Advance Booking – In order to get fans to come to your events, watch your TV show, and buy your pay-per-views, you have to give them a reason to be interested. This is achieved by promoting matches ahead of time. If it’s a match they’re interested in, you’ll see buy rates increase, if it’s one they’re not so keen on you’ll see your numbers decrease. Throwing together a card at the last moment won’t work any more! As you’d expect, there is a screen that keeps track of all your matches, so you never have an excuse to forget them. There are penalties for not delivering a promised match without good reason (such as an injury), as you can get a reputation for lying to your fans.
Create-A-Storyline and Create-A-Angle – Creating a storyline takes the form of a script – you put together any combination of angles and matches that you want, together with what each role is, and how you want it to unfold. You can then play out the script as fast or as slow as you want, watching as the fans get caught up in the drama. With the new angle editor, this means that you can create virtually any storyline you can think of, any time you want, meaning that your only limitation is your own imagination. Storylines can either be written “on the fly” while in the middle of a game, or in the main editor. They are stored so that you can re-use them, and put together your own library of cool stories.
Momentum Meter – Perhaps one of the most key new features, every worker has a momentum meter for each promotion that he works for. This is a measure of how hot he is at that moment. The meter rises as he wins, takes part in angles, and fires off great interviews, and goes down as he loses, or is involved in a dull segment. The higher the meter, the quicker the worker can gain overness, and the more fans will respond to him. The lower the meter and the less chance he has of staying over with the crowd. This has a huge effect on booking, as no longer can you simply stick the same big stars against each other every week and expect the crowd to care. You’ll need to be careful to protect your rising stars, keeping their momentum high until you can get them into a big match against another wrestler with high momentum, which will of course be something the fans will love to see, the very definition of a dream match. This means you’ll have to be skilled at juggling which workers you want to push heavily, and which workers need to take a back seat and help others get over.
Grades – The different statistics in TEW2005 remain in the form of being between 0.0% and 100.0%. However, these are not visible to the player once the game begins, but instead are translated to grades, ranging from F to A*. There are several reasons behind this. Firstly, it is far more realistic – nobody can look at a wrestler and pinpoint his mat wrestling skill at 71.8%. You can however say that’s he’s about a B+. It also means that hiring and firing wrestlers is no longer a clinical exercise in comparing two wrestlers, finding that one is 0.2% worse than the other, and so going with the better worker. Using the grades you can get a general idea of who is better, but you won’t know precisely how much better or worse, so your choice will have to be made based on your instinct and other factors. It also means an end to being able to follow exactly how much someone is improving, which means you will have to show faith in your decisions – you can’t simply stick someone in development and see them gain 0.1% stamina every week, knowing precisely how well something is working. I know this will probably be the most controversial new feature, but even at this early stage, it looks to be working extremely well – it makes the game more user friendly without losing its depth, it allows the user to play in a more realistic manner instead of treating everything in terms of percentages, and it improves the feel of the game. Please note that the percentage system is still working behind the scenes, and so skills will build up gradually in a realistic manner rather than suddenly shooting up.
Promotion Relationships – The companies in the game can now have relationships, just like workers. These range from all out war, where you bad mouth the opposition at every turn and are constantly trying to steal workers from each other, to non-aggresion pacts, where both sides agree not to approach workers under contract with the other, to talent trading agreements. Making and breaking pacts makes an interesting political landscape. To answer a common question, “invasions” by other companies are not planned to be supported in this game.
New Game World – The game world remains in the format of Areas, Regions, and Locations, but with a twist. While the game areas (North America, Mexico, Japan, UK and Europe – Australia has been removed as it never seemed to be used by anyone, ever) and regions within them are set, the locations (the cities or arenas within each region) are editable, meaning that the player can customize the game to have as many or few locations as wanted. The other change is that overness is no longer measured in each location, but has been moved up one level, and is now done by Region. This change was because location-based overness was unnecessary (as 99% of workers and promotions had the same overness in every location in a specific region anyway), and it also allows the user to quickly get an idea of how popular a worker or promotion is without having to sift through hundreds of values.
More Detailed Wrestlers – The wrestlers themselves are far more detailed. As well as having full title and match histories (as in WreSpi), there is a host of new statistics, including: Strong Style, Acting, Consistency, Injury Proneness, Hardcore, Intensity and Flashiness. These new stats improve the ability to accurately model wrestlers. On top of that, wrestlers can now be given habits and characteristics, such as being a heavy drinker, a steroid user, or very religious, all of which have pros and cons on their career, and can be referenced throughout the game. By popular demand, there will also be a “stats tracker”, where you can view how the worker has improved in each area over the past 12 months.
New Morale And Disciplinary Procedures – Morale has now been updated; rather than being a value that can wildly fluctuate, it is instead based on several set factors, meaning that it is modelled much more realistically. Some of the factors are things like losing too often, not being used on major shows, or not being paid enough. So one loss won’t plummet a worker into depression, but a constant stream of them might. On top of that, there are new disciplinary measures; if a worker is involved in a fight, or turns up late, you have seven days to take action, which can then directly affect that worker’s future. These new features mean that morale is no longer a struggle to maintain, and you aren’t constantly fighting to keep everyone happy.
Improved TV and PPV worlds – The world of TV has now improved. Networks now run in seasons, with a changing schedule to match. They also now have non-wrestling shows, and these are also rated, meaning that Monday night’s football game could steal ratings from your own wrestling show. TV shows can now also have multiple slots, which you can negotiate, so your show could be shown live on Tuesday in the US on one network, and then shown for the first time in Japan several days later on a totally different network. The world of PPV has also changed, as now promotions will need to negotiate with pay-per-view carriers to get slots. Getting thrown off pay-per-view or falling out with your carrier can be a major blow, as it can instantly take away a major source of revenue.
- Loading times are much faster
- The Interface is far more user friendly
- Multiple databases can be kept at the same time, as in WreSpi, without the need for swapping files.
- There are now unlimited save game slots.
- Some parts of the game, such as rosters, can now be displayed in “Excel-style” grid format, including sort functionality.
- Pending decisions have been improved, and no longer take so much time.
- Workers can now learn new languages while working in foreign areas.
- A worker’s physical condition no longer falls so rapidly, but is based much more on reality .
- Workers get a minimum popularity level when they become stars, meaning that they can never fall into complete obscurity again.
- There are several new promotion types, including Family Friendly and Underground.
- There are 16 styles in total.
- Each promotion has a size rating, so the user doesn’t to read all the popularity values to see how big a promotion is.
- Each promotion can set multiple ticket prices, so that it doesn’t need changing every time the fed goes to a new location.
- When sending a worker to development, the user can set what skill area he should focus on improving.