It has been just over a month sense E3 and there are still people waiting to hear more details about Franchise Mode/Connected Careers in Madden 13. There are a few things we can deduce from details that have either been given to the community straight up or through videos that leave you to draw some conclusions. Not to mention the fact that some of the good people that were invited to Community Day at EA Tiburon have given a lot of great feedback.
This is one of the biggest changes for Madden in years. The issue we are facing is that the details have become rather muddled.
Here is a list of answers and a few thoughts (after the facts) so you can have your questions answered.
Is Franchise Mode dead?
In name, yes. In practice, no. Franchise Mode still exists and it will be under the selection of being a ‘Coach’ – you will still have the same control over your team, etc. Also, you will have the ability to get fired as a coach. Everything you have been able to do in Franchise Mode in the past – you can still do in Madden 13.
What about Superstar Mode?
Superstar Mode is still around. You will ‘Be A Player’ and in the process you will only control yourself. You will get to choose plays as a QB, etc.
Legends, what’s the deal?
Legends (Coaches and Players like John Madden and Barry Sanders) are not coming into Connected Careers as 99 OVR versions of themselves. Their presence in Connected Careers is also up to you as the main user to turn them on or off (off is default as of E3).
How does XP work for Connected Careers?
XP is a two tier process -
1- You have to earn it through performance and milestones. However, you won’t be able to earn more XP if you cheat or run up the score on the CPU. (IE – If your goal is a 300 yard passing game in week three for 1000 XP and you pass for 900 yards, you still only get 1000 XP)
2- Leveling up costs increase as your ratings get higher. You will earn XP as you accomplish certain goals, but as you try to make your player either faster, stronger or simply better all-around you will see ratings cost more as you go. (IE – The cost to go from 85 to 86 SPD as a QB could cost you 6000 XP, but the cost to go from 86 to 87 SPD could cost you 7000 XP, etc.)
Do Coaches Matter?
Not really. Coaches simply get put into one of four levels. You can grow your created coach into a ‘Level 4′ but it really doesn’t mean anything. (Unfortunate)
Do player ratings change depending on a team’s scheme?
Yes, there are finally ratings that dynamically change to reflect the player’s overall value to your team or coach and what type of offense or defense you run. A 6’3″ 349 lb DE won’t be valued highly by a 4-3 Defensive Team, etc. This doesn’t mean his ability ratings ‘change’ but his displayed OVR and value to your team will be.
Can I make existing players retire if I control them?
No, you technically ‘stop’ using them. However, if you have a created player and retire they will be removed from the game.
Can I still control all 32 teams?
No, you can only control one team or player at a time.
Is Connected Careers Online or Offline?
It is both. If you hate playing against people online you don’t have to worry about it.
Can more than one person play a Connected Career on the same console?
Can Commissioners kick people out of the league?
Is there online Auto-Pilot?
Can Online Connected Careers have different roles?
Depending on your settings, you can make it so everyone has to be a QB, Coach RB, etc. It is totally up to the commissioner.
Can I play on the same team as a friend in Online CC?
More to come! Stay tuned to NoobTubeTV as Madden gets closer.
A few quick thoughts…
Madden 13 is really depending on Connected Careers being a high quality experience. There are a few things that it seems EA still needs to figure out for coaches especially.
In NFL Head Coach you would be able to say one of a few different things to your players at key moments. This added immersion and actually made coaches important. As well, the idea of a player fitting into a team’s scheme… it should be a coach’s scheme, not a team’s scheme. The Browns have switched coaches so many times in the last decade that the players change as often because they don’t fit what the coach wants to do and how his staff prefers to approach the game.
Making people earn XP to increase abilities is a great attempt to make the game a bit more involved and honest. By removing the ‘Potential’ rating you are now pretty much in charge of proving that a player is as good as you think and they will have to earn every bit of that OVR Rating you think they deserve. The nice part is that it is all on you to do this.
The overall closed nature of Connected Careers is a good thing for this year, but next year it needs to be opened up. There is a danger in allowing people to mess with time paradoxes, true simulation and that little thing called the game’s actual coding. This is something that can be improved upon with a more open approach in the future. Let the
beta testers gamers mess with all sorts of things so EA can figure out the issues and fix them rather than avoid them because they are scared of problems with freezing and system crashes, etc.
All things said, Connected Careers is starting to look like a great mode for Madden fans that want to have a nice experience in growing a team or a player as they see fit. Even with some limitations that make you scratch your head.