Thursday, July 15, 2010

Online Tools for NCAA ‘11 Dynasty Mode (Plus, a bug)

I was going to resist NCAA again this year. I really was. That said, our longtime readers know just how much I cannot stand team management in console sports games, so the fact that you can run your recruiting from a web browser when using an online dynasty in NCAA ‘11 made this a must purchase. (You can, for the record, have a single-player online dynasty.)

I’ve only just begun to play with it, but this is fantastic. It’s not all the way there in execution, there are several ways I can see already for it to be better, but the fact that you can do this at all is a stroke of genius. Let me run my franchise/dynasty over my lunch hour in a browser that makes information much much MUCH more accessible, so that when I get home I can just fire up the game and take to the field. That is awesome. Off the top my head, though, here’s a couple of things that need to be addressed (two now, others later):

- First of all, there is at least one bug in the online tools. On the recruiting page you cannot see listings for 4-star recruits *when using the Caliber filter.* Bill and I have both tried this and it’s the same for both of us using different dynasties, web browsers, etc. If you set the Caliber filter to 4 Star you will not see an actual 4-star recruit in the list it generates; just 5-star guys. You can get around this by just not using the Caliber filter; annoying, but hardly lethal. Hopefully this isn’t a sign of other more insidious bugs that we have yet to see.

- Stability. This is surely a short term issue, but both online and on the console data transfers often fail and need to be redone. The good news is I have yet to lose anything. Just a quick refresh or re-upload and all seems to be well. I’m okay with this for now, but the screws clearly need some tightening.

- More team management stuff. Let me manage my playbook and depth chart this way; not just the recruiting. This is something that could revolutionize dynasty and franchise play across the spectrum of console sports games. Could you imagine managing a MLB: The Show franchise this way? I can, and it gives me all sorts of warm fuzzies.

- More information and better interface. The only way to see a player’s full ratings is on a page for that player. On the team roster screen you can only see a player’s overall rating. If I want to see just my cornerbacks along with all ratings related to CB play so that I can compare and contrast guys, I should be able to do that on one screen without clicking back and forth. I should then be able to open a separate tab for a depth chart (you can do the separate tab thing now) and go back and forth between them to manage my team.

I’m sure there will be more as I actually start doing recruiting with these tools, but so far I’m really pleased. I’m waiting to start my franchise until there’s a downloadable roster with player names, so, for now, I’m just experimenting. There’s loads of unexplored potential here that will have to wait for another year, but as a proof of concept, this is genius.


HopkinsHeel said...

There are plenty of named rosters floating around...go check out operationsports forums...I grabbed one last night for the PS3

todd brakke said...

Yeah. I saw last night that Fairdale Kings was to have his named rosters out sometime today, so I figured I'd just wait on those.