We all know about the things that need to be fixed in Madden NFL 12 to make it a better game, but that’s for another entry. This entry I want to focus on the 5 New Features I want to see in Madden NFL 13. Now when I say new features, I mean things that are not in the current version. Of course adding more options for Online Franchise Commissioners and more options for Online Communities are high but those wouldn’t be considered new features, those to me are fixing up old features. So without further ado here is my 5 most wanted features for Madden NFL 13:
5. Social Network Integration – In a world where everyone is following you on Twitter, tagging you on Facebook, or “liking” your status; there has to be a better way to share our games with our family, friends, and opponents. I have to give credit to Will Kinsler aka RAC for this idea when he brought it to my attention a couple of weeks ago. Right now if I wanted to share my winning TD run on Facebook, I have to save the highlight post-game, upload it to EA SPORTSWORLD after I exited the game, log in to EASW to get the embed code, and then place that code on Facebook. It should be much easier than that. I should have my facebook account or Twitter account synchronized to my EA SPORTS account. Have you noticed that almost every website now has the option to login via your facebook account? This should be no different. After the game, I should be able to tweet a highlight, or post game stats on my opponents wall for all to see. One click and “Boom” out there in Twitterverse. I don’t think this is something that’s difficult to do. If RAPTR can tweet your achievements in game then why can’t EA SPORTS tweet your stats while still playing. Example Tweet: “Shopmaster just ran 75yards for a TD score to make the score 35-17 in the 4th qtr. with 2:56 left vs. Sgibs”. I hope that was 140 characters … lol.
4. Export Online Franchise Teams – So I’ve always wanted to play with some of my Franchise teams against my friends who had franchise teams in other leagues. What we used to do was just create a team with all the players we had on our online franchise team and just play each other, but as you can imagine after the first year and new rookies coming in, we were unable to duplicate the teams. I’m not asking to play ranked games with these teams, just be good to play games with my team outside of the online franchise mode. I’m in 5 different franchises and there is one team in particular that I really need to practice with but there is no way to export that team and practice with them. Just let me export my team so I can shut up my friend who always says he can draft the better team.
3. Fair Play – Ok, I know “Fair Play” is not a brand new feature but it’s not in Madden NFL 12 and it should be. I know some hardcore guys that would just love “Fair Play” to be put back in the game and I feel the same way. I’m not saying that it should be mandatory for every game mode, but it definitely should be an option especially inside of Online Franchises and Online Communities. I also think that in the interest of the casual gamer that “Fair Play” should be invoked for their sake. Here is the typical online gamer who just got Madden and wants to play some football. Jump online, pick their favorite team, it’s 4th and 12 on their 30 and they go for it, get stopped and then give up a touchdown. 2nd possession they are down 7-0 and it’s 4th and 2 from their own 15. They get stopped again and their opponent scores and it’s 14-0 and it’s not even half way in the 1st and they are ready to quit. On top of that now his opponent is going for it on 4th too and kicking onside kicks that he can’t recover …. time to quit. And this is why people hate playing online as a casual gamer, they can’t get out of their own way. Well if you make people punt on 4th down it would probably save a lot of people from easy scores and thus making the game a little closer and thus more enjoyable. No one enjoys a blowout. “Fair-play” is not only for guys who keep converting 4th downs but it’s also prevents you from making a bad football decision. Understand that I’m not all for not be able to go for it cause there are situations where I really do think it’s a coaching call but early in the game, long yardage on 4th, going for 2 unnecessarily, constantly kicking onside kicks …. those are some of the things that can be regulated. I also think the “fair-play” should be customized in franchise settings. For example, one franchise I’m in doesn’t allow you to go for it on your side of the field on 4th down, where another only allows you to go for it on 4th down if it is inside your opponents 40 yd. line. The question is not who’s right or wrong, it’s how you prefer to play the game. Some other things that people have considered “fair-play” good for is limiting audibling down or not allowing hurry-up in certain situations. All of these are debatable and we’ll get into that in another post, but let’s get “Fair-Play” back in Madden NFL 13. I guarantee you less people will be frustrated playing online.
2. Online Practice Mode – Hear me out on this one before you judge me. For years, I would just go to practice mode to get comfortable with my offensive playbook and to see what works well against certain coverages or defensive fronts. I still do that but I’ve become more interested on the defensive side of the ball and finding out what coverages work well to defend certain routes. With that said it’s so hard to practice defense by yourself in Madden NFL 12. The offense snaps the ball too quickly, they don’t throw to the WR you want them to throw to and they never put someone in motion like a real life opponent. Try motioning someone and trying to out user yourself with two controllers, you can’t do it. Online Practice Mode would solve all of that. Now when we go and lab, we can go and lab and not play a game. Have options to set the time, score, down and distance. Not only would this make labbing more effective and efficient but commissioners can use this to set up scenarios when games get disconnected. I think this new option would be used heavily. When you have some time take a read of my article last year that dealt with “6 Things That Would Make Practice Mode Better in Madden NFL 12“.
1. Spectator Mode – There is no question that Spectator Mode has been one of the most wanted features since online came to the Madden NFL franchise in 2002. We’ve come close to being able to watch Madden games online before. In Madden NFL 07, they had what they called GameCast where you can jump into the gamecast of someones’ game and actually watch the plays that were called and the results as if you were on the ESPN website gamecast. Madden NFL 07 Gamecast even had a web portion where you could go back and see every play called in that game on both sides of the ball and what the result was. It was great but I’m afraid under utilized and thus scrapped from later versions.
Some believe if we don’t have it now, we’ll never get it but I’m an optimist and I believe we are closer than people think. Think about this if you will, there are already games that have spectator mode like Capcom vs. Marvel and even within EA with EA SPORTS MMA. So the technology is out there. Now as far as even more proof; and I’ve gone on record to say this, we are pretty much there already in Madden 12. Think about it. We already have Madden OTP which puts 6 people in a game at once. Just take the control from 4 people and now you have 4 people watching two people play. So we already have a piece of Spectator Mode already working, they just need to fine tune it so that more people can watch. I’m not asking for 50 people to be able to watch a game, but at least start out with 10. I know people will scream for more, but I’m only asking for 10. If 1 of the 10 can stream for everyone else then it’s a hit for Online Franchises and leagues everywhere. I have a Hauggauge HD PVR and I just started streaming some of my games about two months ago and the response is tremendous. I mean people I don’t even know will sit and watch me play. Some will chat and some will even challenge me ask me to play with their favorite team. I have one friend who insist that I text him everytime I stream cause he just loves to watch me play. He doesn’t play Madden but he’s been thinking about getting it just because he’s watched me play online. I’ve streamed some of my Online Franchise games and it’s been great for people to watch and do some scouting on the opponent and myself but I don’t mind. Until we get spectator mode, come watch me play here: http://www.twitch.tv/mymaddenpad I stream every now and then and am always willing to chat and give out some tips when I can.
Now I have no inside track on if any of these features will make it into Madden NFL 13, but at least you know these are things I will be talking to the developers myself and making sure they know what I and others are looking for. Once again this is not a list of things that I believe need fixing for Madden NFL 13 but what brand “New” features I would like to see in the game.
If you have a feature that should be in my top 5 please leave a comment and let me know. Who knows, I may end up revising my list but do know Spectator Mode will still be in it.
“A Voice for the Community”