Hello and welcome to my ď29 flagsĒ Pro Cycling Manager 2014 career. The database used is the PCM Daily 2017 Lite DB, which I have modified to work in PCM 2014. To be precise, itís the most recent stats from the PCM Daily projects section as of the 22nd October 2017, mixed with multiple other updated tables from the Lite DB mixed with the JESGDB 2015 for PCM 2014. As such, not all World Tour races are used in this career.
Now you probably want to ask me why Iím using PCM 2014 and not a more recent edition, and the reason is simple: In PCM 2015, Cyanide made some changes, and one of these changes was so atrocious that I simply donít want to buy the game unless they change it back to the old system. The changes made from PCM 14 to PCM 15 were as follows:
- Change in rider growth, where focusing too hard on one set of stats can cause decrease in others. I considered this particular change good, as it adds realism.
- Change in trainers, such that trainers arenít specialized in fields anymore, but rather training style. Iím not a fan of this, and Iím not sure how realistic it is, but it wasnít a dealbreaker either (and Cyanide may be right, though it doesn't make much sense to me).
- Change in team planning such that riders follow captains as opposed to the ability to plan their seasons individually. This may be realistic, and I admit that planning a season can be a long task, but I liked planning the seasons for every rider, and I liked having every rider be captain at least once per season. This was the dealbreaker.
- Theyíve also made it more difficult for top talent to come from obscure countries, which is another decision I disagree with. This was insult to injury.
Good for me that the databases are (relatively) easy to adapt.
The database Iíll use is a mix of the PCM Daily 2017 databse and their 2014 edition, and every region made equally likely to produce top level talent.
Next question, what does ď29 flagsĒ mean? Itís a short description of my self imposed challenge. All riders must have different nationalities. Iíve chosen the teamís sponsor to be Red Bull - Huawei (No need to point out the lack of realism here), due to that 107 custom NC jerseys were made in the PCM Spain jersey pack.
Why 29? I typically construct teams with exactly 29 riders due to certain technical limitations in PCM 11, and it has become force of habit to have 29 riders in my team since then, at least when it reaches world tour level.
Since this is a self-imposed challenge, I must have some rules. The rules are as follows, where genereal rules are marked with (G) and team construction rules are marked with (TC):
- All riders must have different nationalities (G)
- Expection: I can sign a stagiere who shares nationality with an outgoing rider, a rider who will leave at the end of the current season, but they can not participate in the same race (G)
- All riders must have had a contract expiry before the 2017 season, I will use this transfer list to determine who to sign (TC)
- No World Tour level top riders. Since the ratings are based in part of the 2017 season, that means, e.g. no Kelderman. Luxury domestiques at most (TC)
- No World Tour neo-pros (TC)
- All World Tour riders signed must be either born before 1992 or have at least two years of WT experience going into the 2017 season. (TC)
- No more than two riders from a given WT team (TC)
- No more than one rider from a given PCT or CT team (TC)
- No riders born in 1999 (TC).
- Rule doesnít apply to randomly generated young riders.
- Free agents can be freely signed, no matter their ability (TC)
- Starting level should be PCT (TC)
- Pavel Sivakovís nationality may be subject to change, until a fixed deadline, likely 2nd of january 2018 (G). I know this is a weird rule, but Sivakov is an exceptional talent, and rumors are that he will become French (heís born in Italy to Russian parents, but he grew up in France). He is currently Russian.
- National championships that are not in the DB will be determined using a (maybe weighted) random source (coin flip, dice roll, random.org). The factors that determine the weights are the riders general ability and teams (G). A prioritized list of how national championships will be determined
- In game race
- Real world results (2017 only).
- If the winning rider doesn't exist in DB, I will go down to third. If neither second nor third exists, then
- Randomly chosen (weighted RNG)
If you consider the name of a randomly generated young rider unrealistic, let me know. I did not make the name list, but I can change it.
One more things to note: Pro Cycling Manager is not FIFA. Potentials are somewhat randomized (unless you turn on ďrandom potentialsĒ, in which case it becomes a completely random mess). Iíve played a few career modes with the same databases, where the same rider turned out differently. If you use my career mode as hints of which riders to attempt to sign (unless you want to completely replicate it, the riders part and check the differences), youíll end up disappointed. This is especially the case if you try to replicate it in PCM 2017, as Iíve modified the database such that exotic countries have as high a probability to generate a high potential rider as an established country.
I will put races in the order I've started them. The exception to this rule will be Grand Tours and smaller concurrent stage races, where I may do an interlude of a smaller stage race that started during a Grand Tour (e.g. Tour of California starts later than Giro d'Italia and ends earlier).
Lastly I'd like to point out that any real rider mentioned in my blog is an in-game representation of the real life rider, and there's no correspondence between the real rider and the fictional one except for career achievements before the in-story date of 1st of January 2017. I will link to a real rider's page on ProCyclingStats.com, should I sign a representation of one in game, to allow readers to learn about the real riders.