Here are the five things we want to see in FIFA 23 Ultimate Team.
A Fix for the Pacey Meta
Let's get this one out of the way first, as it is a bugbear for many, and also applies to the game as a whole, not just Ultimate Team.
For many years we have had to deal with the fact that quick players are outright better than slow ones.
It doesn't matter how skilful someone may be on the ball, such as Toni Kroos, his lack of pace makes him unusable.
Of course, this isn't just down to the way the game is designed, but also what upgrades cards gain in promos and what type of player the community like to control.
If EA can make a game where pace isn't so overpowered, then FUT users are less likely to only opt for only the fastest players around, which will give more variety to teams and matches themselves.
Promo Player Variety
Are you a French defender? If so, you've probably been included in a FUT promo. Multiple times.
This is a bit of a hard one for EA, because they need to pick players for their promos that the community can get excited about, but we feel there has been far too much recycling of the same old choices.
Not only can this get a bit stale, but it also means that the upgrades are becoming too big, too soon.
If you keep boosting the same card time after time, people will only be interested if it is better than the last one.
Instead, if EA selects a more varied set of players for promo upgrades then the boosts will come slower, with a more steady power curve throughout the year.
Not only will this bring more variety to the promos, but it would keep more interest in Ultimate Team for the whole season, as powerful end-game cards would only come out towards the end of the game.
Position Modifier Modification
This is an area we've spoken about before, and we know that it can split opinions, but surely something needs to be done about the position modifiers?!
Being able to change a ST to a CDM to get maximum chemistry, then just formation switching in-game seems kind of silly.
We understand that doing this can create some unreal teams and also lead to quite creative links, yet it can also be game-breaking.
Attackers are quite often the best cards in FUT, so playing a 4-2-2-2 could see you field SIX, without position restriction.
The lack of defensive ability isn't the end of the world for pacey forwards playing in midfield, as their speed allows them to cover the ground well and quickly intercept loose balls.
We feel that some kind of limit needs to be put in place, which could be easily done if you take out the CAM<CF position modifier.
It still gives you free rein to move the midfielders around how you like but makes a clear cut-off between forwards and midfielders.
Another option could be a blanket three-movement option, so a player can only move three positions away from their base one.
Even a total overhaul of how position modifiers work could be introduced, where you could assign a player a secondary position, much like in Career Mode, however, the player would have reduced chemistry when playing there.
Team of the Week Changes
EA introduced the new Featured Team of the Week player in FUT 22, and it has changed... well, nothing.
The first batch of TOTW releases still cause much excitement, but as the season progresses the majority of the cards just won't make anyone's team.
The most use the cards get is fulfilling SBC requirements.
For a weekly event in FUT, this must be changed.
Again, if the power curve is more gradual, then TOTW players would be more relevant, but that can't be the only change.
We've looked at this recently, and suggested that maybe specialised attributes would be the way forward.
Instead of the generic boost to all stats, EA could reward players greatly for certain events that may have happened in the matches.
Maybe a player scored a stunner from outside the box, so they would see their 70 Long Shots upgraded to 95?
This would also give the weekly releases more of an individual identity when controlling them in-game.
MASSIVE World Cup Celebration
Eyebrows were raised when EA CEO Andrew Wilson was reported to have said that all the deal with FIFA brought to EA was "four letters on the front of the box", and that "the FIFA licence has actually been an impediment".
With the partnership between EA and FIFA set to end after FIFA 23, we want to see one last big hurrah in Ultimate Team.
Many might think that EA and FIFA parting ways would mean loads of licences will be lost from the game, leading to generic players and clubs, like we've started seeing in Serie A, to name just one league.
However, the "four letters" comment is pretty spot-on, especially when seen in more context:
“Basically, what we get from FIFA in a non-World Cup year is the four letters on the front of the box"
That's correct, the only rights EA gained from the partnership are the 'FIFA' name and rights to the World Cup, with all other licences coming from other parties.
That means this could be the last football game from EA which features the World Cup in all its glory, so we want them to go BIG!
It has already been reported that FIFA 23 will feature two tournament game modes for the men's and women's World Cup, and we want to see the celebration rolled out in Ultimate Team as well.
There should be a massive celebration promo spanning weeks, bringing the regular boosted cards, objectives and SBCs, and also the introduction of additional Live FUT Friendlies, maybe a FUT Champions style World Cup mode too!
Imagine, each weekend the World Cup spans would see FUT Champions transformed, with you needing to qualify from your group before heading into knockout matches, then going on to win the cup and get top rewards.