I came across this thread in the WWETHQ forums (amidst the constant whining and bitching threads) which focuses on making Universe mode a better experience. For what it's worth, it seems like a really fucking good guide to avoid some of the bullshit Universe mode can spew out. Some of it is common knowledge, but it's a decent/interesting read nonetheless:
So there has been a lot of discussion and controversy about how to get the most out of Universe 3.0. The thing most people complain about is not getting cut scenes and the game booking matches that don’t make any sense.
I have been getting A LOT of cut scenes. In fact, I’m not sure if I could name all of them but I’ll try. Please remember this is just from my experience, if you’ve have any tips or anything I’ve missed please let me know.
Handshake – two variations; accept handshake vs. deny handshake.
Post-match beat down by winner. I have also seen a variation of this where the face wins the match, the heel attempts to clothesline him from behind, but the face dodges and puts a little beating on the heel and throws him out of the ring, only seen that one once.
Pre-match beat down interference by a superstar not in current match. There variations of this where sometimes the heel will grab a chair.
The “Champ” comes out (often times NOT really the champ) to watch the match, but nothing more.
Tag Team match problems – The match will often start with one member of telling the other member to get to the corner because they want to start. I have seen a couple of variations on this. Sometimes one member of the team will leave mid match, supposedly screwing their teammate. I’ve seen another version where the match is finished but one teammate doesn’t join in the celebration and gives his team mate the cold shoulder. This is often the start of a new fued.
In the middle of a match another superstars music will cue as a distraction for one of the participants, but the superstar whose music is playing does not come out. Kinda of like they are playing a trick on one of the opponents in the match.
Before the match someone will come and sit in the audience as if they had bought a ticket.
After a match a Champion will come out and look at the victor, foreshadowing a feud. Seen this one a few times.
Your opponent changes before the match begins. This is an interesting one because people like to complain that matches booked don’t make sense. One time I played one of these matches and you know what happens? Before the match a rival/ally of someone involved will take the place of the person featured in the menu. So some of the crazy booking actually makes sense if you let it.
One opponent or both opponents charge each other at the start of the match.
Interference/Run in where the superstar doing the run-in attacks both opponents in the match and King says, “This is making a statement”. Just got this one for the first time while writing this up.
Attacking inured opponent while they are on a stretcher getting pushed out of the arena by EMTs. Only seen this once, I was Bossman attacking Matt Hardy. After Hardy healed he interfered in a Bossman match for the feud to continue.
After the first participants entrance, but before the match begins the second superstar’s music will cue. The wrestler already in the ring will be looking towards the stage and will be attacked from behind by their opponent.
Branching Storylines! – this one is the Holy Grail for this game. Never got a single one, but I hear myths that they exist.
Multiple wrestlers interfere. Got this one in a Triple threat match. First Roman Reigns came out to help Seth Rollins and then like 20 seconds later Rey Mysterio runs out from the audience to help Sin Cara.
Note on interference: Turn inference on for all match types.
Tips and Suggestions:
Know how Universe mode works. If a match does not have the interference option that match is considered a storyline match. If you feel the need to re-book any matches (I rarely do) I would suggest starting with the ones that have the interference option available.
Re-booking any match without the interference option will kill the story-line. For our purposes, re-booking is defined as making any changes whatsoever, yes even no attire changes.
Don’t write off the matches that have the interference option available. The general consensus is that you will not get stories in these matches, but I have actually gotten a run-in in this kind of match. I’m not sure, but it seems to me that run-ins are independent of storylines.
New story lines usually occur after a PPV. Shows after the PPV are important. If you re-book them you’re probably throwing some stories out the window.
The trick is to tell Universe what you want so you don’t have to re-book the matches. This is probably the hardest thing to explain and probably takes the most effort to do. EDIT your Universe! Assign rivals and allies that make sense for the whole roster. Don’t do it all it once because it can become a bore, but every once and a while go back and make sure all your wrestlers have allies/rivals that make sense. If you really want the computer to book a feud assign them as sole rivals (your basically giving the computer no other choice). If you want to be more surprised by the booking add multiple rivals. You can even book triple threat matches with the right combo of rivals.
This goes to the previous point but is sufficiently different. You can edit the top 5 contenders for any featured belt, do it! How did Santino get a shot at the WHC? Because you let him be #1 contender! Cannot stress this one enough. Every once in a while mix it up. (NOTE: There is also a BUG. The contender to any tag team championship will remain static and never change)
Edit your roster! What the hell is Santino doing on your show to begin with? On a serious note, many people have found that the smaller your roster size, the better. It’s kinda hard to make interesting stories that make sense when you have a roster of 40+. People say a roster of around 20 is great. I have 3 shows and their roster sizes are 22, 25, and 29. It’s not about having a magic number, its about trimming the fat. Viscera is great to complete the Ministry of Darkness, but I really don’t need him to be booked in crazy feuds. Make sure you like the wrestlers on your roster because they will be booked.
Don’t simulate from the match-up screen. It leaves you in the dark story line wise and you can see a simulated match by pressing B when they ask you who you want to play as at the start. If you want to book the winner but don’t want to play, pick the loser as your character and let your designated victor beat the dummy. Sometimes these matches go by very quickly.
Storyline feud packs can be a hassle to activate. After you have unlocked both, go to Universe options and turn all stories off. Return to the main menu so that the game saves. Return back and turn storylines on.
God****, didn’t know I was going to write all this and I’m sure my grammar is ****. I’m also open to any other advice that didn’t occur to me.
TL;DR: You get out of Universe mode what you put into it. Constantly monitor and edit your Universe options. Attempt to limit your roster size and try not to rebook matches so much.
I tried it earlier, it actually seemed to work. One tag match featured Cena/Sheamus vs Orton/???, to which the mystery opponent turned out to be Mark Henry, someone who Cena is actually feuding with. Later, on my main feud for the WWE title, it was meant to be Nash/Punk. Instead, Nash came out, revealing that it would be X-Pac (part of The Kliq) facing CM Punk, which actually turned out to be a decent match.
If this has already been posted, then oh well.