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Rugby 2012 - Defence Improvement Suggestions

I think before we look at different defensing formations, the AI must be sorted out. The AI of the defense, for me, will have the biggest impact on improving the game. It must be challenging to break the line.

1. International games must have very tough defense. Scoring more than 2 tries should be a luxury against top ranked teams (springboks, all blacks). Penalty kicks will be used to take a shot at goal, for 3 points instead of kicking out because you know you are going to score. The game will be much more realistic.
2. Gang tackles. Not rugby 04 style. It must have an telling effect on the game. Induce pro's and con's for attacking and defensing team. (ex. big ball carrier taking up the ball is surely going to make some leg drive yards if one smaller player is tackling him, but could be a different story if 2 or 3 okes tackle him together.
3. The tackle must look/feel/be realistic. There is roughly 150 tackles in an average rugby match. Tackles is a huge aspect of the game. Getting the tackle right is a huge step in the right direction.
4. Get the AI to apply a 1st, 2nd and 3rd line of defense.
5. Improve the defense systems of the loose forwards at scrum time. In a real rugby match it is almost impossible for the 8th man to score from behind the scrum.
6. I have read about applying different kinks of tackles. Normal/hard/wrap. These must also have an effect. The hard tackles must take away more stamina etc.
So true, I would rather keep my own defence as it is in 08, and have the AI vastly improved. Using the D-pad to change your defence was a nice touch I felt, so maybe some more options from that would be nice. The most annoying thing was not being able to get back far enough to receive the ball when against top kickers.
Gotta agree with the improving of the AI. Would be good to see it be able to read plays/patterns, target and gang tackle good players, and make adjustments throughout the game to suit. I liked how the defence would be harder to pentrate near the goal line but I think this should occur all over the field in test matches and semis/finals of the competitions.
In professional rugby, you seldom see every forward going into a ruck. The X button that puts players into rucks should be more effective i.e one tap of X puts one player into ruck, whilst the rest of the forwards fan out along the D line like this; Pillars - Two players close, either side of the ruck. Key - Sets on the first reciever/forward inside of the flyhalf. Block - Sets inbetween the pillar and the key. Perhaps the player's "positioning stat" could affect their positioning around the ruck e.g. Standing offside, too far away from the ruck; opening up gaps.

If the user decides to flood the ruck with forwards in an attempt to counter- ruck then you can add more players by pressing the X button. The success rate of over-turning the ruck depends on the player's individual rucking ability, both offence and defence, how many players are in the ruck and also the tackled players ability to place the ball back (This could be part of the handling stat?) Hastily adding players to a ruck could result in the "coming in from the side" offence etc.

Allow backs to enter rucks; if a play see's the ball go from one side of the pitch to the other, then the back line is required to ruck out until the forwards arrive.

Allow the back 3 to work more effectively on D e.g. If the fullback catches the ball, the wingers should link up and provide support.
I would personally like to see defenders working together for example, one defender holding off in-case of a hand off and at the same time marking the 2nd attacker. while the other defender attempts to tackle the ball carrier.i also reckon gang tackles would be great to see for example if there was an attacker trying to penetrate a gap you would get two or more men comiting to the tackle, or when you are defending on you're goal line. Another feature to work on would be a attribute like "try stopper" where on break aways a player with this attribute would make a much more successful at tackling the ball carrier than other players. This can also count for those trys witch a scored right in the corner and are usually tackled when they dive. Obviously tackle animations need to be improved but also pressing a certain button when tackling effects the out come. for example before tackling you press circle, this will make you tackle the player high and around the chest area witch would be suitable for holding up the player and creating mauls. Pressing x will make you tackle the player around is ankles and create a normal ruck and pressing circle would be aggresive for example drive the player back or lifting the player or flatten the guy. dive tackles on the other hand will be determined by how far away yo are from the player. if you are breating down the guys neck then you are most likely to do the normal tackle animation. but if you were a meter away then you would just dive into the tackle. but if you were ages away then you would do desperation stuff like ankle taps and grabbing jerseys.
Improved positional AI: Players in different positions need to know what they're doing off the ball, like covering for the fullback, filling up the defensive line, covering the short side, covering pillar and post, chasing back for kicks to support while the attacking players are giving running options to the backs to suck in defenders in the line, more intuitive forward running off the ruck and the backs, chasing high balls, spreading in defence when not part of the ruck, not bunching, diving on loose ball, looking for switches and inside balls which you can connect with through simple passing controls (too early goes behind, too late goes forward-players running lines could have a good pass indicator above their head that starts orange then goes green then red, indicating the best time to take that option, this would allow for free-flowing running options and makes the fly half more important, sorry i know that's more attacking, but it kinda just came to me)

Improved Breakdowns, Set pieces & tackles: In 06and 08 we had the problem of being punished for good play, with ridiculous turnovers at crucial/unrealistic times. When you make a break, the momentum shift should be evident, and you should, more than likely win the ensuing ruck when tackled, as your team in going forwards and defenders have to retire from behind the gate. It should also be evident in defence when you make a dominant tackle that it's easier to steal the ball and/or counter the ruck (maybe if you make a dominant tackle you have 3 secs or so to compete for the ball by clicking the R3 button as fast as you can, do it for too long you get pinged by the ref (warning sign needed) or don't do it at all and just reset your Defence). you should have the option to pop off the ground in attack if your player is going forward with momentum into the tackle. Counter rucking: there has to be room for this, opportunistic counter rucking on slow ball is a crucial part of the game and being able to steal in the tackle is a feature that is so prominent in the real game, but has never been able to be explored/pulled off properly in a video game.

You should be able to have a bit more control in the maul, i.e. direction, players shaving off and gaining momentum etc. must be room for error though as if it's too dominant it gets stupid and boring. Lineouts could be a bit more varied, particulalry when challenging in defence and the ability to use short lineouts to create forward running options in midfield to stretch the defence and scrums could have more competitive control, too.

Improved defensive options: It would be awesome to include an on-the-fly defensive option system, whereby you could choose to, for example, to inflict a brutal rush defense when opposition ball is slow, to compliment this, you should be able to pull players out of the ruck if the ball is lost, to make defense more involved, more important and require more thought, if you include the ability to counter ruck, players will have to balance the opportunities that presents with the risks that it opens up outside the ruck if the ball gets cleared by the opposition quickly and vice versa (i.e. forward dominance and go forward via pick and go's and short balls, if you thin the defence out too much)-to counter this, refer to my points on more varied ball play....chipping options etc nullify rush defence etc etc etc.,

Tackling needs to be more varied, big hits were maybe a bit too easy to pull off in previous games, and in attack you could easily doa bit of crazy running to avoid tackles alltogether....half tackles, ankle taps, big hits, dead heats and non dominant tackles create and prevent opportunites being created, by making the physics in the tackling more realistic, and the AI of defending players more willing to attempt tackles from wherever they are, we'll see much more varied gameply, with half breaks and pop/flick passes and quick ruck ball etc playing a major part in developing the flow of gameplay...it would help to create a less one-dimensional playing environment, and reduce the temptation to take advantage of AI failings and glitches.

Player Abilities
: we should be able to notice significant attributes in certain prominent international stars.....Frans Steyn's Missile Launching boot, Juan De Jongh's incredible stepping skills, Richie McCaw's and Heinrich Brussouw's knack for stealing ball, Bakkies Botha's MASSIVE hits in general play and at the breakdown, Victor Matfield's Lineout dominance, Bryan O'Driscoll's ability to turn a game on its head from nowhere with ridiculous skill, agility and pace, Bryan Habana and Jean De Villiers Intercepting ability, Matt Giteau's slipperiness through the tackle and ability to get the ball to his supporting player in seemingly impossible circumstances, Quade Cooper's flair and defence drawing ability and array of passing and kicking types and skills, Rocky Elsom's Tackle busting and tackling, Schalk Burger's ridiculous energy levels and tackle effectiveness and tackle count and ball running, Morne Steyn, Jonny wilkinson, Dan Carter and yes, EVEN Chris Paterson's awesome kicking abilities, Ma'a Nonu's Takle busting and defence drawing and explosive acceleration!!! The list could go on forever, but it's mostly important in those KEY STARS in each team, REAL game breaking abilities that you can hone in on as you're playing the game to give your team the edge, these things need to be important, noticable and effective, so that you have to be both wary of them in defence and reliant on them in attack to a degree to balance it out and create opportunites either way.

situational EG: I'm talking slow ball for ireland, the Boks (on the fly of course) employ a solid rush defence, because they know (or can sense) that the ball is going to BOD, BOD get's hammered in midfield, tries the pop, loose ball, Frans Steyn picks up with one hand, bumps the first man, then half bumps the next but his leg gets caught, pops the pass out the back of his hand to a flying jacque fourie who draws the fullback and slings it to Bryan habana for an awesome counter attacking try!! this is how we want to play our next rugby game, decisions and tactics affecting what happens on the field, big hits, crazy skills and key men affecting the run of play, lots of pace and power and a completely engrossing experience in both attack and defence, having to think and make decisions based on you position on the field and how fast the ball is being recycled and how dominant the tackle is
how about we have a load of different tackles to suit the situation this we if the attack is extramle advanced the defence can cope for example

defencive shape

wide, tight, rushing, slidding, kick, up and in, all diferent ways to set your defencive up
and with this you have your tackles the tackles that i would like to see would be these


ball and all where you rap the player and the ball and have less chance of being bumped or stepd, ball winnig where you turn the attacker in the tackle and the defender gets gets to his feet and wins the ball unless another attacking player gets to the ruck higher chance of getting bumped and stepd, no arm (shoulder charge) like leauge where you can injure a attacker but run the risk off getting sent off or stepd or bumped, diving big hit like on 08 good for charging down kiks and slowing play off the ball down but more likely to get bumped or stepd, around the anckles wer you are gauranted to make the tackle good for big man v small man but fast play off ball, anckle tap last ditch effort to make a tackle dosent always work attacker can make quick play off ball or get back up

use different buttons for this maby button combinations

let me know wat you think
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i always liked the 'high tackle' button that was pretty much just a clothes line that would take some ones head off! maybe if the animation was updated so it wasnt EXACTLY the same everytime but im sure you guys have that under control.
With regards to defence as a whole, there needs to be more than just the difference in space between the players as a formation. There needs to be the option of an up and out sliding defence, a rush defence, an umbrella defence, kick returns etc.
This would give the game such a different dynamic because it means as an attacking team you have to alter your tactics to suit the defence. for example if there was an option for a cheeky chip over the top ON THE RUN (which wasnt possible in 06 or 08), a rush defence would soon think twice about closing down a backline so fast.

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