24/7 GM Mode FAQ - Guide for WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2008
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WWE Smackdown vs Raw 2008 24/7 GM Mode FAQ v1.00 by Phil Mattingly ******************************************************************************* Legal Information: This may be not be reproduced under any circumstances except for personal, private use. It may not be placed on any web site or otherwise distributed publicly without advance written permission. Use of this guide on any other web site or as a part of any public display is strictly prohibited, and a violation of copyright. This walkthrough is authorized to be hosted on the following websites: GameFAQs - gamefaqs.com Neoseeker - neoseeker.com Super Cheats - supercheats.com Games Radar - gamesradar.com If you see this walkthrough on a site other than those listed, please notify me of any such sites by E-mail. ******************************************************************************* Contact Information: firstname.lastname@example.org -[ Contents ]- 1. Overall Strategy 2. Easy Goal Strategy 3. Achievable Goal Strategy 4. Difficult Goals 5. Choosing Your Brand a. The Match Card b. Draft Picks c. Clean / dirty and the championships 6. Setting Up the Season a. Starting Rivalries b. The First Match Card 7. Playing Week to Week a. Increase the Popularity of Superstars b. Keep Rivalries Alive c. Manipulate the Championship Picture d. Keep the match card varied e. Manage fatigue / avoid injury f. Manage morale g. Using promos h. Increasing ratings i. PPVs j. Starting the cycle over again 8. Finance and Trading 9. Final Notes --- -[ 1. Overall Strategy ]- The objective of 24/7 GM mode is simple - raise your GM of the Year score to 100%. It is worth noting that the game tells you that 'GM of the Year' will be awarded to the brand manager with the highest ratings at the end of 12 months. In fact, nothing happens at this time and you only get the award animation and the Hall of Fame completion when your score reaches 100%. Raising your score is also simple. A number of percentage points are awarded for achieving various goals as GM. Top 5 Brand Supremacy - 3% Top 10 Brand Supremacy - 2% Top 15 Brand Supremacy - 1% 5-Star Rating PPV Match - 2% 5-Star Rating Normal Match - 1% 5-Star Rating PPV Show - 2% 5-Star Rating Streak - 5% #1 Superstar - 1% Joint PPV Wins - 2% Defeat Other Shows' Champion - 2% Survivor Series Win - 1% $10 Million Cash - 3% 3 Thumbs-up Rivalry Rating - 2% 13 Week Rivalry - 3% 15 Match Win Streak - 2% No injuries for a month - 1% 1 Million Fans - 2% Royal Rumble Win - 3% 5-Star WrestleMania Match - 5% WrestleMania Win - 5% It is worth splitting these goals down into those that are easily achieved, those that are achievable and those that are difficult to achieve. Easy to achieve --------------- 5-Star Rating PPV Match - 2% 5-Star Rating Normal Match - 1% 5-Star Rating PPV Show - 2% 3 Thumbs-up Rivalry Rating - 2% 13 Week Rivalry - 3% No injuries for a month - 1% Achievable ---------- Joint PPV Wins - 2% Survivor Series Win - 1% Defeat Other Shows' Champion - 2% 1 Million Fans - 2% Royal Rumble Win - 3% 5-Star WrestleMania Match - 5% WrestleMania Win - 5% 5-Star Rating Streak - 5% Difficult to achieve -------------------- Top 5 Brand Supremacy - 3% Top 10 Brand Supremacy - 2% Top 15 Brand Supremacy - 1% #1 Superstar - 1% $10 Million Cash - 3% 15 Match Win Streak - 2% In general you will naturally want to concentrate on picking up the easy points week-to-week and ensuring that you're ready when the opportunity to pick up points at PPVs rolls around. -[ 2. Easy Goal Strategy ]- Achieving the easy goals breaks down into three categories - stars, rivalries and injuries. Stars ----- 5-Star Rating PPV Match - 2% 5-Star Rating Normal Match - 1% 5-Star Rating PPV Show - 2% The star rating of each of your shows is a major key to winning points. In the calendar view you can select a completed show to see the individual five-star rating of each match and the show as a whole. In this way you can keep a close eye on the quality of both your shows and those of rival GMs. The star rating of a show as a whole is determined by the rating of the individual matches. The star rating of an individual match is determined by: 1. The popularity of the stars involved. 2. Whether those stars are involved in a rivalry, and how many thumbs that rivalry has. 3. Whether the match is for a championship title. 4. Whether the match is special - a ladder match, cage match etc. Basically, the more popular the stars and the more thumbs on the rivalry the higher the match rating. Championship and special matches also score more stars than normal matches. Fortunately you can easily manipulate all four of these factors to consistently turn out four and five star matches and gain points accordingly. How to do this is described in the next section. Rivalries --------- 3 Thumbs-up Rivalry Rating - 2% 13 Week Rivalry - 3% Again, rivalries are simple to manipulate. They are based on storylines, and the higher-rated the storyline the better the rivalry. I personally only use four and five star storylines in rivalries. They start at one thumb, rise to two thumbs if they last five weeks and three thumbs if they last ten weeks. Organising and maintaining rivalries is described in the next section. Injuries -------- No injuries for a month - 1% This goal should come as a by-product of good roster management. You can't completely control it but most of the time you should be able to pick it up as a convenient bonus. Roster management is described in the next section. -[ 3. Achievable Goal Strategy ]- Achievable goals are more difficult to accomplish than easy goals primarily because they take longer. You get at least four opportunities a month to put on a 5-star normal match but only one per year to put on a 5-star Wrestlemania match. Luckily, collecting these goals when you arrive at the big PPVs will be easy if you've been following the easy goal strategy. Achievable goals break down into fans, PPVs and the other shows' champion. Fans ---- 1 Million Fans - 2% This goal will come as a natural by-product of chasing the 5-star normal matches and shows from the easily achievable goals. If your shows have higher star ratings than rival brands then the number of your fans will increase while theirs decreases. So you will naturally find that your ratings tick upwards and you'll slowly collect this goal as you pass 4 million and then 5 million fans. PPVs ---- Joint PPV Wins - 2% Survivor Series Win - 1% Royal Rumble Win - 3% 5-Star WrestleMania Match - 5% WrestleMania Win - 5% 5-Star Rating Streak - 5% The wins are pretty simple. When the PPV rolls around, opt to play rather than simulate the match and beat hell out of the other shows' contenders to win. The 5-star rating streak will also naturally arise from working toward putting on 5-star PPVs. Champions --------- Defeat Other Shows' Champion - 2% This goal comes from the Power 25 which I never bothered to manipulate. I think it is quicker and easier to concentrate on building 5-star matches and let the Power 25 do more or less what it wants. However, this one does seem to pay off more frequently than the others. -[ 4. Difficult Goals ]- I consider most of these goals difficult because they involve manipulation of Top 5 Brand Supremacy - 3% Top 10 Brand Supremacy - 2% Top 15 Brand Supremacy - 1% #1 Superstar - 1% $10 Million Cash - 3% 15 Match Win Streak - 2% -[ 5. Choosing your brand ]- This is pretty simple. Don't choose ECW - having only one championship means you can only run one championship match per show, as compared to the four per show you can do with Smackdown or RAW. As a result, ECW shows are generally lower-rated and their ratings decline steadily throughout the year. Whether you choose RAW or Smackdown doesn't make a great deal of difference to your chances of success, although the strategy you must pursue will be slightly different. This is because the two brands have different types of title. The A-title: World Heavyweight Champion (Smackdown) / WWE Champion (RAW) The B-Title: US Champion / Intercontinental Champion The C-Title: Cruiserweight Champion / Womens' Champion The D-Title: The Tag Team title Because the C-Title for each brand can only be held by certain superstars you will have to draft accordingly as covered below. -[ 5. Drafting ]- Drafting is straightforward if you understand your brand and what you are trying to accomplish. 5.a. Match Cards ---------------- Whoever you draft you will need to use them to fill your match card at normal shows and PPVs. A match card has five blank match slots and two blank promo slots. Remember that your goal is a 5-star rated show, and that that will come from lots of 5-star rated matches. Remember that five-star rated matches are created by four things: a. Popular superstars b. Rivalries between dirty and clean superstars c. Championship matches d. Special matches So your ideal match card will look like this: Match 1 - A number of high-popularity superstars in an interesting match. Match 2 - Two rival tag teams competing in a special match for the Tag Team Championship. Match 3 - Two rival superstars competing in a special match for the C-Title Championship. Match 4 - Two rival superstars competing in a special match for the B-Title Championship. Main Event - Two rival superstars competing in a special match for the A-Title Championship. With a little care and attention to detail a card like this will pretty soon be cranking out four and five star rated shows for you. 5.b. Draft Picks ---------------- The card above is naturally going to dictate your draft picks. At a minimum, you will need: One clean and one dirty superstar who can contest the A-title. One clean and one dirty superstar who can contest the B-title. One clean and one dirty superstar who can contest the C-title (cruiserweights or divas). Two clean and two dirty superstars who can contest the D-title (tag titles). One clean and one dirty superstar who can fill out the final match. Making a minimum roster of 12 stars. It is worth taking the characteristics of the various superstars into consideration too. Legends - legends are valuable because several of the five-star rated storylines need legends to participate in them. I would look to draft at least one clean and one dirty legend, and ideally more if you can get them. Note that you will need to have unlocked and purchased the legends from the WWE shop before starting. Cruiserweights / Divas - again, you'll need at least one clean and one dirty Diva/Cruiserweight according to your brand. Foreign stars - I like to have my Tag Team title contested by four American superstars so I can run the Patriotism storyline. It's not a necessity though - you can run a fine rivalry between one member of each tag-team if needs be. Clean / dirty - looking at the above it's clear that you're going to need a roughly equal number of clean and dirty superstars on the roster. Fortunately, this is decided once you've drafted. So, for example, if you pick Stone Cold you will decide if he will be clean or dirty for the season. The same with Roddy Piper and anyone else you pick. I personally like to pick people and run them as they are or were in reality because it makes it easier to keep track, but it's not a necessity. Either do this or make a note as you draft so you know who to set clean and who to set dirty when you start. When the draft starts sort the roster list by popularity. When you pick, take the most popular superstar available unless... * A Legend or Diva / Cruiserweight is available and you still haven't picked at least one clean and one dirty superstar in this category. * The second star in a stable is immediately available. I don't know if it makes a huge amount of difference to run your tag-title rivalry between two stables, but it probably doesn't hurt. Ideally, your picks will be: 1. A clean / dirty legend to contest your A-title. 2. A dirty / clean legend to contest your A-title (choose clean if pick 1 was dirty and vice versa) 3. A clean / dirty legend to contest your B-title. 4. A clean / dirty superstar to contest your C-title (a Cruiserweight or Diva). 5. A dirty / clean superstar to contest your C-title (choose clean if pick 4 was dirty and vice versa. 6. A dirty / clean superstar to contest your B-title. 7. A clean / dirty superstar as one half of a tag-team. 8. A clean / dirty superstar as the other half of that tag-team. 9. A dirty / clean superstar as one half of a tag-team. 10. A dirty / clean superstar as the other half of that tag-team. Note that if you've chosen RAW, you can probably leave picks 4 and 5 until later. The other brands don't seem too interested in the divas, so pick your tag-team first and scoop up the divas later in the draft. Also note that three legends is just a minimum - if you can get more then do so. The remaining picks beyond ten should be roughly balanced between clean and dirty superstars as best you can. Typically, I would sign the first five stars you pick to 6-month contracts, the next 5 to 3-month contracts and the rest to 5 week contracts. With everyone on the roster including all the Legends, you should get around seventeen picks. That will leave you with around two-million dollars in cash. Your first ten superstars are the ones you're going to heavily invest in. They will carry your rivalries and fill your match card week to week. The rest beyond that are a floating pool to manipulate as you see fit (see the section on trading). 5.c. Clean/dirty and the championships -------------------------------------- The next thing to do is decide who will be clean and who will be dirty. I like to decide this at the start of the season and keep it that way. The promo slots are too valuable to waste on switching a superstar. Be sure to get this right - either from your notes or the superstar's natural inclination. The first ten on your roster should be perfectly balanced - a clean tag-team, cruiserweight or diva and two others along with their five dirty counterparts. Whatever you have beyond ten should also be divided as evenly as you can. With that done, assign the championships to the five clean stars you have chosen and you're done. -[ 6. Setting Up the Season ]- 6.a. Starting Rivalries ----------------------- Your next job is to get on and start the rivalries. Go to the storyline writers and purchase every available five-star storyline. Then go to the rivalries menu. Making sure that each rivalry is set to last at least ten weeks... Create a five-star rivalry between the clean holder of your A-title and his dirty counterpart. This is your A-title rivalry and will be your main event each week. Create a five-star rivalry between the clean holder of your B-title and his dirty counterpart. This is your B-title rivalry and will be your Match 4 each week. Create the highest starred rivalry you can between the clean holder of your C-title and his/her dirty counterpart. This is your C-title rivalry and will be your Match 3 each week. Create the highest starred rivalry you can between the clean holders of your tag titles and their dirty counterparts. This is your D-title rivalry and will be your Match 2 each week. Note that the last rivalry could be the 4-star Patriotism story or you can choose another, better storyline between two individuals, one from each team. Rivalries add value to matches as previously discussed. The longer they last, the more value they add. A rivalry lasts as long as all the participants are involved in a match. If a week goes by in which they are not involved, the rivalry ends. It also ends when it reaches the length set when it is created. Your job therefore is to set the rivalries to last as close to 13 weeks as you can. Longer rivalries have little or no value. To keep the rivalry alive, you'll have your stars feuding week in and week out with each other on the card. 6.b. The First Match Card ------------------------- First of all, select the phone and choose options. In play options, set the match card to 'Re-Run'. This means that each new show will automatically copy the last. This is good news because it keeps your rivalries alive and means you only have to make a few adjustments to keep things interesting. Now proceed to the calendar. You will either go straight to your match card (RAW) or have a few training days before it (Smackdown). If you have training days, use them as detailed in the next section. When you get to your first card, set it up like this: Main Event - Make an A-title championship match between your two rival superstars. Match 4 - Make a B-title championship match between your two rival superstars. Match 3 - Make a C-title championship match between your two rival superstars. Match 2 - Make a D-title championship match between your two rival tag-teams. Match 1 - Make a special match involving as many of your unused stars as you can. Initially, you'll want to vary the special match types a little bit. Ladder matches, cage matches etc. are good for star-ratings but fatigue your superstars. For now, start with normal matches apart from match 1. Make match 1 as interesting as you can - a six-man tag, four-man tornado tag or TLC tornado tag are all good options. -[ 7. Playing Week to Week ]- A lot of what you do as a GM will concern managing your roster and putting on the weekly shows between PPVs. You have some major tasks that correspond to the elements of successful matches... 1. Increase the popularity of your superstars. 2. Keep your rivalries alive. 3. Manipulate the championship picture. 4. Keep the match card varied with special matches. Your other duties are also vital... 5. Manage superstars' fatigue and avoid injury. 6. Manage superstars' morale. Taking these tasks one by one... 7.a. Increase the popularity of your superstars ----------------------------------------------- As you can see on the calendar, you have a number of training days each week between shows that are available to improve your stars. Although you can do many things - raise attributes, raise skills, raise popularity - I think that only one of them is really relevant: popularity. Popular superstars mean high-rated shows, so you want to get everyone on your card as high as you can. A superstars popularity increases when he or she wins and decreases when he or she loses, but it can also be raised on training days. One important point to note is that when a superstar's popularity hits 100, it seems to lock and will no longer go down if the superstar loses. Instead, it only decreases if the superstar is assigned to R&R (see 7.e. Managing Fatigue). So you will do well to raise your superstars' popularity to 100 as quickly as possible. To do this, you want to start with the superstars you are using most frequently - those involved in your rivalries. Go to the magazines and choose 'View Roster'. Sort the roster by popularity and work out who you need to train this week. Then consider the options below... Popularity for men ------------------ Trophy Date - +5%/+8% I personally find the best value popularity raiser to be the trophy date. It gives +5/+8 popularity for 10% fatigue and $500. Unfortunately, it is only available to men. It's a good choice for a superstar on 3 bars of fatigue or less (see 7.e.) Charity Work - +2%/+4% The other staple of popularity raising is Charity Work. Choose this for fatigued superstars who need a boost in popularity. Popularity for women -------------------- Other Brand Invasion - +5%/+8% I reckon the best choice for Divas - who cannot trophy date - is the Brand Invasion. It costs 20% fatigue and so needs to be used sparingly but is still useful. Website Interview - +3%/+5% Another good choice for Divas, costing slightly less fatigue at 10%. Charity Work - +2%/4% As for the men, a great fatigue-free booster. Each week, pick a superstar and use the boosters above to raise their popularity to 100. If their fatigue is 3 bars or less, use the more costly boosters. If it is higher, use Charity work. When you hit 100, move to the next superstar and repeat. Start with the A-title clean superstar, then the A-title dirty superstar and then on to the B,C and D titles followed by the rest of the roster. 7.b. Keep Rivalries Alive ------------------------- All you do here is ensure that your rivalry participants are involved in a match each week. Now, when I say 'involved', I don't necessarily mean that they fight, only that they appear together in a match. Let's say you have Stone Cold and Piper feuding. Any of these will keep the rivalry going... Singles match - Stone Cold vs Piper Tag match - Stone Cold and Foley vs Piper and Rude Tag match - Stone Cold and Piper vs The Rock and Foley Two on one - Stone Cold w/ Piper vs Rude Yes, that's right, the rival superstars DO NOT have to be on opposite sides of the match. This can be very valuable as we will see in 7.c. and 7.f. 7.c. Manipulate the Championship Picture ---------------------------------------- As time wears on and your superstars get more popular, more and more of them will want a title shot. However, you will be favouring the two participants in your A-title rivalry to fight the championship matches. What it comes down to is this: a superstar can only have a title shot if he is in the top 10 of the Power 25. The best way to put him or her there is to ensure that in a given week, he wins and most, if not all, of those above him lose. By the next week, he'll be in the top 10 and available for a championship shot. However, this can create two problems... 1. If your champion fights the contender rather than the rival he is feuding with, your valuable rivalry will be lost. 2. If your champion drops the belt to the contender, he and his rival cannot contest it. So how can you allow the champion to fight the contender and avoid these problems? Simple. Let's say that in the scenario above Stone Cold (the champion) and Piper are your rivals and Undertaker wants a title shot. Instead of your normal Stone Cold vs Piper submission match, make a two-on-one no manager vs with manger match. Make it Undertaker vs Austin w/ Piper. Referring to the previous section, we can see that this will keep the rivalry alive. So how to ensure Undertake doesn't grab the belt? Two ways... a. If the match type is one in which you can get disqualified and weapons are available (submission, normal etc etc.), choose to play the match as Undertaker. Get straight out of the ring, pick up a weapon and hit Austin with it. Instant DQ for Undertaker and the belt remains with Austin. b. In a match where DQs are legal or weapons unavailable (cage, hardcore etc.) just play the match as Austin and beat the contender. Set the difficulty to easy if you have to. 7.d. Keep the match card varied ------------------------------- To keep ratings high you need each show to be different from the last. So each week, go to your match card and change the match type. I often alternate between normal matches and special matches. The reason is that a superstar's fatigue goes up in special matches but stays the same or goes down in normal matches. So for a two-man match, I might have: Week 1 - Stone Cold vs Piper - normal match Week 2 - Stone Cold vs Piper - submission match Week 3 - Stone Cold vs Piper - normal match Week 4 - Stone Cold vs Piper - ladder match Similarly, four men can alternate comfortable between tag, tornado tag, single w/ manager vs single w/ manager and so on while picking up little fatigue. There are even more options for six men. 7.e. Manage fatigue / avoid injury ---------------------------------- Basically as described above. My rule of thumb is... If a superstar has four or more bars of fatigue, keep him in normal matches and raise his popularity with charity work. If he has three or less, go for special matches and trophy dates. I typically find that almost everyone needs to rest after PPVs, so most matches on the card are normal at that time. Following this cycle of normal/special matches seem to keep most stars fairly comfortable. If you have to, you can always use a training day to give a superstar some R&R, drop his fatigue by 3 and then rebuild his popularity with Charity Work. In the event that a superstar becomes so seriously injured that they are out of action, pump and dump them as described in section 8. It can also be useful to give them some time off occasionally as described in section 7.j. 7.f. Manage morale ------------------ Morale is important. Superstars can be happy, content, unsatisfied, upset or furious. If they get furious, there is a chance they'll just walk off your show. At the start of the week, go to the roster and sort it by morale. See who is less than happy and then select them. Their comments on their card will tell you why they aren't happy. The possibilities are: a. The superstar is losing every week Solve this by ensuring that the superstar wins his match. Use the method described for keeping the championship belt in 7.c. b. The superstar wants a title shot Get him or her one, as described in 7.c. This becomes a more frequent problem as your superstars' popularity rises. c. The superstars wants a match Rotate him or her in. If you have a big roster, you may not be able to use everyone every week so be sure to vary who is fighting in Match 1 to keep everyone happy. 7.g. Using Promos ----------------- I really only found three uses for the promo slots - bumping matches, raising cash and keeping rivalries going. Bumping matches --------------- Promos can make the difference between a 4 and 5 star match. A championship match between two 100 popularity stars in a two-thumb rivalry is probably good for 4 to 4.5 stars. Add in two promos - either Interview Space with one of the stars or Title Match Hype - and you should get a 5-star match and an extra point toward your goal. Raising cash ------------ Keep an eye on your contracts as mentioned in section 8. You shouldn't really need to run advertising or merchandising promos but if you see a lot of contract renewals coming up and cash is tight, run a couple of these. Keeping rivalries going ----------------------- In an emergency, such as an injured star, or if you just want to string a rivalry out to the next PPV, put in a rivalry promo. The stars can then take a rest and the week won't count toward the rivalry's length. 7.h. Increasing Ratings ----------------------- If you check off each of this six factors before confirming each show, all four of the contributors to high star ratings will steadily improve. Your superstars will become more popular, your rivalries will lengthen, there will be regular championship matches and the match types will vary. In addition you will also have happy, injury free superstars. For the first few weeks, all of this will probably mean 3.5 star shows but as time goes by, you'll begin to creep up to 4 and then to 4.5. As you do, you'll notice that ECW typically tops out at 3 stars and Smackdown at 4. Once you pass them, the ratings will begin to climb. 7.i. PPVs --------- When PPVs come around, treat them as you would any other weekly card, save for two major aspects. PPV speciality matches ---------------------- When setting the match type, abandon normal matches in favour of the delights available only at PPVs. Hell in a Cell, for example, is always a good draw. Look carefully at the match types available and choose those not normally present. PPV fixed matches ----------------- Some PPVs, particularly cross-brand PPVs, have a different match card. Instead of the normal slots, you may be obliged to fill a six-man elimination chamber, participate in a cross-brand Battle Royal and so on. If so, just remember to put in your most important rivalries first and then fill the unusual slots in the card with the remaining rivalry participants. Again, refer to section 3 for tips on picking up points at PPVs. 7.j. Starting the cycle over again ---------------------------------- Once your rivalries have run 13 weeks, end them and simply start the whole cycle over again as described in the setting up section. Keep this farming process going and you should reach 100% fairly swiftly. If a rivalry accidentally ends before that point, again, start it again. It appears to make no difference if you run Stone Cold vs Piper in 'The Greatest of All Time' for 13 weeks and then proceed to restart exactly the same rivalry with exactly the same participants the following week. It may be boring but it does the job. If you reach the end of a cycle and find that many of your stars are heavily fatigued, give them a couple of weeks off. First, delete any outstanding rivalries. Then run a bare minimum match using your ten least fatigued stars in normal singles matches. Use the promo slots to apply 'Inactive Superstar' to your most fatigued superstars. Soon fatigue levels will be back to an acceptable level and you can begin the cycle again. -[ 8. Finance and Trading ]- In general, if you follow the formula above then your finances will look after themselves and you shouldn't need to do much trading. However, some bargains are available. Pumping and dumping ------------------- Beyond your core roster of 10-12 stars, you'll likely have a floating pool of extras on 5 week contracts. These guys can be useful to slowly expand your core roster of 100 popularity stars giving you more options for the future. They can also save you a good deal of money. Consider the following situation. I have The Great Khali on my books. He has a popularity of 57, has 1 week left on his contract and is unsatisfied because he has been losing every week. I could pay to renew his contract, but I would prefer to pump and dump him. To do this, I consider what the maximum I can reasonably expect to raise his popularity by will be. In this case, it's four training days for four trophy dates and somewhere between +20% and +32%. So now I go to the 'propose trades' option. I take a look at the RAW and ECW rosters, sorting them by contract length. I'm looking for anyone with a popularity of 76 (57% + 20% -1%) or less, the same alignment (clean/dirty) as Khali and a decent contract length. RAW has Johnny Nitro, 76 popularity, dirty and with 14 weeks left on his contract. Perfect. Back to the calendar. I send Khali on 4 consecutive trophy dates, pumping his popularity to at least 77%. Back to the trade menu, I offer Khali to Coach in exchange for Nitro. The computerised Coach conveniently ignores the fact that Khali has 4 fatigue while Nitro has none. He ignores the fact that Khali has a week left on his contract while Nitro has 14. He cares only that I am offering him a superstar at least a point in popularity higher than his. He makes the trade and I cheerfully dump Khali onto RAW. I've now saved all the cash I would have spent on renewing Khali and have another star who is potentially worth investing in to make popularity 100. Even if I only get someone with 6 weeks on their contract, I can run them for 5 weeks and then pump and dump them just the same. If I get lucky with the pumping, I could raise Khali's popularity as far as 89%. In that case, I would look beyond Nitro for anyone of popularity 88 or less who would be useful. However, by checking beforehand I know that I'm always going to be able to dump Khali off in a trade. Two for one ----------- In the same vein, I may offer Dreamer one of my high-popularity stars with only 1 week left on his contract for two of his guys in the 50s and 60s with 24 weeks left on each of their contracts. He may well take it, and that could prove very advantageous to me in the long term. Even if I don't like what I get, I can always pump and dump one or more of these guys. Furthermore, my guy may well not get his contract renewed by Dreamer and could be available as a free agent next week. In this way, it's fairly easy to build a roster of 20 high-popularity superstars. There seems to be no limit to how many trades you can offer, so start ambitious and work your way down. -[ 9. Final Notes ]- This FAQ is a work in progress. If you spot any errors or have anything to add, please let me know at email@example.com and you will be credited in the next version. I would be particularly interested to hear about any good strategies for manipulating the Power 25 and achieving the difficult goals. Copyright 2007 Phil Mattingly