Gianni). Overall, I think Alkis' performance in the WC is consistent with the idea that Alkis' reached his highest KO2 level so far in 2008.

Now Alkis is on a KO2 hiatus and has left open the question if he is going to try and go one up in future WCs. But I think it is an interesting question and possibility. Alkis had the experience of being clearly out-classed in 2005, but then in 2008, he may have had some well-founded expectations of having closed most of the gap up to the Gianluca-Gianni level. Now it seems like there is a new gap between Gianni/me and a chasing pack of a handful of players (not counting Gianluca in this analysis), but Alkis may very well still be the leader of this chasing pack. So the question is, will Alkis make an attempt to close the gap once again? Does he have the will to re-work his game, if he were to realize that it is necessary? Alkis is perhaps the most experienced KO2 player of all, but on the other hand, his self-proclaimed approach is that he just plays the way he feels like playing, without too much focus on whether it is efficient or good practice etc. So, ok, this approach seems to rule out a complete reshaping of his game, but on the other hand, it also signals some perhaps rather low-hanging fruits of possible improvement!? When will Alkis reach out for them, if he will?
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Re: Kick Off 2 diary

Postby Abyss » Wed Jul 29, 2009 9:06 am

When will Alkis reach out for them, if he will?


He won't :)

One type of mistake that it is very beneficial to iron out is "chasing the ball with the closest player" when it would be better to get rid of the player and change control to another player who can actually meet the ball more quickly due to the speed of the ball. For instance, if the opponent makes a lob-pass to his forward, you are often tempted to chase the ball with nr. 6 when defending in 424, but it is often crucial that you get rid of nr. 6 asap and change control to nr. 5.


That has to be the only tactical observation I ever made for this game. Defending with 424 just needs small precise movements and patience to go for the ball at the last possible moment.

In honor of 3 times World Champion Gianluca Troiano and 2 times World Champion Spyros Paraschis, I am changing to NOPBD.


BTW, from seeing you play in WC 2008 and catching some glimpses of videos here and there (I didn't watch in detail the Gianni vs Dagh epic video seqeuence), I think you'll be better with NOPBD.
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Re: Kick Off 2 diary

Postby Torchiador » Wed Jul 29, 2009 3:12 pm

For me the real Alkis is the one who played in game one wc2008 semi final and the leonheart who beat Spyros.
He has been, he is and he will be one of the best players in the world. he changed styles in these years.
dnielsen wrote:his self-proclaimed approach is that he just plays the way he feels like playing, without too much focus on whether it is efficient or good practice etc

Well, for me that is the right way to approach the game. Playing to much just to improve yourself could have some wrong side effects. For instance Gianluca, who played so much KO2 that he even reverse engineered the game, the time he didn't obtain what he wanted, he abandoned the KO scene.
I mean that it is better to play just for the love of the game and the joy to stay and play with your friends. the rest is just a consequence.
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Re: Kick Off 2 diary

Postby gdh82 » Wed Jul 29, 2009 7:51 pm

Interesting thread already - thoughtful posts, guys.

Its my impression but I could be wrong that players have tended to move from NOPBD to PBD and not in the other direction ? Maybe Dagh's setting a new precedent here or at least in the minority ?

In whatever approach he chooses to take, I too hope Alkis strives to be WC again! What a KOA story that would be - first time winner recreates past glories big time!!! 8)

Imho the 'serious' practice vs 'keeping it fun' is one of those difficult balancing acts. Too studious and it'll soon stop being enjoyable and if its purely for fun then it could become a bit aimless. I know I go through phases of sometimes finding my own KO2 a bit directionless and then at other times I feel there's lots so much more to discover about the great game and so much more fun to be had still! :)
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Re: Kick Off 2 diary

Postby Torchiador » Wed Jul 29, 2009 9:14 pm

gdh82 wrote:Its my impression but I could be wrong that players have tended to move from NOPBD to PBD and not in the other direction ? Maybe Dagh's setting a new precedent here or at least in the minority ?
Abyss wrote:BTW, from seeing you play in WC 2008 and catching some glimpses of videos here and there (I didn't watch in detail the Gianni vs Dagh epic video seqeuence), I think you'll be better with NOPBD.

In my opinion NOPBD is a good choice to score "Safe goals"
For Safe goal I mean that goals in which the finishing is a 90 degree angle in front of the goal keeper.
In some conditions of dribbling, NOPBD is even better as the ball stay far from opponent as the ball don't "penetrate" under the player in possession of the ball.
BTW, I remember that after my defeat in Rome, I promised to change 2 things: safe joystick (Speedking that allow me to be more precise) and NOPBD (to avoid many mistakes of control, using safe pattern to score).
I didn't keep my promises...
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Re: Kick Off 2 diary

Postby dnielsen » Sun Aug 02, 2009 10:24 pm

Torchiador wrote:Well, for me that is the right way to approach the game. Playing to much just to improve yourself could have some wrong side effects...
I mean that it is better to play just for the love of the game and the joy to stay and play with your friends. the rest is just a consequence.


Well, I am not sure I agree that there is a right or wrong approach to the game. I think KO2 can be compared to sex, and different people have different approaches that work for them. Some people even abandon sex or KO2. I was going to say that as long as KO2 provides you pleasure and not pain, your approach is good for you, but even that is questionable. For some people, like Pedro, there is just no pleasure without pain. :wink:

Also, some people have sex lives that begin to bore them. Luckily enough, sex is rich enough so that people can pretty much always find new inspiration and get out of the slump. I think KO2 is like sex in this aspect as well. It's really just a question of finding inspiration and breaking the habits that bore you. It's true that sensing improvement is pretty important in any game related activity for most people, but luckily enough, KO2 offers many different avenues for improvement. It doesn't even have to be absolute improvement, it can also just be rather temporary improvement in a sub-part of the game, similar to how people may take up learning a new weapon in an FPS game.
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Re: Kick Off 2 diary

Postby dnielsen » Wed Aug 12, 2009 12:25 pm

Online Kick Off 2 is so much fun that it's a wonder than not 50 people from the KOA are playing it regularly. In fact, Kick Off 2 ought to be the most popular online game in the world.
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Re: Kick Off 2 diary

Postby dnielsen » Wed Aug 12, 2009 12:33 pm

In 424, nr. 10 is like Kaka: Fast, powerful, an excellent finisher, and with a keen eye for deadly passes. While nr. 9 is like Inzaghi: Modest physique, always lurking close to offside, but ruthlessly efficient in 1-on-1 against the keeper.

In 532, nr. 10 is more like Thierry Henry in Arsenal: A one man army up front, with the whole play centered around whacking the ball up to him. A strong dribbler, deadly finisher, fast, powerful. While nr. 9 is like Bergkamp: Slow, sometimes drifting out of play, but occasionally brilliant in his passing play and unexpected actions behind the one-man army up front.

Training Inzaghi well is important for having a strong 424 team. But beyond a certain point, Kaka as playmaker becomes the most important player in that system. Don't sell him to Real Madrid, no matter the size of the offer.
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Re: Kick Off 2 diary

Postby Tripod » Wed Aug 12, 2009 6:05 pm

dnielsen wrote:Some people even abandon sex for KO2.


That's what I first thought you'd written. :) Probably because I did the (quite funny) nerd test 2.0 which asks the ultimate question: If for the rest of your life you could have only one or the other, which would it be: Sex or the internet?

http://www.nerdtests.com/ft_nt2.php
WC Performances 2003: 28/31 - 2004: 14/43 - 2005: 17/63 - 2006: 31/50 - 2008: 12/41 - 2009: 14/34 - 2010: 24/46
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Re: Kick Off 2 diary

Postby dnielsen » Mon Aug 24, 2009 9:05 am

532 is a popular tactic. It is often preferred to 424 since it provides you with a better defense. There are other people who are of the type "goal machines", and they usually prefer 424 (or maybe 433). These people are maybe used to 424 from playing high scoring games against the CPU or their comrades, and then they stick to it even though it has a worse defense than 532. Wonka is a famous example of a very strong 424 player who nevertheless decided to try and convert to 532.

I was thinking about the question, who are the best 532 players ever, players who have been strong enough to seriously contend the WC title. In no too particular order, we can list:

Gianluca
Alkis
Wonka
Michael O (right?)
Nikos
Sandro (not sure how 532 he is)

Did I miss any?

Then it seems like there is a slight gap, and then there comes a really big group of strong 532 players (eg. Fabio, Robert, James B, etc. etc.).

I find it somewhat interesting that the 6 guys listed above all have pretty different attacking styles:

Gianluca is, well, Gianluca. Extremely versatile. Perhaps some particular characteristics are 1) frequent use of flat shot pass play, 2) No lobs on goal, 3) NOPBD finishing style.

Alkis, like Gianluca, is extremely versatile. He uses a mix of lobs, lob passes, dribbles, well, everything. The most striking differences compared to Gianluca is the use of lobs on goal and PBD finishing style.

Wonka's 532 style I only know from footage of one game against Martin J. But Wonka is Wonka, which means a lot of BLC attempts, and bringing the game to a whole new level :-).

Michael O's style I only know from description. That description can be interpreted as Michael O being a "classical" 532 attacker. He brings the ball to nr. 10, and then he works his magic with dribbles to get into a scoring position. (If I am not mistaken, this can be compared to the style of Robert Swift). A particular characteristic seems to be proficiency of PBD dribbling, with a liking to narrow angle goals.

Nikos is a 532 defender above all. When he attacks, he puts quite a bit of focus on the Camber/Nikos goal (low diagonal lob from just outside the corner of the penalty area).

Sandro's style... When I find out, maybe I can try and beat him :-) Anyway, one particular favorite with him seems to be the vertical killer pass to nr. 10.

All in all, 6 quite distinctive styles.
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Re: Kick Off 2 diary

Postby Kostas O » Mon Aug 24, 2009 10:04 pm

Well a diary is pretty personal for us commenting on Dagh's thoughts. This thread should be locked for everybody else than him.
Apart from that....
KO like sex! That's why i enjoy mostly playing against Filippos. I am a KO monogamic like in my sex life 8)

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