Making Madden Better – Volume 1 – Ending Games

No matter which form of entertainment you choose – gaming, movies or books, if the ending is bad you will consider it either a waste of your time or sit there for a minute wondering if that really is all that happens.

Madden has a few issues in this department and no where is it more noticeable than at the end of a big game.  We are starting a new series of videos dedicated to helping make Madden a better experience.  These are primarily meant to catch the eyes of developers at Tiburon; however, if you have other suggestions for things we haven’t covered please comment below, send us a message on YouTube or email us at officialnoobtubetv@gmail.com.

Again, the content we provide is meant to be used as constructive criticism in order to improve the game.  There is no reason to point fingers or say anything in an unprofessional manner.  You will get nowhere fast if you think bashing something or someone will make it or them change.

Keep hitting that F5 key as NoobTubeTV is starting to grow more popular we will be posting more often.

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Madden 13 – Ratings Reveal Starts Today

Today we will see where some of the top quarterbacks are rated in Madden 13.  The interesting concept behind this year’s ratings is based around the fact that fans will have an impact on how players are rated.  SUBJECTIVE MUCH?!

It is a constant battle that Madden gamers and fans of certain teams and players like to take to heart.  For more information about the ratings reveal process, check out the video below.

Who gets your votes for Top QB?

My Top Three Are:

99 – Aaron Rodgers – He has great speed and fantastic accuracy to go with a big arm.

98 – Tom Brady – He is the ultimate winner and has arguably the best arm and accuracy combination in the NFL.

96 – Eli Manning – An all around underrated winner is finally elite.

Disagree?  Comment below

*Turns out we weren’t too far off!

Here is the list of the top Ten and the ‘Reveal’ video!

1. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers 99 overall
2. Tom Brady, New England Patriots 98 overall
3. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints 98 overall
4. Eli Manning, New York Giants 97 overall
5. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers: 95 overall
6. Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos: 93 overall
7. Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers: 92 overall
8. Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions: 91 overall
9. Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys: 90 overall
10. Michael Vick, Philadelphia Eagles: 89 overall

To Prestige Or Not To Prestige?

When it comes to FPS games, ranking up is one of those things that seems to grab some people in the community by their joy stick and pull them around like parents with kids on a leash.  In Call of Duty it is referred to as ‘Prestiging’ and it also happens to be one of the most annoying bases you will find from verbally abusive gamers looking to put you down.

The only thing that changes might be egos…

Why do they choose to put people down in reference to prestige?  It is quite simple really.  They have theoretically mastered the game in such a way that they are actually better than you.  The funny thing is that this doesn’t usually become an issue until you start making them look bad in a game that they want to feel elite through some sort of icon.

How do we best come to a decision when it comes to the all-powerful action of ‘Prestiging’?

The decision to prestige often comes from wanting to add longevity and a sense of purpose to the multi-player aspect of Call of Duty.  You get a new icon each time you top out the leveling system (in Modern Warfare 3 it is 80) but in exchange, you lose all guns and other equipment you opened in your gaming process.  This is a steep penalty to pay in order to get an icon, but some people find it worthwhile.  Outside of the vanity of a new blinging icon and having to re-earn weapons… there isn’t any real practical reason to prestige.

Being one of the few that have chosen not to prestige, it is really quite simple.  I play the game to have fun, shoot opponents and make them angry for underestimating me based on my lack of prestige.  You get to keep every gun and piece of equipment you earn and in the process you will get a chance to earn camouflage for your favorite weapons.

In the end it really comes down to personal preference.  Prestiging in itself doesn’t make any gamer better than any other gamer.  In some cases, it does seem to make some gamers rather full of themselves if nothing else.  In which case, it is often rather fun to put these people in their place after you calmly show up and own them with your non-prestige Level 80 persona… and politely mute their angry voice.

 

EA Game Changers – The Gaming Equivalent of Congressmen (With Advice On How To Interact In Your Online Communities)

Over the past couple years we have seen tremendous growth from EA Sports’ Madden Franchise.  Some people like to attribute this growing quality to the inclusion of what EA Sports is calling Game Changers from the EA Gaming Community.  A few days ago NoobTubeTV covered some of the biggest issues between non-Game Changers and the Game Changers on an interactive level through forums, Twitter, etc.

The Game Changer program is a fantastic idea that seems to have improved EA Sports games.

After scouring message-boards/forums, news and fan sites (many of which are owned by Game Changers) it is evident that they care deeply about the product they have all but devoted their lives to playing.  It is impressive to see many of these sites talk about the intricacies and details that are either present or missing from some titles.  These dedicated gamers eventually gained such a large audience or member-base that their opinions were held in high regard by EA.

When they first made their trips down to EA to visit the studio and get a first glimpse of the game they were pretty limited in what they got to see.  It was all but a finished game and they got to give some feedback but anything else was off the table until at least the next year.

This year, the Game Changers got a few chances to visit EA Sports and watch as the game made it through Alpha and Beta stages.  They also got to give input and suggestions.  In the process of these visits they aren’t allowed to divulge any information that EA doesn’t give them permission to express to the public.

Power (even a little) can make people change for the worst.

This puts Game Changers into a de-facto position of power.  For many of them, it is something they take with humility.  For others, it seems to be going to their heads and it is starting to leave a sour taste in the minds of many community members.  The issue at hand is that many of these valued members of the community are given a ‘a longer leash’ and sometimes no leash at all (especially on their own personal sites).  You will find that some (a minority really) of the ‘premier’ community leaders (aka Game Changers) choose to take things personally and/or respond to commoners in a rather snarky fashion that would often equate to a warning or ban from forums.  This is a problem that was really bound to happen as it isn’t dissimilar from people voted into political offices of power.  They are given power and then they exploit it with little or no recourse to the people they are supposedly representing.

It is important for all of our readers to remember a few things when it comes to taking an active role in the games and game communities in which you are involved.  Below are some pointers for how to better represent yourself and your views when taking an active role in forums.

  • Be Polite and Professional – many sites have TOS (Terms of Service) that spell out how you should act and which types of interaction and comments are allowed.
  • When In Doubt, DON’T PRESS SEND – If you value your membership in a forum/community and you get angry or annoyed with a fellow member or even the game in general you need to think before you submit some sort of choice words.
  • Choose Your Words Carefully – It is vital that a member doesn’t call anyone out or put them on blast by pointing fingers.  This is often how digital fights of words begin and you better bet on community leaders getting the benefit of the doubt over a common user such as yourself.
  • Don’t Be A Troll – If your mission is to go and instigate other members of the community, you might as well refrain from registering from the site to begin with… but who are we kidding?… You are probably getting ready to submit a rude comment here on NoobTubeTV.  The real problem you will find is that by doing that (on here, at least) your comment will be approved and then it will be responded to in a polite and professional manner – therefore making you look foolish.  Again… don’t be a troll.

There Is Some Purity When It Comes To Being A Noob – Never Let It Go

No matter what type of hobby or interest we have taken up at any point – we have always been noobs somewhere along the line.  Gaming is no different in this regard and some people like to demonize the idea of having a new player on their team as if it is something that will forever change their online persona.  Their Win/Loss ratio or Kill/Death ration might suffer because  a teammate is new to the game.  That is probably the most common complaint about noobs online.

Everyone has asked, “How do you throw grenades?” at some point or another.

Outside of the fact that people don’t want to have a noob on their team, there are also those that don’t like how noobs play the game.  In some cases like Call of Duty, Halo or any other First Person Shooter (FPS) there are certain ‘tactics’ that frustrate more seasoned players.  Some of these are (but not limited to) – camping, using ‘over-powered’ weapons and of-course weapons like the NoobTube.

Then you have games like Madden and NCAA Football that almost completely rely on the all powerful speed rating.  All you need are a couple WRs that have 99 SPD matched up against slower defenders and the game is over in the first quarter.  Granted, these games are more susceptible to exploits because of game design flaws or simply lacking ability to effectively counter the ‘go deep’ approach.  The fact of the matter is that if you are new to a game and you are learning the ropes you should take comfort in knowing that everyone has been there before.  But shooter games are really the bigger target for what a noob or the teammate of a noob goes through and Call of Duty games are probably the most popular.

Call of Duty is a blazingly fast game that really revolves around twitchy movements and dedication to learning the nuances of the game itself.  Once you learn the basics, it becomes a relatively easy game to play.  You aren’t guaranteed to be the best in the world if you play all the time; but like anything else – you will get better.

Which is why one of the biggest problems with non-noobs (especially those in Call of Duty) are some of the worst when it comes to being respectful to new players.  The idea of ‘Prestiging’ is something that happened in Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare.  Basically, you are able to level up in Call of Duty and obtain new weapons and other equipment as a result of your time invested.  Now with Modern Warfare 3 there are 20 levels of prestiging and it has started to give some gamers out there a bit of a superiority complex.  They feel that anyone that hasn’t prestiged simply is not as skilled or knowledgeable of the game as they are.  Really, all prestiging means is that people have put in more time than others.  You can play Call of Duty for 8 hours a day three days a week and reach the top prestige level – even if you are terrible.

The catch is that you will get better because you are playing the game more and more.  Don’t think for a moment that because you are new to a game and struggling that you will never get it.  The people you are playing against were in that same place at some point or another – stick it out and get better at your favorite games.  Just don’t forget that when you get to the point where you aren’t a noob that there are thousands of other gamers out there that are in your old shoes and they need your help and advice… not vulgar language or sophomoric behavior.

Community Involvement Doesn’t Equal Community Development

In recent years EA Sports and some other publishers and game developers have started inviting select members of their hardcore gaming community and fanbase to come in and check out their game and give opinions and critiques as well as simply get a chance to play the game in its early build.  For the many people that don’t get a chance to visit places like EA Tiburon for Madden over the course of a game’s development cycle it is easy to think they might do a better job than those going down to Orlando.  There are a few things to consider before you let your mind run wild with envy if you aren’t among the invitees for Community Day (as they call it at EA).  As well, if you are among the lucky few – it will behoove you to pay attention as well.

Before we proceed, it is important to view one of the interactions from OperationSports.  This is between a non-Community Day participant and a Madden Community Day Participant –

Illustrator76 – “This was a great analogy sir, and I agree with what you’re saying. But I disagree with it as well, lol. Actually, I only disagree with the bolded part as it applies to Madden. I just feel like people need to remember why they are at the CD in the first place. Just because EA employees feed you, show you pictures of their kids, their peg leg, etc… that shouldn’t change your reason for being down there, or what you intend to say. Now, it may change HOW you say what you say, but it shouldn’t at all change WHAT you say.”

And the reply –

rgiles36 – “Just to offer a response, are you suggesting that people do forget the reason why they’re down there? And if so, what evidence is there that people go to Tiburon and don’t critique while in the studio?”

MY DIRECT RESPONSE

This is kind of a Catch-22 because there is no evidence that anyone can give that wasn’t there and the people that can give that evidence won’t likely speak freely about anything truly negative as it wouldn’t be beneficial if they wanted to keep getting a trip to Orlando.

I think it would be best practice for those that aren’t going to Community Day to remember that those invited are invited as guests and it is usually customary of a guest to show proper respect and gratitude toward their host(s).

If you go to someone’s house for dinner and the dinner tastes crappy – you (probably) wouldn’t stand up and yell “This tastes like sh*t!”.
However, if your guest stops eating after the first bite and says “This tastes like sh*t!” – you should feel slightly more inclined to either agree with them or give your two cents… otherwise, you hack down what you have been fed and you go home to a nice bottle of Pepto-Bismol.

MY MESSAGE FOR COMMUNITY DAY INVITEES AND PARTICIPANTS

You have to keep in mind that a majority of hardcore fans have no idea about what their favorite game is going to look, play or feel like until they pull it out of the DVD case on release day.  Chances are good that you will be criticized by an ignorant public because they believe that you have an inside track… because you do.  There is a certain level of responsibility that you have when it comes to being a sought-after member of the gaming community and you have to remember that while you have confidentiality clauses and other issues to worry about – you are still in a position of power among people in the community.

Also, as it is widely known among active members of the gaming community itself each person making the trip to Orlando must sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) that legally prevents them from divulging any information about the game or development of the game without prior approval of the studio/company.

Be that as it may, any person that is invited to a Community Day needs to remember that they were once among the commoners.  While there are rules they must follow, there is also a responsibility for them to be a conduit that other people in the community can utilize to further the overall mission – making the game better.  In my view, Community Day participants have done an excellent job over the last few years and their efforts are much appreciated.

THE BOTTOM LINE
The bottom line is that when you bring in anyone to critique your product you are trying to get some feelers for what could be tweaked.  If the people being invited to give advice or suggestions were better at developing the game than the actual employees they would probably have a job offer to work at the studio.  (Keep in mind, this has actually happened in some cases with EA Sports and Madden)

There is a vast difference between being asked for your opinion and being asked for your help on any project.  For the most part, when people are invited out of the community to check out a game (of any sort) it is in a capacity of giving opinions and feedback but not much else.

Going to a community day is like helping someone hang a picture.  The developers picked the spot on the wall, put the nail in and they standing there holding the picture and asking you, “Does this look straight?”.

It is good to remember that people like Josh Looman pay close attention to forums and Twitter when it comes to community suggestions. Not just those from Community Day.

IN CONCLUSION

The main message here is that you must understand that people invited to give suggestions at Community Day are not there as developers.  They are there strictly on the basis of being valued consultants (at most).  They give opinions and they give suggestions when they are asked.  They give feedback and might even take some notes in order to give a detailed list that is comparable to proof-reading.  However, in the end it is up to the developer to take these suggestions and use them or ignore them.

So, before you accuse Community Day participants of ‘not doing their job’ or tell non-participants to ‘provide evidence’ that you know they don’t have – remember that this entire process is in the spirit of consulting at most.

Is It More Fun To Be A Hero Or A Villain?

It’s an interesting question when you put it in terms of gaming.  Do you want to be the good guy or the bad guy?  For the most part if you choose the latter in ‘real life’ you will end up in some sort of legal trouble.  On the other hand, if you turn into a mass murderer on Skyrim or Fallout you are simply hated, feared and in plenty of ‘virtual legal trouble’.

What is your persona?

When I was growing up it was always my mission to save the say with Mario, Zelda or Solid Snake.  Now some 20+ years later I am given a choice every time I start an open world game from Bethesda.  Is it wrong for me to have two different personas when I play the Elder Scrolls or Fallout?

I usually spend more time with my ‘good guy’ class, but when I have the opportunity to jump in for some slicing and dicing of whoever comes at me sideways – I relish every moment.

The interesting thing about being a bad guy is that you aren’t really every ‘bad’ per se… you are a brutal good guy with a short temper and an itchy trigger finger.  In most games you don’t lose an opportunity to finish the main quest and save the day if you have butchered 109 villagers in Skyrim.  You are still greeted as a hero after you complete quests or do something else considered ‘good’.

Games like Grand Theft Auto aren’t much different outside of the fact that you are given an opportunity to use bazookas and maybe see some sort of rocking cars late at night or maybe even snipe off the heads of people from a tall building.  That is life in a world of absolute digital freedom and debauchery.

The funny thing is that when this comes up in conversation you will see people that either don’t game or hide behind some sort of veneer of being ‘Holier Than Thou’ act like you are terrible person when you talk about being a murderous adventurer and then they go log on to their creeper profile on Second Life or cruise the personal ads on Craigslist.

So, for those of you that have some sort of strange urge to be a villain – do it on a video game.  You will feel better and you won’t have any real legal trouble.  

Here is your chance – are you a villain or Dudley Do Right when you play these games?  Comment Below!