Now that off-season free agency has started and many of the stars have realigned throughout the NFL (with plenty of time left for more movement) there are many Madden fans left wondering why they should bother playing the game now that EA’s roster updates have been over for a month.
I am happy to announce that there is a simple home remedy that I will be undertaking as we get closer to the draft – updating rosters manually. This is a substantial undertaking as Madden isn’t always the most end-user friendly game for roster editing. I did a similar service for Madden 12. While the XBox 360 is horrible for simple save transfers, here is a link to the NTTV post back in August that should help you out.
The rosters will be updated to the best of my ability to follow along with the busy free agent season. There will need to be some testing for how these might work in CCM. If you would like to assist with any roster moves please leave comments or like us on Facebook and post your suggestions!
If anyone would like these updates to be done for Madden 13 on PS3 you might have to donate a game to the cause as I have a PS3 but do not have Madden 13 for the console.
Now that the NFL Combine has started there will be a few weeks of excitement before the actual NFL Draft and the announcement of who will be on the cover of Madden 25. Until that time comes, we are going to take a look at what this game looks like from the standpoint of ‘what is already known’.
The first aspect of Madden that most fans are interested in is whether Connected Careers Mode will be updated and fixed. CCM was a step in a somewhat new direction for Madden and while it provided many gamers with a new wave of interest in playing multiple seasons it also presented new problems and brought into focus (yet, again) some of the biggest short-comings of Madden.
Trades Are Still Broken – In case you haven’t noticed, you can trade away your draft picks and easily get between seven and ten future first round draft picks. Player for player trades are a bit more difficult to pull off but that isn’t enough to save the atrocious draft pick trade logic that still plagues this game.
O-Line/D-Line Interaction – Every time I play Madden it feels more like I am playing Tecmo Super Bowl and the linemen are going through the suction motions. This is certainly one aspect of gameplay that 2K mastered back in NFL2K5 and All Pro Football 2K8.
Commentary – Phil Simms is a jack-ass. Okay, this isn’t something limited to Madden (as he exhibits this in every broadcast in ‘real life’) but his commentary is often out of place and even hypocritical. When a Quarterback gets sacked from the blind side (Enter your Sandra Bullock joke here) he will say one of two phrases “Boy do they hurt” and then he will say a few plays later “They don’t hurt at all”. Which is it Phil?… or rather – Madden Devs?
Injuries – One of the most annoying aspects of Madden is that it doesn’t have realistic injuries. While the NFL is trying to make it seem like football is safe, we know otherwise. EA needs to make a decision as to whether they are going to make a representation of real football or some sort of football farce.
Keep your eyes and ears open as Madden 25 starts the annual hype machine. You are destined to get excited and eventually let down by the beginning of September. If you want a sports game that will make you feel like Madden is lacking – go get MLB 13 the show next week.
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.
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)
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.
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.
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:
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.
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)
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!
We recently talked about building your team in Madden 13. There are many different ways to do this strictly by picking up talented players that
are rated as such. On the flip-side, there are also many other players out there that are diamonds in the rough. You can make it your mission to take some players out of the late rounds of the draft or even pick them up during the preseason as other teams give up on them because of low overall ratings.
You need to take some chances on players you might not know about and that will often mean scouring the free agent market during the pre-season for a player that could make all the difference for you in the current season or simply develop him into a future star.
There are a few different ways to look for a player that might ‘fly under the radar’. The first is to look at position specific ratings and determine if they are what you are looking for in a player at that position. Assuming you even need someone at that position.
Quarterbacks are some of the easier ones to look for as far as ratings go, but they will often be the first ones to go during the preseason. Look at their Throw Power and Throwing Accuracy ratings. If you run a West Coast offense you don’t need a QB with 95+ THP, but you do need them to have good-to-great accuracy when throwing short and medium routes. If you prefer a more vertical passing attack, you will want someone with a higher THP (like 95+) and a better accuracy for deep passes. The moral of the story is – If the shoe fits, pick up the QB you need. As you develop a QB you should focus on improving their passing ratings first rather than some sort of speed increases.
Runningbacks are a different breed when it comes to determining what is a ‘steal’ (assuming you need one). The first thing you will notice is that developing a runningback will be costly if you want to increase their SPD rating. If you want a ‘fast’ HB, make sure he is fast before you pick him up. As well, pay close attention to his ratings in Carrying and Injury/Toughness. A decent HB can have his season and career derailed if he takes a shot from a powerful MLB or Safety. The ratings for a HB that need to be increased in order to develop their market value are the AWR and Carrying ratings. Use your XP on these and your HB will be a force to be reckoned with… or traded in his late 20’s.
Receivers are among the most common diamonds in the rough. They are also the easiest to stock up on and never use… therefore, losing a roster spot just to carry a potential talent. Receivers need to have the obvious CTH (catch) rating, but they also need to have a few others that you can easily build up if you get them enough playing time and touches. The AWR rating is something that can effect a WR as he needs to be able to know when the ball is thrown and where to run his routes. Also, there is an issue of getting your potential diva WR the ball often enough to build him up. I am currently in a situation where I have eight (8) WRs on my team. I have turned the Browns into a pass first team, but in the process I have also over-stocked my team with WRs. Here are a few of my current project players –
Offensive Line is another easy place to upgrade players, but you should really make sure you draft them with great ratings first. It isn’t often you will put an under-rated O-Lineman on the field to protect your QB. On the other side of this argument, you can always grab a lineman with great strength and size, put him on the line and try to dominate with the running or passing game (whichever is his focus for XP) and develop him in that fashion.
The hardest players to develop are Defensive Linemen and Linebackers. The reason being that they develop most of their XP through tackling statistics. The issue is that tackling stats are broken in Madden 13 and the interactions between defensive players and offensive blockers is shaky at best. You will want to increase the Tackle ratings first and then move on to increase every player to ‘Big Hitter’ status so they cause more fumbles as well as increasing their Hit Power ratings.
Depending on what type of coverage you run for your defensive backs you will want to focus on their coverage ratings as well as their press ratings. If you are running a lot of man-coverage with your CBs you will want to increase their MCV ratings first as well as their Press rating if they are a physical type of player. Their XP is generally determined by how many INTs they get during the course of the year and if you can develop a talented defensive backfield you will be almost unstoppable.
When it comes to safeties you will want to look at how you have them playing as well. I have a defense made up of ‘enforcers’ like Laron Landry and TJ Ward… if you come across the middle you will end up with a broken jaw because these are like Honey Badgers… they don’t give a s**t! Make sure you up their Zone Coverage ratings as well as their tackling and hit power as they are often the last line of defense if someone does get past your front-seven. The last thing you want are a bunch of DBs trying to ‘tackle’ like Deion Sanders.
Kickers require a lot of field goals in order to increase their stats. The bad thing about this is that most people want to score touchdowns rather than kicking a lot of FGs. Whenever you want to increase your kick power you will notice that it starts to get really expensive after awhile. Your best bet is to pick up a kicker with a high kick power rating starting off.
Punters are along the same lines as kickers. How many teams really ‘want’ to punt? Try to pick up these players as you go and hope that they have the high kick power ratings that you need rather than try to build them up.
Now that the reviews are pouring in from publications and regular users all over the internet, we are looking at the comments that many of our readers are leaving. Many of these comments are focused towards the lack of a Fantasy Draft or roster editing before starting Franchise Mode (what is now called Connected Careers). For those of you that don’t know what Fantasy Drafts are, we will break it down for you now.
Fantasy Drafts essentially take every player off of every team and put them into a pool in which you will pick any of those player for your team of choice. Every other team will follow suit in this 53-Round draft. This has been in Madden for over a decade – until now.
The developers of Madden 13 have decided to remove the Fantasy Draft (as well as some other roster editing abilities for career modes). While there are serious questions about roster editing, it is puzzling why so many people are angry about Fantasy Drafts from the aspect of longevity in career modes. It isn’t because someone can’t have a long-lasting career mode with a fantasy draft, but more along the lines of trying to figure out how much of a challenge it is to build a team in a Fantasy Draft – in Madden no less.
When I was between the ages of 12 and 14 I was a big fan of being able to trade players between teams and make my own ‘all star’ or ‘fantasy’ team in Triple Play Baseball on Playstation One. I would build a team to play against my friends and their ‘fantasy’ team in exhibition games. Outside of that, I also built a team in the fantasy draft in Madden, years later. When you could bring this fantasy drafted team into a Franchise Mode it made some people think that it would be the best thing that ever happened to the mode.
While it seems there are a few people out there that prefer to run an offline franchise or online league with a fantasy draft – I have yet to personally finish a season with a fantasy team in any sports game (especially Madden). There are a few reasons behind this, at least from my point of view.
· If you build a team of dominating all stars – where is the challenge?
· Doing a fantasy draft for career modes often results in the user taking younger players with higher speed ratings (speed has always been the most important rating in Madden)
· Knowing which players are on other teams involves going into the player management screen and scrolling through the players.
· Longevity of a fantasy drafted team in a career mode is something I have yet to see go more than two seasons.
That said, it remains that fantasy draft is gone with the wind and many people are stuck wondering why. This is one of the more confusing situations that is happening across the board in Madden 13. Between roster editing and importing draft classes and superstars from NCAA Football – a lot of users are left wondering if there is any part of career modes that will be left to their own customization or personal preferences.
The fact that EA Tiburon has tried to do something so vast with Connected Careers should make most people happy to see some sort of attempt to change from the same old and dry franchise and superstar modes.
Where do you stand on fantasy drafts and other customization? Are you among the group of people that hates everything about the changes or are you part of the faction that are happy to see some sort of originality, even at the initial cost of user customization?
As it happens, EA Sports is allowing XBox Live and Playstation Network users to play their sports games early. It is in this spirit that we are going to try and help you decide whether or not to buy or pre-order Madden 13. You will still have ample time to make an informed decision before the game is released on August 28.
To call it a review is a misnomer – we will be featuring a series of reviews over the next few days that will cover everything from gameplay to specific modes and even the online experience. If you have any questions or requests please post them in our comments section or hit us up on Twitter – @NoobTubeTV.
Stay tuned to NoobTubeTV for reviews and updates on everything Madden 13 over the next few days.
Players like Tom Brady shouldn’t celebrate touchdowns when they are still losing by 21+ points with less than 2 minutes left. If anything they should be scowling and angry or some other sort of reaction that says ‘this isn’t enough’ if they are losing the game.
Divisional games and playoff clinching games should end with bigger celebrations from players and coaches. This shouldn’t be limited to the Super Bowl or even playoff games, but also with games in the division like the Browns beating the Steelers. Also, a team clinching the division or a wild card spot in the playoffs should have players and fans that celebrate, cheer and go crazy.
RPGs are typically the types of games and genres that will earn you a swirlie in the school bathroom from your typical jock/bully swine. Now it seems that they will finally have a chance to see what they have been missing. As well, it might be time for some of my fellow nerds to step out of their realms of wizardry and into the arena that we sports nuts also call – The Gridiron.
Madden 13’s Connected Careers Mode is something we have been featuring on NoobTubeTV quite a bit over the past few months. While this is no doubt because it is one of the biggest parts of the game – it is also one of the biggest changes to how gamers will be approaching career modes in sports games. While some games have done a great job (see MLB: The Show) with bringing gamers into a more centralized experience of actually ‘being’ a player in the game, football has been missing out for years – until now.
An example of how they are implementing story and background into this mode can be found in the Connected Careers Manual from EA (Although, they could use a lot of help on the editing front) – We will use the Cleveland Browns as an example.
Scheme: West Coast / Base 4-3
Salary Cap Room: $9.62M
Strengths: HB, LT, DT, MLB
Weaknesses: QB, WR, LG, RT, FS
Playing as a Coach
The Cleveland Browns are a tough franchise to play with in Connected Careers. The roster is in need of improvements in multiple areas and they play in arguably the toughest division in football. The Browns are hoping they got on the right track with the drafting of Trent Richardson and Brandon Weeden and addressing an offense that did not strike fear in its opponents. The defense will be the key in determining how well your season turns out. The Browns have a young defense that is only going to get better. MLB D’Qwell Jackson is the leader and Joe Haden and T.J. Ward provide playmakers in the secondary. Prepare to go out each Sunday knowing you need to bring your A game.
Playing as a Player
Pat Shurmur is searching for a West Coast QB and that’s exactly what you can do to step right in and start from day 1. Trent Richardson will be tough to overtake in the backfield, but a Red Zone Threat WR should see significant playing time, if not the number 1 spot on the depth chart. The same could be said with a Receiver TE. Your best chance of starting right away on defense will be as a Run Supporting FS or SS. Get on the field and help turn this franchise around!
A New Hope?
It seems like we finally have a reason to hope for Madden NFLs career modes to take off and maybe even bring in a new audience. Get your twenty-sided dice ready all you nerdy football fans! It is time to build XP and level up into one of the most fearsome players or respected coaches in the NFL!
You can choose to startup a Connected Career as a player or coach. In both cases, you then select whether or not you want to take over a current NFL player or coach, create a player, create yourself using EA SPORTS Game Face, or as a NFL Legend.
When creating a player or coach in Connected Careers, you’ll also select a backstory in order to distinguish them. This backstory will affect your character during your career so it’s important to understand what each one does.
You’ll be cut from the same cloth as John Madden and Vince Lombardi. Your players will lay it all on the line for you and you’ll attract free agents as well. Being a motivator will also give you a 25% discount on packages that increase a free agent’s interest in signing with your team as well as 25% off packages to decrease the odds of a player retiring.
You’re one of the smartest men in football when it comes to the X’s and O’s, perhaps the next Bill Walsh. Being a strategist will give you a 25% discount on XP boost packages, the Coach XP package, discount packages which reduces the XP cost for your players, and the Predictability Package.
Being the head coach is only one of the hats you wear. Scouting and roster management are also key components of your abilities. Being a team builder will give you a 25% discount in packages that increase the interest of a player re-signing with you, the Expert Scout Package, and Trade Influence Package.
Each coach in Madden NFL 13 will have a Coach Level. It begins at Level 1 and will go up to Level 4. If you create a coach, you’ll enter the league as a Level 1. This will give you easier team goals, but you’ll be paying full price for packages. As you begin to have success, you’ll begin to level up. A Level 4 coach will have extremely high team goals but will be able to purchase packages at a discounted price.
High Draft Pick (We don’t know if you will get bonus points for naming your player ‘Ricky Williams’)
You’re essentially a first round draft pick. You’ll come in with the highest ratings but will also have lofty goals that will be tougher to meet. Choosing this backstory gives you the quickest way to crack the starting lineup and contribute right away.
You’ve been drafted near the end of the draft. You’ll have mediocre ratings and will have to really excel in practice and in the preseason just to earn a few snaps in your first year. However, your
goals will not be set quite as high. Choosing this backstory makes it less likely to see significant playing time in year one, but has the chance to develop later on
You’ve been completely ignored and were not selected in the draft. Your ratings will be much lower than the other backstories and you’ll have to scratch and claw for every piece of XP you can get. Choosing the backstory will provide the toughest grind and you can expect to not see much playing time in the first season.