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Madden 18 Once Again Kicking Improvements to Connected Franchise Mode Down the Road

Friday, June 30, 2017 7:07:11 PM America/Los_Angeles

So here's some fantastic news for Madden fans: Madden 18 is seeking good from a gameplay perspective, and also Longshot was getting plenty of favorable buzz.

EA did not go into a lot of detail during E3 on what they predict Connected Franchise Mode or "CFM," however it was evident that their attention is chiefly about the transition into Frostbite and the maturation of their story mode. The largest update enthusiasts can expect is a draft boarda brand new feature that will enable online league players place their favored player if they can not make it to the draft. Otherwise there'll be the typical tweaks, however maybe not too much else.

Madden 18's career style is in some ways rather perplexing. It's received a variety of smart updates, but has remained fundamentally the same as at least 2013's Madden 25. The biggest upgrades have been to the UI and also the way the offseason unfolds. Owner Style and player Manner have remained virtually untouched.

 

 

This simple arrangement was put into position with Madden 13, that was the first year to introduce player XP-driven evolution--a still frustrating approach which frequently results in unsatisfying player growth. Owner manner followed another calendar year, and the updates since then are very targeted in character. After games have made them a intelligent practice mode which lets you decide which formations and players to buff, as well as stronger free agent and draft functionality. Madden 17 released "Play the Moment," which made it much easier to get through matches quickly and play multiple seasons. These extremely targeted upgrades have helped to boost career mode even as it's remained functionally exactly the same.

Such upgrades have aided Madden's CFM to remain very satisfying, but it's lacking in other locations. Owner mode particularly is a dreadful, broken mess, its only redeeming feature being that it lets you transfer a team to one of a handful of cities. Its mechanisms are based on economics which flatout don't matter--owners don't care about ticket revenue or hot dogs, they care about TV deal earnings--and its own next to impossible to reverse a financial death spiral as a team like Jacksonville even if you play nicely.

Owner mode has festered for four years as the majority of EA's attention was focused elsewhere, and in the interim other sports games have raced ahead. NBA 2K released an owner manner in which you may download user-created badges and arenas, helping you to make just about any team you want. NHL is presenting the capacity to extend this year.

Beyond that, there's still much that the center franchise mode still lacks--actual player characters, for instance, and also the capability to start a league with infamous players on your roster. FIFA has randomly-generated Soccer Manager-like storylines, plus it features the ability to assign teams to some league that you desire. Could not it be nice if it were possible to, say, place the Packers in the AFC East, only for a change of scenery? Sure, that would not be possible in real life, but that is fantasy. Whatever is possible.

NBA 2K is even further ahead than FIFA from the career style department. It permits you to take up as much or as little control as you want; start a franchise at exactly the same stage at the season as the actual NBA (together with stats to match), and enlarge and contract. It has consultants who will offer their ideas on free agency and drafting; players that whine about playing time, and also the capability to begin a franchise using a legendary team like the 2004 Minnesota Timberwolves (heh). It is the golden standard for sports game franchise styles.

I'll say this for the center of Madden's franchise mode: it's smartly presented, moves at a fantastic clip, and contains exceptional online performance. I'm no fan of this XP system, that can be inscrutable and frankly kind of a pain, but it functions. The practice mechanics are excellent. Nonetheless, it falls far short of perfect.

Career Mode Quandry

Whenever CFM fails to receive a deliberate upgrade, fans turn their ire toward Ultimate Team--the most heavily monetized manner that has recently come to be the face of sports games.

Madden's developers bristle at the thought that they don't care regarding career mode, but they also acknowledge that there are just so many resources to go about. And since Madden 25, EA has made it clear that their priorities are gameplay and Ultimate Team--the franchise's bread and butter. XP definitely isn't going anywhere. That said, there is still plenty of room for improvement within the present framework.

As I see this, the largest obstacle facing Madden's CFM has been longevity. After winning the Super Bowl, many folks quit playing simply because they have accomplished their one key target for the year. EA has attempted to improve Madden's longevity by introducing concepts like Legacy Scores, however such positions for the most part feel meaningless and arbitrary.

I should add that this is a problem that all sports games form of battle with. NBA 2K has done the best job of addressing this issue, making it so it is possible to make points and also finally purchase the team.

Both NBA 2K and FIFA function only because they have long-term goals to pursue that go beyond the boundaries of their regular season. If Madden NFL were to develop its franchise mode in any meaningful way, I would want it to maintain that course. 1 possibility I've been wanting for ages: pure accomplishments. Beyond that, simply finding a way to acknowledge your achievements within the framework of this sport would be fine. Sports games have an annoying approach to resetting back to zero once you win a tournament, presuming that the previous season ever happened.

Absent that, Madden can take a significant step ahead by taking a hard look at owner manner and player manner and making them really fun to play. With the General gameplay being in a very good Spot, and Longshot looking like It'll Be a hit, the Moment is ripe for EA to take a hard look at career mode.

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