Earning and Spending XP In Madden 15

Just like any other sort of currency, you need to save, invest and spend your XP properly if you want your players to develop into juggernauts.  In some ways you may also want to spend XP differently on players you know you won’t keep or can’t keep.

Game Prep

Earning XP –  You will want to look at each player’s development trait in the ‘Progress Player’ screen before spending lots of points on them.  This will largely determine whether or not they will earn more points by performing extraordinarily.  Also, there is the ‘Consistency’ rating – this is key in helping players progress if they don’t get a lot of playing time or targets in games.  There is something you need to consider and determine on multiple levels before you spend your allotted hours on certain players – Do their expensive ratings warrant future investment?

If you are wanting to upgrade a WR, do you really want to spend XP on one that has 85 SPD?  Will it be cost effective to spend money on increasing his SPD?  Some may say that it is totally worth it – and that is fair and good.  Go for it.  However, if you really want to make the process easier you will want to check and upgrade their ‘Development and ‘Consistency’ ratings, respectively.

Upgrading development will increase the amount of XP a player earns for achieving goals in game – this includes obtaining awards, reaching milestones and other performance objectives.  Development costs 15,000 XP for each rating (from Slow to Normal to Quick to Superstar) – so keep in mind that it might take a season or two to build your favorite player into a Quick or Superstar Development rating.  However, once they are there – they will stay there and that is why it is worth upgrading quickly.

Upgrading consistency will increase the amount of XP your players will earn during weekly training in Game Prep.

Finally, earning XP is as simple (and difficult) as performing well in each game.  Once you have the necessary prerequisites (Development and Consistency) upgraded to your liking you will notice far more XP for each player you upgrade.

(Note: I argue that the confidence rating doesn’t matter nearly as much as the actual long-term ratings of players.  It could be because confidence simply needs tuned or patched to have a more dramatic effect – but with EA’s track record – I doubt it.)

Spending XP – This is one of the easier things to do once you follow the guide in earning XP.  It is entirely dependent on the player’s position and what type of player they are.  Here are the best ways to increase the OVR ratings or performance for each position (outside of ‘Consistency’).

(Note – I rarely/never increase player SPD or ACC ratings.  They are often too expensive to consider upgrading – and it helps with what little can remain simulation about picking ratings to increase for players in Madden.)

QB – Awareness, Short, Medium and Deep Accuracy, Play Action, Injury and Toughness.

HB – Awareness, Truck, Juke, Stiff Arm, Elusive, Agility,  Strength, Injury and Toughness.

FB – Awareness, Run Block, Pass Block, Strength, Injury and Toughness.

WR – Awareness, Catch, Catch In Traffic, Release, Agility, Spectacular Catch, Jump, Injury and Toughness.

TE – Awareness, Catch, Catch In Traffic, Run Block, Release, Spectacular Catch, Jump, Pass Block, Injury and Toughness.

OL – Awareness, Strength, Run Block, Pass Block, Impact Block, Injury and Toughness.

DL – Awareness, Tackle, Pursuit, Finesse and Power Moves, Agility, Injury and Toughness.

LB – Awareness, Tackle, Pursuit, Play Recognition, Finesse and Power Moves, Hit Power, Zone Coverage, Man Coverage, Agility, Injury and Toughness.

CB – Awareness, Man Coverage, Zone Coverage, Play Recognition, Tackle, Agility, Catch, Agility, Injury and Toughness.

S – Awareness, Zone Coverage, Man Coverage, Play Recognition, Tackle, Hit Power, Agility, Catch, Agility, Injury and Toughness.

K/P – Awareness, Kick Power, Kick Accuracy. (Note – Kickers and Punters can’t get injured in Madden… Because EA – well, you know.)

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Madden 15 – Relocation Cities and Team Names

For those interested in a list of the cities and names of teams available for relocation in Madden 15 this is for you.

My initial reaction to some of the names is that they are so unoriginal it is almost painful to consider them at all.  The Mexico City Golden Eagles?  What happens when they play the Philadelphia Eagles?  Or when the Portland Snow Hawks, Oklahoma City Night Hawks and the Seattle Seahawks all end up in the same division?

Here is one of the better uniforms and logos - the Diablos.
Here is one of the better uniforms and logos – the Diablos.

Austin – Armadillos, Bats, Desperados

London – Bulldogs, Black Knights, Monarchs

Los Angeles – Crusaders, Red Dragons, Aftershocks

Mexico City – Diablos, Conquistadors, Golden Eagles

Toronto – Thunderbirds, Mounties, Huskies

San Antonio – Dreadnoughts, Marshalls, Express

Orlando – Wizards, Sentinels, Orbits

Salt Lake City – Elks, Flyers, Pioneers

Brooklyn – Beats, Bulls, Barons

Memphis – Hounds, Egyptians, Steamers

Chicago – Blues, Cougars, Tigers

Columbus – Aviators, Caps, Explorers

Portland – Lumberjacks, River Hogs, Snowhawks

Dublin (Ireland) – Celtic Tigers, Antlers, Shamrocks

Houston – Gunners, Oilers, Voyagers

Oklahoma City – Bisons, Night Hawks, Lancers

Sacramento – Condors, Miners, Redwoods

Madden 15 – The Most Pivotal Madden To Date

As we get closer to the release of Madden 15 it is becoming evident that the PS4/XBone version of the title might be the best evidence of what to expect in the coming console generation as far as Madden games are concerned.

Dick Sherman Doing What He Does Best... Opening his big mouth.
Dick Sherman Doing What He Does Best… Opening his big mouth.

With the 360/PS3 versions of Madden 06 through 09 basically being a throw-away after EA obtained the exclusive license to produce and distribute NFL games it seemed like we’d see real changes once Madden 10 arrived.  Thankfully, we did see some pretty nice changes through the effort of Ian Cummings and company.  A couple years later, Cummings was gone and Madden fell back into the rut of limited progress.

Madden 25 was a solid title that still suffered from the played out animations and terrible AI in many areas of the game.  It became evident that some sort of real change was necessary.  The last time Madden saw any sort of direction to make it a truly ground-breaking experience was in Madden 2005 with the hit stick and a focus on defense.  It helped to limit what Madden had started to become with the advent of tournament style play that nearly gutted the simulation style that Madden NFL was always supposed to be.

Madden 15 is finally bringing back what has been missing for almost ten years.  The focus on defense (even with the obnoxious Dick Sherman on the cover) is something that is more welcome than most simulation football fans can say.  Couple that with the news that wind in the game has been fixed and will even move the aiming direction during field goals, new catch animations, better variety in QB throwing, etc.  You actually might see a game worth getting excited about.

Why is Madden 15 the most pivotal version of Madden to date?

Because with the new additions and polish put on the PS4/XBone it seems like the Madden developers are finally trying to make it into a real simulation of NFL Football.

As for how realistic the Connected Franchise Mode might be?  We will have to wait and see.  Keep checking back on NoobTubeTV.com as there will be further updates and reactions to a very busy August-December in gaming.

A Bad Sign? Madden 15 Will Have No Demo.

If you consider how little Madden had grown as a game during the 360/PS3 generation it wouldn’t be too far to guess that it would be the same general game on PS4 and Xbox One.  Usually we all get a taste of what Madden has to offer a couple of weeks prior to the retail release with a demo.

madden-nfl-15-ravens-steelers-screenshot_1920.0.0_cinema_960.0

Not this year.

Madden 15 will not have a demo available for anyone.  This isn’t something that bodes well for the game as the only justification given was that they wanted to put all of their effort into the actual game rather than a demo.  It is rather disappointing from many aspects, but in the long run this will hurt Madden 15 more than help it.

 

How To Draft In Madden

NFL_Draft

With the NFL Draft right around the corner and speculation growing on what every team will do once they are on the clock we are going to shift to our only option of NFL Draft Day in gaming.

Madden’s draft and draft presentation has improved over the last few years.  Are there some short-comings?  Sure. Regardless, today we are going to focus on how to make your team better through the draft in Madden.

First Up Is Scouting.  Personally, I am hoping for a drastic change to this in Madden 15 as Madden 25 basically lets you ‘buy’ individual scouting reports for players throughout the season.  Here is your best bet for good scouting.

Spread The Love – I am all but convinced that if you put more scouting into one prospect over others that the AI takes that into account and will have a team swipe that player from under your nose.  This happened to me with numerous players (and drafts) while running my Browns.  Make sure that you are scouting only the initial ‘Grade’ for players in order to make it cheaper (and more realistic) to get an idea of their THP and THA.

Awareness (?) – If you take a look at our last article you will see that awareness is key in terms of how a player performs.  One of the things about the AWR rating is that while it almost always makes the player play better – you can also upgrade this rating with relative ease until you get into the 80’s-90’s.  I personally make it a house rule to never scout awareness.  Why?  Because I have always felt that it is a window to the Overall Rating and I never liked knowing it until after the draft.

Position Specific Ratings – This is and should always be the first thing you look at when it comes to any player.  Why is it third on this list?  Mostly because I feel that the categories above are more holistic in terms of how to look at scouting as a body.  When it comes to position specific ratings you can simply check out the article posted for Madden 13 (as we said, not much has changed).

Finally we come to the actual draft.

Write Your Own Big Board Down – For some reason, you can’t rank your favorite players scouted in Madden 25.  I can promise that every team in the NFL does this as it is basically the most important aspect of the draft outside of determining your weaknesses/needs.  Get a piece of paper and pencil and at the end of the season (after free-agency) go look at your scouting screen.  Take the time to write down and RANK your favorite players as they fit your needs.  You should take into account where you think they could be taken ahead of you and whether you would want to trade up for them if you must.

Determine Your Needs – As you play through each season you will start to find that certain players might become your favorites.  On the other hand, you might start noticing how many times your QB is getting sacked because your Right Guard is such garbage.  These are the moments when you need to either write down on your big board (see above) or take a mental note as you enter scouting/the draft.  Do you really need that QB?  Do you really need another 6’4″ 220lb WR (that seem to over-populate the Madden draft classes)?  Decide what you need and stick to that list.  If you don’t see anyone of value – trade down.

Trading Down – This used to be a more broken feature of Madden games in the past.  Trading down should always be an option if you don’t see a player you truly want/need in the draft.  If you think you can take that player only a few picks later you might want to consider trading down.  On the other hand, you might want to reconsider how far down you trade if you do see players you want.  The way Madden’s drafting logic seems to work it is as if they are reading your mind and that player is always gone just a few picks from your own.

Strike While The Iron Is Hot – One of the biggest lessons I learned in Madden (and in real life) is that if a team likes a certain player and truly wants him on their team – even if he is projected a round later… or two?  Take him.  Madden is a video game and you should enjoy these risks.  There are numerous prospects that are ‘projected’ to go in the 3rd or 4th round that always get taken by the CPU in the 2nd or 3rd round every single draft.  If you see ‘Leon Sandcastle and realize that it is the Deion Sanders clone projected to go outside of the first round and you need a CB… Take the guy – please.  This will be the same for Jerry Ricecake in Madden 15, I can almost promise this.

Interesting Ratings Breakdown For Madden 25

Worth some consideration – the original write-up for this was basically copied and pasted into a forum from another source.  In that regard, I will not give them the benefit of a link back to their forum.  I will search for the original post and give them full credit when I find it.  As promised – here is the link

Reyna BOOM

A lot of Madden gamers out there always wonder exactly what some of the ratings mean or ‘do’.  In this case there are some bits of information that I hope you find useful.

QBs

Here’s a list of a few things that AWARENESS (AWR) impacts:

– Used in combination with physical ratings to determine pass trajectory.
– Determines the decision made on option routes.
– Determines QB’s reaction time when scrambling.
– Determines QB’s recognition of threats in the pocket
– Determines if a QB can throw a ball away.


QB Accuracies impacts:

– Short Accuracy (SAC) – rating is the accuracy percentage of the QB on throws under 20 yards.
– Medium Accuracy (MAC) – rating is the accuracy percentage of the QB on throws of 20-40 yards.
– Deep Accuracy (DAC) – rating is the accuracy percentage of the QB on throws greater than 40 yards.


WRs


ROUTE RUNNING (RTE) rating:

In order to give the quarterback a big enough window to throw to, receivers must run precise routes with the correct depths and cuts so the quarterback knows exactly where he’ll be when he breaks. But more important is the separation a receiver can get on his defender. Here’s the breakdown of what the run-route rating does on the field:

– Determines fake out chance when cutting against man coverage.
– Determines the amount of time it takes the receiver to adjust to the ball in the air.
– Determines the sharpness of cut moves in the routes.


Catch in Traffic (CIT) rating:.

– Used against hit power to determine the chance of a hit stick on a receiver.
– Used against zone coverage and man coverage to determine the knock out chance when tackled during a catch.


DL

BLOCK SHEDDING (BKS) rating:

· Determines the suddenness of engaged moves and combines with player strength.
· Determines win/loss-chance of cut blocks in combination with physical ratings.
· Determines the success of run-block double teams.
· Determines a defender’s skill when rushing the passer without engaging a blocker.

BKS is also used in the open-field. The rating is matched-up with the blocker’s impact-block rating to determine win or loss in any situation where both the defender and blocker are running.


POWER MOVES – (PWM) ratings:

· Determines win/loss/super-loss on power-move attempts, used vs. Pass Block rating
· Determines defender’s skill in executing power moves.
· Determines frequency and success of each move type (AI), used against finesse move rating
· Determines how long it takes a defender to use a power move and disengage from a blocker
· Determines chance of success of impact blockvs. pass rusher (impact block= both players are running). Used with the Finesse Move Rating vs. Pass Block Rating


LBs

FINESSE MOVES (FMV) ratings:

– Finesse move-groups are: Spin, Swim, Hand Knock-Down, Speed Rush
– Determines the chance a defender gets flattened by the blocker
– Determines defenders skill vs. blocker’s skill for success of finesse moves
– AI uses FMV vs. Power Move rating to determine which move-set is used
– Determines the max time taken to perform successful finesse move

FMV is also used in combination with power moves vs. pass block ratings to determine whether the defender or blocker has the advantage when matching animpact block.

PURSUIT (PUR) ratings:

– Determines amount of time it takes to change direction while chasing the ball carrier
– Determines the chance for a hit stick when chasing the ball
– Determines how quickly a player update his pursuit path relative to the ball carrier
– Determines how quickly a player can break out of chasing the ball carrier

Pursuit is used in combination with tackle and awareness ratings to determine the chance of committing a facemask penalty.


DBs
MAN COVERAGE (MCV) ratings:


– Determines chance of fakeout, used vs. Route Run.
– Determines the time it takes to cover a cut, used vs. Route Run.
– Determines the reaction time when in man-coverage assignment.
– Determines tackle skill chance when in man-coverage assignment, used with AWR.
– Determines when a defender can break out of ‘play ball’ (when the ball is in the air).
– Determines the knockout chance of a tackle during the catch, used vs. Catch in Traffic.

MCV is also used to determine if a defender will bite and rush when his assigned player does a ‘block & release’ route.


ZONE COVERAGE (ZCV) ratings:

– Determines tackle skill chance when in zone, used AWR.
– Determines accuracy of leverage on receivers when in zone.
– Determines the time it takes for the DB to track the ball when in zone.
– Determines knockout chance on a tackle during a catch, used vs. Catch in Traffic.

PRS is used against WR’s release ratings to determine length and direction of the chuck.

 

NOTE – Here is the link to the original write-up

Top Needs of Madden Connected Franchise Mode (CFM)

There are all sorts of needs when it comes to Madden from a game-play perspective.  As many of you know by now – I almost exclusively play Offline Madden Franchise Mode.  There are so many aspects of the NFL that keep us interested all year and today we are going to focus on some of the things that Madden (or any other future football game… Are you listening 2K?) needs in Franchise mode.

Benjamin TD

Player Contracts, Morale and Agents 

If you have paid attention to any of the contracts signed by NFL players in the last few years you will see that many of these contracts are not nearly as simple as just throwing out a number and having it accepted or declined.  Madden has always had a problem with making contracts too simplified.  In that regard it has also made Franchise Mode exceedingly easy from a management perspective.  You can always low-ball a player or get someone on the cheap if you know your way around the salary cap.  Here are a few ideas on what would make this a bit more realistic and more challenging as you advance through multiple seasons.

  • Tiered Contracts – We should have the ability to front load or back load contracts for players just like in real life.  (NBA 2K has been doing this for years)
  • Incentive Based – There have been numerous contracts in recent memory laced with performance incentives.  (See Ben Tate’s deal with the Browns for an example).  This could be something that gamers need to focus on as they are building their teams around specific players.  You want that young WR you have made into a superstar to sign an extension?  Make it worth his while with money up front and incentives based on performance or staying healthy.
  • Battling Through Injuries – In this regard I like to see it being somewhat tied to the incentives listed above.  If a player tweaks his hamstring or maybe has a sore shoulder and needs to play a certain % of snaps to earn an incentive.  A good example of this is the contract of Jason Campbell for the Browns in 2013.  He did an admirable job trying to tough it out and play.  When it comes to staying healthy and getting paid to play a certain % of the snaps – you bet that is an important aspect for some players.
  • Morale – Something that never ceases to annoy Madden gamers is the thought that many features have been added and taken away as the wind blows at EA.  Morale was in Madden 2005 and played a large role in realism.  Players in the NFL have serious egos and morale swings almost daily.  In this case, a simple morale bar would be nice to see when it comes to making players happy to be on your team.  In that same breath, it should effect their performance as well.
  • Holdouts – Yet another part of the game that was removed is player holdouts.  This happens quite often and has at times caused many teams to lose important players or show them the money they demand in order to stick around.  This needs to be back in the game.

Another part of Franchise Mode that has been getting better incrementally over the last couple years is the NFL Draft.  As we enter the final week before the NFL Draft (in real life) there are many things that are becoming more apparent when looking at the draft and scouting in Madden.

  • Big Boards – I’m not talking about the main screen where they have thrown up the top players based on the CPU’s programming.  I am talking about as the GM/Coach/Owner making your own Big Board.  This could be as simple as taking a lesson from the NCAA Football team when they made a recruiting board for up to 35 players to recruit.  In this manner it should be expanded quite a bit (maybe to 50-70 players) so you can work your way through the draft like real teams do.
  • Measurables and Grades – I am  sick of the simple scouting method of paying to find exact ratings.  At most there should be grades or maybe a rating range made available through scouting.  When it comes to the combine in real life it is the biggest part of the pre-draft experience.  I want to see 40 times, bench press reps, interview notes, etc.
  • Coach Input – If you have seen the movie Draft Day you will know what I am talking about when I refer to Denis Leary’s portrayal of the Browns coach that basically tells the GM he is quitting if he takes a certain player or doesn’t help him fill the missing pieces in the draft to fit his system.  This is very important needs to have a greater presence in the game (perhaps Coach Morale as well?)
  • Scouts – This is something that is desperately needed in Madden for the sake of realism.  It would be great to not only streamline the process but also to add some variation to how players are rated based on what qualities that scouts have.