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Madden NFL 20 - Gridiron Notes: October Title update

Check out the Gridiron notes on our title update and share your feedback here

Throwing Trajectory

38 posts Member
edited June 4
From Gameplay Deep Dive Part I:
While standardizing our pass animations, we tuned passing speeds and trajectory to get a little bit more air under the ball for all throw types. An important note here: in order to get a higher passing trajectory, the velocity of the passes had to decrease; this is a more authentic approach to passing trajectory in order to get the ball over “lurking” linebackers and allow you to fit the ball in between zones at a higher frequency. The 99 rating for Throw Power (THP) now equates to a throw speed of 55 MPH for bullet passes, which is down from 62 MPH in Madden NFL 19.

Once you’re able to play with the new trajectories and velocities, let us know your feedback – we will continue to fine tune after launch based on feedback from our players.

I wanted to provide some additional feedback regarding the concept of "new throwing trajectories".

On the surface this sounds fantastic. But after thinking about it for a short period of time I have a concern that what we're really doing here is opening up the number of valid passing windows on the field making it much MUCH easier to complete passes on any given play.

The way Madden 19 plays, it's difficult and sometimes unnecessarily frustrating to complete a pass. This is because the only throwing action that works on a regular basis is the bullet pass, and defenders are usually able to get in front of that pass to knock it down or intercept it.

I assume that the reason you're changing the trajectory is to "get the ball over 'lurking' linebackers and allow you to fit the ball in between zones at a higher frequency."

What I'd like to hear, is how we achieve higher frequency through skill. What I really don't want to see is someone mashing buttons or blindly throwing to whoever they want. I think it was one of the earliest versions of Madden that allowed me to play Fran Tarkington, run all over the field and then randomly throw down field to a receiver almost every play for a completion. Although that was fun back in the 90's, it would be a horrible game play experience now.

I can also see this new system being very static, so that regardless of the defense being called, as long as you lob the ball over the middle linebacker, you're ok. As long as you throw a touch pass on slip screens, no problem. As long as you throw a touch pass to the back of the endzone, great! That would also be a horrible game play experience.

At the end of the day, making passing more intuitive as as to produce more expected results (completed passes) is wonderful. But if the defenses are going to remain very static and predictable, then it sounds like we're just catering to people that can't read defenses and throw to open players.

There's already a lot of instances where people are throwing into triple coverage and catching aggressively, and I would argue that's not a good way to make a competitive game.

So what I'd really like to hear sometime soon is why or how these changes are going to make competition better. It would be really great if you guys could slip in something during EA Play this weekend. Just a few quotes or a quick demo showing that passing will be better/easier, but at the same time it will take more skill in Madden 20 than in Madden 19.

Lastly, regarding this quote specifically:
allow you to fit the ball in between zones at a higher frequency.

I would show this video to your executives to explain why you need defenses to be able to cover effectively and why you need players to make "correct choices" about where to throw the ball and where not to throw the ball: (Because that's how football remains competitive and interesting, the balance of choices shown in this video)

In the video, I think Steve Spagnuolo really does a great job explaining the reasons for playing zone (to cover parts of the field specific to the routes that offenses run). At one point he says "You could stand in the middle of 13 yards, and if the ball is going to travel 30 yards down field...we can cover that."

So just for example, off the top of my head.

If the "ideal" pass coverage situation is having 9 guys in zones as Spanuolo suggests, that should be REALLY TOUGH for ANY quarterback to successfully throw against. Meaning even if someone is throwing the ball perfectly from a "stick skill" prospective, if he's throwing deep into Cover 4, he's eventually almost guaranteed to get picked off. Again, this would be the ideal. This would mean that during next years Madden Championship if some idiot throws to Julio Jones 3 straight times on deep routes vs. cover 4, everyone in the entire world should be saying "wow, he can't read defenses no wonder he got picked off".

I'd really love to hear people say "ya, you just can't do that in Madden 20, as long as you have a normal pass rush." Because that's the only way that we're going to get people thinking about making real adjustments on offense and defense, is if you don't give players a get out of jail free card by allowing them to ignore fundamental football. Heck, if you just made this one scenario that I created listed above a reality, you'd have people punting for once on 4th down because the odds of successfully throwing deep against a soft cover 4 would be very low. (as opposed to how it is now, very high)

Players would run the football more. Throw short more. All in an effort to get their opponents out of cover 4. And the really good players would disguise what they were doing so everything would look like cover 4 or they'd mix in blitzes, man and other types of zone coverage throughout the game.

Seriously, just making cover 4 deep zones a wall of "you can't throw here" would probably be the single most easiest way to alter many of the problems that the AI currently has while making the strategy of the game much more compelling and fun. Ideally the whole defense would work this way with each type of coverage having logical strengths and weaknesses, but I think the starting point has to be on those deep routes vs. coverage's designed to take away deep routes and give the advantage to the defense should someone be dumb enough to throw there.

My point is, stick skill is great, and so is making the game easier to play. But at the end of the day if you're just ignoring the coverage's and throwing on pure timing against a static AI, then none of this matters. The game is just a casual arcade game and we might as well start making players light up "on fire" and cast magic spells, etc...

Please consider. Good Luck. I hope this helps.
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