Madden 22 Franchise Mode Guide, Tips, Notes, and New House Rules

As promised, I had some time to play through most of the first season in Franchise Mode. I simmed the last few weeks and played some moments in the divisional round. My Browns lost to Tampa 38-20 in the Super Bowl. Here are a few things I noticed and of which I would like to bring everyone up to speed.

Fatigue Matters!

The Season Fatigue Bar for each player is buried in the player card under ‘Health’. I think this should be more readily available in the lineup section with a simple color dot on the player card.

As I played through every snap of from week one through fourteen I noticed a couple instances where some players (Nick Chubb, Jarvis Landry and OBJ) were all magically removed from the field and I couldn’t do anything to bring them back. Due to a few things being difficult to find in the Weekly Strategy section I totally forgot that there was a way to adjust practice methods from intensity (full vs. half pads) and which players were the focus of the training (Starters, Backups or split). In order to change these you have to manually go to the Cross Symbol (ON EACH PREP PAGE!!!! The first will be defense and the second will be offense). From there, you will want to change it as you see fit. As I wait for the next update to come out with a better scouting system I have already decided that my global settings for this will be Split/Half Pads for the first 8 weeks and then Backups/Half Pads for the last 10 weeks. I choose this for now because backups need the XP far more than the starters will as they will earn it in game. I will also never make my team practice during the Bye Week as it doesn’t seem to be worth the risk of injury or fatigue (you do you on that end).

Staff Points Might Need to be Turned Down

By the end of the first season I was able to max out the Personnel Department Trade Section (and make progress on some coaches as well). I think it was a little too easy.

I absolutely love the new coaching trees and overall effort to bring Coordinators into the game (even in simple ways like this flashback to NCAA 14). However, before the season starts you might want to slow down the XP growth for staff as it might build too fast if you are performing at a high level all season. I was able to max out the trade upgrade tree before the first offseason. This gave me the ability to fleece teams for draft picks and such with even more ease than before. The trading has been tuned somewhat (from the later update in Madden 21), but there is more to be desired on this end in my opinion.

Here are a couple of trades I made that weren’t AWFUL, but they weren’t great in terms of fairness (IMO, as always).

Coaching Carousel/Staff Moves Has Some Bugs

After the first season, the Seahawks fired their staff. Pete Carroll was looking for a job, and apparently he was so sought-after that two teams hired him. This is simply a bug that I hope will be ironed out before the big scouting patch, but it’s worth mentioning and showing you nonetheless.

Auto-Sub with Season Fatigue Could Be Tougher To Tune Than Sliders

As mentioned at the beginning, I love the idea of season fatigue as a concept. Once it is better understood and tuned by the community I think we will have some of the best depth in player development that we’ve had in Madden. As it stands, I have found that my old Auto-Sub sliders won’t perform well in 22. I will be tuning all Sub In and Sub Out to be lower (I may even start with default 80-60 in the coming weeks before the patch, just to test it out). Be on the lookout for other people to release their own ideas as well. The more input we have, the better.

All Madden vs All Pro

All Madden cheats and All Pro is tough-ish (not really) for the first 1.5 quarters (sometimes). This leaves me with a situation I have to get used to again and that is not switching players on Defense (ever). The second change I have to make is not user catching passes with WRs. The second issue is something I have serious issues with as it feels like WRs sometimes simply don’t make the slightest attempt to catch the damn ball – especially on deep routes!

The running game is still too easy, but I think it feels the best it ever has. We need to make some changes to User Run Blocking (down) and CPU Tackling (up) and the opposite the other way around.

The passing game isn’t bad from the user perspective, close to default for user passing feels good and CPU INTs will punish you if you’re sloppy. However, CPU Robo QB is alive and well at default. This will need to be tuned with User Pass Rush, Pass Coverage and INTs – CPU Pass Blocking needs bumped slightly (maybe 55 or 60?).

Backup CPU QBs – Oooof…. In a Good Way (I think?)

So, I injured Lamar Jackson in the first game we had against the Ravens (ruptured disk – 6 weeks! W00T!). In comes Tyler Huntley and good lord was it a different feel. He turned the ball over 6 times (2 picks and 4 fumbles – should have been 5, but his LG recovered). Suffice to say, poorly rated QBs will play – poorly most of the time. Robo QB is still a factor, but wow – they are lacking in the ball security department.

Be on the lookout for live streams on Twitch www.twitch.tv/noobtubetv and new videos that will be uploaded to the Youtube Channel www.youtube.com/officialnoobtubetv. Give me a follow over on Twitter twitter.com/NoobTubeTV as well if you want to see and read more of my snarky irreverent quips and gifs.

Let me know what kind of settings you are finding success with in the comments or on the platforms listed above. Happy Gaming and GO BROWNS!

Madden 22 – Franchise Mode House Rules and Thoughts for This Season

It’s that time of year again. While there have supposedly been a litany of improvements made to Franchise Mode there will most assuredly be some things we will have to self-police when it comes to our own conduct in the little imaginary worlds we create in Madden 22.

The big part that is missing for now and will be added later is regarding the supposed update we should get for Scouting in September. This update will require a complete restart of your Franchise in order to implement the changes. This is why I plan on using the first month of gameplay to basically play-test and tear down the CPU logic for a couple seasons of simulation/active playing, etc. For those of you that plan on jumping in without waiting for the update here are the house rules I have played with since Madden 18.

My new thoughts on where I see my playstyle going in Madden 22 involve the possibility of running two Franchise Modes as I am a Browns fan and there doesn’t seem to be a lot of challenge building up my favorite team these days. With the Browns I will most likely make that my casual mode. This year, I am pondering a few low rated teams to build up after the mode update is implemented.

My personal feelings are that football is not meant to be played in a dome, so it’s difficult to pick dome teams from the start. There are some teams that are so dysfunctional and downright bad that it’s tempting to try out anyway.

1 – New York Jets

– Easily the worst team in the game with an Overall of 72. They have a rookie QB and a few pieces that could be fun to run with, but it is easily a team that you can also build as you see fit.

2 – Detroit Lions – The perennial suckfest that is Detroit has a coach in Dan Campbell that I can’t help but see as a WWE guy disguised as a football coach, he cracks me up and I think it would be fun to start a fictional dialogue with him in a franchise mode. They have Jared Goff and an extra First Round Pick in 2022 and 2023! It’s hard to think of a more fun experience to start a franchise mode – other than that damn home dome!

3 – Houston Texans – When I said dysfunctional I have a feeling everyone thought of the Texans first and maybe the Jets or Bengals as well. The Texans are a dumpster fire of hot Houston trash. Deshaun Watson is amazingly still on this team and could be easily traded in Madden before the roster update that eventually removes him completely or a real life trade sends him elsewhere (looking at the Patriots or Dolphins). If you want a team you can build a fun story around and move Watson for a trove of picks – this is your team.

4 – Chicago Bears – This is my second favorite team in the NFL. I love their stadium, I love their fanbase and the history of this team is as great as the Browns. You have Justin Fields and a few great pieces to bring this team to the next level. The Bears are my dark horse to challenge for a surprise trip to the Super Bowl this year. I can’t help it, I just love the idea of playing with an NFC North team in the snow in December/January – it’s awesome.

Are you ready for some football?

Is There A Right Way to Play Blackout (or any type of Battle Royale)?

Am I the only one that gets a kick out of hearing an enemy say something in that half-second after killing their character in Call of Duty?  I have a feeling I’m not alone in this joy.  However, I must admit that one verbal reaction makes me smile more than others when it comes to verbal rage and that is when I kill an opponent as they loudly run or sprint in my vicinity – as I lay quietly on the ground, usually in the shadow of a bush or in some thick vegetation.  I will spare you the details of their limited vocabulary, but chances are good that you know some of the words that get shouted.

It did make me think for a moment about my tactics and whether or not they were lacking gamesmanship.  I quickly came to reason that this was not the case at all.  First and foremost, this game is about surviving – not stacking up the most kills.  If that was the goal, you’d see a lot more people aggressively pursuing kills and most likely resulting in a shorter match where the storm circle remains large ever at the end of the game.

This is why I think it is bad practice to camp in Team Deathmatch or any other sort of mode that requires you to pile up kills rather than survive.  It isn’t camping when you are defending in Search and Destroy – it is called tactical advantage.  It is camping when you are spawn killing opponents in Team Deathmatch because the spawning AI is broken.  Some may disagree, and I would love to hear your input in this regard.

What is your take on hiding in Battle Royale?  Is it gutless or is it tactical?


You Are Your Own Best Weapon In Blackout

Keep in mind that there are some weapons of choice in Black Ops 4’s Blackout Mode that are indeed wonderful finds almost no matter what.  That said, the focus of this article is on your own presence in Call of Duty’s first version of Battle Royale.

The best way to get better at this mode is by playing it.  That sounds obvious, but in reality, it is a battle type that changes almost every single time you spawn.  The deployment point changes nearly every match and no weapon or item is typically found in the same spot from match to match.  When you play as a team with the same group of gamers in Quads you might start to notice you have a landing point that serves as a default.  That seems to be a common goal for most as the named areas on the maps certainly serve as great spots to find enough loot for your entire team.  The issue with that is every other team knows that as well!

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Playing solo or even duos is a different beast.  You can generally find any spot on the map near a building that could house enough weapons and items for you (both) if you are fortunate.  The difference I have noticed with Solo compared to the two team-based aspects is that you will immediately find yourself taking one of two strategies – collecting gear in relative safety (if you are lucky) or picking up any gun or weapon you can and trying to mow down the multitudes of other gamers in your vicinity.  I personally have developed a growing enjoyment for jumping into more populated areas because it can be a great way of finding hiding spots as well as getting some relatively easy kills before everyone finds armor and better weapons.

Some of the best things you can do as you start learning Blackout’s intricacies is to start experimenting with your weapon choice on top of your preferred landing zone.  There are some weapons that you might find work well for your aiming ability or play style.  This might actually differ highly from what you use in multiplayer modes like Team Death Match or Domination, so don’t necessarily go into it thinking you will only do well if you find the Swordfish or another weapon you use in the other modes.  That said, you will also become accustomed to getting shot from quite a distance by the Maddox with a 3x scope.  The same can be said when you land in a populated area and get one-shotted by someone with a shotgun of any sort (they won’t keep those in their inventory for long, as shotguns are certainly some of the worst weapons in blackout, by far).

One perk you will want to take a bit more seriously is ‘Brawler’.  It doesn’t only work for bare knuckles as you might initially believe, it also works for melee with weapons and will put an opponent down with one good hit – it’s a great feeling now that they have nerfed melee for everything besides hits from behind.

One last tip for this article and how to make yourself the best weapon is all about Situational Awareness and Tactical Advantages.

You have to be ready for enemies to literally be hiding anywhere on the map.  This includes coming out of the blue storm as they try to take out any stragglers on the edge of the white safe circle.  I fell victim in the worst way this week to an enemy at the top of some stairs in a house because I was looking down at the floor for items rather than seeking out safety and clearing the entire house first.  The same can be said about running through the landscapes of as well.  Look and listen for enemies firing weapons (their tracers can be easy to follow and their steps can be heard if you have good headphones… SIDE NOTE!!!! GET A GOOD PAIR OF HEADPHONES!!!  They make a huge difference in game and are totally necessary for teaming up with other people in Quads and Duos).

One more bonus tip is to avoid making your movements along the top of hills and ridges that make you into silhouettes against the skyline.  This makes you incredibly easy to see and if you’re moving as a team along a ridge in this manner you will be easy targets for anyone.  Instead, try to make your movements occur from elevated positions that are just below the ridge line/skyline.  This doesn’t mean that you will be invisible to opponents, but you will be a lot less easy to spot as you move to new areas.

There is more to come, but for now be sure to follow NoobTubeTV on Twitch as the broadcasting will become more regular.  Maybe we can even team up for some Quads or Duos!  Subscribe and Follow on Twitch for a chance to team up with me and some of my friends.

Happy Hunting!

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.)

im-baking-like-a-toasted-cheeser

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!

Dark Souls – Git Gud or Git Evin?

As I play through Dark Souls Remastered I can’t help but understand the nostalgia some Souls enthusiasts have had for the first of the Dark Souls trifecta.

As someone that started his FROM Software gaming with Bloodborne and then moved to DS3 and now DS Remastered I must say I am not a purist in terms of playing any of these games with honor when facing the AI.  I have been killed by more swords through walls, stairs, and other hit box shenanigans that only SoulsBorne fans can really appreciate.

Last night I faced off against the Capra Demon for the sixth time.  Whether I got killed by the dogs or the first epic sword swing, etc… I ran out of patience when it came to dodging swings from this a-hole only to get hit through a wall or a pillar.

Capra
The Capra Demon

Finally, I decided it was time to come through that mist wall ready with a fire bomb for the puppies.  After getting rushed and nearly pummeled to death I climbed the stairs and took out one of the evil doggos.  Then I jumped down from the ledge with my fire bomb equipped for the other evil pup… Boom! – one quick victory.  Now, for the dual bladed horned jerk – two can play at this cheesy game.  I climbed the stairs and then took the wall ledge as far as I could and with my target locked I drop attacked (held my R1 Attack button as I fell on top of the demon).  Bam!  A chunk of health came off.

Here we go!

Eventually it turned into a merry-go-round of sorts as I baited the baddy up the stairs and off the ledge.  I would race up and take advantage of when the beast was once again below my original attack place.  The demon still found a way to get me a couple of times.  Finally, I managed to get it to a point where one more attack would finish the fight.  I jumped off the ledge and waited for the follow-up.

The beast jumped down… and died on impact.

As much as I felt cheated in terms of striking down the beast I felt more joy in knowing that this game has (and continues to) dulled out more punishment than I have given to it and finally getting a small victory in the same way it finds ways to beat me – it was awesome.

Some of the purists will say I cheesed the game and I need to ‘git gud’ (Get Good).  I disagree… I will continue to git evin (Get Even).

Get out there and fight, demon slayer!

 

Madden 19 Franchise Mode – Only One Direction To Go

As we near the NFL Draft in a matter of days it is starting to leak out of the rumor mill that Madden will be focusing on ramping up the quality of Franchise Mode.  Hopefully this means we can expect a bit more depth in terms of how the mode is represented in a few different ways.

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Because EA is the Johnny Manziel of sports game developers.

They have tried to change how free agency works from the Auction system a few years ago to making offers before advancing and hoping the guy you wanted chose your low-ball offer.  Between bad financial logic and worse player and team logic – Madden hasn’t exactly been a beacon of realism for wanna-be GMs.

They must find a way to push gamers in this mode to eventually spend their money on veterans without looking at every 28 and 29 year old player like they are going to become Stephen Hawking at the age of 30.  Yes, there is certainly a youth movement in the thinking of NFL General Managers.  Yes, this means that drafting top talent over keeping ‘aging’ players is a common strategy.  It doesn’t mean that Madden should get a pass in making players in their late-20s and early 30s relevant in Franchise Mode.

On top of the age nosedive in terms of player ratings, the other aspect that needs the most help in Madden is the Draft and Scouting.

Scouting has quite simply been a lazy effort by the developers.  It isn’t difficult to find the superstar players later in the draft.  It isn’t hard to find the busts in the first round.  By the time you figured out the scouting dynamics in Madden 17 you were more than okay with the point reversal in Madden 18 that was supposed to make that aspect more challenging.  All you need to do is look for the first rating to be a B+ or higher and you are on your way.  It’s not rocket science… and that makes for an insanely boring experience that is arguably one of the most involved and talked about in all of sports.

They must address the lack of immersion in our experience week by week.  There is ZERO immersion in Franchise Mode from an overall league perspective.  There is no feeling for the salary cap when it comes to managing the team.  There is no excitement in Franchise Mode… NONE.  The Super Bowl has been the same stupid celebration and musical experience for years.

Madden 18 was the final straw for me as a Madden fan in a lot of ways.  It was the only Madden I have stopped playing before the Super Bowl was over.  It says more about the staying power of Franchise Mode than anything else.

Madden Ultimate Team has killed what made Madden a fun experience for those of us that don’t enjoy online sports gaming.  I am hoping that Madden 19 will make good on their chance to convince me to buy this game as a pre-order for the sake of giving my annual guides for all of you out there.

The Downfall of Potential Ratings In Sports Games

After more than a few years playing through numerous Franchise Modes in Madden, MLB The Show and NBA 2K it is apparent to me that the only truly important rating for a young player in Franchise Mode is ‘Potential’.  It is also one of the more argued about topics on sports gaming forums as well.

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I have found that in simulating multiple seasons of MLB 18 (as well as older iterations) that the primary decider for a player becoming a superstar is potential.  It often has nothing to do with performance or statistics – take a look at the performance of some older players like Nelson Cruz as you play through a few seasons.  While they are still performing at a high level, they will suddenly see a huge drop off in ratings like contact and power as they age by a year… even if they hit 50 home runs the season before.

I have noticed that players with A potential are almost certain to be a lock for being s superstar in all three sports games.  Madden has a bad habit of making their franchise overall rating system as broken as anything else they put a number on in terms of ratings.

In the end, my view of the Potential Rating is not that it should go away completely.  I believe it needs to be molded to fit each game and sport.  Players generally fit into a few different categories of being high potential.  While Andrew Benintendi is no doubt a top level young talent, I don’t see him the same way I see Aaron Judge.  I believe that potential needs to be weighed more towards player type and player role in all sports games.

It shouldn’t be as simple as saying Player A should be a 99 Overall and Player B should be a 91 Overall in terms of potential.  There are some truly once-in-a-generation athletes like LeBron James that defy almost all limitations and are great at almost every aspect of their respective sport.

While a baseball player might look like a 5-Tool prospect, the reality of this is usually that they will be more like a 2 to hopefully 4-Tool guy.  As we play through more seasons of our favorite sports games it becomes easier to focus on the potential rating as the most important number by which we judge a player… unless you are talking about age… quite possibly the most lopsided and biased determiner of ratings decline in any version of a sports game.

Although we are able to edit the ratings of players manually in many of our Franchise Mode experiences, we shouldn’t have to take over where the number crunchers have failed us.  It is really as simple as applying a new descriptor to each player that highlights their role to a team.  This should be a fluid and dynamic description that also serves as a way to lift morale for players on the team.  I would like to see the death of potential ratings as numbers and have them become more in-tune with how we look at the changing landscape of players in every sport.

The Witcher 3 Will Still Grab Your Heart Strings – And That’s A Good Thing

As I play through The Witcher 3 – The Wild Hunt for the second time I am paying more attention to side quests and taking a new direction on the main quests as well. That is the best part about New Game + (the option some RPGs are giving to play the game again with some new quirks added to the successive playthroughs of the story).

For those of you that haven’t played The Witcher 3 please take this as a warning that…

SPOILERS ARE AHEAD SPOILERS ARE AHEAD SPOILERS ARE AHEAD

SPOILERS ARE AHEAD SPOILERS ARE AHEAD SPOILERS ARE AHEAD

Bloody Baron
When you play through The Witcher 3 and make the less sympathetic decisions this is the general response from most characters… especially The Bloody Baron.

As much as I wish I could play through a game the first time as a complete a-hole and do most of the things that we reserve for the sociopathic tendencies some people exhibit digitally or in gaming – I just can’t do it. Maybe that’s a sign I am a bit more sympathetic and empathetic than I sometimes think I am. Either way – I just started playing through the initial quests and came across the questline with the Bloody Baron… the botchling in-particular.

I decided to attack and kill the botchling this time around. Not only was it incredibly difficult (even on the easiest difficulty level) but it was the exact opposite in terms of rewards and overall effects on the relationship you have with the Bloody Baron. I had no idea that it would take such a reversal from what I had experienced on the first play-through when I saved the botchling.

That is part of the benefit of playing through a second time. The biggest downside to this is that I have been using one primary save file while doing this because I felt that it would keep me focused on one path of decisions throughout the second play-through. While that is true, I found instant regret in saving the game after this battle. It left me with a sour taste in my mouth and real questions about what this choice really does that provides any good outcome for Geralt immediately after. The loot from the botchling wasn’t anything special and the Baron’s reaction when I told him to ‘calm down’ wasn’t exactly surprising either – but it also left me thinking that he will not be much of an ally for me later on as I play through the other quests.

I think I have the heart to play through the game and continue making the opposite decisions from what I normally would, but I can’t help to already look forward to my third play-through just so I can finish playing this game with a clean conscience.

What’s the worst decision you made while playing an RPG in terms of feeling bad about the outcome or how you had to go about doing something?

The only one I can think of off the top of my head is when my decision led to Jack’s death in Mass Effect 2… that one still gets me.