All the Truth About FUT Draft

All the Truth About FUT Draft

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Rodrigo Lopes, the website’s author, has always wanted to do something while being some place near the community where he could explore more freedom of content. In this area, which will start by being a monthly thing, he’ll definitely have the opportunity to show a mostly personal vision about (not only) the game.


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All the Truth About FUT Draft
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All the Truth About FUT Draft

 

I owe you guys an article, don’t I? No one’s really complained but that doesn’t mean you wouldn’t love a fresh new article to read, am I right?

FIFA 16 is out and our team has been working hard to give you guides and articles of the best quality (and quantity). So hard that we almost don’t even have time to play. But you do. So what about you, how do you like it? There’s been all kinds of opinions but here’s something that’s more or less of a consensual matter: the new Draft mode, nice little addition by EA on this year’s FUT. Fun, challenging and addicting, FUT Draft came to stay. It’s been a long time since I last heard of something this unanimous. You liked it, too, didn’t you?

If you’ve read my previous articles (if you haven’t, you should have!), you know by now that I’m a bit against it. So I was kind of expecting you to answer my last question with ‘yeah!’. “Good, this way I’ve got something to write about”, I thought to myself. So yeah, FUT Draft is an innovative and fun new feature, but not everything is as good as it seems. This is what I’ll be talking about today.

FUT Draft was practically the only news for this year’s Ultimate Team. Its promotion was extraordinarily well made, overcoming even the introduction of women’s national teams. Before the game was released, you’d see FUT Draft highlighted anywhere you’d look at: at E3, Gamescom, on the demo or any kind of review. Everyone wanted to play FUT Draft. I wanted to, you wanted to, we all wanted to.

I’m not saying we all wanted to play just because EA convinced us. It’s far from that. The game is really a breath of fresh air and us apparently being able to try out players that we’d never be able to afford is a super interesting fact. I just want to show you how high are EA’s expectations for this game mode. Higher than you’d imagine. There have been in fact those inside the company recognizing that this year would be “more important than ever“. But why is it that FUT Draft is so important? Don’t worry, I’ll explain.

 

All the Truth About FUT Draft

 

I was probably one of the few that didn’t get so much enthusiastic back when FUT draft was announced, also because I thought it wasn’t going to be free. Yeah, I’m a cheapskate. I was only tempted to try it out when EA actually promised we’d get our investment back even if we lost the first match. But is it really like that? Well then, EA’s marketing department tried to make it look like we’d have nothing to lose, but really we do. When we don’t get past the first phase, we receive something like two gold packs worth 5k each and one silver pack worth 2.5k, adding up less than 15k which we spent to enter FUT Draft. Lying isn’t cool, EA.

You must also be thinking right now that it would be really unlucky of you to lose your first match, right? Well, this is just maths. The chances of you winning an online match are, in theory, 50%. It’s no secret, in a game there’s only one winner. The other one loses. Which means, for someone to win four matches in a row, at least four people have lose. It could be sixteen but let’s take the fact that you can face players who are in different phases than yours. Do you wanna keep doing the maths or is it getting complicated? I’ll break it to you: in average, what is most expected is that you win only one match per participation rather than two, which is what we’re led to believe. So what’s the average reward for a situation like that? Well, you could get something like a silver pack, a gold pack and a premium gold pack. Save your time, I’ve already done the calculation: the average reward equals the participation requirement – 15 thousand coins. After all, if you stop and think for a moment EA aren’t usually that generous, right?

But you’re more stubborn than I am, you’re thinking “I’m good enough to achieve a nice win streak”. Okay, I don’t doubt you’re good, after all you’re not just another casual player. But don’t forget that the game will always try and match you with someone with a win history similar to yours, they’ll give you a lot of work. No matter how good you are, your chances are always approximately 50% in every match. Wanna go back to the maths in order to know what are the chances and how much the packs you get according to your online performance are worth? I’ll help:

  • Exactly 0 Wins
  • Average probability of 50%
    12.500 coins

  • Exactly 1 Win
  • Average probability of 25%
    15.000 coins

  • Exactly 2 Wins
  • Average probability of 12,5%
    30.000 coins

  • Exactly 3 Wins
  • Average probability of 6,25%
    40.000 coins

  • Exactly 4 Wins
  • Average probability of 6,25%
    80.000 coins

 
 

All the Truth About FUT Draft

 

If you look at these numbers carefully, you’ll see FUT Draft can indeed be fun, but not for your wallet. And within these rewards there’s quite some variation, since if you achieve a four win streak, for example, you can either get 60k worth of packs or maybe 100k. One way or another, it is far from being a cost effective game mode. In average, a player needs to participate FUT Draft sixteen times before they win the grand prize.

Don’t like it, don’t play it’, you might say (fair enough). I have nothing against EA creating a game mode in which people have to invest to participate. They have all the right to do so, especially if the product is as good as it seems to be consensual. What I don’t accept is all the false advertisement revolving around it, claiming you have nothing to lose. There’s a whole marketing strategy built to make you believe in this lie, which goes from much better prizes in the beta version to reviews that go far from impartial. By the way, have you been getting many Draft Tokens in packs? No need to answer that.

But the lying doesn’t end here. For me, the main delusion is another one: participation prizes aren’t given directly in coins, but packs. It’s like my economy teacher used to say, better have the money in your pocket rather than anything else. Having the coins, you can decide what to do with them. Not the same with packs. And there’s one more thing which many people seem to forget about: you rarely get to neutralize the cost of the pack by selling its whole content on the market. In average, it’s a devaluation of around 60%. In other words, in case you don’t get past the first opponent you might lose 50% of what you spent to participate. You better be confident you’re gonna win.

 

Now let’s see EA’s part of the deal. Why do they wish so badly that FUT Draft does well?

In the first place because, as I’ve showed you, it’s really lucrative for the company. After all, EA are all about selling packs. With FUT Draft they’re constantly selling. Each time someone participates, whether they want it or not, they’re buying packs. You buy your participation and receive packs for prize. Guaranteed profit for EA. It reminds me of gambling houses. You win, your opponent loses, EA win. You lose, your opponent wins, EA win. Connection is lost, both lose, EA win double. Who wouldn’t want part in a deal like that?

But EA don’t live off exclusively of pack sellings. For the first time in the history of Ultimate Team, FIFA Points have another utility (other than buying packs). The FUT Draft participation payment can also be done through them. With all the expectations created around this game mode, imagine how many players out there wanted to try it out, and since they don’t have many coins yet they bought FIFA Points in order to play. Welcome to the fantastic world where wealth comes out of nowhere.

 

All the Truth About FUT Draft

 

This is starting to look like an opinionated article full of irrefutable facts. It’s time to speculate a little. What if EA’s true plan goes beyond all the instant profit? In case you haven’t noticed, the company has in their hands a fantastic game, but that never works quite properly. Problems and more problems: artificial coin generation, apps that don’t last half a year, autobuyers that promote unfair concurrence, servers with insufficient capacity, coin negotiations on the parallel market, etc.

So far the strategy has been keeping everyone happy through the first weeks after the release of the game. After all without selling copies, they can’t sell FIFA Points later. The apps are functioning, price ranges are wide and promote the idea that much has been done so that previous problems don’t repeat themselves. But not really. A few months past, after the hottest FIFA Point seasons (Christmas and TOTY) end, they start blaming the coin sellers and autobuyers when things go back to how they were. The apps are shut down, price ranges are shortened until every possibility of trading dies and they start promoting the next FIFA. However, EA know that this strategy won’t last forever, and only by definitively shutting down the market they can give the game the security it needs. This is where FUT Draft comes in. If FUT Draft achieves global acceptance, the company will be able to promote it as the main Ultimate Team game mode and basically live off of it. Imagine, for example, a FUT Draft in which you could save the cards you’d get to play with, use them conditionally in your squads; you wouldn’t be able to sell them to anyone but you’d be authorized to trade them or sell them to the game for pre-established prices in order for you to get coins to keep participating. And, of course, packs would be sold. This is just a brief preliminary idea of what all of this could have as a result. I’m sure EA could think of other better changes. After all, it’s profit we’re talking about…

 

I want to make clear that I’m not trying to make you quit playing FUT Draft with this article. On the contrary. Someone’s got to keep feeding EA. The purpose of this was to clarify the less transparent themes to the community. And, of course, reveal the truth within the lie early announced.

Good gaming to everyone!

 
 
 
 
 
 

Born in the late 70s, Rodrigo Lopes is a video game enthusiast. He started on the old ZX Spectrum 48k and has played every FIFA game to present day. He is an engineer, that also writes about FIFA games on another popular website. Rodrigo is an Ultimate Team expert, he loves football and is a huge Benfica fan. He has influenced thousands of FIFA gaming fans with his cutting edge insights and scientific level approach to writing about FIFA gaming modes. Join him on Google Plus.

44 COMMENTS

  1. The thing is that i sometimes feel cheated and many other players also we are paying 60 bucks for the game and the reward are crap some of us want to olay with are favorite player but we cant unles we pay
    my example: as a juventus fan i would love play as del piero but i cant because the price is to high and many other player feel that way about the game

  2. Rodrigo, do you ever get the feeling that the game is rigged. I can have a win streak and then, even when playing well things just don’t go the right way. not just one game, but game after game. I also play teams that have little chemistry and there doesn’t seem to be much difference. I’m sure you get asked this the whole time but I’d love your opinion!

  3. Hey guys ive been playing offline draft since it came out, i have had some decent prizes nothing amazing but the likes of kroos and benzema. If you play online are the prizes a lot better? Whats the best youve won? Cheers

  4. You can’t say that 0 wins is 50% and 1 win is 25%. That’s 75% in total, there is no 25% chance of a 3rd outcome… You’re combining the chances of winning in the first game with losing in the 2nd, when statistically they are separate events. 1 win in 1 game is 100%, 1 win in 2 games is 50%. 1 loss in 1 is 0%, you cannot have 2 losses in 2.

    Saying you have a 25% chance of getting one win is wrong, no matter what strained logic you use to come to that conclusion it’s still wrong. I’ve read your explanation down below and while I understand what you’re trying to say, the maths is still wrong.

    • Sorry but we believe you are wrong.
      If you read the comments you will see that you are not the first one saying that. After they read our explanation, they all agreed that we are right. Please read the comments and you will understand.

  5. It can be profitable. I play seasons to earn coins then when I’ve saved 15000 I play draft. I’ve never bought any points and I now have Reus, aubameyang, Costa, ozil, boating and others.. purely from the profit I make from draft packs. I’ve won it 9 times now out of 32 entries

  6. It`s not a flipping coin game. Sure half of players will be knocked out in each level. But you cannot say that the odds are 50%.

  7. I just won 4 games in a row on draft and i got yaya toure ! Don’t know whether to sell or not any advice? He goes for 86k+

  8. Actually wih FUT Draft your are buying into a game of chance as with all other gambling games.

    Your buy-in is 15k or 300 points.

    Your reward is seen as compared to Pack prices ….

    You could either bux two Prem. Gold packs worth 15k or play matches and the probability game.
    You can pack that desired high rated 5* skiller in a bought pack as well as in a “rewarded” Draft pack.

    Which route u take to get the pack is yours…

  9. VERY FRUSTRATED. Won the 4 consecutive games to claim the maximum price, was very excited. But, after i opened all the packs, the best player i got was sissoko, worth like 4K. All in All, I had a 5k profit which SUCKS. I mean, if u win the 4 consecutive games I was expecting at least like 50k profit…. So ridiculous… Its a ponzi scheme

  10. Hello Rodrigro,

    I come to spill out my frustration with FUT draft.

    After playing the draft mode for 5 times I was finally able to win the four consecutive games to achieve the maximum prize. I was excited to see that I won a Premium Gold Players Pack, a Rare Gold Pack and a Mega Pack.

    After I claimed and opened my packs I was VERY frustrated. The BEST player I got was Sissoko thats worth like 4-5K

    When all was said and done I barely had a profit. RIDICULOUS. I WIN ALL GAMES AND BARELY MATCH MY INVESTMENT. How does ea expect people to play this shit. ITS A PONZI SCHEME

    • You can’t factor in the contents of what you pull in your packs and say that it makes FUT Draft not worth it.
      All you can factor is the actual face value of the unopened pack. The worth value vs the entry fee value. If it is more than 15K, you got profit. What’s inside the packs is just as random as if you bought the packs straight up. Otherwise, if you packed Messi, then all of a sudden it’s WAY worth it, but yet nothing different happened than if you didn’t get Messi.

  11. Hey

    50% probability of winning and losing. Draft has 4 games all of which can be played. So even if you lose first 3 you get to play all 4. You have assumed exit on loss which is in correct.

    For 4 losses : (0.5)^4 = 6.25%
    For exactly one win : 4*(0.5)^4 = 25%
    For exactly 2 wins : 6*(0.5)^4 = 37.5%
    For exactly 3 wins : 4*(0.5)^4 = 25%
    For exactly 4 wins : (0.5)^4 = 6.25%
    Total = 100%

    • Hi.
      Your comment is perfect and your calculations are all right. However, there is something that I can’t understand. Why you say “all of which can be played” ? As you said, I assumed exist on loss. You can still play Draft even if you loose? My tests were with online mode but I believe it is the same with offline.

  12. I have played Draft Mode offline and enjoyed it, until last night. I was up 3-0 in extra time of the third game on Professional level when the connection with EA was lost. When I logged back onto the servers, it had me losing 3-0 and asked me to claim my prize, which at 2 wins, was not as good as the prize would have been for 3 or 4 wins. I have a fairly reliable, wired internet connection. Considering the frequency with which I get kicked off of the EA servers, there is about a 6.25% of getting through 4 games without it happening. It’s frustrating to lose out on coins when it happens in a regular match, but when it happens in Draft Mode, you lose twofold (prospective coins and entry fee). I’m out.

  13. Hi Rodrigo.

    Great article as usual.

    I have done my fair share of probability courses back at school and university.
    You are completely right about the probabilities.
    To win exactly 4 matches is 6.25%.
    Exactly 3 matches 6.25%
    Exactly 2 matches 12.5%
    Exactly 1 match 25%
    Exactly 0 match 50%
    It all adds up to 100% like you said and like it should!

    Regarding FUT draft, the prizes are really not good at all!!
    I have played it like 7 or 8 times and got to 4 wins once.
    I won a 12 players gold all rare pack. I might have been really unlucky but none of the players were any good and all were sold for less than 1000 coins!!
    I thought that when I get to 4 wins I would at least get a token to play Draft mode once again other than the usual prize, but that was not the case.
    It was a big disappointment and I stopped playing draft since – it was this Saturday 🙂 but I really stopped!

    Can I ask you a couple of questions please?
    First one is regarding the sites that give us players price fluctuations over the past weeks.
    Last year I used futbin and it was working great. But it is not working anymore this year. Do you know why? Can you suggest any other sites?

    Second question is regarding IF cards. I bought Bacca TOTW during the week he was in packs.
    If I’m not mistaken this IF Bacca will be in the packs for only 1 week, right?
    And his price will usually rises in the coming weeks, no?
    I bought him for 60K and he is selling for around 55K now.
    Is trading with TOTW a bad idea this year? Should I sell him for 55K and cut my losses or do you think his price will rise again?

    Thanks a lot in advance for your answers.

    Keep up the great work!

    Best regards,
    Alan

    • Hi Alan. You saved my day! I had probability classes in university too but I was starting to asking myself if I did something wrong.
      About your questions:
      1) futbin wasn’t working a few days ago but now it is, except for XBox 360. I know it doesn’t have the past weeks historic but, in my opinion, it is the more reliable website.
      2) Bacca IF was released in the second TOTW. He replaced his regular cards in packs between September 23 and 30. Now you can only find him in packs. You can see here, the prices behaviours of IF cards. I believe that his price will be higher in a few weeks, but maybe you should invest those coins in other cards.
      Regards

  14. I’ve played draft offline, on semipro is easy to win The issue is the reward. I got one gold package and one gold jumbo package. The content from both packages was around 8000-9000. Way below 15.000. And this is probably a time with the highest all-time prices. Maybe this is a good deal for people buying Fifa coins with real money. But for the rest of us it is not so interesting, given the trading opportunities.

  15. Your arguments towards DRAFT worry me, I see their logic and considering previous experience with FIFA games, they might be valid. Though, on a site that promote coin seller, I MUST say, they seem a little biased. I mean talking about profit for EA (actual makers of the game) versus profit that coin farmers and their promoter make (profiting for the work of EA and money of players). Still, I accept the validity of your points.

    • Hi Paul.
      First of all, this is a column piece. Obviously you are free to agree or disagree and I respect that.
      In my opinion, when EA says that you get your investment back they are not saying the true and I believe that it will not be easy to someone show me that they are right and I am wrong.
      About the ‘promote coin seller’ thing, it is something that I already explained here many times, and for that reason I will be brief this time:
      1) The website doesn’t have control over most of the banners because they are provided by third-party companies, like Google Adsense. What they show are related with visitors preferences.
      2) Besides that, coins sellers banners are not illegal, otherwise EA would easily remove them from Adsense and other popular companies. They can’t because it is against their terms of use but it is not illegal outside the game.
      3) The problem in the market economy are the coin farmers. Coin sellers don’t create new coins. Coin Farmers do. I am not saying that coins sellers are OK but, in my opinion, they are not so bad as EA tries to show. Obviously, they affect the EA’s profits and that is not right.
      4) Even if this website was supported by coins sellers, in my opinion it is better than websites & youtubers (like FUTHead, FUTWiz, Spencer and others) supported by EA to say what they want, when they want and how they want.
      Regards

  16. Well…just play offline draft: rewards are lower (halved), but you can choose the level and win all four games. Until now i’ve always received a premium gold pack (7500) and a 26 cards gold pack with 7 rares (at least 15000 coins i suppose), so we have 22500 in pack value. It’s not Fun like online, but it’s better value than buy packs directly. And if you loose the first game you receive a gold pack (5000) a silver premium (3750) a silver with 24 or 26 cards and 7 rares (7000) and a loan pack (?). This is more than 15000 AND silver items are more “marketable”, at least for me and on PC because they are scarce or extinct. Then you can sell the cards, take the money and play again, maybe with the aid of a simple trading method (bronze pack works for me). After 2 or 3 times you have more packs than you can sell in the transfer list. It’s a really cheapstake method, maybe there are better ways, but it work for me. Or you can always decide to not play the draft, like you can decide to not buy packs (like i’ve done last year).

    • Thank you for your feedback. To be honest, we haven’t tested Draf offline. All you say is absolutely true. There is only one thing that it is important to say: in lower difficulty levels your match coins are much lower too.
      Regards

      • Yes, match coins are lower, but by only a couple of hundreds or less. It adds up in 4 matches, but the total outcome of having better packs (and occasionally a good player or another card) is worth the “loss”. I play the offline draft at semi-pro and i’ve always win all 4 games. At pro i generally win or draw, but sometimes have the odd match and lose at penalties with a 60 rated team that made 0 shots on goal and had a super goalkeeper, with me having 15-20 shots on goal. Also the third or fourth match at random could be one level higher, and for now world class for me it’s just to risky if i just want to “grind” packs. It could be boring, but it’s easy money from matches and one more 7500 pack than spending 15000 coins direcly on 2 premium gold packs…a thing that i always do anyway because opening packs is a scam, but is also fun and this is the cheapest method i’ve found until now

    • Hi.
      There is 50% chances of winning at least one match. I agree with you in that. But the chances of winning exactly one match is different. In the first match you can win or loose (50%) and in the second match you can also win or lose (50%). It means that the chances of win-loose are 50%x50%=25%. Do you agree ?

          • You are the third one here (fifth in all our websites) to say that. However, I still think I’m right. Sorry, but I would love to discuss this because I think there is a misunderstanding here.
            Like you said, the chances of winning or losing in the first game is both 50 percent. Totally agree. In fact, the chances of winning any match is always 50% (average, of course). I Agree with that too. But in the second match you can win or loose. The chance of winning one match is 50% but the chance of winning exactly one match is 25% because you need to win the first match and loose the second one (50% over 50%).
            The question is: how much are my chances of getting the reward X ? Then, the sum of the percents has to be 100%.
            I am right or not? Please answer me because I want to clarify this as soon as possible. If needed, I will change something in the post to make it more clear.
            Thank you for your comment.

        • What you are stating here is correct Rodrigo. If we assume you will win any match 50% of the time and we take the situation where you win one (50%) then lose another (50%), this will happen 25% of the time. 50% x 50% = 25%.

      • Yeah. I understand now. You are right Rodrigo.
        Didn’t see that it was exactly 1 match.
        Because if you win the first match you have left with 50% and the changes to win second game is 50% again. So it’s now 50% change to 1 win and 50% change to go on. And if you take that 50% off from that 50% what we had left it’s 25% (0,5×50%=25%).
        Hard to explain because I am not very good at English language.

      • The math is still wrong.

        In a scenario of 4 independent events, the probability of any outcome is 1/2 * 1/2 * 1/2 * 1/2 * 1/2 = 1/32.

        Because there are five scenarios from this set:
        WWWW
        WWWL
        WWLL
        WLLL
        LLLL
        Note that you can’t view the elements in isolation, but taken as a whole. The probability of only one win goes in hand with the probability of three loses.

        Since the sequence doesn’t matter, the probability of any set happening is 1/32. Of course, sequence matters in real life and behavioural psychology kicks in with the hot hand fallacy; one’s psyche and approach to each match can be a culmination of built up tension and influence how you play the game. You may take risks or play a more defensive game, and the less analytical approach may skew your chances of winning in an identical match away from 1/2.

        Good article nonetheless.

      • ignore my post. I was ill-informed. Didnt know you get knocked out with a lost (hence me being here). Order matters so your math stands!

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