Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Madden 11 Post Slider Tweaking

Before I get started I want to address a few comments from people both here and on other forums re: my earlier impressions.

  • Kickoffs. Yes, I get that in years past returning kicks/punts was too easy and really I'd rather have it be too hard than too simple. But the fact is that returning kickoffs, unless there is some trick of which I am unaware, is way too hard. Josh Cribbs, for me, is nothing more than a below average WR in my game. I am averaging, through 9 games, 21 yards per return. I have yet to return a kick 30 yards. I may as well take a knee every time I receive a kick. I don't like that.

  • The halfback screen/pass play. This is not a "money" play as it is usually defined. A money pay, to my way of thinking, is a play that works every single time you call it. That is not the case here. On default settings it IS way too easy to get a 7-10 yard gain by calling nothing but flat passes to the HB. That Oakland game was case in point. But it's not a guarantee that it'll be open. The issue is that the AI doesn't react to the fact that I am calling nothing BUT that play. Thankfully, after tweaking sliders this is a bit better than default.
OK the post slider impressions:

  • I have come to this conclusion. If not for the sliders, I would not be playing Madden 11 this year. (Offline anyway). With the tweaks I think it a much better game.

  • The item that now stands out to me most all of, regardless of slider adjustments, is defensive back awareness..or ability..or something. It's just not right. I am playing with Cleveland, and I am in year two of a franchise and my corners all have 85 ratings. Joe Haden is an 85 even though his awareness is still in the tank. Brown's awareness is good though -- 87. But I see Brown and Eric Wright making such insane movements in the secondary that you have to ask, "Dude, wtf are you doing?"

    Example: I am playing Indy and Manning is on the verge of a 400 yard day. After each pass over the middle which is seemingly WIDE OPEN all game long I start watching replays. Eric Wright (84 AWR, 80-something man to man skill) is in man coverage with Gonzo. Gonzo runs a simple 12 yard In route. Wright is completely befuddled by this. He takes a step in the wrong direction, then stops all together, then races to catch up. 15 yards later, first down Indy. This happened over and over again in my game vs the Colts. And this was with Human DB Reaction Time at 80.

    Same game I run a streak with my rookie, a WR named Abram who is no joke. Indy is in a zone. Now, on this play I did not "flood" the zone, I had Abram run a streak by his lonesome along the right hash. The CB let him go as he was playing shallow. Bob Sanders has the responsibility of picking up my WR. Sanders is totally flummoxed by this. He stops backpedaling and basically lets Abram race right past him. Sanders has to start running again but by that time my 92 Speed WR is lone gone. 70 yards later -- TD. This was with CPU AWR at 90.

    Things like this are frustrating. And they happen a lot more often than they should. Perhaps this is just the way the game has players either beat coverage from time to time -- it just *looks* incredibly silly when players are seemingly walking around with a case if head trauma. This has to be a tough thing to code, in fairness. You don't want DBs to never screw up. They ALL get beat in real life. But I think the weird DB behavior is a bit more than that.

  • You know what I'd like to see football games do? Automate FG kicks the same way basketball games automate FTs. I HATE FG kicking in football games because it simply too easy. Madden is no different. I am 11/11 on FG kicks in my franchise. The only way I miss is if it's too far and I don't get 100% power. Just let me press a button and watch Phil Dawson try to make a 45 yard's more exiting and more realistic than me pressing two buttons.

  • OK so -- slider tweaks. For me they may save the game despite the wonky DB stuff. Passes in the flats are not "as money" now thanks to a high DB reaction time. The pass rush is better, the run game isn't as easy as it is on default All Pro, and more passes are dropped and jarred loose.

    Here's some stats for you:

    My previous game vs Baltimore -- when I got JOBBED (see below post). I lost in OT 20-17. Colt McCoy had a great first half (McCoy by year two, for me anyway, is a 77 OVR with precise short accuracy and long accuracy akin to Stevie Wonder) and could do NOTHING in the 2nd. Harrison was rolling early only to get stuffed in the 2nd half as well. My defense played great until they really needed to...very "Browns like."

    McCoy was 21/37 for 211 yards 1 TD 0 INT
    Harrison had 87 yards on 23 carries (maybe 20 yards 2nd half)
    Rice 65 yards on 19 carries
    Flacco 18/38 301 yards 1 TD 1 INT

    Next game vs Indy which I won 31-28 (I am 5-2 with the Browns at this point, but 1-2 after the slider tweaks). If I played a season on Default All Pro McCoy would throw for 5,000 yards.

    I won because Indy turned the ball over on its first 2 possessions which I turned into 10 points. Stats:

    Manning 23/41 406 yds 2 TD 1 INT
    McCoy: 16/33 187 1 TD 1 INT
    Harrison: 23 carries 132 yds (Don't laugh. Harrison has GREAT ratings. 90+ where it counts)
    Addai: 55 yds on 13 carries

    Fun games, no doubt. Flawed in areas, but at least I am back to having a really good time with the game

  • The slider tweaks. Now -- I am not going to give you specific numbers because your mileage will vary with any set of sliders but this is what, I think, you should focus on when looking to tweak the gameplay:

  • QB Accuracy: Both CPU and Human need to be lowered. My human accuracy is VERY low (around 20)

  • WR Catching: lowered. Quite a bit actually for both (35- range I think)

  • Pass Blocking: Human I have increased. CPU I have decreased slightly.

  • Pass rush, slightly increased.

  • Human and CPU DB Reaction time. Boost a lot. A whole lot.

  • Interceptions: lower these both a lot. (I'm at around 20 for both human/cpu)

  • Tackling: slight boost to both

  • Block shedding: slight boost to both

  • Auto Subs. Raise these a bit for most positions otherwise your backup HB and Dlinemen will rarely if ever play.

  • More later as I continue on with the 2011 Browns season.