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Franchis Mode Tweaks/Suggestons For Next Year

My brother and I keep in touch literally through playing Madden Franchise mode together. We fly through 2 decades of a franchise, then re-draft... and do it all again... multiple times every NFL season. Once the super bowl is played, we gradually move on to other interests... but once September rolls around, it's Madden-time.

As some of the most well-versed players of the Franchise mode, we have seen different features come and go. Overall, the experience is great fun, of course or else we would not play it year in and year out. There are some things that could make the Franchise mode at least a little more enjoyable however... and they could really serve to make the avid Madden gamer salivate at the idea of next year's version, were they to be included.

Here are some suggestions, if I might be so bold...

Scouting of collegiate players: This aspect of franchise mode is without joking, one of the most addictive features of this game-mode in general. Separating yourself not only as an in-game player, but as a front-office manager, is something that countless Madden-geeks simply can not get enough of. We have to struggle through many of our own favorite NFL teams making bone-headed moves, and love having the ability to create our own winning versions of whatever team we control. While the scouting is fun in it's current existence... there is just so much room for improvement. Simple things like including the tidbits that Adam Schefter says as a view-able note prior to drafting the player would add intrigue and increased anxiety over making picks. You could even charge more scouting points for the "personal note" to be revealed. They could be general, maybe only having a total of like 20 different things... but that would still be beneficial. Staying on the topic of scouting... positions like Kicker and Punter have for years been a problem. There should without question be players to draft at those two positions every single year.... yet sometimes there are none listed whatsoever... Draft Pick trading is improved in my opinion... but teams still at times offer way too much for a pick that is not worth much. For example, I can consistently trade away the last pick in the 7th round, for a 4th round pick in the draft next season. They offer it to me I don't even have to go looking. Another thing that could immensely improve the drafting and the amount of thought that goes into it... is expanding the grades given pre-draft. You could even allow the user to scout for every stat category... still using letter grades and combine numbers instead of fully disclosing the rating for a player in any given category. By making the user choose from just 3 different traits, and letter grades... the entire process is stymied and isn't as fulfilling as it should be. I'll move on from scouting, because this is turning into a thesis paper on the Madden Franchise Mode... but suffice it to say that with minimal tweaking... the scouting mode could go from simply enjoyable... to utterly fantastic and fantastically realistic in simulating the strategic nature of building a winner in the NFL. These changes could even be offered in a Franchise Mode that has a setting for (Advanced Front Office Management) or something along those lines... just in case there are users who aren't willing to take their time when playing Franchise Mode (though i would then argue with what exactly the point of Franchise Mode is)... or aren't willing to sim through the scouting, etc.

Package/Formation Substitutions: There is an option in the coaching section to alter the personnel on the field for different formations you employ as a team. However this feature does not allow you to do this for your custom play book, and even when trying to make changes for existing team playbooks the moves don't seem to carry over into actual game-play. The Defensive formations are not even view-able, there is a glitch on that screen.

Free Agent Negotiations: I used to love the breakdown given for enticing a free agent to play for you. I think that seeing what is important to a player, and that having a marked impact on their choice, is fantastic. City of choice, contract length, depth chart strength, team success, head coach... these can and do impact free agent decision. Lots of these same features should be included in the negotiations for resigning players before they hit free agency.
Furthermore, I think the entire coaching staff needs to be brought back into the realm of user decision making. Choosing an offensive coordinator and defensive coordinator at the very least, used to be a blast... and should have a real impact on the team if you are simming through games... and the development of the players on your team (just as in the real NFL).

The "Injury" Slider: My brother and I turn that all the way down to a minimal 5 out of 100. Yet when we play in game against each other, we still have injuries be a common occurrence. The slider seems to protect us during simulated games well-enough, with only sporadic injuries occurring... but when we are actually playing my team vs his in the Franchise, injuries again go out of control.

My last and probably most ambitious thought, that could really help take Madden to the next level...

Fantasy Football Leagues have online league management down to a science. I think a platform needs to exist, which combines the Madden Franchise you have on Xbox... with a Fantasy Football styled website hub. There are numerous 3rd party attempts to do just this... but they are all absolutely horrible. If EA Sports and Madden would take the lead, or at least team up with a different and reliable 3rd party provider... than Madden Franchise mode could really blow-up (in a good way). There are too many intricacies for me to delve into in this forum, as to what I would include in that online League Manager platform... but if anyone wants my opinion or feedback, please just let me know as i feel like I am pretty in-tune with what the Madden-lover would desire.

In conclusion... Madden is an awesome game. Awesome. I just think we can make it into something that rivals fantasy football if properly managed and all that. People love football. People love managing teams. Everyone wants to be a GM. Everyone wants to be a rising star. Give us the chance to truly earn our stripes and differentiate the Bill Belichick's from the Marc Trestman's!


Maybe Madden's Biggest Fan - Taylor Abbott
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