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 EA Sports NCAA Football 14 Dynasty

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poppasnuts

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PostSubject: EA Sports NCAA Football 14 Dynasty    5/29/2013, 7:41 am



Coaching Skills/Tree
Coach progression is something that the NCAA community has been requesting for a long time and it finally makes it’s way into NCAA 14. Essentially there are four difference trees that you can progress through. While the two coordinator trees focus mostly on giving the user rating advantages on their respective side of the ball, the head coach and recruiting trees (think of this is a ‘staff’ tree) can largely influence your dynasty experience. I am positive that there are going to be various perceptions of what these coaching skills are going to do, but one thing I can tell you is that it will effect the way coaches compete in dynasty mode, especially online dynasty mode.

The Head Coaching tree focuses on skills that affect your team’s ability on the field. For example, being able to motivate your team during a timeout or have them not be ‘rattled’ during a big away game against your rival are very real abilities that elite head coaches possess in real life. It’s neat that they are represented in the game, but good coaches know how to navigate around these sorts of things. However, it is convenient to not have to deal with having players that are ‘cold’, being able to talk your kickers out of being ‘iced’ and even reduce penalties.

The most influential tree is going to be the recruiting tree. Any proclaimed dynasty-nut is going to go bananas over the options you can progress your staff in this tree. The recruiting system in NCAA 14 has been completely overhauled and the coaching skills can really separate out the elite recruiters in college football. Being able to unlock skills that increase the percentage chance of an insta-commit, or allocating more points during first or last few weeks of the season offer coaches strategic ways to spend their coach XP in order to strengthen the way they play the game. There are a few very important skills that you can unlock that I will cover later, but I think these are a very exciting addition to dynasty mode.


Recruiting
Yes, you heard me right. The recruiting system has been redone again and I think fans of the NCAA series that also follow recruiting in real life are going to enjoy the additions.

- Point Bank

The concept of hours/minutes is gone and replaced with a point bank that you, as a coach, use to allocate towards a recruit. You can think of these points as resources of your recruiting staff and it’s your job to prioritize how much of those resources you are going to spend on say a top target or a position of need. This point bank is universal, meaning that your scouting efforts also come out of the same bank.

- Deal Breakers

In previous iterations of NCAA Football, a recruit’s interest only really mattered when determining a recruit’s initial interest in a particular school or how effective your pitches were (and whether you needed to sway him – if you believe in all of that nonsense). This year those interests become pivotal with the introduction of deal breakers. For example, if you do not match up well with a recruit’s interest, he may not even want to talk to you. Say he really cares about academics and you are rated a C-, that might not be good enough for him to even entertain your school. It should be noted that dynamic pitches are still very much a part of NCAA 14 and you still have the ability to improve your pitches in order to get above a recruit’s deal breaker rating threshold. Which is nice.

The inclusion of Deal Breakers puts a very realistic spin on recruiting. This happens so very often in real life where a school just doesn’t fit what a recruit is looking for and he spends his time on the phone and visits with other schools. This will also prevent users from starting a dynasty with a team like Colorado and dominating the ESPNU150 just because they can get into the conversation with all of the top prospects.

- Recruit Interest vs School Ratings Match-Ups (Bonus Points)

Speaking of a recruit’s interest, it’s going to be even harder to recruit players to your school who are not interested in your pitches. A very popular tactic in NCAA 13 was to wear recruits down who may have not been initially interested in your program, but because they weren’t being touched by programs they were interested in, you could get them to eventually sign with you by dumping tons of time into them. This year in NCAA 14, schools will get weekly points bonuses based on how well the recruit’s interest aligns with the pitches of a school. A recruits interests are prioritized, so matching up an A+ rating for a program pitch and a Very High recruit interest will yield a healthy bonus of weekly points.

There is a very important aspect of bonus points in that there are point caps for how many points a school can allocate towards an individual recruits. However, those points do not include bonus points. So if you are going after a recruit with another school and the point cap is 400 points/week buy your school gets 350 bonus points/week versus the other schools 80 bonus points/week, it is easy to see how quickly you can widen the gap on a recruit. Recruiting players who match up well to your school will be a very effective strategy (which was not even considered a strategy at all in previous NCAA versions). It also should be mentioned that there is a coach skill that allows you to raise the point cap and could help you either deal with a competing bonus point deficit or allow you to position yourself even further in the lead.

- Lock Outs

Let me ask you a serious question. In previous iterations of NCAA Football, did you ever pay attention to the Top 8, 5 or 3 indications on a recruit’s interest meter? No? Not a lot of people did. Well that’s changed. This year you will need to pay attention to a recruit’s timeline (more on this in a second) as they will eventually cut their list down and could potentially leave you on the outside looking in on signing day. That is, unless you have progressed up the coaching skill tree enough to earn the ability to break the lock and put your program back into contention (you get a varying number of these ‘lock-breakers’ based on what tier you are in the coaching tree).

Again, this happens all the time in real life when a recruit trims their list to take their officials or even get more serious about what schools that will take a closer look at. From a gameplay perspective, it means that users can no longer afford to take a large hiatus away from a recruit that they want just because inferior programs are recruiting them. If they are able to progress the recruit to their lock point, you could lose out on him.

-Dynamic Recruit Progression

Speaking of lock points, recruits will have a designated point total where they will lock out schools. The good news is that the amount of points it takes for each recruit will be different! In NCAA 13 and before, all recruits progressed at approximately the same pace, meaning that it was simply a race to a specific point total and then the recruit would commit. This year that point total is dynamic and represents the different timetables recruits set for making their decisions. This seems like a very small addition to the game but it makes a world of difference when setting up your board and allocating your points. Some recruits may start out lower on your board at the start of the season, but will require additional attention because their point total and lock point are low (meaning that they intend to make a decision quicker).

Another point that doesn’t really fit anywhere else, so I’ll stick it here. Making a decision on a school isn’t always easy and if all the schools in contention for a recruit stay within a small percentage of each other, the recruit could drag his decision all the way through the season, regardless if his point total to commit is low or high. This adds such a huge dynamic to recruiting point allocation in online dynasties where recruiting battles are very competitive as highly touted recruits will be absolute dog fights for evenly matched schools (or coaches).

- Signing Day (Leap Frogs and Bringing the House)

It was not uncommon to see most of the recruits in a dynasty on NCAA 13 (or even before) to be committed to a school before week 10 or even week 8 for that matter. With all the new improvements to recruiting in NCAA 14, that all changes. Off-season recruiting, previously reserved for filling out your class with depth or dog fights over newly added studs to the recruiting pool (stupid and glad it’s gone), is going to be a very nervous time for coaches. As it is in real life, recruiting announcements are often down to the wire. The off-season still functions much like regular season recruiting, except it’s only two weeks long. The kicker is that point caps are removed and you are able to allocate as many points as you want to an individual player. It’s almost a bidding war (probably an unacceptable use of the word ‘bidding’ in modern NCAA jargon). Again, coaching skill upgrades can play a pivotal role here and allow you close the deal more effectively on uncommitted recruits. Things like a boosted point bank and a higher percentage of stealing or ‘leap frogging’ the #1 team if you are #2 on the list could ultimately swing decisions your way and earn you the crown of Mr. February.

- Pipelines

Most of you will be happy to know that pipelines have increased to a minimum of 6 players per state. You will not be pleased to learn that there couldn’t be any additional improvements (making it dynamic by state size/quality or broken into regions). Maybe next year. Still, it keeps pipelines from being so easy to acquire and exploit, especially considering that it’s effectiveness or presence in real life is questionable. However, there is a coach skill that allows you to reduce the number of players you need from a state to create a pipeline. So there’s that.



Bolstering Its Blue-Chip Prospects?

The phone call has been the centerpiece of NCAA's recruiting system since 2008, but series producer Ben Haumiller says it was never really meant to be that way. The mechanic was originally supposed to be a first step in a larger process, but somewhere along the way developer EA Tiburon became unwittingly more and more beholden to it. Recalling a realization the team had, Haumiller says, "We're not getting new features in dynasty because we're trying to recreate this phone call thing. Let's just cut this cord right now."

The excising of the recruiting phone call is just the start of changes for the process in NCAA 14. In its place is a more streamlined system that also puts more power in the hands of coaches and their staff.

Teams have a bank of points they can spend on recruiting players every week, with a per-player point limit for that week. You can tweak how many points you allocate to each player from week to week, or you can set it once and then let it run automatically. The new system also gives you a last-ditch attempt to sway potential players in the offseason, where you get a large pool of points and no restriction on how many of them you can allocate to a player.

Schools' grades in areas like TV exposure, academics, and conference prestige are just as important, and these are applied automatically as bonus points every week. Dynamic pitches also remain. If your grade as a championship contender fluctuates during the season, the bonus points applied from that pitch will also change. Dynamic pitches also come into play with player dealbreakers. These prevent you from recruiting a player because your team doesn't have a good enough grade in a particular category important to him. Change that grade and you can now try and recruit the player. On the other hand, should you fall below his dealbreaker mid-season, you can still recruit him; you just won't get any bonus points from that dynamic pitch.

Although you're more removed from recruiting players since you don't call them anymore, NCAA 14 gives you more influence over the process than ever before thanks to coach skills. Coaches and their staff get XP points for in-game accomplishments and recruiting success, and head coaches can spent these on a skill tree with two different branches: recruiting and game management. The former gives you more recruiting points depending on which week in the season you're in, or it could help make a player instantly commit to your school or break up a player's dealbreaker on your school. Game management skills include removing an opponent's home field advantage (no more squiggly lines pre-snap), the ability to kill the ice the kicker effect, and more.

Coordinators also have their own skills that give players' per-game ratings boosts depending on that coordinator's expertise, such as granting defensive backs better coverage skills. You can respec any skills you've bought as a coach or a coordinator at the end of the season.

NCAA 14 not only gives you more influence as a coach, but your objectives are also judged more fairly by the powers that be. Your contract is now judged on a more macro level. The game tracks a program over a larger swath of time, averaging out the number of wins in the past four years to calculate your minimum expectation. Thus, small schools need fewer wins to maintain or raise that school's prestige, while big-time programs need more to sustain it and move forward.

Given how much time you spend recruiting during a season, NCAA 14's changes to the system as a whole, on paper, sound like the best of both worlds – removing some of the tedium while also expanding your power and influence as a coach. With these kinds of tools at your disposal, building your dynasty should be easier than ever.



_________________
Fly Eagles Fly, On The Road To Victory.
Fight Eagles Fight, Score A Touchdown 1-2-3.

Hit 'Em Low.
Hit 'Em High.
And We'll Watch Our Eagles Fly.

Fly Eagles Fly, On The Road To Victory.

E-A-G-L-E-S, EAGLES!!!



"real men dont wear pads"

Trample the Weak, Hurdle the dead
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