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 Madden 25 Dynamic Player Performance Includes Q & A w/game developers

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poppasnuts

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PostSubject: Madden 25 Dynamic Player Performance Includes Q & A w/game developers    6/3/2013, 1:57 pm

Player traits aren’t new to Madden NFL 25, they were introduced in Madden NFL 12. Introduced in an effort to help differentiate players in a feature called ‘Dynamic Player Performance’, they are still one of the more misunderstood features in Madden NFL. If you frequent any of the major Madden NFL fan communities you have undoubtedly seen a thread titled something similar to “Throws Tight Spirals – Does it do anything?!?”.

Part of the reason player traits and ‘Dynamic Player Performance’ is misunderstood is that the underlying mechanics are relatively unknown, and they change. Changes are hard enough to understand, let alone when you make those changes under the radar. That’s definitely a recipe for black magic that players won’t understand. There are certainly some interesting hypotheses out there.

The All Mighty
Ever wonder why your quarterback came out and played like Tony Romo in December? At the core of the ‘Dynamic Player Progression’ system there are two player traits that dictate the potential a player has at any given moment in a game; Consistency and Confidence. These two traits work together to create what are essentially hot and cold streaks. They are the most powerful traits because they affect every single position on the field.

There are five levels of Confidence; one stars to five stars. These confidence levels are assigned by EA SPORTS resident “ratings czar” Donnie Moore for the Play Now crowd, and are defaulted to a three out of five for players when a Connected Franchise is created.

As you progress through a season, a players performance is evaluated weekly to determine if their Confidence goes up or down. Confidence works with Consistency to determine how players are rated relative to their base ratings. A player with high Consistency will play very close to their base ratings, regardless of their level of Confidence. As a players Consistency decreases, they are increasingly affected by changes in Confidence. Tony Romo is a good example, no one can question his natural ability, which is reflected in the Madden NFL series with very good ratings (90 OVR in Madden NFL 13). If he were a very consistent player, his ratings would stay right around that 90 OVR mark even if he was playing poorly or very well. If his confidence is low, he might fluctuate down to a 75 overall with a Confidence level of one, or up to a 99 if his Confidence is at five.

Quarterback Traits
Most football experts will tell you that quarterback is the most important position on the field. For years, people complained there wasn’t enough differentiation between quarterbacks in Madden NFL. Ratings aren’t enough to show the complete picture when looking at quarterbacks. Matt Ryan and Cam Newton had the same overall rating in Madden NFL 13, but in real life they are two very different quarterbacks. Defensive coordinators wouldn’t dream of using the same defensive game plan to deal with them. The concept of player traits was introduced to help reflect that reality; each quarterback has a combination of these traits to try to reflect how they actually play on the field.

Tuck & Run
The Tuck & Run trait determines the frequency that the quarterback breaks the pocket in an attempt to use their feet to get yards. Some players look to hang in the pocket while others take off at the first sign of pressure. There are three levels for this trait:

Rarely – A quarterback with Rarely will hang in and take shots instead of scrambling.

Sometimes – Sometimes this player will scramble, sometimes he will extend the play.

Often – These quarterbacks will take off if he sees green in front of him.

This trait has no effect on a human controlled player.

Throw Ball Away
It’s no secret that some quarterbacks are gunslingers and some are more conservative with the ball. The Throw Ball Away trait reflects that; players with this trait will look to look to get the ball out of their hands when placed in a potentially bad situation. Players who do not have this trait are more willing to stand tall in the pocket and risk a sack or a pressured throw. This trait has no effect on a human controlled player and it is a Yes or No trait.

Throws Tight Spiral
This trait has been debated so much that it is literally the genesis for this article. Despite all multitude of theories out there on the internet, the Throws Tight Spiral trait changes the animation of the ball from a wobbler to a tight spiral. You can decide for yourself if that creates a more catchable ball. This trait is a Yes or No trait.


Senses Pressure
Some quarterbacks just don’t like to be hit, but they don’t always start that way. Other quarterbacks seem to relish in the contact, hopping back up just to demoralize the defense. The Senses Pressure trait is used to illustrate those tendencies. This trait has five levels:

Paranoid – These quarterbacks are the virtual equivalent of Jim Everett (who was famously called Chris Everett by Jim Rome for being so contact shy).

Trigger Happy – Not quite David Carr but still looks to get the ball out quickly.

Ideal – Ideal is just that, will get the ball out right on time.

Average – These quarterbacks haven’t been beaten into submission like David Carr, but can find themselves oblivious to the rush at times.

Oblivious – Even at the risk of injury these quarterbacks will look to extend the play.

Forces Passes
As a Browns fan, I know a little bit about forced passes; Brian Sipe and Red Right 88 are a frequent visitor in my nightmare rotation. On the flip-side, I watched Colt McCoy check down to running backs his whole tenure in Cleveland. There are three levels in the Forces Passes trait:

Conservative – Like the aforementioned Colt McCoy, these quarterbacks won’t look at a receiver if there is a defender nearby or they have pressure.

Ideal – These quarterbacks aren’t afraid of a defender, but also know when they should continue through their progressions.

Aggressive – Threading the needle seems to be a game these quarterbacks enjoy.

Offensive Traits
There are also a handful of non-quarterback offensive traits. These traits apply to all of the non-quarterback skill positions. Their importance obviously varies from position to position, a receiver would be much more inclined to improve their catching traits instead of their rushing traits. All of the following traits are Yes or No traits.

Fights for Extra Yards
Designed to separate the more physical runners from the pack, players with the Fights for Extra Yards trait will use the skill moves at their disposal to break contact and get up field. However, triggering break tackle animations increases the chance the player will fumble, so there is an element of risk/reward to this trait.

Covers the Ball
Some players have ball security drilled into their head in Pop Warner, others carry the ball like it is a loaf of bread. The Covers the Ball trait separates Ray Rice, who carries the ball like it’s his baby and Cedric Benson, who is a human Pez dispenser.

Makes Sideline Catches
This trait makes offensive players who can receive the ball more likely to make tough sideline catches and keep their feet in bounds. This gives the player a much wider range of animations near the sideline.

Drops Open Passes
There used to be a time I thought that if you were an NFL receiver, you should be able to catch a football like Mr. Miyagi catches flies but that simply isn’t true (thanks for the memories Braylon Edwards). Take care to build up the confidence of a receiver with this trait, otherwise just when you need a catch he will drop the ball like he was eating buttered corn on the sideline, despite being wide open.

Defensive Traits
Madden NFL 25 wouldn’t be a very fun game if the offense got all the glory. Defenders get their own set of traits to determine just who is a game changer and who is simply out there taking snaps. Unless otherwise noted, all of these traits are Yes or No traits.

There are three traits which are very similar and simply enable players to do certain pass rushing animations, they are Utilizes Swim Move, Utilizes Spin Move and Utilizes Bull Rush. These traits are very useful tools to put into the tool belt of your defenders. A well placed swim move could be the difference between giving up a touchdown pass or planting a quarterback into the dirt.

One of the more valuable defensive traits is the Big Hitter trait. This trait does exactly what it says, increasing the frequency the player uses the ‘Hit Stick’ to crush the competition. One way to impose your will on the offense is to get inside their head, wondering if the next time they touch the ball they are going to get knocked out of their socks.

The final defensive trait is Plays Ball In The Air, which is a trait for all the defensive back positions and linebackers. With the introduction of the ‘Ball Hawk’ feature in Madden NFL 13, this trait gives coaches a way to decide the level of aggressiveness their defenders display when the ball is in the air. Something many people don’t realize; you can cycle through this trait by purchasing it multiple times. If you don’t like the more aggressive settings, you can purchase the trait again to turn the player into more of a tackler than risk taker. There are three levels to this trait, they are:

Conservative – These players will look to get into position to make a tackle instead of playing the ball in the air.

Balanced – These defenders will look to play the ball in the air, but not risk putting themselves out of position for a tackle as often.

Aggressive – The true ‘ball hawks’, they will play the ball; even at the expense of giving up a run after the catch.


Effort
There are a couple traits that apply to both offensive and defensive players, the first is High Motor. This trait defines the truly hard working players, the ones who never give up on a play. For example, some defensive players will give up on a play that has gone far out of the area they are responsible for. This trait ensures that the player is giving 100% at all times, even if the running back is 10 yards up field. The High Motor trait has a different effect on various positions and I’ve yet to see anything that really breaks those differences down.

Under Pressure
If you are already well versed in player traits, you will notice there is one trait remaining. I saved the Clutch trait because it is relatively rare for players to have and its implementation is involved. There have been some good explanations of this already (see Jon Robinson’s article at ESPN for example) but I’ll go over it again.

The Clutch trait is extremely powerful because it often affects teammates around the player who actually has the trait. This varies from position to position, as does the criteria for the clutch trait being activated.

Quarterback
Clutch kicks in for quarterbacks if their team is within a possession of winning and the game is in the last two minutes, or if the game is in overtime. When clutch does kick in, they get a boost to Awareness, Carry, Play Action, Throw Accuracy, and Throw On Run. The offensive line also gets a ratings boost during these situations.

Running Back
Just like quarterbacks, clutch is activated if their team is within a possession of winning and the game is in the last two minutes, or if the game is in overtime. Unlike quarterbacks, running backs do not affect anyone else when Clutch is enabled. They get a ratings boost in the following attributes: Carry, Catching, Pass Block, and Stamina when in Clutch mode.


Wide Receiver / Tight End
These positions are closely related in terms of this trait. Clutch is activated in the same end of game scenarios where it is activated for quarterbacks and running backs. Both wide receivers and tight ends receive a boost to: Catch In Traffic, Catching, Release, Route Running, and Spectacular Catch. Additionally, wide receivers have their Stamina boosted, while tight ends have improved Pass Blocking skills.

Kickers
Kickers have slightly different end of game scenarios. Kickers become Clutch if their team is losing by three or less and the game has less than two minutes to go, or if the game is in overtime. It must be fourth down also, unless there the game clock is under 10 seconds. When activated, Clutch improves Kick Accuracy and Kick Power for the kicker.

Defensive Players
Defensive players are treated differently than offensive players. To start, only the player with the Clutch trait is affected on defense. Activation of the Clutch trait is the same for all defenders and it is more liberal than the criteria for offensive players. Clutch is enabled if the game is in the last two minutes, or in overtime and the score is within one possession (winning or losing). Something important to note, defensive lineman are not affected at all by the Clutch trait. Linebackers receive an upgrade to: Awareness, Catch In Traffic, Catching, Hit Power, Play Recognition, Pursuit, and Tackle. Cornerbacks see improved: Awareness, Catch In Traffic, Catching, Hit Power, Man Coverage, Play Recognition, Pursuit, and Tackle. Finally, Safeties get better in the following attributes: Awareness, Catch In Traffic, Catching, Hit Power, Play Recognition, Pursuit, and Tackle.


Final Thoughts
One of the most interesting things about player traits and ‘Dynamic Player Performance’ is the fact that they can change inside the game depending on what has transpired inside that game. Confidence can change through the game which can cause traits to flip. Good coaches should keep an eye on their players and try to minimize negative changes and take advantage of positive changes. If you pay attention to commentary you can pick up clues about a changes in player traits; the pause menu also tells you how they are fluctuating. Try to put players in positions where they can be successful, which will create positive dynamic changes.

If you really want to be successful in league play, it is critical that you develop a consistent team and choose the upgrade player traits in a way that complements your play style, make a plan; prioritize traits accordingly. Being patient is important, it is easy to see you’ve accumulated enough points to modify a trait, but it may be more advantageous to save up for something higher priority. In the end, just having a more thorough understanding of what traits do gives you the ability to make good decisions while developing your team.

_________________
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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PostSubject: Re: Madden 25 Dynamic Player Performance Includes Q & A w/game developers    6/3/2013, 2:16 pm

All the answers come from Larry Richart (Gameplay Designer) and Rex Dickson (Creative Director), as well as a couple that were group sourced. Anyhow, I hope you enjoy this Q&A as much as I did.

1. There seems to be more emphasis placed on the running game in Madden 25. Explain why this is the case?

(LR) The NFL is full of amazing running backs, and we want to make sure it’s fun to run the ball in Madden NFL 25.

This year we wanted to put a strong gameplay focus on the running game, finding ways to make it more in-depth, more strategic and ultimately a lot more fun.

Thanks to the precision modifier there are over 30 new ball carrier moves that give you a whole new arsenal to use against the defense. Madden NFL 13 saw the addition of total control passing and pass trajectories, along with over 400 new catching animations creating the best implementation of the passing game in franchise history.

With Madden NFL 25, we needed to get the running game to the same level of fun and control. Additionally, the set of 8 ball carrier moves had been in the game for a very long time and hadn’t changed all that much.

When we watched footage of NFL ball carriers, we realized that we were missing many of the signature moves that you see in the real world. It was critical to us that we add enough depth to deliver the full arsenal of moves you see every Sunday.


2. Is precision passing back? If so, why have you decided to keep it?

(LR) Total Control Passing is most definitely back! A lot of fans told us they really enjoyed the feature when we introduced it last year, so we’re happy to confirm that it will be returning.

Total Control Passing has gone a long way in making the passing game feel more realistic and authentic. Total control passing and pass trajectories allowed for unprecedented levels of user control and expression in the passing game.

It was one of the highest-rated features of this console generation. We are thrilled with how this feature turned out and will continue to invest in it to ensure it remains a core mechanic for many years to come.

3. What, if any, changes can we expect in terms of the passing game in Madden 25?
(LR) While we are retaining Total Control Passing for Madden NFL 25, we have tuned it on specific route types (Streaks, Wheels, Posts, etc.) to not allow for such a drastic lead either inside or outside.

This was something the community was asking for and we wanted to make throwing certain
routes more of a challenge like it is in real life.

(RD) One of the main focuses for us in the passing game this year was on CPU QB AI. In the past, there were several issues with QB AI performance. We have upgraded the AI to have the ability to choose from bullet, medium and lob passes appropriately.

We have made dramatic improvements to QB awareness, specifically their ability to identify an open receiver and hit them at the right time.

4. Does the online Madden experience any changes?

Sorry folks, the answer to this question is embargoed until July 1st. More reason to come back to check us out later this summer! Yay!

5. Do all the playbooks return in Madden 25 and what changes we can expect in terms of the teams playbook (for instance will we see more pistol formations)?

(LR) Yes, all the same playbooks that were in Madden 13 are back. Every year we focus on the current trends of the NFL and with the evolution of the Option game (specifically the Zone Read Option) is an area of focus for us.

The Option game has become a very popular style as teams with mobile QB’s like the Redskins, 49ers, Panthers and Seahawks have used these option plays as staples in their offense. With that in mind, we have added several new Pistol and Shotgun formations with many of these option plays that teams are running on Sundays.

6. What challenges have you encountered using the Infinity Engine?

RD) The main challenges this year were twofold. First, we needed to eliminate as many flaws as possible that shipped with our first iteration of the Infinity Engine.

This included fixing players tripping over each other in post play, players getting limbs bent unnaturally behind their backs, improvements to tackle alignment and something we call ‘conservation of momentum’ which basically means getting players to fall in the right directions based on weight, center of gravity and collision angle. Additionally, we wanted to build user-facing mechanics around the Infinity Engine.

This comes in the form of our new stumble recovery feature and the incredible ‘Force Impact’ system. The idea here is that we are building new features and mechanics around the infinity engine as well as using the engine to maximize the potential of existing features.

7. What deficiencies from Madden 13 do you believe you have addressed in Madden 25?

This year we’ve done a lot of work with the offensive line, having former NFL lineman Clint Oldenburg go through every offensive and defensive front in the game and assign proper blocking assignments.

This makes a big difference and, along with the precision modifier, makes the running game feel a lot better.

Also, we’ve introduced hard run cuts to eliminate the “swerve” running that has been an issue in previous games. Last but not least, with an extra year under our belt we’ve been able to clean up the Infinity Engine and make it feel much more realistic.

8. What exploits from Madden 13 have you addressed in Madden 25 (for instance, will TE streak continue to be deadly)?

(RD) We fixed the onside kick exploit, and did some work on pass blocking to eliminate Nano Blitzes. We also reduced the effectiveness of inside pass leading on streak routes.

Furthermore, we improved coverage logic for curl to flat defenders. In no huddle, we only allow the user to audible to formations that match the personnel they currently have on the field (no more 5 wide audible to goal line to get a slot receiver matched up on a LB).

The biggest exploit fix was the removal of ‘swerve’ running with the introduction of hard run cuts.

9. Have any additions been made to the games controls or pre-snap adjustments?

We’ve created position-specific hot routes for receivers so that you no longer waste a hot route assignment having a wideout pass block.

Each position has hot routes specific to where they are on the field, so the hot route options will make more sense.

10. What changes can we expect in the visuals and presentation department?

We’ve recorded over 80 hours of new content with Jim Nantz and Phil Simms, so you can expect a lot of fresh new commentary this year.

We’ve also added new player chatter to make the on-field experience feel more authentic, similar to what you hear when NFL players are mic’ed up.

There are lots of other new pieces as well, including new broadcast wipes and banners, revamped flow for pre-game, halftime, injuries and challenges, and a lot more. The presentation elements are really cool this year.

_________________
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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