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Fantasy Drafts In Sports Games – Are We Really Missing That Much?

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?

There Is Some Purity When It Comes To Being A Noob – Never Let It Go

No matter what type of hobby or interest we have taken up at any point – we have always been noobs somewhere along the line.  Gaming is no different in this regard and some people like to demonize the idea of having a new player on their team as if it is something that will forever change their online persona.  Their Win/Loss ratio or Kill/Death ration might suffer because  a teammate is new to the game.  That is probably the most common complaint about noobs online.

Everyone has asked, “How do you throw grenades?” at some point or another.

Outside of the fact that people don’t want to have a noob on their team, there are also those that don’t like how noobs play the game.  In some cases like Call of Duty, Halo or any other First Person Shooter (FPS) there are certain ‘tactics’ that frustrate more seasoned players.  Some of these are (but not limited to) – camping, using ‘over-powered’ weapons and of-course weapons like the NoobTube.

Then you have games like Madden and NCAA Football that almost completely rely on the all powerful speed rating.  All you need are a couple WRs that have 99 SPD matched up against slower defenders and the game is over in the first quarter.  Granted, these games are more susceptible to exploits because of game design flaws or simply lacking ability to effectively counter the ‘go deep’ approach.  The fact of the matter is that if you are new to a game and you are learning the ropes you should take comfort in knowing that everyone has been there before.  But shooter games are really the bigger target for what a noob or the teammate of a noob goes through and Call of Duty games are probably the most popular.

Call of Duty is a blazingly fast game that really revolves around twitchy movements and dedication to learning the nuances of the game itself.  Once you learn the basics, it becomes a relatively easy game to play.  You aren’t guaranteed to be the best in the world if you play all the time; but like anything else – you will get better.

Which is why one of the biggest problems with non-noobs (especially those in Call of Duty) are some of the worst when it comes to being respectful to new players.  The idea of ‘Prestiging’ is something that happened in Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare.  Basically, you are able to level up in Call of Duty and obtain new weapons and other equipment as a result of your time invested.  Now with Modern Warfare 3 there are 20 levels of prestiging and it has started to give some gamers out there a bit of a superiority complex.  They feel that anyone that hasn’t prestiged simply is not as skilled or knowledgeable of the game as they are.  Really, all prestiging means is that people have put in more time than others.  You can play Call of Duty for 8 hours a day three days a week and reach the top prestige level – even if you are terrible.

The catch is that you will get better because you are playing the game more and more.  Don’t think for a moment that because you are new to a game and struggling that you will never get it.  The people you are playing against were in that same place at some point or another – stick it out and get better at your favorite games.  Just don’t forget that when you get to the point where you aren’t a noob that there are thousands of other gamers out there that are in your old shoes and they need your help and advice… not vulgar language or sophomoric behavior.

Battlefield 3 – Anti-Aircraft Quick Tips

After a little bit of a hiatus we are back in the video editing groove and have a fresh tip for all you Battlefield 3 fans out there.  Hopefully this even grabs the attention of some of the Call of Duty fans that want something with a bit more scale.  Either way it goes, we have some quick tips for you in how to bring down aircraft more effectively in Battlefield 3 using the Engineer Class and the Anti-Aircraft ‘Lock On’ Missiles.

You will need either the Stinger or the IGLA (depending on which side you are fighting for in multiplayer).

Check the video to have a walk-through of how these work best.  We will be posting more videos with a focus on the engineer class in the coming days and look forward to doing a focused feature on why it is one of the best classes to use as an aggressive gamer with a penchant for destruction!

Happy Hunting!

Camping Is Killing MW3

Modern Warfare 3 is suffering right now.  It is suffering under the weight of cowards and ‘try-hards’ that have one mission… Ruin FPS Multiplayer games for everyone.

The Downfall of FPS Gaming = Camping

You might know this practice better as Camping or Spawn Camping.  The problem that is starting to truly reach epic proportions can be noticed on almost any match of MW3 in Team Deathmatch or/especially Domination.

When a casual gamer or even a dedicated gamer wants to blow off some steam and shoot away for a few minutes that sense of relaxation can turn into a pulse pounding version of digital road rage.  It would be one thing if people were getting beat because of a great strategy, but the fact that MW3 and many other FPS titles have broken spawning and broken, socially maladjusted, pathetic neophytes at the controls it can make someone ask why they are playing the game in the first place.

We have spent a lot of time talking about gaming being a hobby and past-time that should be focused on relaxation and recreation.  Unfortunately, this is being taken away almost daily as gamers decide to consciously ruin the games they claim to enjoy for nothing more than selfish (useless) reasons.

If you think camping will help you ‘go pro’ because you will have a high kdr I am not sorry to say that you will be sorely mistaken when you go to play the people that have true skill and reflexes.

Dear Campers,

Please stop ruining the games you claim to love.

Love,

The People Moving On To RPGs

Madden 13 Franchise Mode Details Coming Soon

BE SURE TO CHECK OUT UPDATES ON CONNECTED CAREERS!!!

 

As of next week (June 4) there is going to be a new blog released from EA Tiburon that is going to focus on ‘Connected Careers’.  The most important part of this for Madden fans is the hope for details about Madden’s Franchise Mode and what improvements or additions have been made.

It would be simple (in theory) to just add player morale to the player traits section. It shouldn’t be an editable value, but making it a dynamic value that fluctuates is a must for Franchise Mode immersion and longevity.

Madden 12 saw a jump in quality for Franchise Mode, but there were still many bugs and glitchy occurrences that cast an ugly shadow on some of the details that really can’t be overlooked.  Some examples include –

  • Making it to the Super Bowl with a team like the Browns more than once but having the same banner showing that it is their first trip.
  • Being able to sign Free Agents for much cheaper by going to the “Free Agent” section rather than “Player Management” (where you have to pay players a more realistic salary instead of cheating them with a 1-year $620 deal for a guy that would/should demand more.
  • Schedules generated year-to-year are random and can end up giving you 6 straight home games and all your division games in the first ten weeks. (The NFL is making a constant effort to schedule division opponents at the end of every season to make late season games matter, this should be done in Madden as well)
  • Draft logic and trade logic is still busted as we covered before.
  • The lack of a decent system of Player Value that should mean you have to pay a player based on his performance rather than just his OVR.  If you have a QB that breaks every record (regardless of your sliders, his OVR or anything else) he should have a high value that essentially equates to you having to pay more to keep him around.  The current system of OVR plays too much of a role and takes much of the focus away from the Skill Ratings which should be the first thing you look for.
  • Another missing component that has been in NBA 2k and even PS2 Madden titles is morale and attitude for players.  This is something that MUST be in Madden in order for Franchise Mode to really hold any water past what it can hold currently.  Franchise Mode needs more personality and that should start and end with the personality of every owner, GM, Coach and Player in the game.
  • If you draft a QB in the first round like the Browns did with Old Man Weeden and you have Colt McCoy being relegated to back-up his morale should take a major hit.
  • Trade Demands and Holdouts – Take a look at the current situation with Drew Brees and tell us that this shouldn’t be in the game.

These are just some of the changes that must occur in Madden 13 for Franchise Mode.

A Brief Segway/Comment on The Drew Brees Situation

This holdout (which involves Brees and the Saints disagreeing on a contract extension because of a few million bucks) must end soon if the Saints hope to save any face in the months following Bountygate.  Brees led this team to their only Super Bowl Championship and now is being jerked around like he was simply a role-player.  Without Brees the Saints would be like the 2011 Colts without Peyton Manning (or worse).  Already, they are without their Head Coach and other major personnel.  The worst part really involves the current interaction between interim-Head Coach, Joe Vitt and Brees.

This isn’t Vitt’s team.  This is something that must be made abundantly clear between the players (especially Brees) and the ownership.  Payton is serving a one-year suspension which really makes Vitt look like the guy that comes into a broken home and tries to lay down the law.  The response from the players (his children) will most likely result in some sort of “Your Not My (Real) Dad!!!” interaction.

To make it short, the situation with the Saints this year could result in a Top-10 Draft Pick next year that will take over for a spiteful (rightfully so) Drew Brees.

This once again begs the question – Where is the personality in Madden’s Franchise Mode?  Hopefully we find out on Tuesday.

Building A Game Collection For The Price Of One New Game

By the time you get a new console, controller and a couple new games to play you are going to spend around $600+.

If you are in the market for a new console and would like to get a decent amount of games to play on it we have just the help you need to save money as you start building a new gaming library.

Low Budget Online Gaming

Gaming on a budget? These games are still played by many people online and well worth the small investment.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 = $12 – One of my all-time favorite games.  This is a very fast paced game that has a bit of a learning curve now.  Beware of hackers and glitchers that have taken over some lobbies. 
or
Call of Duty Black Ops = $20 – Treyarch put this game out to high praise that they fixed many things that people didn’t like about Modern Warfare.  You will notice that there is quite a split between some people in their preference for Call of Duty titles.  This game is a good purchase to get ready for Black Ops 2 coming out in November.
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Halo 3 = $7 – The game that got every online gamer to think they could ‘Go Pro’.  You will find a dedicated group of gamers that still play this game religiously.  This is a great cheap way to introduce yourself to Halo if you haven’t played the series before.
or
Halo Reach = $18 – Where there is Halo, there are gamers playing it online.  Reach changed a lot of things from Halo games before that may remind some people of Call of Duty’s ‘Perks’.  However, you can also download a ton of new maps and modes that give this game a long life.
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Gears of War = $7 – The first Gears of War is still preferred by a smaller contingent of purists.  The series has a tremendous community that is dedicated to the team-based third person genre that Epic Games nearly perfected with this series.
or
Gears of War 2 = $7 – The second game of the trilogy was a great success, but some glitches and online issues marred the longevity especially with GOW3 following.
or
Gears of War 3 = $24 – This game has a huge fan base even after a year of being released.  The season pass can get you all the modes and maps that were released for this great online experience.  This title is the most refined of the three and rightfully takes its place at the top of many GOW fanatics libraries.
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Battlefield: Bad Company 2 = $10 – The rival to Call of Duty that is based on large team objectives and involves huge maps with a larger focus on realism.  Weapons have more recoil and handle more realistically.
 
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The Lone Gamers On A Budget

For the offline/lone gamers out there, these should be in your library ASAP!
Fallout 3 – Game of the Year Edition = $16 – Getting this game with all of the add-on content is going to provide you with well over 60-70 hours of gaming.  You are set up in post-apocalyptic Washington DC where you will have to battle mutants, survivors, bandits and even radiation to survive.
or
Fallout: New Vegas = $10 – This is a separate story from Fallout 3 and gives a nice facelift to some of the things people wanted changed from Fallout 3.  You will have to be sure to eat and stay hydrated in this iteration of Fallout.  Who says you can have too many details?…  Not Bethesda.
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The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion = $10-15 – Before Skyrim there was Oblivion.  A game based in a fantasy realm of knights and kings where you can become a feared assassin or an admired mage/warrior.  Either way, you get to roam a huge world filled with treasure and danger.
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The FEAR Series = $10-12 – One of the scariest series of this generation is based on Sci-Fi and Horror genres being thrown into a blender with a creepy telekinetic girl that haunts you throughout.  You will learn to fear Alma and you will learn to love your shotgun.  A great game for dark quiet nights at home.
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The Assassins Creed Series = $ 10-22 – Cloak and Dagger doesn’t even begin to cover it with this title.  If you want to feel like an ancient bad-ass(assin) you will get this game.  Walk around cities like Jerusalem and follow the story that leads you through the lives of your ancestors, who happen to be assassins.
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The Splinter Cell Series = $8-10 – Sam Fisher is highly trained and voiced by Michael Ironside.  Other than that, he is also equipped with some of the coolest gadgets and gear that have ever graced the planet.  You will not regret picking up this amazing series on the cheap!

It’s Getting Hot In Here – Using Call of Duty MW3 ‘Heat Maps’

It doesn’t matter if you are new to MW3 or a veteran of many Team Death Matches.  There is something right under your digital nose that might be your ticket to a higher KdR (Kill:Death Ratio) and maybe even more victories.

This fantastic tool is located under the ‘Career’ Section in the section for ‘Recent Matches’.

We are working on a feature that focuses on using maps more effectively and it will prove to be extremely useful for you.

An example of the Heat Map?

The brighter the spot on the map, the more shots were fired from that spot. This will often show you what we call the ‘Bottlenecks’ of a map. (This map is ‘Bootleg’)

You should notice as you compare your own heat maps and performance that there are many different factors that can determine your outcome on a regular basis… your weapon choice and class settings.  Until next time, take a few minutes to sign in to your MW3 Account on CallofDuty.com and let us know your favorite maps, spots to find enemies and even your preferred classes for each map.

Outpost is an interesting map because there are between 3 and 4 different bottlenecks that will change depending on how you or your opponents prefer to approach Team Deathmatch.

Happy Hunting!

Da Bears – 2012 NFL Draft Recap and Tutorial/Experience Review

THE DRAFT – Recap

  1. ChiefsLT, Dequarius Sparks (Colorado St.) – He is an absolute beast and should be their anchor for a long time in KC.
  2. Jags QB, Clinton Derricote (Oklahoma State) – Called by some to be the “Next Mike Vick” he is just trying to avoid the QB controversy that is bound to happen with Gabbert still in town.
  3. Browns – LE, Lenard Patrick (Colorado) – A puzzling pick as the Browns run a 4-3 Defense. Perhaps they are looking to move him into the interior line?… Who knows with those idiots.
  4. Rams (From Bears, Via Bucs) – ROLB, Aaron Ross (Nevada) – Speed, power and an all around beast. He is only 6 feet tall but brings hits that would break anyone in half.
  5. Giants – Charlie Brooks (Miami OH) – He is a pure freak that reminds many of Jevon Kearse. No wonder the GMen let go of Kiwanuka.
  6. Cardinals – RG, Zack Milles (Hawaii) – He is a good player, but a RG at #6? No wonder the Cardinals are bad.
  7. Bengals – FS, Phillip Grove (Auburn) – A hard hitting FS that moved up the Bengals draft board after a good interview.
  8. Titans – DE, Tramon Saunders (BYU) – He is 6’4″ 292 lbs and looks like he could eat you. No worries, he only eats QBs.
  9. Vikings – OT, Jared Riddick (Oklahoma State) The Vikings had this guy at the top of their list after Sparks and he fell into their lap. A good pick.
  10. BEARSHB, Amos High (Georgia Tech) – The whole package! He reportedly ran a 4.35 40 Yard Dash at his Pro Day and at 6’1″ 218 lbs with moves?! The Bears had Zero HBs on their roster and now they look like they might have a Franchise Back!
  11. Saints – OLB, Darrion Lattimore (S. Miss) – The Saints moved up to get this guy. He is solid, but we wonder if they really needed to move up from 18.
  12. Jets – TE, Brent Curette (Michigan) – Looks like Dustin Keller’s days are numbered. Curette is athletic and just the drama queen the Jets love.
  13. Cowboys – CB, Rayquez Joseph (Pitt) – The second coming of Revis, but faster. The Cowboys got a steal here.
  14. Bills – LG, Carter Miller (Oklahoma State) – The third Oklahoma State guy taken, he is a solid guard and the Bills look like they are serious about building a solid core… finally.
  15. 49ers – WR, Jocqua Coleman (S. Miss) – He is sizable as he switched from HB to WR his junior year. 6’1″ 232 lbs at WR?… ok
  16. Eagles – DT, Khalek Grady (Nebraska) – The meanest player in the draft might be the final piece that brings this team to the Super Bowl.
  17. Chargers – LT, Landon Walker (Wisconsin) – Another big Badger OLineman?… Maybe the Chargers want to protect Rivers after he broke his leg due to a crap OLine in 2011.
  18. Panthers – CB, Jayden Nix (LSU) – The best ‘big’ CB in the draft, a burner with a high motor and desire to hit like a MLB… Look out NFC South!
  19. Falcons – SS, Leventrice Carswell (Penn State) – Left early after the scandal, a solid pick up to help their struggling DBs.
  20. Texans – WR, Shontrelle Quick (Virginia) – Ran a 4.27 40 at the Combine but questions about his character caused him to drop to the Texans.
  21. Dolphins OT, Case Adams (Florida) – Jake Long finally got some help from the other end!
  22. Redskins – MLB, Antwan Clements (Arkansas) – Somehow, the next Ray Lewis fell to the team that needed him the most. The NFC East is going to be a tough Division!
  23. Colts – CB, Dom Briggs (Illinois) – He is only 5’8″ but the Colts hope he plays as big as he did in the Big 10.
  24. Patriots – HB, Coco Vereen (UCLA) – He is a solid pick for a team in need of a good HB. But they really should have gone with Defense.
  25. Jags – RT, Latevin Graham (Tenn) – He is hoping to come in and compete for a starting job after the Jags moved up to take him.
  26. Steelers – LG, Martaze Bolton (Florida State) Athletic and the strongest man in the draft. The Steelers keep building winners even late in the draft.
  27. Raiders – RG, Devan Crawford (UL Monroe) – Leave it to the Raiders to draft the fastest OLineman in the Combine. Hopefully he pulls a lot?
  28. Giants – LT, Nico Archer (Kentucky) – An absolute steal that broke the hearts of Bears fans.
  29. BEARS – CB, Chandler Carter (Texas) – Projected as a 2nd Round pick, the Bears scouted him all season and fell in love with his 4.29 Speed and 39 in. Vertical Jump to go with 13 INTs his senior year at Texas!
  30. Ravens – HB, Chauncy McCorkle (Cal) – Ray Rice needs some help and McCorkle’s 6′ 244 lb frame should do just that.
  31. Lions – CB, O’Dell Tyler (USC) – The Lions traded down with the Pats and took this risk as he has a history of injuries. The upside is tremendous but the risk is crazy given their competition in the division.
  32. Packers – C, Geno Monroe (Georgia) – He is going to have a lot to worry about as he is now the #1 guy that Rodgers will talk to every snap… The defending Super Bowl Champs have a new Center… look out A Rod!