Firstly the following are just some ideas or small issues I have noticed while playing the game. In no way am I an expert in game creation or throwing any negative remarks towards this game. I am a big fan and player of this game and loved all the work that has been put forward to make the Rugby Challenge Series.
Added animation: This is very broad I know however with some examples I hope to clear that up. Eg1. When a player gains a penalty for his/her team like a turnover/holding - on penalty, an added animation could be a focus on the player still lying over the ruck with the ref in the background with arm pointed in his/her teams direction and the players team mates all rushing in and happy due to the success.
2. Attention to details: Eg1. After a player has had a successful or unsuccessful conversion/penalty kick, if the player is on the side line then the animation after, the play looks up and is just looking straight and not at the posts or where the ball has ended up.
3. Kicking routine: Would love to see some copied kick routine for certain individual players instead of everyone having the same generic kick runup.
4. Long range kicker: Maybe an option for a long range kicker in teams line up. Eg1. Reece Hodge and Nic White are both long range options for the Wallabies. Have or introduce a Long Range kicker ( as well as the Play and Goal kicker ) to be added to an addition player in the line up. Then for kicks longer than 40m ( for example ) the player will automatically step up to take the kick.
5. Added Animations ( Again ): Some examples can be added steps, tackles, fends, tactics and plays ( can depend on the team or be an option to be edited in customisation ) etc.
Another example can be when a player comes off for a substitute they always look unhappy, another added animation can be the player coming off clapping the crowd, interacting with the player coming on for them.
6. Forwards Passes: To many forward passes. Sometimes unfair and not even seem to be forward.
7. Gang tackles: Love to see this introduced into the game if possible. Especially for forwards. Smothering the opposition to stop offloads and stop momentum. Can also add a risk of players being sucked in allowing more space and holes for opposition. Option to select and push other players out in the line to avoid this. Also may have an affect with player fatigue.
8. Players stopping: Players tend to stop when being passed the ball resulting in being tackled rather than breaking away if space. Also looses momentum for forwards. Could be bad timing with my passes, unsure.
9. Stepping: Some players when stepping sometimes turn to 180 degrees and start running the wrong way making the step obsolete and sometimes loosing ground.
10. Defensive Urgency: More defensive speed to the ruck. Yes I know the sliders can adjust this but they never seem to make much of a difference. I find it way to easy and quick for the opposition to turn the ball over due to the lack of speed to the ruck. Player fatigue may also be a factor.
11: Rolling Mauls: When the maul hits the try line, would the love there to be an automatic response for a try. This may also bring into play the collapsing idea that gets brought up later. However at the moment I am finding that while using rolling maul and it gets to the try line the maul stops and the player at the back has to peal off and becomes vulnerable to stronger defence from opposition players resulting in a certain try turned around and pushed back.
12. Crowd: Love to see some more involvement with the crowd. Even there has already been so much done with the crowd. I am greedy and seeing more detail, specific cheers when your team is winning and even some to help boost your side. More-so to hear and not so much for the impact on the players.
13. Players Form: During competitions and to add to the gaming experience and to aid in coaching side of the game as well as player rotation ( realism ) the use of player form could benefit the experience. Eg1. The player has a set ranking ( which they currently do ) that they go into a competition with. Throughout that competition their ranking may increase or decrease depending on the games that they play. For example if said player makes a lot of tackles, doesn't make any handling errors and has a generally good game then their tackle ability/statistic will improve, same with their fitness, speed, strength etc. That being said it works both ways with the players form dropping and loosing their rating.
14. Commentators: Change in commentators would be amazing as well. Again I know its a lot to ask in terms of funding and time and all the other factors however hearing the voices of Gordon Bray, Matt Burke and/or Rod Kafer would be incredible and bring so much more realism. Yes I am biased to Australia however when I mention an idea like this I would love the inclusion of as many as possible and have an option at the start of the game to depict which nation of commentators are to commentate the game. For example a Wales V Australia match playing in Cardiff or Twickenham. The default is Welsh Commentators being their home ground however the option to change to Australian Commentators would be great. All done in the pre-game menu.
15. Collapsing: The option to collapse a scrum or maul would also add to realism. Can aid with stopping the oppositions momentum however adds a risk factor in the form of a penalty or advantage towards the team being collapsed.
16. Injuries: Currently the game stops as soon as an injury occurs. I would like to see the game play on depending on the injury of the player of course. The player injured can try and get back up and into the line and if able to, his/her performance will be limited. For example missed tackles, slow running etc. However if the injury is serious enough the ref can stop the play or at the next stoppage the substitute option comes up for an injured player.
17. Replacements/Substitutes: Currently when I use all my subs and an injury occurs I am unable to continue on with the game because there is no option to pick from because they are all players from the starting squad who have already come off. The option for free injury subs can help if available.
18. Ruck Involvement: Backs rarely, if not ever enter the ruck since the first update. Even in times when they are most needed there. Would be good to get them in the rucks, just the one or two immediate players to add realism and to keep ball security and possession. I have also found that the first arriving forward ( sometimes, not always ) will not enter the ruck but just stand there and act as half and wait for every other forward to arrive. This is small but can be frustrating when the first forward not entering the ruck results in a turnover.
19. Try Celebrations: Happier and more emotional try celebrations could add more realism to the game as well. More embracing and excitement towards the try. For some countries and players it means everything to score a try and for their players to enjoy that passion.
To conclude, I am not expecting any of these ideas to be perfected and added to the game. They are more-so a suggestion and possible improvements to the game from a players perspective. I would love someone involved with the development of this game to read all these ideas and I am sure others have put forward the same before me. Again as said before I love this game and see so much potential in it and want to see it become the best rugby union game. I am more for constructive criticism rather then just plain hating on something and it frustrates me that people can buy the game, play it and then hate on it and ruin it for others who haven't yet experienced it. Nothing is perfect when it first starts and Rugby Challenge 4 is no exception. It is only going to get better.
Love the work that is put into the game and cant wait to see it improve. I would love to hear back from anyone involved as it is nice to be recognised. If there is anything I can do to help then I would be happy to volunteer as well.
Hope these ideas help and I apologise for the length of the message/essay.