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.

PC Crossplay Has Destroyed The Console Experience

If you have played Call of Duty Warzone on console with crossplay turned off this whole time you have found the secret. However, the growing popularity of using hacks without any sort of fear of banishment from Activision is making it harder and harder to find a lobby without turning crossplay on to begin with.

PC gamers were certainly a large group prior to 2020. It is my belief that PC gamers (specifically in Call of Duty Warzone) have more than doubled over the last year or so. Why is this? The answer is simple and there are multiple levels to get the full explanation.

First – Warzone is ‘free to play’. This means there is no front-end cost to the user, therefore no fear of losing out on any monetary investment.

Second – There is no anti-cheat in Warzone. Most users will go through undetected. They can be reported, but in the end it doesn’t matter because there is no way to catch them before the damage is done.

Third – Hack creators aren’t going away. While some of these groups are using their hacks as Trojans to access the operating systems of cheaters (they are all on PC) it doesn’t really matter to the end users as they are set on destroying the experience for all other gamers.

Fourth – PCs have the ability to outperform even the newest consoles easily. The nature of having a finely tuned PC with a little knowledge on how to put them together and make them comparatively outperform console by a factor of 3:1 or 4:1 isn’t out of the question. Couple that with the control and precision already provided by keyboard and mouse over a controller and easy access to cheats… You have a perfect storm for destroying the experience for console players.

The third point brings us back to the title. Console players do have access to some controller mod cheats in some cases. However, nothing on the size, scale, or complexity that those on PC have and use constantly. Aim-bot, wall hacks, and every other manner of cheating are simply a Google search away.

How do we fix this? The first step in doing this is to make turning on PC Crossplay a secondary choice. We should have three choices in our experience preference.

1 – Crossplay Off

2 – Crossplay Console Only

3 – Crossplay PC and Consoles

Crossplay with PC needs to come with a warning during each login that PC gamers have access to cheats and advantages over those on consoles and the experience may not be fair or fun for console users.

Until we have better options – you need to turn off Crossplay.

MLB The Show 21 Franchise Mode Bugs Make It Close To Unplayable

Bug 1 = Trade Logic (especially CPU prospects) The big trade logic bugs will most likely not be fixed if we are going to base expectations off of past updates and patches. This means you will have to take extreme measures to maintain a reasonable team building process. As it is, you can literally get ANY prospect you want for almost nothing of value on your end.

My testing and research so far hasn’t provided a lot of markers other than the CPU possibly placing 3 to 5x more value on MLB players than top prospects. Even then – you can basically trade for anyone you want, but prospects (namely Top Prospects) remain far too easy to acquire. This is maddening for anyone that likes to make moves, but wants to make tough decisions to part ways with some of your best players to get a prized prospect like Jasson Dominguez, Andrew Vaughn, or Wander Franco.

Bug 2 = Switching to Quick Manage during a game deletes all stats prior to the start of Quick Manage. This morning, I was 4 innings into a game and wanted to quick manage to my next at bat with Milwaukee – after advancing to the bottom of the 5th I noticed that the three home runs my team hit and the 2 hit by the Twins were not showing up in the active batter stats although they were still in the game notes. After finishing the game out I checked the MLB Leaders and found that Travis Shaw (hit 3 HRs on opening day!) was only credited with 2 that were hit after Quick Manage was used. I am more confident that this can and will be fixed as it seems like more of a code issue where some aspects are simply in need of a couple small tweaks.

I will continue to post updates regarding bugs and workarounds as I uncover them.

Play Ball!

Two Steps Back – MLB 21 Franchise Mode Trade Logic Might Be Worse Than Before

I was excited about the idea that there were major overhauls in future depth charts based on player potential, etc. That had me ready to finally try to develop my own prospects and pay close attention to the scouting efforts in the first few months of each season before the early-June draft.

The goal was to be turned away when I offered almost any trade for top prospects as the GM of the Indians. My targets were three of the top outfield prospects, and arguably the best prospect since Griffey/Trout in Jasson Dominguez. It wasn’t so much about whether any offer would be taken, if the Indians were to offer Bieber, Jose Ramirez and Franmil Reyes I think there would at least be discussion – not much, but maybe some before they turned it down (if they would). That wasn’t the offer I made in MLB 21 Franchise Mode.

What might be even worse (if possible) is what I offered the Mariners for 2 of the Top 5 Prospects in baseball. I did all of this on the first day of Spring Training.

Below you will find a screen grab of the current Top Prospects in baseball. Jasson Dominguez is listed at #28, but is the most highly regarded.

I was also able to make similar moves for Wander Franco and Adley Rutschman. I didn’t make efforts for Torkelson, but you can probably guess how they would have gone. The fact of the matter is that MLB 21 Franchise Mode Trade Logic is still busted.

The fortunate aspect is we can institute trading house rules as users. This won’t keep the CPU from making trades and roster moves that are idiotic, but at least we can sleep soundly knowing that we aren’t cheesing the trade system to death (if we choose). Let me be clear on this – there is no ‘right’ way to play an offline single player franchise mode. You make the world of your experience anything you want – I will never tell anyone their playstyle is wrong. However, this is one of my worries when it comes to online multiplayer leagues, etc. on top of those that want to have a true simulation experience.

Here are the house rules I have been using since MLB 18 that gave me quite a bit of longevity (3 seasons in 18 and 19 – two season in 20).

Trades/Free Agents During Season 

  1. You have to select the players you want from a specific team before offering your own player(s).
  2. You may make one trade in the initial Spring Training (Two trades in following spring trainings).
  3. You are permitted one trade before the All Star Game and it must not occur until at least May 1.
  4. You are permitted two trades after the All Star Break.
  5. You can only sign a free agent during your first season if your team suffers an injury on the MLB level that requires 60 Day – DL.

Scouting Prospects –

I generally prefer to take the scouting aspect as a personal project, but the more I look at how MLB 17 runs things, I tend to believe that leaving scouting on Auto allows your scouts to actually do what they will do based on their ratings. This also prevents the user from figuring out how to find all of the Top Prospects with ease.

NEW RULE – You have to immediately save the Franchise file once you have finished the draft the first time. This prevents the user from going through and looking at the draft position and potential of every player and simply time traveling to the day before the draft.

In-Game Rules –

There are only a couple basic rules I set for myself for MLB The Show. First, I believe that user control generally makes for a better performing team overall. Once you get settings/sliders that provide you with optimal challenge and enjoyment it is crucial to set up a system that you can follow without second guessing your rules.

Here are mine for MLB 18.

  1. Pitching/Defense – Once you allow the first run you must Quick Manage the remainder of the defensive halves of each inning until the 9th inning. If you wish, you may use your closer if there is a save situation.
  2. Batting – You get THREE strike outs per game. These can be offset if you draw walks. If you strike out twice and then draw a walk you can subtract one of those strike outs. Once you strike out three times you must quick manage each half inning your team is at bat until the ninth inning. You can also allow a home run to reset all strike outs.

Dear Casual Gamers – You Are Not Alone

This morning I logged into Twitch to catch a few minutes of the Cold War Beta before jumping into my work day. I didn’t see many people streaming the new demo so I checked in on a dude that had 127 viewers at the time (I won’t name him because he doesn’t deserve free marketing). Before I go on let me make one thing clear. I don’t begrudge any *pro-gamer* (I use this term loosely, as many streamers typically use their platform to showcase how great they are at whatever game) for making a living off of streaming. If you have found your audience and it provides you with all you need to survive – good on you.

Where I separate from supporting streamers is when they become grumps sitting in their digital ivory towers spouting verbal vitriol at casual gamers and noobs – people like me and basically 99% of gamers out there.

The complaint from these holier than thou tough guys usually involves making a point of how the game is seemingly designed for casual gamers. What does this mean? It usually means referencing tools that can even the playing field for those that might not play the game 12 hours a day. More often than not, it usually involves however the streamer was killed most recently in the game. If you tune in for even 30 minutes in a Battle Royale and the streamer gets killed you will notice that their death is rarely their fault and the other player was a casual, noob, bot or camper.

If you get killed by a camper as your team slaughters all the ‘casuals’ I applaud the camper. Even if they get killed in return, it was a life well lived to teach you a lesson in humility (which you never actually learn – because, well, you’re you).

I know I haven’t posted here in some time. Life is crazy and I wish I had more time and motivation to make gaming videos, post new content, talk about the next generation of consoles – etc. The reason I can’t do these things as much as I want to is because I am a casual gamer. I have been playing video games to have fun for over 34 years. I have a real job. I try to contribute to my actual community. I interact with people (at a safe distance) and enjoy doing things that don’t involve gaming all the time. For those of you that do get to game all the time – cool. I genuinely hope you get awesome joy and fulfillment from your day to day.

For those of you that have a platform and make a living off of the hobby that has brought me joy for decades – please use your platform and skills knowing a few things.

1 – Your audience is almost entirely casual gamers.

2 – Your gaming skills are of limited value outside of your ‘profession’ and they are a diminishing and depreciating asset.

3 – The games you play are meant to be enjoyed.

4 – What you do isn’t actually needed by anyone.

Hashtags, Lip Service, and What Could Have Been #FixMaddenFranchise

If you have visiting NoobTubeTV at any point since 2011 you have most likely come across a Madden article of some sort. The efforts I have made to improve roster quality, gameplay, and franchise mode experiences are quite apparent. Now, in the age of Twitter and hashtag social movements, we have finally poked the bear that is EA Sports. The #FixMaddenFranchise hashtag was trending in late June after what was supposed to be the long awaited Franchise Mode “upgrade” only to once again be another kick in the “goal post”. Then came the most empty apology I’ve heard from a game developer (https://twitter.com/EAMaddenNFL/status/1278795979924344834).

Moral of the story is this – Madden 21 will not have an updated Franchise Mode. They have no details about what they are going to do because they have NO PLANS TO ACTUALLY MAKE THIS MODE BETTER! They have said this same garbage for over a decade. It’s honestly pathetic and I am done with buying Madden until I see true growth in Franchise Mode. It simply isn’t worth my money or your money anymore.

The thing is – it isn’t a surprise to see such a high potential mode get neglected year after year. For almost a decade Josh Looman was put in charge of Franchise Mode in some way or another. His acumen was supposed to be related to the NFL Head Coach games that sold a whopping 17 copies… okay, maybe they sold more than that – be honest, you didn’t buy it new – you got it used in the GameStop bargain bin if you did buy it. There was some good stuff on those games to be sure, but the Franchise Mode fanbase didn’t want Head Coach – we wanted Franchise Mode to be a living world of NFL History of our own making with intelligent CPU decision making both in the front office and on the sidelines. We got neither of those things over the last 15 years.

I have always held out hope that EA Sports would wake up and see what they had back in Madden 2005’s Franchise Mode. That never happened because the onset of online gaming and the Ultimate Team cash cow that has overtaken sports game culture. The pay to win and play/grind to build a team of superstars might be great for those that can afford the money or time. There are a lot of other gamers out there that want to play a sports game without having to worry about facing an online opponent that will do anything to win rather than play a good game of football.

There are all sorts of manifestos out there about what would make Franchise Mode a perfect mode for those of us that want it to be more enjoyable. I’m almost positive that EA Sports has made the corporate decision to trash Franchise Mode because it makes them no extra money. That is the corporate way and the demands of stock holders. Face it – the truth hurts when you have to realize that the things you like don’t make them worthwhile to those providing them.

I have given input on what Franchise Mode needs to do in order to improve. I am going to post a new exhaustive article soon to outline everything Madden needs to do in order to get my business.

I am skeptical that they will ever deliver.

Don’t buy Madden 21.

MLB The Show Franchise Mode – Sponsorships

For those of you that try to find the little joy that there is to be found in Franchise Mode there is some good news about sponsorships.

They give you money while simming!

There are some sponsorships that are better than others.

The best sponsorships are for offensive categories or the Game Played/Won sponsorships.

While the Silver through diamond ratings are simply levels of money for any given stat – the one thing that matters is that you know your playstyle and your team. If you are one of the few that plays every single game you might have a good reason to switch it up based on those specific aspects you know about your team and playstyle.

There are some things that are worth your time to know. The first is that offensive categories are generally limitless. You get as many hits and home runs as you can – there is no stopping you! However, the same can’t be said for strikeouts or double plays.

Let’s assume all the sponsorships we have are diamond (they are among the cheapest cards in the game compared to Diamond Dynasty Players and Equipment). Let’s say you strike out 10 batters with the strike out sponsorship ($3,500) – that ends up bringing you $35,000 – not bad. If you strike out 20 – $70,000. Usually you have 9 innings to play with and that ends up being $94,500 if you strike out every player in a perfect game.

To make playing defense even less desirable, Double-Plays are worth $20,000 on the diamond tier. These aren’t incredibly common and they aren’t exactly something you ‘try’ to get each game as it means you need to allow an opponent to get on base.

By far, your best option is to either stake your sponsorships with Diamond Home Runs or Runs Scored.

The second thing to remember is what we mentioned first… SIMMING COUNTS YOUR STATS! This is free money for your franchise mode team – don’t throw it away!

Setting Up Your MLB The Show 20 Franchise Mode

When you start your Franchise Mode in any sports game it usually comes with the hopes and dreams of playing multiple seasons and creating an experience filled with drama, intrigue and a team that will DESTROY EVERY OTHER TEAM IN THE LEAGUE!!!!… Ummm, excuse me.

The hardest part about keeping your Franchise alive is making sure it doesn’t get dull or cumbersome. Some of the best I have had in recent memory involved using a team that might not be my favorite, but at least one I could cheer for in some way in real life. You’d never find me running a Michigan Dynasty or using any AFC North team that isn’t the Browns.

This will be the second time in three years that I have chosen to use the Cincinnati Reds as my team. This time I wanted to show you how I go about setting up my MLB Franchise Mode (FM) to provide my baseball fix as well as a lot of fun (don’t tell the FM demigods at Operation Sports you’re having fun – it isn’t allowed over there).

The video below will walk you through my initial setup and thoughts – skip around a bit as I was busy doing other things at a few points.

Watch NoobTubeTV Live Stream With Outspoknpoet from NoobTubeTV on www.twitch.tv

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.