While there have been a lot of detractors (yours truly included) coming out against EA’s decision to keep roster editing out of Madden 13′s Connected Careers Mode, there are some things to consider before you decide to hate it entirely.
There is something behind not having control of every aspect of rosters once you start a franchise mode or dynasty. The biggest (most obvious) downfall is if the coding for progression and regression is bad (see Madden 09, 10, 11, etc.). However, if the coding and player development is good (see the possibilities for Madden 13′s new XP system) you might have one heck of a deep career mode that will allow you to truly develop players and teams as you feel they should.
In Madden 12, they opened up player editing during Franchise Mode and it was/is awesome. However, the downfall is that you have to really find a way to be honest about your edits and then make sure that you do the same thing for other players and teams across the board. If your player did well but didn’t progress as you feel he should have, you had the ability to make sure his ratings went up as they’should have’. The problem with this is that it can ruin the longevity of a Franchise Mode when you have a team that becomes too good either because you edited them that way or you are just great at using the fastest players in the game.
It is nice to develop a great team, but it is even nicer when you have to spend points and be honest with how you go about it. If you want to make Brandon Weeden have 99 SPD, you will have to spend a ton of points to do so. While this seems unrealistic, ask yourself how much more realistic it would be if you simply went in and edited him to be that way. It wouldn’t be realistic at all and you are now stuck looking at Madden 13′s lack of player editing from a more honest perspective.
The main problem with Madden’s Franchise Mode in-particular has never really been in progression/regression anyway. The issue that is the most obvious is the way players and draft picks are valued. A player might come in and do an amazing job out of the blue (Matt Cassel for Tom Brady in 2009 is one example). He then went on to get a big contract offer from the Chiefs where he has been average/above average at best. The moral of the story is that Madden hasn’t ever really taken this into account. The player’s value has always been based around his ratings (OVR mostly) and that isn’t how business is always done in the NFL (unless your name is Al Davis (RIP)).
For Connected Careers to work as it should, there needs to be a better value system for players that forces teams to have to make decisions on whether or not the player will work in their Franchise and system.
This is the next aspect that has never been in Madden…. Do players FIT THE SYSTEM?
More goes into how a player is chosen for a team other than ‘Is he qualified?’
The Patriots and Bill Belichick drafted a player out of Ohio State that played more rugby than football. They also picked up Danny Woodhead and made him into a valuable part of their team (and he is only 5’8″ 195lbs).
There are other examples such as different defensive schemes such as the 3-4 and 4-3 that require different styles, sizes and speeds for defensive linemen and linebackers. There are certain offensive schemes that don’t require a receiver to be fast as long as he can run good routes and catch the ball (West Coast).
Do you think someone like Tim Tebow would succeed outside of Denver if he had to take every snap from the center rather than playing college-style?
If you run a 3-4 offense and need fast, athletic linebackers the last person you want to look for is going to be an average speed 6’5″ 270 lbs… you will most likely want to look for a fast and lean 6’3″ 240 lb mean S.O.B. that doesn’t care about anything other than ripping faces off of QBs.
Every position is important, but in Madden that doesn’t seem to be the case. Again, say what you want about real-time physics and other improvements. Those are needed and extremely valuable, but when it comes down to longevity for their most vaunted mode and biggest overhaul in years EA needs to make sure that more than just ratings truly matter.
If you aren’t football savvy here is a quick example:
Two people are applying for a car sales job.The first person is fresh out of college with a degree in marketing and experience working a retail sales job part-time. They have a good, confident attitude to eventually work at the corporate level and maybe someday head up a department or possibly their own company. The second person graduated from high school and then spent two years at a community college. They have a strong personality and make you feel like you have known them forever. They are also from the region and have strong ties to the area. Who gets the job? The second person gets the job. Why? Because they fit the system.