Do Legacy Games Get A Reprieve From Letting You Down?

Madden 13 has received great reviews from mainstream media, but when it comes to hardcore users – not so much.  Why is it then, that this game is selling like hot cakes with crack sauce?

If you don’t get your annual Madden fix will it be an itchy year?

It seems as if this is true to some extent.  While EA Tiburon made significant strides with the development of Madden 13 they still somehow managed to anger a faction hardcore community enough that they are up in arms over numerous ‘scandals’ that they seem to be taking personally.

Tebow for a moment and consider a world without annual releases.

Why is it then that they buy the game every year even if they think it is terrible or a let down?

Many of the problems that are prevalent in the gaming and software world revolve around giving the end-user just enough improvement or subtle tweaks that they want to give it a chance.  The expectations are so high that consumers don’t even look for things that will impress them.  Their eyes are studying every pixel for a flaw and every player movement for the slightest inaccurate animation.  This doesn’t mean they are wrong to be angry about not seeing the improvements they want to see… it just means they aren’t privy to what the corporation’s plan for consumer development and profit margins – rather than actual game improvement.

Don’t think for a moment that the developer is the only ‘guilty’ party.  The fact of the matter is that you are enabling a company to continue making what you term to be ‘broken’ games because you are buying them every single year.

If someone came to you asking for advice on how to deal with a person that continuously lets them down.  Every time they make plans something comes up.  Every time they say something, they find out it is a lie or maybe just an exaggeration.

What would you tell them?

Chances are good that you would advise them to end that relationship or step away from it slowly if they are worried about hurting feelings.

My question to those of you are continuously disappointed with Madden every year (or any other game – Call of Duty, Assassins Creed, etc.) is –

Are you obligated to purchase any of these things every single year?

If you don’t like the product you are buying every year, stop giving the company that makes it the power to keep making it.  Talk with your pocket-book rather than your angry fingers… money is the only language businesses speak.  If that means you have to take a course on Rosetta Stone in order to learn how to grow a monetary backbone – do it.

Stop giving annual releases a reprieve if you don’t like what you are getting – take the power back.

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Madden 13 – Connected Careers Might Make Madden 13 Worth A Purchase

Just in case you are still on the fence about whether or not to buy Madden 13, you should consider it one of the safer sports titles to bet on this year.  The problem that most people face when it comes to buying a sports game is that they are usually just a roster update with some sort of half-cocked mode enhancement like ‘Mascot Mode’ (see NCAA Football).  Madden 13’s Connected Careers could be the mode that finally turns the game into a new direction… maybe even the right one.

When you retire as a real player (Tebow or RG3) they won’t be out of the league you will just not control them anymore.

A Brief History

While Madden has a tendency to suffer from playing like a glorified arcade game in the guise of a simulation football title, it also has the benefit of consistency in gameplay.  In other words – we usually know what to expect when it comes to Madden and how it will play.  Player movement is something that hasn’t really changed in Madden since the PS2/XBox generation – especially when compared to titles that were competing with Madden.  On the flipside – Career modes have suffered in Madden for years.

Madden 12 saw one of the biggest jumps in quality of Franchise Mode since Madden 05 (arguably the best Madden to date).  This mode still lacked any real sort of ‘stand-alone’ quality that would keep the end-user from wanting to take control of editing players or simply controlling all 32 teams in order to make the mode feel more organic – ironic, but true.

A New Hope

Connected Careers is designed to bring Franchise Mode and Superstar Mode (where you control a specific player) together as one.  You will be able to control a player or a team (as the Coach).  Some gamers are going to relish the chance to play as a specific player.  However, the real depth is going to come from being a Coach.

One of the more annoying parts of Madden 11 and 12’s Franchise Mode was the concept of ‘Potential’ ratings for players.  What made this so frustrating was that you could take a player like Derek Anderson and make him into (statistically) the best QB in the league but his OVR (and therefore, his value) would not increase.  Imagine Kurt Warner winning the Super Bowl with the Rams but never considered to be ‘great’ – that is what the potential rating did to Franchise Mode… it took away the feel that your players were any good unless they had a great potential rating.

This year, Potential Rating is gone.  You have to earn XP for each player like in a Role Playing Game.  So, if you want to make Brady Quinn or Derek Anderson your starting QB and develop them into a 99 OVR player – you can.  The crux… you have to earn it.   There are going to be some fun developments when people start making Connected Careers ‘their own’.

What To Watch For

As Madden 13 gets closer, there will be more details coming out of the woodwork.  The real details that people will notice are the glitches in the game after it comes out.  There are bound to be some things that happen in Madden 13 that make people cry foul and say that the game is broken.  It happens every year and this year won’t be any different – Madden 13 will have some things that need to be patched (fixed via an update).

Connected Careers will probably have some things that need to be tweaked and the one thing to hope for is that when these issues pop up you won’t have to restart your CCM.  Keep your eyes and ears open, your hopes up and you expectations grounded.  Madden 13 is almost here.

Changing Player Potential In Madden 12

In Madden 13 there is no player potential in Connected Careers.  However, in Madden 12 it is one of the more limiting parts of Franchise Mode.  If you have wanted to know how to change a player’s potential rating from an ‘F’ to an ‘A’ this is how you do it in your Franchise Mode.

It is also important for you to know that the Potential Rating is dependent on the Overall Rating as you edit.  It is easy to calculate a player’s potential when it comes to this:
90-99 OVR = A

80-89 OVR = B

70-79 OVR = C

60-69 OVR = D

59> OVR = F

Madden 13 – Connected Careers and Franchise Mode Questions Answered

It has been just over a month sense E3 and there are still people waiting to hear more details about Franchise Mode/Connected Careers in Madden 13.  There are a few things we can deduce from details that have either been given to the community straight up or through videos that leave you to draw some conclusions.  Not to mention the fact that some of the good people that were invited to Community Day at EA Tiburon have given a lot of great feedback.

This is one of the biggest changes for Madden in years.  The issue we are facing is that the details have become rather muddled.


Here is a list of answers and a few thoughts (after the facts) so you can have your questions answered.

Is Franchise Mode dead?

In name, yes.  In practice, no.  Franchise Mode still exists and it will be under the selection of being a ‘Coach’ – you will still have the same control over your team, etc.  Also, you will have the ability to get fired as a coach.  Everything you have been able to do in Franchise Mode in the past – you can still do in Madden 13.

What about Superstar Mode?

Superstar Mode is still around.  You will ‘Be A Player’ and in the process you will only control yourself.  You will get to choose plays as a QB, etc.

Legends, what’s the deal?

Legends (Coaches and Players like John Madden and Barry Sanders) are not coming into Connected Careers as 99 OVR versions of themselves.  Their presence in Connected Careers is also up to you as the main user to turn them on or off (off is default as of E3).

How does XP work for Connected Careers?

XP is a two tier process –

1– You have to earn it through performance and milestones.  However, you won’t be able to earn more XP if you cheat or run up the score on the CPU.  (IE – If your goal is a 300 yard passing game in week three for 1000 XP and you pass for 900 yards, you still only get 1000 XP)

2– Leveling up costs increase as your ratings get higher.  You will earn XP as you accomplish certain goals, but as you try to make your player either faster, stronger or simply better all-around you will see ratings cost more as you go. (IE – The cost to go from 85 to 86 SPD as a QB could cost you 6000 XP, but the cost to go from 86 to 87 SPD could cost you 7000 XP, etc.)

Do Coaches Matter?

Not really.  Coaches simply get put into one of four levels.  You can grow your created coach into a ‘Level 4’ but it really doesn’t mean anything. (Unfortunate)

Do player ratings change depending on a team’s scheme?

Yes, there are finally ratings that dynamically change to reflect the player’s overall value to your team or coach and what type of offense or defense you run.  A 6’3″ 349 lb DE won’t be valued highly by a 4-3 Defensive Team, etc.  This doesn’t mean his ability ratings ‘change’ but his displayed OVR and value to your team will be.

Can I make existing players retire if I control them?

No, you technically ‘stop’ using them.  However, if you have a created player and retire they will be removed from the game.

Can I still control all 32 teams?

No, you can only control one team or player at a time.

Is Connected Careers Online or Offline?

It is both.  If you hate playing against people online you don’t have to worry about it.

Can more than one person play a Connected Career on the same console?

No.

Can Commissioners kick people out of the league?

Yes

Is there online Auto-Pilot?

Yes.

Can Online Connected Careers have different roles?

Depending on your settings, you can make it so everyone has to be a QB, Coach RB, etc.  It is totally up to the commissioner.

Can I play on the same team as a friend in Online CC?

No.

More to come!  Stay tuned to NoobTubeTV as Madden gets closer.
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A few quick thoughts…

Madden 13 is really depending on Connected Careers being a high quality experience.  There are a few things that it seems EA still needs to figure out for coaches especially.

In NFL Head Coach you would be able to say one of a few different things to your players at key moments.  This added immersion and actually made coaches important.  As well, the idea of a player fitting into a team’s scheme… it should be a coach’s scheme, not a team’s scheme.  The Browns have switched coaches so many times in the last decade that the players change as often because they don’t fit what the coach wants to do and how his staff prefers to approach the game.

Making people earn XP to increase abilities is a great attempt to make the game a bit more involved and honest.  By removing the ‘Potential’ rating you are now pretty much in charge of proving that a player is as good as you think and they will have to earn every bit of that OVR Rating you think they deserve.  The nice part is that it is all on you to do this.

The overall closed nature of Connected Careers is a good thing for this year, but next year it needs to be opened up.  There is a danger in allowing people to mess with time paradoxes, true simulation and that little thing called the game’s actual coding.  This is something that can be improved upon with a more open approach in the future.  Let the beta testers gamers mess with all sorts of things so EA can figure out the issues and fix them rather than avoid them because they are scared of problems with freezing and system crashes, etc.

All things said, Connected Careers is starting to look like a great mode for Madden fans that want to have a nice experience in growing a team or a player as they see fit.  Even with some limitations that make you scratch your head.

Madden 13 – Why Connected Careers Could Be A Great Direction For Madden

While there have been a lot of detractors (yours truly included) coming out against EA’s decision to keep roster editing out of Madden 13’s Connected Careers Mode, there are some things to consider before you decide to hate it entirely.

There is something behind not having control of every aspect of rosters once you start a franchise mode or dynasty.  The biggest (most obvious) downfall is if the coding for progression and regression is bad (see Madden 09, 10, 11, etc.).  However, if the coding and player development is good (see the possibilities for Madden 13’s new XP system) you might have one heck of a deep career mode that will allow you to truly develop players and teams as you feel they should.

If you edit Phil Dawson to have 99 Kick Power and Accuracy you should have to pay for it. In Madden 13 you have to earn it rather than change it.

In Madden 12, they opened up player editing during Franchise Mode and it was/is awesome.  However, the downfall is that you have to really find a way to be honest about your edits and then make sure that you do the same thing for other players and teams across the board.  If your player did well but didn’t progress as you feel he should have, you had the ability to make sure his ratings went up as they’should have’.  The problem with this is that it can ruin the longevity of a Franchise Mode when you have a team that becomes too good either because you edited them that way or you are just great at using the fastest players in the game.

It is nice to develop a great team, but it is even nicer when you have to spend points and be honest with how you go about it.  If you want to make Brandon Weeden have 99 SPD, you will have to spend a ton of points to do so.  While this seems unrealistic, ask yourself how much more realistic it would be if you simply went in and edited him to be that way.  It wouldn’t be realistic at all and you are now stuck looking at Madden 13’s lack of player editing from a more honest perspective.

The main problem with Madden’s Franchise Mode in-particular has never really been in progression/regression anyway.  The issue that is the most obvious is the way players and draft picks are valued.  A player might come in and do an amazing job out of the blue (Matt Cassel for Tom Brady in 2009 is one example).  He then went on to get a big contract offer from the Chiefs where he has been average/above average at best.  The moral of the story is that Madden hasn’t ever really taken this into account.  The player’s value has always been based around his ratings (OVR mostly) and that isn’t how business is always done in the NFL (unless your name is Al Davis (RIP)).

For Connected Careers to work as it should, there needs to be a better value system for players that forces teams to have to make decisions on whether or not the player will work in their Franchise and system.

This is the next aspect that has never been in Madden…. Do players FIT THE SYSTEM?

Stop wondering why the Browns seem so slow, even on the line. Granted, they are supposed to fit the system… although, they don’t seem to know what system it is. (Go Browns!)

More goes into how a player is chosen for a team other than ‘Is he qualified?’

The Patriots and Bill Belichick drafted a player out of Ohio State that played more rugby than football.  They also picked up Danny Woodhead and made him into a valuable part of their team (and he is only 5’8″ 195lbs).

Woodhead is small, but he works for their system.

There are other examples such as different defensive schemes such as the 3-4 and 4-3 that require different styles, sizes and speeds for defensive linemen and linebackers.  There are certain offensive schemes that don’t require a receiver to be fast as long as he can run good routes and catch the ball (West Coast).

Do you think someone like Tim Tebow would succeed outside of Denver if he had to take every snap from the center rather than playing college-style?

If you run a 3-4 offense and need fast, athletic linebackers the last person you want to look for is going to be an average speed 6’5″ 270 lbs… you will most likely want to look for a fast and lean 6’3″ 240 lb mean S.O.B. that doesn’t care about anything other than ripping faces off of QBs.

Every position is important, but in Madden that doesn’t seem to be the case.  Again, say what you want about real-time physics and other improvements.  Those are needed and extremely valuable, but when it comes down to longevity for their most vaunted mode and biggest overhaul in years EA needs to make sure that more than just ratings truly matter.

 

If you aren’t football savvy here is a quick example:

Two people are applying for a car sales job.

The first person is fresh out of college with a degree in marketing and experience working a retail sales job part-time.  They have a good, confident attitude to eventually work at the corporate level and maybe someday head up a department or possibly their own company.
 
The second person graduated from high school and then spent two years at a community college.  They have a strong personality and make you feel like you have known them forever.  They are also from the region and have strong ties to the area.
 
Who gets the job?  The second person gets the job.  Why? Because they fit the system.

 

Madden 13’s Fall From Grace – An Abrupt Turn For The Worst?

If you consider the way Madden was going with their announcements of Connected Careers Mode and Real Time Physics it seemed as if the sky was the limit.

Now it feels like someone has come to your 4th of July party and taken all of your fireworks.

EA Tiburon has announced many new limitations for Madden 13 since the vaunted reveal of Connected Careers.

Darren McFadden should probably have an injured knee, back or right arm after this hit. However, thanks to EA and the NFL, this will most likely result in nothing more than a regular tackle and recovery… every single time.

You can no longer play more than one game per week and it must be for only your team.

This is a big deal for people that like to play random games along the way of their season to expand their enjoyment of the league as teams evolve… or to throw games like the 1919 White Sox so their team can make the playoffs.  Either way it goes, this limitation is silly and only hurts EA from the perspective of once again taking away any sort of further depth a gamer may want.

– Editing players is completely gone for Connected Careers.

Perhaps the biggest kick in the analog stick was the news that you can only edit players for Play Now games but not for your team before you start your Connected Careers Mode.  So, not only can you not edit your players… but now you have to hope that you bought the game new and got the $10 Roster Update Code included with the retail release.  Then you have to suffer the more unfortunate fate of having to depend on the Ratings Czar, Donny Moore.

– Madden still depends on the the ‘all-important’ Speed Rating

Please understand that this isn’t new or even an announcement.  However, it is still a major issue that annoys us to no end.  Football is the one game that is more than just fast guys running everything 80 yards for a TD.  It is a game of strength, awareness, determination, size and motivation (of which only one is a ‘rating’, Strength).  This leads us to our next limitation which is a continuation…

Ratings still determine everything…and nothing.

Madden football has turned into a bastardized arcade version of simulation NFL Football. There are ratings (like Speed) that mean everything to a player.  Then there are ratings (Awareness) that are some sort of mysterious presence that make a player’s Overall Rating but little else really comes out of it.  One of the things that All Pro Football 2K8 got right was taking those number ratings away from your view and made you ask yourself…”Can this guy play football?”

That is the real question facing Madden and NCAA.

Are these games really football?

Something that has troubled many football fans lately is the constant focus on ‘safety’.  If you want to be safe, play golf.  Football is about blood, guts, glory, concussions, playing hurt and yes… violence.  It is a game where every single play the goal is to destroy the player carrying the ball.  The NFL is taking it away from the game as much as they can but EA is taking it away altogether.

There are no late hits in Madden NFL Football.

There are no real time injuries to go with real time physics.

There are no roster edits for your (or any other team) before you start a Career Mode.

Which really starts to beg the question.  What exactly is in Madden outside of a couple of what now seem to be aesthetic changes to the game?

Are you angry with EA Tiburon’s approach to football games?  Vent below…

Madden 13 – Trade and Other Logic

EA Sports has released a webcast that will blow your mind if you are a Franchise Fanatic.

Madden 13’s Connected Careers (Franchise Mode) has made this game a must buy!
  • CPU Teams will trade with eachother and offer you trades
  • Free Agency is based on making an offer and then advancing the week (you better hope your offer is legit.
  • Players will change dynamically and progress if they do amazing things in the game or season.
  • The NFL Draft is a live experience with Trey Wingo giving facts and stories of important players in the draft
  • Coaches will get fired
  • Teams will start looking for coaches after their season ends
  • Salary caps are in for Online Franchise guys
  • Connected to Facebook and Twitter

http://www.easports.com/madden-nfl/promo/madden-webcast