The latest patch for FIFA 18 makes changes that should eliminate kickoff goals and resolve various issues in the FUT Champions Weekend League.
The patch is out now on PC and should follow for PS4 and Xbox One owners very soon.
"After kickoff, the defending team will be more compact in defense," we're told by the patch notes. "Their attacking players will be less aggressive in pushing up the field. Their defensive players will close the space between them and their attacking players to reduce the gap and limit the attacking team’s space."
In other words, EA reckons it has figured out how to prevent kickoff goals, the infuriating phenomenon where one team can scythe the other apart and often score by attacking directly from the kickoff. Sometimes this works in players' favor, of course, but more often it sows frustration by happening straight after a hard-won goal.
The other headline changes concern the FUT Champs Weekend League. First up, from now on every match will take place in the FeWC Stadium at night with clear weather. Previously matches could take place in any stadium selected by the home team, some of which have rather harsh grandstand shadows that players find distracting.
EA has also tweaked the pre-match sequence so that your team will always appear as the home side (on the left), and you will no longer see your opponent's kits. From now on, your opponent in-game will always be wearing your unselected active kit - in other words, if you choose to wear your home kit, your opponent will appear in your away kit. EA doesn't say this explicitly, but the consensus is that this change is targeting pro players who try to avoid getting matched against one another by sharing kit information before games.
Elsewhere, the update also stops goalkeepers automatically clearing the ball in certain situations - players often felt this was unnecessary - and fixes a few bugs and UI issues. Check out the full patch notes for all the detail.
For once, the community seems united in agreement that these are positive changes, although that hasn't stopped a few people grumbling about how long they've taken to come to fruition. It's still a little frustrating that EA hadn't communicated its intentions previously, however, leaving fans to spend months wondering whether anyone was listening. EA clearly is listening, but it would also be nice to hear them talk about their plans now and then.