Bug 1 =Trade Logic (especially CPU prospects) The big trade logic bugs will most likely not be fixed if we are going to base expectations off of past updates and patches. This means you will have to take extreme measures to maintain a reasonable team building process. As it is, you can literally get ANY prospect you want for almost nothing of value on your end.
My testing and research so far hasn’t provided a lot of markers other than the CPU possibly placing 3 to 5x more value on MLB players than top prospects. Even then – you can basically trade for anyone you want, but prospects (namely Top Prospects) remain far too easy to acquire. This is maddening for anyone that likes to make moves, but wants to make tough decisions to part ways with some of your best players to get a prized prospect like Jasson Dominguez, Andrew Vaughn, or Wander Franco.
Bug 2 = Switching to Quick Manage during a game deletes all stats prior to the start of Quick Manage. This morning, I was 4 innings into a game and wanted to quick manage to my next at bat with Milwaukee – after advancing to the bottom of the 5th I noticed that the three home runs my team hit and the 2 hit by the Twins were not showing up in the active batter stats although they were still in the game notes. After finishing the game out I checked the MLB Leaders and found that Travis Shaw (hit 3 HRs on opening day!) was only credited with 2 that were hit after Quick Manage was used. I am more confident that this can and will be fixed as it seems like more of a code issue where some aspects are simply in need of a couple small tweaks.
I will continue to post updates regarding bugs and workarounds as I uncover them.
I was excited about the idea that there were major overhauls in future depth charts based on player potential, etc. That had me ready to finally try to develop my own prospects and pay close attention to the scouting efforts in the first few months of each season before the early-June draft.
The goal was to be turned away when I offered almost any trade for top prospects as the GM of the Indians. My targets were three of the top outfield prospects, and arguably the best prospect since Griffey/Trout in Jasson Dominguez. It wasn’t so much about whether any offer would be taken, if the Indians were to offer Bieber, Jose Ramirez and Franmil Reyes I think there would at least be discussion – not much, but maybe some before they turned it down (if they would). That wasn’t the offer I made in MLB 21 Franchise Mode.
What might be even worse (if possible) is what I offered the Mariners for 2 of the Top 5 Prospects in baseball. I did all of this on the first day of Spring Training.
Below you will find a screen grab of the current Top Prospects in baseball. Jasson Dominguez is listed at #28, but is the most highly regarded.
I was also able to make similar moves for Wander Franco and Adley Rutschman. I didn’t make efforts for Torkelson, but you can probably guess how they would have gone. The fact of the matter is that MLB 21 Franchise Mode Trade Logic is still busted.
The fortunate aspect is we can institute trading house rules as users. This won’t keep the CPU from making trades and roster moves that are idiotic, but at least we can sleep soundly knowing that we aren’t cheesing the trade system to death (if we choose). Let me be clear on this – there is no ‘right’ way to play an offline single player franchise mode. You make the world of your experience anything you want – I will never tell anyone their playstyle is wrong. However, this is one of my worries when it comes to online multiplayer leagues, etc. on top of those that want to have a true simulation experience.
Here are the house rules I have been using since MLB 18 that gave me quite a bit of longevity (3 seasons in 18 and 19 – two season in 20).
Trades/Free Agents During Season –
You have to select the players you want from a specific team before offering your own player(s).
You may make one trade in the initial Spring Training (Two trades in following spring trainings).
You are permitted one trade before the All Star Game and it must not occur until at least May 1.
You are permitted two trades after the All Star Break.
You can only sign a free agent during your first season if your team suffers an injury on the MLB level that requires 60 Day – DL.
Scouting Prospects –
I generally prefer to take the scouting aspect as a personal project, but the more I look at how MLB 17 runs things, I tend to believe that leaving scouting on Auto allows your scouts to actually do what they will do based on their ratings. This also prevents the user from figuring out how to find all of the Top Prospects with ease.
NEW RULE – You have to immediately save the Franchise file once you have finished the draft the first time. This prevents the user from going through and looking at the draft position and potential of every player and simply time traveling to the day before the draft.
In-Game Rules –
There are only a couple basic rules I set for myself for MLB The Show. First, I believe that user control generally makes for a better performing team overall. Once you get settings/sliders that provide you with optimal challenge and enjoyment it is crucial to set up a system that you can follow without second guessing your rules.
Here are mine for MLB 18.
Pitching/Defense – Once you allow the first run you must Quick Manage the remainder of the defensive halves of each inning until the 9th inning. If you wish, you may use your closer if there is a save situation.
Batting – You get THREE strike outs per game. These can be offset if you draw walks. If you strike out twice and then draw a walk you can subtract one of those strike outs. Once you strike out three times you must quick manage each half inning your team is at bat until the ninth inning. You can also allow a home run to reset all strike outs.
For those of you that want to gut a team and make some trades in Madden 19 Connected Franchise Mode you are probably still in luck. The attention given to custom draft classes is something I have been praising over the last week. It doesn’t mean that other hugely important aspects of CFM have been tuned or fixed in any way. After starting a CFM from scratch with in Madden 18 with the preseason roster with a preseason starting point I wanted to see what I could get for my Browns. The team that tanked the 2017 season would get a fresh start once again in the spirit of erasing bad memories. May I say, Madden trade logic will make ANYONE into the greatest GM in the history of sports.
The first move I made was to trade away Osweiler like the Browns tried to do, but ended up eating his $16 salary in real life. Madden is where real life trade logic goes to die.
I ended up getting a projected #2 Overall Pick for Osweiler and two running backs that I was going to release anyway. How can Madden say this is good value? You will be shocked by the next trade I made.
This was a trade that I probably overpaid for in terms of Madden logic, but when you consider that the Browns traded away Haden last year, Kizer in the off-season and released Pryor before the season started last year for arguably the best young QB available at the time in Jimmy Garoppolo? It was a great trade to get my team a long-term answer at the most important position.
I then made another trade that saw not only another short-lived real life Browns contract in Britt go along with a player I just signed (Milliner) and another disposable player that would likely be cut in Burgess. In return I got the projected #8 Overall pick in the 2018 Draft.
Add in a trade of Danny Shelton, Desmond Bryant and Tank Carder to Seattle for their 1st round pick to boot.
All things said and done, I managed to obtain three more 1st Round picks and a Franchise QB for a team that was projected to finish the season 0-16 in 2017. Add on to this the fact that the Browns already had a treasure trove of picks for the 2018 draft and they literally hold 15% of all first round picks as well as a QB that I would sign to a long-term deal in the off-season. It’s hard to imagine that EA Tiburon made any big changes to this simply because they haven’t talked about it yet – they love to talk about little things and they gush at what they consider their big changes (Custom Draft Classes, I’m looking at you).
I will be creating an overhauled set of house rules for Madden 19 CFM in the coming months. It will be more important than ever to set rules now that we will have the ability to see the draft classes prior to starting each season. It could potentially destroy immersion if you know all of the best players and it could really be a game killer if the trade and draft logic aren’t fixed as well.
I noticed during my 5th season in Franchise Mode with the Browns that I could move down in the draft one spot and gain a first round pick in the next draft. While I don’t really enjoy making videos or posting blogs about Madden and some of the flaws therein, I must admit that the more I play this game and pay close attention to the trades and what I can do from a front office perspective in Franchise Mode – the more I notice exploits and flaws like this.
You want to build your team through the draft but you can’t get that coveted 1st round pick from another team for the coming draft? Happens all the time… If you want to stock up on your picks this video will show you how. Even if it is based on bad trade logic. Hopefully EA fixes this in Madden 13.
Now that the regular season is over and my Browns are set to get a Top-5 pick that they will use on Tim Couch, Courtney Brown or William Green it is time to focus on fake, digital, monopolized football gaming from EA Sports. The issue of trade logic has been a contentious one to say the least. While we will be covering more Madden issues in the coming weeks we will start with what kicks off the football season for most NFL fanatics – the NFL Draft.
The Draft is one of the most popular parts of the NFL (minus the Super Bowl). Draft picks are often held at a premium, even more than superstar players… okay, maybe not all teams feel that way (The Oakland Raiders). The issue with Madden’s trade logic is on-going and has been since the game came to PS3/360.
One issue that has been in Madden’s trade system since Madden 2002 is the ability to milk teams for draft picks or players based on faulty logic and a broken system. This is covered in the video below.
There are many issues with this game that seem cosmetic to most people. However, if you pay attention to sports gaming like some of the people of that niche community do (myself included) you will see that EA has put out an inferior product ever since they got the sole license to create NFL videogames. Back in 2004 they had to compete with 2KSports and NFL2K. While I was never a big fan of 2K’s games, they noticeably pushed EA to put out a quality product every year.
Now that that time has passed, we are stuck with Madden and the only growth that comes year after year is cosmetic. While this may seem like is a rant, there is a sincere hope that EA Tiburon makes the needed improvements we will cover in the coming weeks.
On a personal note, I have to say that this iteration of Madden has given me a lot of confidence that they MIGHT be going in the right direction. I am now in my 5th season of Franchise Mode and it is going strong. Here’s hoping that 2012 brings a fresh face to football gaming – and maybe a fix to a pathetically simple exploit in the trading system. (Watch the video) 😉