Wednesday, July 26, 2006

NCAA 2007 Slider Notes (360)

Like I said previously, since EA removed the ability to watch a CPU vs. CPU game, developing sliders is much more subjective this year. My approach has been to identify what settings can be objectively tested and start there.

So, first off we have kicking.

This is relatively simple to objectively test. Go into practice mode and kick field goals with a set of kickers who represent the general spectrum of kick power ratings. That gives you the human range. Then defend against field goals as the CPU kicks them. That gives you the CPU range. You can re-spot the ball whenever you want, so you can very precisely establish the range for a certain kick power rating based on the slider setting.

I'm going to recommend settings, but I'm also going to present the data here, because some of you can use it to tailor your settings to your preferences.

Important note: these are based on Heisman difficulty. I don't know if the other difficulty settings will produce the same results. Heisman is excellent and very fair this year, so that's the difficulty level I'll be using.

Here's the specific testing methodology. I used four different kickers with kick power ratings of 78, 87, 92, and 98, respectively. In terms of leg power, 78 represents the weakest kicker, 87 represents the median, and 98 represents the best.

The CPU's kicks have relatively little distance variance, so I watched each one kick and kept re-spotting the ball until I had established maximum range. For the Human range, I kicked until I had maxed out the power meter. So that represents the absolute maximum range if you make the best kick.

With the default field goal power slider setting of 50 for both CPU and Human, here are the results. The first column, "KP," represents the kicker's power ratings. The second number represents the CPU range, and the third column is the Human range.

78---42--- 36

On the default settings, human players have much less range than the CPU. The median kick power rating for most field goal kickers seems to be around 87, and at that rating there's over a 10% difference in range.

The slider settings I wound up with after testing are 15 for the CPU and 80 for Human. Here's the results with those settings:
78---40--- 39

With the median rating, range is identical. The Human player has a slight advantage with excellent kickers, but given the superior accuracy of the CPU, that's not an unfair advantage.

As far as accuracy goes, I set it to "0" for both the CPU and Human settings. The CPU is too accurate, even at 0, and the analog kicking meter is very lenient in terms of accuracy for the human player as well.

I should have punting and kickoff settings tomorrow.

Site Meter