Madden Community – We Have a Problem

Over the last 10 years (Holy Sh*t!, a decade!?) I have posted articles regarding Madden Connected Careers, Franchise Mode, Etc.. I have been critical and somewhat verbose with a little bit of my over the top (or off the top rope, if you will) – schtick.

More recently, I have noticed the toxicity of the Madden community on Reddit and Youtube in particular has become worse than the game they love (to hate). There are times I have posted on Twitter and on this site my level of disgust with the lack of attention to Franchise Mode since Madden 2005 – 07. As much as I feel like the current status (pre-scouting update) of Franchise Mode is indeed – the same as last year, I also believe that we need to do a few things as a community and then make demands as consumers for the mode that gets little attention.

Being an A-Hole Gets You Nothing

When was the last time you changed a behavior because someone was a jerk about it? If you’ve ever been on the receiving end of getting yelled at or called names you might remember some of the effects later on in life. The first thing you realize is that the desired outcome wasn’t achieved by the yeller. The next aspects are what resulted going forward.

  • You avoided future encounters with the person
  • You ignored what they said if you couldn’t avoid them
  • You found them to lack credibility
  • You resented them and would tell others what to expect from your experience

The YouTube channels, Twitter and Reddit threads out there that claim to want a better game are filled with nothing but awful comments. Some are quite offensive in their lack of originality, lethargic profanity, and most especially – in their weak-ass grammar. If you are going to complain and want someone to actually pay attention you need to use tact and give someone a reason to believe you. Obviously, this is slightly tongue in (maybe through) cheek – but, hopefully you get the drift.

YouTube Football Experts Are Actually Click Bait Wastes of Time

Yes, I have a YouTube channel. No, I don’t post many videos anymore. Why? Here are a few reasons why I don’t post Madden critique videos anymore. There are also a few things

1 – They don’t matter, EA doesn’t have a position that watches YouTube channels that want to ‘fix’ the game. Most people that watch the videos do so because they noticed a bug or a broken quirk in the game that ruined immersion. It’s a sports game with 22 characters that have to react to numerous changes in code presentation in a high resolution digital environment – and quite honestly, most of you don’t know the first thing about how to program any of it.

2 – The videos you see posted almost daily from some of the channels that aren’t the Ultimate Cringe Pack Openers of Ultimate Team are from those that are sick of the lack of attention to Franchise Mode and/or Gameplay. If social media and the last few years of political/social/Covid turmoil have taught us anything it is that OUTRAGE SELLS! All it takes is one stupid headline to grab your attention and you are falling into the rabbit hole of youtube videos that give money to these ‘content creators’ for doing nothing but triggering you.

3 – I also stopped sharing videos with bugs because there are already a ton of them out there. I see no reason to further pollute the internet with old news. Do I have a problem with some of the legacy issues we see in the videos I used to share? Sure. Honestly, I am tired about complaining about something that either won’t or can’t be fixed. Recently on NoobTubeTV.com I have even posted articles that in retrospect probably helped nothing change for the better – so I will take my own ‘L’ there.

Twitter Wars Are Lame

I try my best to keep my Tweets somewhat clean and mostly respectful. Sometimes, I lose my patience and hit the Tweet button when I should delete instead. That said, some of you out there have a serious problem when it comes to your level of toxicity and disrespect. You add nothing to the community. You lose all credibility you think you had. You basically sound like an ass hat and make every point I am trying to get across in this article for me. Sharing videos of angry Madden players or bugs in a game seems to get some people the attention they want. In some cases, it brings clicks and money their way. I block more people than I follow and my experience is still 2 out of 5 stars on Twitter.

In closing – I am done arguing with people on any digital format. I am done with all of the negativity being used as click bait. Let’s make our community better together.

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 – PS4 – Franchise Mode Launch Review Part 1

Player Stats/Performance Elephant in the Room = Colin Kaepernick is signed by Philly and proceeds to be a Top 3 QB after 9 Weeks.

CPU/AI Biggest Issues = CPU Playcalling and QB decision making is unchanged. Ball carriers still suddenly stop or change directions instead of going for the endzone or simply downfield.

User Gameplay = It is still way too easy to run the ball and it seems like sliders only help marginally as it feels like all or nothing for run blocking.

CPU Gameplay = Some instant turn around interceptions are too numerous.

Questionable Animations = Twice I have experienced a catch in the back of the endzone where my WR catches the ball seemingly keeps both feel in bound and lands on top of the DB who is out of bounds. This seems like an animation that was created on purpose and should be an amazing TD, but it isn’t. (Will read up on rules)

Trade Logic = This seems to be unchanged from Madden 21’s final update. However, as you increase your staff points and invest in Trade Discounts, etc. There is a possibility that this is going to become a problem for immersion.

Gameplay Pointer – Don’t use your sprint button while doing a running play. Use juke, stiff arm, spin, etc. but don’t sprint – you will find that the run game feels amazing and you break a lot of tackles naturally! While this needs to be tuned as a whole (see above) the overall feel of running the ball is actually amazingly good IMO.

There will be more aspects to come from gameplay, as I am quite busy with real world jobs and life I will update as I am available.

Madden 22 – Franchise House Rules

This is a new year with an update coming to Scouting in September (allegedly). Here are my new rules going forward for Madden 22 Franchise Mode.

Draft Picks – Some of these will be different as I try to make it feel more like what transpires in real life.

  • Trading Down – You can trade down once in the first two rounds and three times total.
  • ScoutingNEW – You can now scout the first block and leave it as I believe many teams and scouts will hear something about a player and all it can take is one glance to say ‘Okay, nevermind.’
  • Big BoardNEW – You must draft according to your big board within the Top 10 Picks.
  • Sleeper Rule – You can choose any player up to one round before their projected position.  This will keep you honest and give the CPU a chance to take these sleepers before you get the chance.
  • Draft Pick Limitations – NEW – 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 10 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

Free Agency and Re-Signing –

  • You can only sign one 90+ OVR free agent player per season
  • You can sign one player outside of each of your schemes during free agency bidding (1 on Offense, 1 on Defense).
  • You can make ONE offer to any player on your team with 90+ OVR during the re-signing period while in regular season.  If they turn down your offer they must be allowed to test free agency – the rule above still applies.
  • QB Specific – If you have two QBs with 80+ OVR you must allow one of them to test free agency when their contract expires.  If both are on expiring deals you must choose one to attempt to re-sign.  This will allow CPU teams to have access to quality QBs and drive realism.

Staff Points – NEW

Each upgrade you purchase must rotate between each section (Coach, Off Coord, Def Coord, and Personnel). This means you can’t throw all of your points into making trades easier and you can’t put them all into your Head Coach either. Spread them out and it will add depth to your experience.

Trading NEW – During the pre-season you are permitted to make a maximum of four trades (one per week).  Two trades can involve acquiring draft picks.  Two more trades can be made that are player for player.  Any player you acquire must have a lower OVR than what you are giving up OR if they are a greater OVR they must be over 30 years old.

  • In addition, if the CPU declines a trade offer you can make one more counter-offer. If that offer is declined you cannot offer them another trade that season.

GAMEPLAY HOUSE RULES

  • Play Calling – You must pick a play from as many formations as possible during each game.  I recommend choosing a new formation for every play or every other play. This will add a tremendous amount of depth to your experience and how you play each game.
  • Hot Routes – You can use one hot route per series.
  • Money Plays – If you find a play that works often enough against the CPU that it becomes a go to play, you must either remove it from your playbook or stop using it immediately. (looking at you Slant/Drag abusers!)
  • Running Up The Score – If you are up by 21+ points in the fourth quarter you must switch to Chew Clock and choose a running play while rotating new HBs as well as a new QB in the final two minutes.
  • Passing No Switch – Do not user control a WR until after the catch has been made. This will add realism, challenge, and more animations! 
  • No Huddle – This can be used only on the first drive of the game and during the final two minutes of either half.  It cannot be used to keep other personnel on the field outside of the situations above.
  • 4th Down – You can go for it if you are losing the in the fourth quarter or if there are fewer than five seconds left in the half and you are within 55 yards of the endzone.

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?

There Is No Rush For A PS5 – Especially For Madden 22

The more I have read about and watched videos regarding the ‘updates’ for Madden 22 the less impressed I am with what’s being touted on PS5 and XBox Series X. This also goes for most other games currently offered. On top of that, the supply is non-existent because scalpers have a stranglehold on the market.

The fortunate aspect is that those of you that think you’re missing out really aren’t missing out on anything. Here are a few reasons why (both Madden related, and non-Madden related):

1 – Not many people have a PS5 right now. The price gouging from scalpers is keeping a lot of gamers out of the market. I don’t see this being an issue in the long term, but I can see it being something Sony and Microsoft will move to combat as we get closer to the holiday season and as HOPEFULLY more people get vaccinated and the supply chain starts to open up again.

2 – The game library isn’t impressive by any stretch. Like any initial console release, most new games end up being a steaming pile (Looking at you The Order – 1886). Outside of some remakes Demons Souls, etc. and a couple suped up titles (Battlefield 2042 being the only FPS that makes me think about wanting next gen) I just don’t see any reason to rush out and drop a grand-plus.

3 – The PLUS mentioned in item #2 is that if you really want the full experience of these new consoles, you need to have an Ultra 4K TV with HDMI 2.1, etc. While you don’t HAVE to have a new TV (Just to be clear), it would be like getting a used Honda Civic with a V-12 engine. TVs are coming down in price all the time, but even if you got a PS5 and a new TV at retail prices it would still end up being around $1200+ (minimum).

4 – Madden 22’s Next Gen offerings aren’t worthwhile. Minus Player Movement, there is no real reason to feel like you’re missing out. The momentum meter and Star AI both add an arcade feel to games against the CPU that don’t need to feel any more detached than they have. Couple that with what they are claiming to be better crowds and you can call me skeptical. I remember ‘Create a Fan’ and that’s what it looks like to me. I also remember the camera flashes from Madden awhile back trying to add ‘a real feel’ and it was tremendous-ly bad. Not to mention, they can’t even render real time teammates or decent reactions on sideline players, why should we believe they know how to make the crowd seem alive?

5 – The Scouting System for Franchise Mode IS A FUTURE PATCH! The fact that we have to wait a month in order to use one of the touted features they talk about pre-release tells me I have more than enough reason to wait it out and maybe even buy this game during a flash sale (which almost always happens after launch). If you are a Franchise Mode player there is no reason to pre-order this steaming pile.

What’s In The Patch? – The Horror of the Unknown In Gaming

At some point you have experienced a ‘title update’ in your PC or console gaming experience. It has become a weekly practice for most developers of games with massive communities to implement ‘fixes’ for any number of issues or glitches in their software. While this wasn’t common for most console gamers until the dawn of Xbox 360/PS3 almost 15 years ago it has been around for PC gamers for some time. Regardless, when you are greeted with the screen or notification that you have to download an update before playing your game online – you know that means some things will be different when you restart the game.

The problems most gamers have with patching their games stem from not knowing that there is going to be a Godzilla sized patch designed to decimate your digital version of Tokyo (or wherever the hell Godzilla shows up in movies). The idea of a patch being over 15 GB has become normal – which is a terrifying thing to consider when you realize how much data that is (especially if your hard drive is now suddenly short on space). The true fear comes from gamers that have been playing a game that suddenly gets ‘fixed’ and all hell breaks loose.

For a quick moment in time Call of Duty Warzone had a glitch that allowed players with the full Modern Warfare version of the game to create custom gun loadouts with any attachment and save those blueprints for custom weapons they could use in Warzone without having to unlock the gun itself or attachments. This seems like a silly exploit to some, but it suddenly evened the playing field for those that are casual gamers or those that have the free Warzone game and not MW. What made matters worse? The discovery that akimbo .357 Magnums are the most over-powered secondary weapons in the game (after RPGs, maybe). With the proper loadout, the dual wielded weapons make you into a two-shot beast. I was among those that went to make my own OP Magnum class the other day only to see that the loophole was now gone. The patch came and destroyed my dream to join the hypocrite ‘pro’ gamers that use exploits but cry when they fall to their own creation.

The good news is that patching a game is necessary and one of the biggest fixes I have seen in Warzone is the implementation of finding the hackers and cheaters and making them all play against each other. The only thing I can think that would make this better is if Infinity Ward decided to limit the map for cheaters to be in the Prison section of the map.

If you are among those that see updates for your favorite games downloading and want to know more about what has changed you can usually find out most of the changes with a simple Google search or hit up the sub-Reddit for the game and see if the details have been posted. Developers know how important their games are to their fans, the good ones do a great job of letting you know when things have changed.

It’s Been A Hot Minute

We are firmly in the doldrums of game releases as well as the lame duck sessions of our current generation of consoles.  The simplest way to talk about the gap between updates to NoobTubeTV is to say that I have found myself rather busy with a new job that has had a steep learning curve.  In some ways, the lessons of past jobs and even some games have given me some decent scaffolding upon which I currently stand to rock this new job the best I can.  I wouldn’t say it is the Dark Souls of jobs.  It’s more like the Metal Gear Solid 4 of jobs.  There’s a lot of loading and cut-scenes to deal with before you can get on with your day and finish the game.  That said, it is providing me with a career and a nice compensation to keep on trucking.  It also helps that the people have been quite rad so far as well!

To that I say (once again) – Kept you waiting, huh?

So, what is there to cover at this point in the world of gaming and how can some of the Noobs out there be helped along?  Here is a smattering of what I have on tap for NoobTubeTV in the coming weeks and months.

Whether we like it or not – Madden 20 is coming out at the beginning of August.  They have announced some of the ‘improvements’ to Franchise Mode and to say they are underwhelming is old-hat and cliché at this point.  They seem to think that we want to have more of the My Player feel from 2K or Road to the Show from MLB the Show.  While I am sure a few gamers out there enjoyed playing the story mode over the last two years, it really didn’t do much for me as someone that wants to have a franchise mode experience where I run a team instead of some half-assed RPG.

The new scenario system is the same as the old system of trying to accomplish statistical goals for coming games, etc.  Once again, EA misses the point entirely when it comes to franchise mode.  It isn’t all about stats!  Franchise Mode needs to have EMOTION to drive the plot of our team’s story!  Why is it so important to them that we have a broken owner mode where a player has Personality that only matters when it comes to selling jerseys in a part of the game that literally doesn’t matter at all?  Why don’t they see that what should really be happening in this mode is an attachment between the fan bases and the players, coaching staff and ownership of every team in the league?  Owners should have approval ratings right along with coaches.  They should be judged on wins, losses and personnel decisions such as free agency and draft picks – not to mention trades (Giants fans might have something to say about that… also, thanks for OBJ! J).

I will be posting more about Madden 20 in the coming months, but suffice to say I am not looking forward to it in the least.  There are some games that have my attention and I have to wait a lot longer for those to make their way onto my console.

Death Stranding and Modern Warfare are my most anticipated games of 2019.  Those will each get their own articles very soon.

What have I been playing lately?

I am still playing a lot of Blackout on Black Ops 4, but it is nowhere nearly as competitive in my mind as it was prior to the new job.  It’s actually quite refreshing to play a game and lose without getting upset or bent out of shape over it.  They finally implemented some of the changes I wanted to see, but it took so long that I don’t really care.  Not to mention, the announcement of Modern Warfare basically made me cry digital tears of joy – it is my favorite COD franchise.

I have also been playing far more Diamond Dynasty than I ever have in MLB the Show.  I must say there are some aspects that I violated my rules in order to have a good time.  I spent more than I care to admit on stubs in order to buy packs.  The results?  I ended up getting a team full of diamond players that actually allow me to have competitive games.  The downside to this is knowing that Diamond Dynasty is a pay to win or a grind to win mode that forgives no one that plays other games.  My team is currently close to .500 (36-37 or so) and it feels like every time I feel like my team should dominate I come across another gamer that is 300 levels above me with a team full of 99 OVR players.  I am done spending any more actual money on this game, but I must say it was entirely necessary in order to get a team that could compete at all – which is criminal, in my opinion.

Taking advantage of the Days of Play sale was another choice I made.  I ended up coming away with NBA 2K19, NHL 19 and Batman Arkham Knight for about $20 total.  I absolutely love NHL 19’s presentation and feel.  NBA 2K19 has yet to be fully played as I only buy NBA games when they are cheap or free.  Basketball has been dead to me for quite some time.  Batman just finished installing the other day and I am very excited to jump into it when I feel like I can give my attention to it in full. 

As I finish this article I am filled with a sneaking nostalgia and it feels wonderful to post about the hobby I love.  I know this has been a long read with yet another Madden rant, but to be as straight-forward as I can be, I am super excited about the future of NoobTubeTV.  There are some things on the horizon and some ideas being floated.  Thanks to those of you that keep stopping by and asking me where I have been.  I look forward to posting some new updates for you very soon.

Disposable Teammates – The Downside of Apex Legends

If you haven’t noticed, there is a new kick ass game out there on PS4, XBox One and PC and it also happens to be free to play.

Apex Legends still hasn’t lost its luster in almost every way but one. Unless you have a lot of friends that have adopted this game as their primary go-to FPS Battle Royale you are essentially doomed to get paired up with random players. My experience to this point as a level 20 player has been getting paired up with level one and two players that don’t use mics. Usually I don’t mind being on a team with noobs. In case you haven’t noticed the name of the website – I understand noobs and the plight of being one.

The worst part about the current matchmaking is that if you find a couple gamers you enjoy playing with Respawn hasn’t implemented a way for you to stick together. One thing Blackout has done a decent job of doing is having a section of ‘Recent Players’ that you can access between rounds. This wouldn’t seem like a big deal as so many teammates go by the wayside when you get into a match and die in the first 20 seconds – but on those few occasions you get paired up with a couple decent Apex players, it would go a long way to be able to team up with them or even add them to your friends list after the match.

Hopefully this is something they can take care of in the near future. Rumor has it that they are already working on things like this for the game. If only the developers at Call of Duty listened to the community as much as Respawn seem to… for now, we can still smile about the fact that at least we have Apex to play instead of the Blackout which has suddenly become more stale than your grandmother’s Christmas candy.

Apex Legends Just Killed Blackout – In Three Days

I didn’t know what Apex Legends was last week. I didn’t know it was in development, let alone coming out on consoles and PC – for free. I was knee deep in Call of Duty Blackout shrugging off multiple 2nd and 3rd place finishes after getting concussion grenades to the face with a quick burst of fire to finish me off.

Then I saw the Titanfall community on Reddit talking about some sort of non-Titanfall (yet, still kind-of Titanfall) Battle Royale game. I chalked it up to gaming nerds complaining about something that didn’t exist. Suddenly, I start seeing the game Apex Legends marketed and talked about more and more over the next 72 hours. I ended up on my smart phone as I was blasting my quads on the spinning bike at my local gym (it’s my passion… if you don’t get the reference just google it).

I logged on and started by playing a couple matches on February 6. I was so bad at the game after having played Blackout for months that I ended up going back to Blackout for the rest of that night after getting my teeth kicked in and voicing my displeasure on the live stream. The next day something changed – I wanted to give Apex another try, but I wanted to go at it more slowly and methodically just to get a feel for how it worked. It was the best decision I’ve made in gaming in quite some time.

The best comparison I can make for Apex is that it is a cross between Titanfall (gunplay/aiming), Borderlands (general looting feel), Fortnite (albeit in first person), and a splash of Overwatch (players with unique abilities).

Apex had over 10 million players in the first three days of release. That is amazing. That’s not even the most shocking aspect to me. For what it’s worth I got the most out of the reactions from David Vonderhaar on Twitter over the last 24 hours or so – he is the studio design director for Blackout. While I generally appreciate the pressure and the hard work that goes into keeping a game like COD/Blackout running with such a massive following, his tweets scream frustration and desperation just days after Apex released.

Do you ever feel like the harder you try to do the right thing the worse you do? That feels awful.— Lord Vonderhaar (@DavidVonderhaar) February 8, 2019

I love this tweet because it illustrates my point. You are diverse. You don’t all agree. You are not made up of just Twitter or Reddit communities. You are beautiful. You are complicated. You are right. You are wrong. https://t.co/7zZ5dm0bAT— Lord Vonderhaar (@DavidVonderhaar) February 8, 2019

The best part about Apex coming in out of left field and slapping Call of Duty in the face isn’t even about the games themselves. It’s about the developer of Apex.

Respawn Entertainment created Apex. You might recognize the bigger names of Respawn (Jason West and Vince Zampella) as the original names behind Call of Duty 4 – Modern Warfare back when they were at Infinity Ward. These guys had a very public falling out with Activision and after a few years they ended up coming back as Respawn and creating the Titanfall series. They lost their ability to create Call of Duty games and were forced to make something new and different with Titanfall – and they succeeded. Titanfall 2 is still widely played by the close-knit community and now to have Apex come out of the blue and take the hearts and minds of so many Blackout players from Call of Duty is some of the best schadenfreude I can think of from the perspective of Respawn and the developers over there.