Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Madden Notes

The coach sliders are ready to be beta tested, so if you want to participate, please e-mail me.

Madden has some interesting and seemingly embedded issues this year, ones that I don't think sliders can fix. In particular, pass coverage is shockingly poor at times. Zone coverage is frequently brain-dead, and press coverage sometimes results in the defensive back missing the "bump" in "bump and run."

In other words, coverages are just blown.

This happens in real football, too, but not nearly as frequently as it does in Madden. What does it mean to the game? Big plays. Way too many big plays.

This produces an endless slider kludge in an attempt to make the game more realistic. Pass defense reaction time can be improved, but that increases interceptions, and too many of those are run back for touchdowns. Even at zero, there seem to be too many interceptions.

Well, so increase quarterback accuracy, right? That's fine, except that also produces many more big plays, which was the original problem.

The pass rush can help control the offense, to some degree, but when sacks are 3X NFL numbers and the quarterback is getting blasted on nearly every pass play, that's not realistic, either.

The Madden devs are smart guys, and I think this will be adjusted in a patch. That doesn't make the game more playable now, though.

This is cherry-picking an example, and the Hail Mary is a specialty play, but take a look at this:

I know, that's small, but stay with me. This is a Hail Mary at the end of the half, and the perspective of the photograph is from above and very slightly behind the quarterback.

Now, look at the top of the field, near the end zone. If you look closely, you will see three Patriot receivers-- and one Chiefs defender. You also see a fourth Patriot running about 15 yards behind his three friends, and he is wide open.

What are all those Chiefs defenders doing? Standing there, apparently. Letting half the opposing team run right past them. Obviously, it's zone coverage, and just as obviously, it's broken.

The worst high school team in the world wouldn't have a defensive breakdown like this. Actually, the worst junior high school team in the world wouldn't, either.

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