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Decide at the beginning if you are going to touch Rivalries or not. If you want to do rivalries (or want to mess with them at all) then set Auto-Rivalries to OFF. Otherwise, leave them alone and the let the Universe do it's thing. Manual and Auto-Rivalries do not mix well.
**Roster Size and Shows**
You can make your roster sizes anything you want, but Universe seems to work best if you keep it around 15-25. I'll explain later, but you want your minor shows to happen AFTER your Main Shows in the week. So I recommend cancelling Superstars and having Saturday Night Main Event instead.
**How the AI Booking Is Done**
I have tested this through multiple restarts, and have trolled a few forums. I believe that Universe books based upon the ranking system and set rivalries. Cheer/Boo and Ally/Rival settings do not affect booking. By default, every superstar on the roster competes for both the Main and Secondary titles, and every team on that brand competes for the tag titles.
The main event (and co-main events) of every Main Show is based on Rivalries.
The AI will book matches on the Main Show based on who is near who in the rankings for whichever title. If Divas are on the roster, the AI tries to book 1 Diva match. The AI often (not always) includes a tag team match in the tag rankings. The matches are booked so that people close to one another in the rankings are paired off. Occasionally, they will book tag matches of random teams assigned from these rankings. This is why you may see Tag Team partners face each other, because the match is booked for a singles title ranking and not for the tag titles ranking.
If a superstar is not part of the Rivalry match (not necessarily the Rivalry) then he/she is back into the pool of superstars. So if I have a Rivalry of KANE vs. EDGE, and the nights match is booked as EDGE vs. CENA, then it's possible for Kane to appear in a match earlier in the card as part of his general title hunt.
Any superstars that do not appear on the week's Main Show have a greatly increased chance of appearing on any Minor Show. Otherwise, superstars are booked based on their rankings again just like the major show. However, the AI seems to forget what happened week to week, so if you want your Minor Show to feature stars that didn't make the Main Show cut, have your show appear AFTER the Main Shows. So move Superstars to Saturday, is what I'm saying.
I'm going to run out of room, so I'll add how to coax the AI in the next post.
**How to coax the AI**
AI books based on rankings, so the easy way to fix this is to adjust the rankings and remove superstars from the lists. This year you can turn off rankings by the individual superstar for both the Main AND Secondary title!
So if you don't want to see Triple H vs. Santino, then put them in separate rankings. Turn off Secondary for Triple H and turn off Main for Santino. They will never fight on a Main Show (unless it's a tag team match).
Turning off BOTH main and secondary titles will force a superstar into the tag team rankings. If they don't have a tag team, they will NEVER get booked on a Main Show outside of a rivalry. This is useful if you want a guy like Undertaker in rivalries but not in title hunts. Also useful if you want a jobber like Zack Ryder to never appear on TV.
By Default, everybody competes for every title. This creates the booking matches that don't make sense. You could see the #1 contender for the WWE Title face the #16 contender, because the two of them are next to each other in the US title hunt.
The AI only cares about the rankings. So if you make a title for more than one show (like the tag and diva titles) then the roster split is tossed out the window. Seriously: Rank is all that matters.
You can adjust the order of the rankings as well to coax them further. Keep in mind that the rankings change based on Wins or Losses. So if you leave Santino in the World Title hunt, and he goes on a Cobra Poking Spree...then he might be a contender someday.
Or, turn off Santino's world title hunt and slap that WWE glass ceiling firmly in place.
You can keep guys like Dolph Ziggler and Kane in both hunts (if you want), but I recommend taking Main Eventers out of the Secondary title picture and Mid-Carders out of the world title picture. If you want a dedicated tag team, take both members out of both single title hunts. Set your rivalries (or let the AI do it) and sit back and enjoy.
If you don't make these changes before you start, wait until after the next PPV to see results.
Note: Rankings and Booking does not affect interference and cutscenes.
Interference is based exclusively off Ally/Rival settings for the individual superstar. Cutscenes are based on a random element, rivalry settings, Ally/Rival, and cheer/boo settings. These tips are to help coax the *booking* of matches and not the what actually happens during the match.
Hope this helps.
This was very well written and make a lot of sense. Thank you for putting in the time to help others. I will def try to use these.
I knew having too many people on a show would be problematic but the other details help very much. Will def be trying this.
This is really really awesome. Can't wait to get home and try it all out.
I haven't started Universe mode, but this sounds like it'll help me greatly. Can't wait to try it and see what happens.
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Thanks! I appreciate this.
No more Rock vs. David Otunga main events on Raw!
Sounds like some pretty good advice. Did not know you can actually take a guy out of the rankings this time.
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Whats also crazy is I dont think THQ at the time and now 2K would give these types of tips. They built the thing.
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I had no idea you could turn off which title hunt people are in. This will help immensely! Thanks!
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