Draft Logic Must Improve With Schemes and Archetypes – Madden 19

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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!

Madden 15 – How To Keep CFM Fresh Until The Next Release

As much as I find it easy to troll EA and Tiburon for their annual cloneware – Madden 15 was the best Madden to date.  That said, it still gets to me that they don’t update rosters after the Super Bowl.  This has left many users to create roster updates and even add newly drafted players to teams in order to replicate what is happening in the league as far as rosters go.

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If you have followed NoobTubeTV over the last few years you will know that I almost exclusively play Offline Connected Franchise Mode.  Moreover, you will know that I almost always use my Cleveland Browns.  Even after finding the perfect sliders and gameplay tweaks CFM will get rather boring after a few seasons.

It is incredibly easy to build up a team into a juggernaut.  You simply need to invest in players that are between 20-26 years old that fit your play-style and keep them to minimum contracts until they are 30.  It is a widely known fact that EA has told Madden gamers that players will start to decline once they hit that age threshold.  Knowing how easy it is to relatively deal with the age issues of players and dominate with your team after a season or two of development it won’t be much of a shock to hear about people trading Madden in while they can still get some decent credit for it or simply leave it on the shelf to collect dust.  Here are a few tips on how to keep your CFM fresh.

  1. Max Contacts – Figure out your favorite players on Offense and Defense and make them fixtures on your team for the rest of their career.  In my case I had to choose between Josh Gordon and Johnny Manziel.  Both players were 99 OVR by the time I got to the 2016 season and I decided to sign Johnny for the biggest amount of money and years (I believe it was 7 years, $140 million).  This will help make your salary cap management a bit tougher as you choose who to build your team around.
  2. Don’t Scout Draft Prospects – It really is this simple.  Don’t scout a single prospect during the season and you will quickly realize that what was once an incredibly easy draft process is more like real-life.  It will become more of a lottery system for your team and you won’t be able to find those ‘not so hidden’ gems in later rounds.
  3. Give The CPU More In Trades – It seems that trade logic in sports games has decided to take a nose-dive in realism.  NBA 2K actually has a trade difficulty slider (Madden needs this in the worst way!).  Do not shirk the CPU for their Draft Picks or certain players you know are franchise quality.
  4. One Draft Pick Per Round (At most) – It is far too easy (as stated in #3) to load up on 10-15 draft picks every season.  Make it a personal rule that you will not have more than one pick per round for every draft.  This will prevent you from pwning the draft year-in, year-out.  Madden has some of the dumbest draft logic in all of sports gaming, so don’t act like you really have to worry about the CPU.
  5. Coach Mode – This is something I have yet to do myself.  Simply call the plays for your team, snap the ball and let the AI take care of the rest.  This will make you look at your players in a different light and might even change the way you build your team.

Scouting In Madden 13 – Your Guide To Scouting Every Player Effectively

Madden 13 has the new scouting system that essentially allows you to ‘buy’ information on each prospect.  There are a few ways you can go about scouting, but we are going to give you the most efficient way to use your points and find potential talent in the draft.

Aren’t you glad they changed some of the costs of the scouting categories?…. 3000 for scheme?!

The first thing you have to do is determine your teams needs.  This will help the allocation go a bit more smoothly when it comes to scouting points.  Once you determine your team needs and your coach’s schemes (offense and defense) you can start looking at the players.  I am of the opinion that OVR is the most overrated and un-sim rating in gaming.  We will give you a quick way to look for the best OVR players and then a quick way to find the best players in general (depending on your play-style) and we will assume that your coach gets 2000 points as a motivator for scouting.

FOR BEST OVR RATINGS

Scout These Categories ($cost)

  1. Awareness ($100)– If they have a ‘B’ it means they will have a closer OVR to 80 or maybe even mid-80s if they fit your scheme (you should be able to scout at least 20 players’ AWR each week with this.
  2. Scheme ($25)– This is a key for a higher OVR for a player once they are on your team.  If you go after a player that isn’t going to fit your scheme, expect his rating to drop once he is on your team.
  3. Position Specific Ratings ($50-100)– These are pretty obvious things to scout for some player – we will give you a full run-down later.

FINDING THE BEST PLAYERS

I’m not much for finding the highest OVRs in the draft.  I like to find players that come in with raw talent that needs to be built in some way.  With that said, if you are more of a realistic team-builder or just want to possibly find that hidden gem in the draft that has the best OVR anyway – use these tips:

  1. Position Specific  Ratings ($50-100)– For some reason there are a ton of CBs and WRs that are amazing and are projected to be 3rd-7th Rd picks.  Look up the CTH and RLS Ratings for WRs and if you can find someone with a 90+ RLS, snag him as late as you can.  With a CB, a lot will depend on your preferred defense, but look up their MCV and ZCV first to find out if they are decent at covering anyone first.  If the coverage ratings are low, you should stay away from them as they will be useless on the field.
  2. Speed ($100)- This is unfortunately still the most important rating in many ways.  The only position this should rarely (almost never) be used on is OLinemen.  Otherwise, you should look this up for your WRs and HBs every time.  If they have a B or lower, you should think twice about drafting them high or at all.  (This might change if you need a possession WR or a power HB though)
  3. Strength ($100)- Check this out as it does tend to matter a little bit more in this Madden.  Find a stronger lineman later in the draft and you might have a decent player to build in the future.

The best part about knowing what to look for first is that once you see a rating that is low in an important category, you don’t have to waste anymore time or points on that prospect.  This is what will allow you to scout almost every player out there and have a great draft board from your first pick to your last pick!

My Favorite Ratings To Scout For Each Position

QBs – Throw Power, Throw Accuracy, Throw On Run, Injury, Toughness

HBs – Speed, Elusiveness, Trucking, Spin, Juke, Injury, Toughness

WRs – Catching, Release, Catch In Traffic, Speed, Injury, Toughness

OLs – Run Block, Pass Block, Strength, Impact Block, Awareness

DEs – Tackle, Hit Power, Speed

DTs – Tackle, Hit Power, Power Moves

LBs – Tackle, Hit Power, Speed, Play Recognition, Awareness, Zone Coverage, Injury, Toughness

CBs – Speed, Man Coverage, Zone Coverage, Awareness

FSs – Speed, Tackle, Hit Power, Zone Coverage, Man Coverage

SSs – Speed, Tackle, Hit Power, Zone Coverage, Man Coverage

Why Does The Story Have To Stop? – Madden 13 Draft Classes

Madden 13 has a great system started for Connected Careers Mode.  While there are numerous small glitches to the injury system and other things there is something in CCM that seems to just go for a season at a time – draft class storylines.

There are numerous storylines that go along with every draft class in Madden 13.  This is primarily because they prevented the user from importing draft classes from NCAA 13.  It was done to provide a more centered focus on the Madden 13 stories for each CCM.

Some of the storylines will follow #1 prospects in their amazing journey through the season and a Heisman award.  On the other hand, there are also alternate stories that might have that same player break his leg or violate team rules and lose out on a tremendous season or career.

This is a great idea and system – in theory.  Where is the problem? – Longevity, of course.

The problem Madden faces is that the NFL doesn’t really allow for games to be creative when it comes to stories in the league.  Why can’t a troubled player in the draft class with legal issues or bad decision-making get drafted late and have his story followed throughout his first season or his whole career?  Why can’t there be a player that comes out in the draft class unheralded and blows up to win rookie of the year?

In Madden 13 it seems that the story stops after the draft.  There is a little blurb about the player and a few Tweets on the feed.  However, after it is all said and done, he is just another player on a team that will have strange simulated stats or some sort of depth chart issue.  EA Sports has put out a great game, but after a few months of playing Madden 13 it is easy to see that they have continued their tradition of dropping the ball with quality control and details for career mode longevity.

Madden 13 – What Makes This Game Amazing (Part 1)

We have been focusing a lot of attention on some of the primary gameplay and AI interactions in Madden 13 over the last 24 hours.  Now it is time for a couple quick reasons for you to look at Madden from the stand point of it simply being a great experience.

Don’t Skip The Intro Video

The first thing you usually do in a sports game is skip the introduction.  Usually it is some sort of random highlight collection from the sport you are waiting to play digitally.  You won’t want to skip over the one in Madden 13 when you first boot it up and maybe not ever.  It is that good and with that said, here it is for your enjoyment.

Connected Careers Storylines Don’t Just Involve Current NFL Players

As I started into the regular season with my Browns Coaching Connected Career I decided right away that Brandon Weeden wouldn’t be the starter for the long term and set my sights on the #1 Prospect out of Weeden’s alma mater – Oklahoma State’s Stephen Diaz.  I was excited about the prospect of going after what some were calling the next Andrew Luck, but then something happened when I advanced to Week 4.  There was a headline that said “Violation Issues” and I was thinking that I had misread the headline.  I hadn’t misread anything and now all of a sudden Diaz was no longer on scouting list and I was left wondering what the hell I could do to get the scouting points back that I had spent on him. 

It was a great feeling from the perspective of having a real living league…  for the first time ever you will really have some stories to pay attention to in Madden and trust me, you will want to make sure you diversify your scouting points to multiple players.  Just in case someone has an issue with violations.

Limitations On NCAA and Madden 13 Push Both Games to Stand On Their Own

There was a lot of flack after the announcement that Madden and NCAA Football would pretty much have nothing that brought them together.

“Hello Friends!” Jim Nantz and Phil Simms are just part of a new direction for Madden this year.

For five years they both gave you the ability to pretty much continue the careers of players that you had used, faced or competed alongside during your seasons of NCAA Football.  Not to mention the fact that if you downloaded fully-named rosters for NCAA you would also be getting to draft some of your favorite “real” college players in the future!

However, there was a big downfall to that ‘perk’.

When you wouldimport your draft class from NCAA to Madden you would notice that the best players in NCAA that were coming out in the draft would be scattered.  Not to say that this doesn’t happen in real life, but the ratings simply didn’t translate well enough to be imported into Madden without scratching your head in wonderment.

This year it is different and it is a good thing.

After many articles and thoughts on the subject of Madden and NCAA 13 it has finally clicked that these games finally get to be games unto themselves.  NCAA Football has a hardcore audience that either prefer college football to pro football; or they just can’t stand Madden football and choose to roll with NCAA every year.  Regardless of the reasons for one over the other (or even buying both) you are now playing two different games this year and it is a good thing.

NCAA Football has a hardcore audience and the ability to take screen-shots during Instant Replay… This picture was taken and posted on Operation Sports by Gymrat8168

Madden’s Connected Careers is a good direction for at least a little bit of change in the formula for Franchise Mode, etc.  NCAA has Road to Glory and Dynasty still going strong, but the fact is that you won’t be playing one of these games and wondering if it would be better if you had both of them instead.

Playing a game of video game football can take you anywhere from 40 minutes to over and hour (depending on your settings, play-style and bathroom breaks).  It is difficult to play a Dynasty and a Franchise Mode at the same time.  If you consider the fact that just in regular seasons alone there are at least 28 games that need to be played; then take into account all of the off-the-field duties you have to do in order to have any depth to your experience… it is one heck of a task to run careers on two different titles.

Madden finally gets a chance to step up and be the big brother the NCAA hasn’t had on this generation of consoles.  NCAA finally gets a chance to be more than just a place to get draft classes from for Madden’s Franchise mode.

Either way it goes, this year is different for football gaming and both titles are better off for it.