Madden 18 Will Address Community Concerns

Madden 18

The team behind Madden 18 continues to drop info on the game, keeping the community primed for its upcoming release.

Most recently, the developers provided some Madden 18 updates that addressed community concerns and requests.

We’ve covered many of the new features, such as target passing, coach adjustments, and new game modes. Now, the Madden 18 team dropped some new and confirmed some rumored tidbits about the improvements of Madden 18.

Off-Ball Injuries (Simulation)

Injuries can now happen to players not involved in the tackle on either the offensive or defensive side. However, you won’t see an animation for the injury for off-ball injuries. Instead, you see one of two things. First, you could see a notification under the scoreboard. Second, you could see the injury notification after the play, but you won’t know more about the injury until after. This mechanic means paying attention to injury types and notifications will be critical. According to the developer’s blog, this is only present in Simulation mode.

Ballhawk Skill Mechanic

Ballhawk is now a timing-based skill, meaning players can no longer spam it and expect results. Holding it down for too long will result in a penalty to their catch rating. A notification that pops out of the scoreboard will tell you if your timing was correct or not. They did not say if it would tell you how you did it wrong or how to improve. A QB pump fake can also give you the chance to get past an opponent using ballhawk.

Hit Stick Skill Mechanic

With the hit stick now exclusively on the right analog stick, aggressive tackles are no longer assigned to a button. It too is now a timing-based skill, with an added element of having to use the right angle. This should result in a high risk high reward tactic. This also means that you can go for low or high hit sticks by flicking the controller up or down. To signify if you did it correctly, a unique tackle audio clip and the controller rumbling will occur.

Ball Carrier Special Moves

They’ve updated juke, spin, hurdle, and “every one of the ball carrier special moves.” They said the moves are faster, more efficient, and give the user more control. This means players can fake out other players as well as they can fake out the AI. The greater player control also means less of a chance to fumble when doing them.

Dropped Interceptions (Competitive)

A bane in the competitive Madden world has been wide open players dropping interceptions. While the ratings will matter more in most modes, it will be different in competitive game style. If the defender has catch rating above a currently unknown number, he will gain an advantage on catching the ball. This won’t completely stop “human error,” meaning sometimes even the best, most wide open defenders will still occasionally drop the ball. They also state that “Catches in traffic can also still result in dropped picks.”

The Swerve

In Madden 17, the community found and utilized an exploit. “The Swerve” refers to when the receiver “swerves” defenders out of position. The reason for this exploit was positioning and assignment coding for the players. Now, the swerve is a thing of the past, and defenders will not fall for it any more.

Curl Flat Zones

In their words, “Curl-Flats would crash to the flats and leave deeper routes open down the sideline.” This would result in unnatural openings for players to utilize. The team now has “no cover zone” and claims the problem is fixed.

Fumble Recovery

The Madden 18 team removed some of the legacy issues, including “extended piles.” They say that fumble recovery will be much faster and players will have a better chance to retrieve the ball if it is closer to their hands.

User-Controlled LBs

Thanks to tweaking the defender run curves and turn rates, player-controlled LBs won’t be able to completely block the middle of the field. Only the higher rated players on the team will be able to effectively block the middle of the field like before.

RAC Drops

RAC drops will not be the issue it was in Madden 17. Through extensive retooling and QA testing, the Madden 18 team promises fewer dropped catches because of collisions after the ball is secure. The exact details on how this will work is still their secret.

Hard Flat Zones

The community spoke up about the AI better utilizing the flats, and the Madden 18 team listened. In their words, “We did some work on their logic so they do a better job of reading the route progression and taking away throws to the flats.”

AI Defenders Swat Vs. INT (Competitive)

In competitive mode, defenders will no longer swat down balls they had a chance of intercepting. They will always go for the interception if they can.

Directional Control of RAC Catches

With this Madden 18 update, you can now choose the exit angle of your RAC catches. In the RAC animation, players can use the left stick to choose the direction you want to exit the catch. They added, “Throwing towards the sidelines, push up on the left stick during your catch to immediately turn up field and avoid running out of bounds.”

Size and Weight Factor

The weight and momentum of players will now change the outcome of hit sticks and blocks. Smaller players will have a harder time landing the hit stick on bigger players. But weight and size aren’t the only factors. Getting more momentum will increase the chances of success for both larger and smaller players alike.

OT In Play Now Games

Offline Play Now game will use playoff OT rules instead of the OT rules for the season.

Low-Rated QB Accuracy

With their focus on the rating system, lower-rated QBs will be noticeably less accurate. This will be even more noticeable in simulation mode. In addition, they’ve added a greater variety of ways the QB can botch the throw.

Defense in Practice Mode (Practice)

While still a possibility out of practice mode, the AI will not snap the ball while the player is making a defensive adjustment. This gives the player the time and security to try new defenses without the AI taking advantage of the time laps.

Slower Players Catching Faster Players

Over the years, there has been a reoccurring problem with slower players catching faster ones, despite having a lower speed. The team fixed the issue by adjusting the defensive run curves and stamina of the players.

Position Specific Defensive Hot Routes

Hot routes are now position specific to each player on the field. The defensive hot routes you will see will be those that work for that player’s position on the field. Here is the list of defensive hot routes:

  • Defensive Hot Route Key By Position
  • Outside DB
    • Outside Third Deep Zone (Cover 3 Deep Outside Deep Zone)
    • Cloud Flat
    • Hard Flat
    • Soft Squat
    • Man Coverage
    • Blitz
    • Deep Half Zone (Cover 2 Invert zone)
    • Outside Quarter Deep Zone (Outside Cover 4 Deep Zone)
  • Slot DB
    • Seam Flat
    • Vertical hook
    • Hard Flat
    • Curl Flat
    • Man Coverage
    • QB Spy
    • Blitz
    • Bluff Blitz
  • Deep half safety
    • Deep Half Zone (Cover 2 Deep Zone)
    • Hook Curl
    • Inside Third (Cover 3 Middle Deep Zone)
    • Curl Flat
    • Man Coverage
    • Blitz
    • QB Spy
    • Inside Quarter Zone (Inside Cover 4 Deep Zone)
  • Deep middle safety
    • Deep Middle Third Zone (Cover 3 Middle Deep Zone)
    • Middle Read Zone
    • Outside Third Deep Zone Left
    • Deep Half Left
    • Man Coverage
    • Blitz
    • Outside Third Deep Zone Right
    • Deep Half Right
  • Inside linebacker
    • Middle Third Deep Zone
    • Middle Read
    • Hook Curl
    • Curl Flat
    • Man Coverage
    • Blitz
    • QB Spy
    • Bluff Blitz
  • Outside linebacker and four-man line DE
    • Seam Flat
    • Vertical Hook
    • Hard Flat
    • Curl Flat
    • Man Coverage
    • Blitz
    • QB Spy
    • Bluff Blitz
  • Defensive tackles and three-man line
    • Vertical Hook Left
    • Vertical Hook Right
    • Hook Curl Left
    • Hook Curl Right
    • Man Coverage
    • Blitz
    • QB Spy
    • Bluff Blitz

Madden 18 will be available on August 25, 2017 for PlayStation and Xbox One.

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Jesse Galena
As a fan of spectacle in all forms, Jesse Galena particularly enjoys MMA, eSports, as well as professional and indie wrestling. Jesse’s always excited to try any sports game that leans toward the bizarre or unconventional, though nothing can replace a well-executed classic. Outside of video games, Jesse enjoys playing ridiculous table top RPGs, watching standup comedy, and losing at board games. He also writes fantasy/sci-fi novels and RPG material. You can follow him on Twitter @RexiconJesse.