I’ve been reading a blog called SportsGaming that has been publishing some great articles about Sports Gaming. One of their recent articles talk about what needs to be tuned in Madden NFL 12. Some of the things they talked about needing tuning have been Toss Plays, QB Sneaks, 4th Down %, Interceptions, User Control, and some others and go in some detail of what needs to be fixed.
While I agree with everything they have on their list, I somewhat disagree with how some of the details of why it’s broken in the first place … specifically with User Control.
Here is an excerpt of the article including that of which User Control is a problem:
4th Down Percentages -We touched on this in our Interview with an ex-Tiburon developer, but we have to reiterate it as much as possible. FOURTH DOWN PERCENTAGES ARE TOO HIGH. How can the same people that understood that the success rate of the Surprise Onside Kick could ruin gameplay if it was too high, not get that the too-high 4th down conversion rate is hurting Madden. There’s one reason and one reason alone why people insist on going for it in situations where it would normally not take place: They have success. The NFL 4th Down conversion rate isn’t even 40%. So why does Madden reward non-football behavior with foolishness like tipped passes being caught and other elements that seem to help offenses? It’s common knowledge that it motivates defenders when teams disrespect them and go for it on 4th down frivolously, we need to see a much lower conversion rate with elements like batted passes at the line of scrimmage, deflections, dislodges from big hits, false starts and even holding calls to change people’s behavior when it comes to going for it on 4th down.
User Control – While we understand the ability to make the game more user-friendly, its been dramatically overdone in Madden 12. To the point where players can circumvent drawing up gameplans and defenders by simply throwing the ball up to a receiver, taking control and simply out-jumping or bumping off the CPU defender. This is ludicrous.Where are the offensive pass interference calls when user-controlled WRs purposely knock our defenders off their path to gain an advantage? The lack of pass breakups from big hits and dislodges really stands out and hurts gameplay here. Like we’ve stated many times before, there isn’t a downside to throwing into coverage. If the pass isn’t intercepted or deflected–its a catch. Its just as bad on defense, where we now see all manner of gimmick defenses that are successful because user control allows us to negate blocking and burst a LB/DE through the line or click on the defender closest to the ball and intercept/deflect the ball regardless of the skill level of the player and because the speed burst is NOW on defense. We’re all for user-friendly, but the current settings have LBs covering WRs effectively and other foolishness. This needs to be addressed. Doubt how big an issue this is? Here are a series of videos taken from an online game that illustrate how bad things are. As long as we lack defender jumping animations, deflections and dislodges, gameplay will continue to reward the “throw it up and user catch” offense.
I love the 4th down % breakdown and that definitely needs to be fixed, even if you instituted a “Fair-play” option to games. I think you would make the game better for everyone if Tiburon adjusted their thinking on this. Here are my thoughts. They are 100% right in the fact that people do this because they can. They go for it on 4th down, no matter where they are on the field and no matter what the distance for the first down is. Then when they fail to convert, their opponent is in better position to score than if they had punted. Thus making for some lopsided games and in most cases a player quitting, pulling, or just cutting their game off because they are getting blown out. EA SPORTS needs to save these people from themselves is what I’m saying. New players have bad experiences playing Madden because they don’t know real football and they get penalized because they go for it and then can’t understand why they are getting blown out. This works on the other end also when you are playing someone that is good, but you call the right defense, you catch them off guard and force a 4th down and 2. It’s frustrating for that player that made the stop to see his opponent in a 4th down situation going for it because he can and because there are no consequences when he hurry’s up and do the same play and converts the first down. The solution to me is easy, you either limit the ability to go for it on 4th down (Fair Play) or like the article suggest, you decrease the probability of conversion. Here’s a suggestion, use the new DPP to trigger this option. Meaning on 4th down there is another trait like clutch and some guys have it and some guys don’t and the guys that don’t have it will most likely come through. Nothing worse that your opponent hitting a slot WR who’s overall is 60 and he get’s hit by Ray Lewis and holds on for the first down. Shouldn’t happen.
Now the other discussion or debate is this whole user thing. In the article it says:
As long as we lack defender jumping animations, deflections and dislodges, gameplay will continue to reward the “throw it up and user catch” offense.
I disagree with this statement. I see way more deflections at the line of scrimmage than I ever have in any other Madden. Guys get hit and drop the ball all the time and the linebacker still jumps up to bat the ball down consistently. So this notion of lack of all of that is wrong in my opinion. I think what they really are talking about is Jetpacking and guys who take control of their WR and user catch. The article makes it seem as if this is unstoppable and it is not, you just have to click on as well.
Here is the debate we are having in the comment section:
- Shopmaster said…
About the user control: I think it’s fine and if you as a defender is not going to click on then you shouldn’t complain when someone else does it and makes you look foolish. You have every opportunity to go underneath that WR and press L1 or LB and swat that pass away. Instead you complain you want it fixed.In those “JetPacking” videos you uploaded, you are throwing to a 6’5″ WR with 90+ SPC and the DB makes no attempt to break up the pass. Not one of those videos did I see the person taking the DB even attempting to break it up. Now the rocket Catch is a different story, but you can’t get mad when a person takes control of his WR and goes and gets the ball why you rely on the CPU to do the work for you.Nice article!
- MAG Worldwide said…
we’re glad you liked the piece. To be fair, many are looking for a SIM where NFL players play like their real-life counterparts, EA seems to have missed the boat here. This alarmed us because it was against one of the game’s best secondaries. Its the reason games like 2K and FIFA have left Madden behind. We shouldn’t have to click on players so that they make the plays they’re supposed to. also, where are the DB jumping animations? How can gameplay be balanced without them? lastly, imagine that flawed rationale in NBA 2K. can dwight howard get dunked on? certainly. can it happen at will with a player using nate robinson just because he knows how to trigger an animation? probably not (and thank God)thankfully there are true SIMs that let players resemble their real-life counterparts i.e. Howard swatting that mess into the 3rd row. in the immortal words of the czar…play football–not videogames.
- Shopmaster said…
Mag Worldwide,I understand your point but if that’s the case why are you clicking on and jumping like that with your WR. You say you shouldn’t have to click on players to make the plays that they are supposed to but you have to do that on both ends. You can’t have one person click on, weather it’s offense or defense, and then claim the other players man should have defended it. Before you clicked on to the WR, the DB was in perfect position to swat the ball away but you clicked on to move your man in a better position to get the ball, the same can happen for the defense. The user should get rewarded for clicking on and making moves to get the ball as well as the defense if the WR doesn’t click on. This is a game you play, not watch the computer play. Just my opinion. The DB has animations, I’ve intercepted plenty of balls when I take control of the DB and move in front of someone that doesn’t click on. Are you saying I shouldn’t do it, if so then you shouldn’t click on your WR.Ok, next time you play get Brandon Banks and try to trigger those same catch animations. You can’t can you? You know why? Because he can’t do it in real life. In real life Vincent Jackson makes those plays. That’s true SIM right. He triggers it because he has a high rating in Jump and in Spectacular Catch so everyone can’t do it.
- MAG Worldwide said…
i guess thats our concern. We shouldn’t have to click on a player like Revis for him to be a shutdown corner, because he’s that ANYWAY. if that’s the case why even have NFL players or ratings? just rate everyone a 70 and let user control determine what happens. But if we’re going to have NFL players, represent them with the skillset they have in reality. we got another video where a guy did the same thing with Devery Henderson, he’s not 6’5″ nor is his SPC high so whats the excuse this time? we’re all for user control within reason but this time it hurts gameplay. Give DBs the same jump animations WRs have so that gameplay is balanced. defenders shouldnt just watch a guy sky for the ball helplessly.
- MAG Worldwide said…
we were sent those videos and pics from a user on PS3. phillip rivers had 500yds throwing to covered receivers and V. Jackson and Malcolm Floyd both had over 200yds receiving. we’re abou to do an article on the return of the jetpack. thats SIM? we disagree…spectacular catches should be animations that we see every once in awhile. they’re NOT routine. and certainly not an animation a player should be able to trigger at will.
I totally understand where you are coming from and I have the same concerns, my only problem is that you are clicking on with your WR but the DB isn’t. If you say you shouldn’t have to click on a player like Revis, then I say you shouldn’t have to click on to a player like Vincent Jackson.None of these games play like they are supposed to. When you play MLB: The Show do lesser named guys never get a hit off of Roy Halliday (CPU) when you control the batter. No, you can still get a hit off of him. In NBA 2K if you control someone on offense don’t you have an advantage over someone who doesn’t.I have played against guys that try to jetpack and I have stepped in front of them and hit the swat button so it’s not like the DB’s don’t have the ability to stop it and don’t have animations, you just have to click on.
I’m in no way saying Jetpacking is SIM, but it’s not unstoppable as it was in 06. I also agree that DBs need some more animations.
Love the debate.
So what side of the fence to you fall in?