The Sprint Button Is Your Enemy – Madden 19

Out of all the buttons and functions that Madden NFL has implemented (even the half-hearted ‘read tackle’ in Madden 18) there are few that have caused the gameplay more quality than the sprint button (R2 on PS4 and RT on XBox One).

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After playing too many games to count I decided to start playing with less use of the sprint button in my games against the CPU.  I couldn’t believe how much this little thing changed the entire experience.  All those times where I felt that my user controlled player was being cheated out of a presumably big play I realized that it was because I pressed the R2 button either too early or simply pressing it altogether.

A few things happen when you press the R2 button on offense.  If you are using a QB on a pass play it will put you into a scrambling mode where your passes will generally be less accurate (this is actually a good thing).  The other aspect that tends to drastically change your experience is that it seems to cause the CPU to rush the QB like a beacon.  While this makes some sense as most defensive players would start focusing on a dangerous scramble – it feels too much like a homing beacon.  This is where the real issue comes into play.

You will notice the biggest issue on offense when you are controlling the running back and press the sprint button.  It will cause the defense to essentially speed up and focus completely on the ball carrier.  The blocking from your AI teammates will break down faster and it will essentially dismantle your play before it ever gets up and running (no pun intended).

By using the left analog stick and staying away from the sprint button you will see a few things happen.  The blocks will be better and the defense will actually react in a way that feels realistic instead of some version of mind reading monsters from Dark Souls.

Where I actually noticed the best function change was on defense.  By using the left stick in tandem with the defensive engagement moves, swim moves, etc. it was like a different game.  It felt smooth and actually made defense enjoyable!

If you press the sprint button on defense you will see the QB do all sorts of crazy stuff (including intentional grounding that is never called by the atrocious penalty system that hasn’t changed since Madden 96).  Every aspect of your defensive experience is generally ruined by using the sprint button.  Even the truck stick is better without it!

Give this a shot as you prepare for Madden 19.  You won’t regret it!

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Madden Trade Logic Needs A Drastic Overhaul

For those of you that want to gut a team and make some trades in Madden 19 Connected Franchise Mode you are probably still in luck. The attention given to custom draft classes is something I have been praising over the last week. It doesn’t mean that other hugely important aspects of CFM have been tuned or fixed in any way. After starting a CFM from scratch with in Madden 18 with the preseason roster with a preseason starting point I wanted to see what I could get for my Browns. The team that tanked the 2017 season would get a fresh start once again in the spirit of erasing bad memories. May I say, Madden trade logic will make ANYONE into the greatest GM in the history of sports.

The first move I made was to trade away Osweiler like the Browns tried to do, but ended up eating his $16 salary in real life. Madden is where real life trade logic goes to die.

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I ended up getting a projected #2 Overall Pick for Osweiler and two running backs that I was going to release anyway. How can Madden say this is good value? You will be shocked by the next trade I made.

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This was a trade that I probably overpaid for in terms of Madden logic, but when you consider that the Browns traded away Haden last year, Kizer in the off-season and released Pryor before the season started last year for arguably the best young QB available at the time in Jimmy Garoppolo? It was a great trade to get my team a long-term answer at the most important position.

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I then made another trade that saw not only another short-lived real life Browns contract in Britt go along with a player I just signed (Milliner) and another disposable player that would likely be cut in Burgess. In return I got the projected #8 Overall pick in the 2018 Draft.

Add in a trade of Danny Shelton, Desmond Bryant and Tank Carder to Seattle for their 1st round pick to boot.

All things said and done, I managed to obtain three more 1st Round picks and a Franchise QB for a team that was projected to finish the season 0-16 in 2017. Add on to this the fact that the Browns already had a treasure trove of picks for the 2018 draft and they literally hold 15% of all first round picks as well as a QB that I would sign to a long-term deal in the off-season. It’s hard to imagine that EA Tiburon made any big changes to this simply because they haven’t talked about it yet – they love to talk about little things and they gush at what they consider their big changes (Custom Draft Classes, I’m looking at you).

I will be creating an overhauled set of house rules for Madden 19 CFM in the coming months. It will be more important than ever to set rules now that we will have the ability to see the draft classes prior to starting each season. It could potentially destroy immersion if you know all of the best players and it could really be a game killer if the trade and draft logic aren’t fixed as well.

Look for more to come as we enter Madden Season.

Draft Logic Must Improve With Schemes and Archetypes – Madden 19

The one question no one seems to be asking is whether EA Tiburon has fixed the broken draft logic prior to Madden 19.  As everyone (including yours truly) got jacked about the announcement that Madden 19 would have custom draft classes we seemed to forget that there were quite a few issues under the hood that needed to be fixed before anything was added.Ezekiel-Elliott-Madden-NFL-18-Wishlist

 

First and foremost, one of the biggest problems that Madden CFM has faced since forever has been lackluster draft logic by CPU teams. A lot of this issue comes from what seems to be a lacking interaction between CPU logic between team needs and coach schemes.  If you pay attention in your CFM you will see what we see every year – coaches get fired and players age/retire.  The breakdown in Madden draft logic stems from this moment and then snowballs as each draft pick is made.

This means that no matter how great your custom draft class might be, it will most likely be thwarted by an AI that is too stupid to use it wisely.

Coaching schemes to this point haven’t changed how a team fluctuates between coaches.  If the CPU controlled Browns were to fire Hue Jackson and his West Coast scheme and bring in someone with a Power Run or Vertical Pass scheme it wouldn’t change their draft logic from the initial setting under Jackson.  This means scouting players by archetypes as the user will work nicely if you follow those relative guidelines.  The CPU will not follow that same logic if you go by what history has shown us.

It leaves me with a bit of a pit in my stomach as I think about how great Madden could be if the basic functions were sound.  Sadly, I have a feeling that we will have to pump the brakes on the hype train as it rolls into the station this summer.

It won’t stop me from creating draft classes that will be focused on OBJECTIVE FUNCTION through fiction rather than subjective replication of potential draft classes in real life.  I doubt many people outside of Tennessee Volunteer fans would have given a star or superstar rating to Alvin Kamara prior to the beginning of the 2017 season.  That same logic will be present in the NoobTubeTV draft classes for Madden 19.

Are You A Cheeser? Signs You Are An Exploit Abuser And How To Save Yourself

Hi, my name is Outspoknpoet and I am a cheeser.  (At least, that’s how I think it would go if we were forced to attend a support group for using game exploits.)

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I am a bit old school in my views of video games.  If there is something in the game that makes it easier to beat a CPU opponent, it is meant to be used… and maybe (always) abused.  For those of you that consider yourself an untouchable ‘purist’ that has never and will never use an exploit in a game I have two things to tell you.

1 – That’s BS and you know it.

2 – You are the gaming version of a hipster, congratulations.

Now that we have covered those bases, here is a quick definition from my point of view that covers what it means to be ‘cheesing’ and therefore makes you a ‘cheeser’.  Cheesing is simply defined as using a feature or mechanic in a video game in a way that exploits the AI in a way that it wasn’t necessarily intended to be used.

For instance, a few years ago I posted a video that showed the broken trade logic in Madden 12 and how you could use it to essentially trade for every single first round pick in franchise mode at the time.

The same goes for gameplay mechanics as well.  If there is a certain part of the game that you are playing where the CPU AI will move and opponent or make the opponent in question do something outside of what you would consider to be smart or normal  and you trigger that to happen if you can – that is cheesing.

Also, in sports games (especially Madden) there is a tremendous problem with cheesing that not only occurs against the CPU, but also against real-world opponents online and on local console match-ups.  A prime example of this in Madden (which seemingly hasn’t been fixed going into Madden 19) is almost every version of the screen pass.  It not only locks certain animations into motion, but it almost always guarantees a long gain on the play.  Those of you that have played Madden Ultimate Team know what I am talking about.  I would venture to say that most of us have used this more than a few times.  Here is an example…

Now, for those of you that get the picture.  Here are a few ways you can fix the problem on your end.

  1. Don’t use the play or the exploit – it really is that simple.
  2. In Madden, set up house rules for playcalling, running a certain exploit play once a game (or once a half) is a good start.
  3. Stream your games for others to watch.  Assuming you aren’t doing a speed-run (which is basically built on exploits, sigh) this kind of thing will keep you honest because there are witnesses.
  4. If it’s a difficulty thing and it can be changed (All Madden is known for making the CPU into a cheesing (if not completely cheating) AI.  I have found that setting it to All-Pro and making the sliders a bit less forgiving can be helpful.
  5. Decide what you want from your gaming experience.  If you are the type that just wants to blast the CPU all day long, go for it… cheese away.  Don’t expect to get a round of applause from your friends or anyone else – it’s your game.  You do you.

ONE THING TO NEVER DO!!!!!

Don’t cheese in online games.  We have all run into people that will use certain plays in sports games or certain tactics, characters, and/or weapons in any amount of other games.  It ruins the experience for everyone (even you) when you are cheating.  It quite simply is super uncool and if it can be proven, you should be banned from playing that game online – thankfully, some developers are taking this seriously.

Have fun out there.  Just don’t be a cheeser.

Creating Your Best Connected Franchise Mode Starts With YOU – Madden 19

As we impatiently wait for the next two months for Madden 19 to release there are some things we can certainly prepare for in the meantime when it comes to this game.  This is going to be a long article and I hope you’ve taken your hype pills – because it’s about to get textually exciting!

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Franchise Mode Is Draft Mode –

Ever since sports games introduced multiple seasons and franchise mode in general it has always been driven by the existence of a draft.  The action of finding new great players for your team is really what drives most people to play this.  Sure, there are existing players that you want to use in game – maybe it is simply a rookie that you want to make into the greatest of all time (GOAT)… please be Baker Mayfield in real life…. annnnd I’m back.

The fact of the matter is that you are going to have to police yourself when it comes to creating a draft class.  Here are some basic observations and house rules I already have in place to keep CFM as fresh as possible before I get close to installing Madden 19.

Development Traits Dictate Everything

Much like potential ratings of the past, development ratings will continue to be the driving factor in determining if you have made the best selection in the draft.  My problem with doing this in Madden is that it is much like drafting Ryan Leaf back in 1998.  If you drafted a player with what most people said from simply the athletic ability alone – sure, he might have made a lot of sense. Madden still hasn’t incorporated any sort of real leadership or personality traits.  I feel like this is the next step that may never be taken, sadly.

In creating your draft class it will be crucial to be selective if you choose to give development traits that are outside of ‘Normal’.  The danger will be in that you will have a leg up on the competition to select any of these top players with low round grades that happen to have Superstar development.  This is why I am pushing for a dialed back draft class creation that will start with every player being given a development trait of Normal.  It only makes sense for these new players to prove who they are in by showing it on the field and once the CFM engine starts for the pre-season.

Scouting – It’s Still Too Easy

I have set up my own house rules for scouting because Madden still has yet to create a scouting system with any sort of fluidity.  This generally leaves most ‘discovered’ ratings to be set in stone.  Some players on the news wire throughout the season might have their story dictate an injury or something else that takes them down a notch in development, etc.  Once you know this, it becomes easy to pick apart each draft class.

You should still be scouting players based on matching your coach scheme to keep your efforts focused from the outset.  After that, it is as crucial – if not more crucial in all honesty to focus on which positions you need to fill with young talent.  It is most important for the sake of keeping your CFM challenging and realistic that you full scout each prospect once you open one of their ratings.  I truly believe that this will keep you honest within your draft experience as well.  Some highly ranked players will scout out terribly, and that generally will stand to pass that they are terrible players.

THIS IS WHY CFM NEEDS TO CREATE SCOUTING DEPARTMENTS AND REGIONAL SCOUTS!!!! (Sorry to yell, but this is something that could be awesome, and I don’t understand why it hasn’t been done to this point.)

Hording Draft Picks… It’s Over

It’s hard to be honest with yourself once you start finding glitches in games that eventually become a subconscious pattern that you manipulate for your own gains.  In a game like Dark Souls I have to say I understand and might even condone it to a point.  However, it is still far too easy to trade for high draft picks in Madden.

I believe my house rules from Madden 18 are among the best out there to keep you honest while still maintaining some semblance of running your own fictional world in CFM.

Draft Pick Limitations – You can only hold a limited amount of picks in each draft.  The rules for your draft pick amounts are somewhat complicated, but they will make for a better experience.

  • Maximum of 13 picks in any draft
  • You can have two first round picks for up to two years in a row
  • If you end up with three first round picks during any draft you must trade one of them to a division opponent for their lowest pick in the next season’s draft.
  • You cannot draft two QBs in two consecutive rounds
  • You cannot draft more than two QBs, HBs, or TEs in any draft

The last aspect we will be covering today involves the draft class itself.

Rookie Ratings Should Never Be Maxed Out (Or Bottomed Out)

It is going to be vital for any decent custom draft class to be balanced with players that have great ratings in key areas as well as poor ratings in key areas.  The idea here is that no player should be created in the draft class with a ratings of 99 in any category.  This goes for speed and arm strength.  The entirety of CFM is really based around development – so why would you create any player that doesn’t need to develop?

It will be important to give some players low ratings as well.  There might be a QB you want to create from a small school that has to develop from a 65 OVR into an all time great.  That is what CFM should really be about.  One of the aspects that Madden 18 finally did a good job of was making it harder to do things like this if a QB had poor accuracy, etc.  You need to create low rated players for the sake of your CFM and to give some stories to follow if you choose to pay attention.

There will be more updates on custom draft class guides as we get closer to Madden 19’s release.  Stay tuned!

Toxic Masculinity Is The Elephant In The Gaming Room

Now that EA has released the cover picture and the trailer for Battlefield 5 it is time to look forward what should be another great title in a series that has shown tremendous growth and support over the last decade plus.

The trailer features gameplay that includes women in warzones during World War 2.  Apparently, this kind of inclusion of women in a game that doesn’t feature them as busty sex objects is offensive to boys that have aged towards becoming mediocre adults that would like to think they are manly.  They have an obvious misunderstanding of what it means to be a man.  It is worth talking about this because it is still something that we clearly need to continue working on in larger ways than hashtags and such.

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A lot of the anger is that they are showing women in combat roles.  The feelings are obviously misplaced and those that try to justify it use the weak excuse of ‘historical accuracy’.  What they seem to forget is that women and minority groups have largely been written out of history in order to preserve the societal idiocy that continues to push an often white male narrative.  For evidence of this, here is an article about a badass woman named Aethelflaed that was nearly written out of history.

Sadly, there are some rather loud personalities coming out of the digital cesspool so they can get attention for being the worst kind of person they can be.  The disgusting and uninformed posts are easy enough to find if you want to read them.  I won’t link to any of them because they don’t deserve the clicks – or the time of anyone.

It’s been almost four years since I had to tackle this topic head-on (link here) and it still leaves me stunned for some weird reason that insecure males are so proficient at existing in their little bubble of idiocy.  Part of me is holding out hope that most of these personalities are Russian trolls that are trying to sow hate and discontent within the gaming community.  Part of me knows that these people actually exist.  It makes me sad to think that there are still people out there that raise their kids with the poisonous vitriol that eventually becomes an adult with destructively ugly misogynistic beliefs and a loud mouth to go with it.

All of this said… I have to end on a positive note.

EA has impressed me with their response (link here) to the trolls by telling them that they aren’t the kind of gamers they want anyway.  I like this move because it finally shows that positive steps are being made at the top and it’s not just some sort of grassroots movement with empty hashtags and tweets.  It’s vital for companies to continue making these statements and decisions because it tells the loud boys that they aren’t needed in the first place.

Draft Logic And Custom Draft Classes – Madden 19

As the news about custom draft classes hit me I could hardly stand it.  Being happy about a CFM Feature was new to me.  Any work on CFM that wasn’t surface level was something I had yet to see.  However, certain things take time to marinade and allow logic to creep through instant happiness.  Suddenly, I felt the pain of reality and the question hit me like a ton of bricks.

Have they fixed draft logic?

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The biggest problem with all Franchise Modes in almost every game is that they are flawed from the outset.  The user can see good players and snatch them up whenever they want to when it comes to free agency.  Once you get to scouting (what scouting?) and then the draft itself in Madden the AI doesn’t really seem to put as much thought into the most important off-season aspect as it should.  It’s generally pretty easy to find hidden gems and such in the draft through the broken scouting system (for reference, take a look at the house rules developed for Madden 18).  I have come up with a theoretical fix as we wait another two months for Madden 19 to come out.

Normal Should Be The Default Development Trait

While most of this depends on how often a development trait will change during a season, I would suggest that all players be changed to Normal as well.  This will be one of my goals in Madden 19.  I have been wishing for custom and shareable draft classes for quite some time.  While some of you will undoubtedly be looking for real-world draft classes, I will be editing and creating fictional classes for multiple reasons.  The development trait being set to normal is a big part of that. The other is that it will take away a lot of wasted time editing names, schools and such just to create a subjective rating that would be debated and scrutinized.  I will be happy to try out a few of those classes, but that won’t be my focus.

Rookies Should Never Have A Default Overall Above 84 In CFM

Rookies are unproven talent.  That’s it… period.  I will be editing my rookie classes to not only have Normal development traits, but also in a manner that will see an even spread of OVR ratings that won’t pollute the CFM with a bunch of 90-99 players by season three or four.

I will be keeping a close watch on what else is announced in regards to CFM and especially fixes to the logic engine that I fear will still see minimal effort for yet another year.

Stay Tuned