Madden 19 Franchise Mode – Only One Direction To Go

As we near the NFL Draft in a matter of days it is starting to leak out of the rumor mill that Madden will be focusing on ramping up the quality of Franchise Mode.  Hopefully this means we can expect a bit more depth in terms of how the mode is represented in a few different ways.

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Because EA is the Johnny Manziel of sports game developers.

They have tried to change how free agency works from the Auction system a few years ago to making offers before advancing and hoping the guy you wanted chose your low-ball offer.  Between bad financial logic and worse player and team logic – Madden hasn’t exactly been a beacon of realism for wanna-be GMs.

They must find a way to push gamers in this mode to eventually spend their money on veterans without looking at every 28 and 29 year old player like they are going to become Stephen Hawking at the age of 30.  Yes, there is certainly a youth movement in the thinking of NFL General Managers.  Yes, this means that drafting top talent over keeping ‘aging’ players is a common strategy.  It doesn’t mean that Madden should get a pass in making players in their late-20s and early 30s relevant in Franchise Mode.

On top of the age nosedive in terms of player ratings, the other aspect that needs the most help in Madden is the Draft and Scouting.

Scouting has quite simply been a lazy effort by the developers.  It isn’t difficult to find the superstar players later in the draft.  It isn’t hard to find the busts in the first round.  By the time you figured out the scouting dynamics in Madden 17 you were more than okay with the point reversal in Madden 18 that was supposed to make that aspect more challenging.  All you need to do is look for the first rating to be a B+ or higher and you are on your way.  It’s not rocket science… and that makes for an insanely boring experience that is arguably one of the most involved and talked about in all of sports.

They must address the lack of immersion in our experience week by week.  There is ZERO immersion in Franchise Mode from an overall league perspective.  There is no feeling for the salary cap when it comes to managing the team.  There is no excitement in Franchise Mode… NONE.  The Super Bowl has been the same stupid celebration and musical experience for years.

Madden 18 was the final straw for me as a Madden fan in a lot of ways.  It was the only Madden I have stopped playing before the Super Bowl was over.  It says more about the staying power of Franchise Mode than anything else.

Madden Ultimate Team has killed what made Madden a fun experience for those of us that don’t enjoy online sports gaming.  I am hoping that Madden 19 will make good on their chance to convince me to buy this game as a pre-order for the sake of giving my annual guides for all of you out there.

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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.

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.

2K Football Announcement Coming? – The E3 Rumor Mill In Full Swing

Every year in late-May and early-June we start hearing buzz about new games that will be or might be unveiled at E3.  (E3 is the Electronic Entertainment Expo held in Los Angeles, CA annually.)  It is much like the time leading up to the NFL Draft where there are so many rumors and baseless suggestions that you don’t know what to believe or who has the ‘inside track’.

2K_Sports_LogoThis year there are a few titles that are supposedly being shown at E3 in hopes that they will capture the next-gen console audience’s hearts and minds.  Some of these titles include Halo 5, Rockstar Games’ Agent and one game that a niche group of sports gamers have been longing for since 2008 – 2K Football.

Every year there is hope injected in the football gaming community that there will finally be some sort of football game released that isn’t made by EA Sports and that isn’t called ‘Madden’.  There have been a few youtube videos with people saying that they have ‘a feeling’ that there will be a new 2K football title unveiled at E3 this year.

It is something that I almost always have high hopes for when it comes this close to football season.  It seems that my hopes (and those of the sim football gaming community) are always dashed by the time E3 is over.  Hopefully the rumor mill will prove to be correct this time around.

That said – there is no official news one way or the other about a 2K Football title as of yet.  If there does happen to be an announcement, it will have to be a far deeper game than All Pro Football 2K8 was back in 2007.  Keep your attention focused towards legitimate news and releases as we get closer to E3.  The rumors will only get more ridiculous between now and then.

How To Draft In Madden

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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.

Top Rookies Gamers Will (Ab)Use In Madden 15

While we still have two weeks until the NFL draft and everything about it is uncertain, it is with almost total certainty that a lot of fans are curious if their team will draft certain players and game-changers.  This is quite literal in the case of Madden 15.  So, who are the players that will most likely jump up the depth charts and be instant starters?  Better yet…  Which players are gamers going to trade almost everything to get on their team in Madden 15?
manziel-cutout#1 – Johnny Manziel – Face it, Madden is and always has been about speed and Madden 2004 showed that when it comes to having a speedster at QB your team will almost be unstoppable.  On top of Manziel being a fast QB and simply running around with him, Madden now has the read option and Manziel will be a monster to deal with in that way as well.  The Texas A&M prospect and former Heisman winner will be the most hyped QB since Tebow.  The question is – Will Johnny Football suffer the same fate as Touchdown Tebow?

 

dri-archer-campus-union#2 – Dri Archer – He ran a 4.26 40-yard dash in the NFL combine.  Who cares if he is only 5’8″?  Archer is going to be moved to either starting WR or HB on Madden 15.  All you need to do is hot route him in the slot and watch the amazing Madden arcade gameplay do the rest.

 

NCAA Football: Missouri at South Carolina#3 – Jadeveon Clowney – This guy is going to be moved to LE and beat RTs in Madden almost every single play.  For years Madden has had an issue with terrible blocking and especially on RT/LE interaction.  Clowney has the athleticism to take advantage of Madden’s atrocious gameplay.  Look for him coming off the edge on almost every passing play in Madden 15.