Following the Madden 22 Community Playtest, EA has released a set of Gridiron Notes to address some of the feedback. The following notes cover catching, player movement, Franchise, and more. Check it all out below.
NOTE: ALL COMMUNITY FEEDBACK INFO BELOW COMES DIRECTLY FROM EA SPORTS MADDEN 22
Madden 22 Community Playtest Feedback
- Receivers/Defensive Backs need to be more aggressive in attacking the ball
- Defenders don’t always go for the interception when in position
- Catch mechanics aren’t always responsive
DEV NOTE: There was a lot of work done on catching that did not make either of the Playtest builds, so we were anticipating some issues with catching, and players definitely noticed them. There may not be a more important system in Gameplay than catching, and in that vein, players will experience a lot of improvements to jump height logic that gives players more appropriate catch radiuses, and there’s also more logic that increases catch aggressiveness for both offense and defense at the catch point.
One really important additional change we want players to be aware of is that holding Y/Triangle to play-ball on defense in Madden NFL 22 will carry more risk. Because there are less multi-player catches being used, defenders playing the ball have more chances to miss the ball, whereas the range for swats has been increased, making the swat mechanic the more conservative, but safer play on defense compared to always going for the pick.
- Player Movement is too slow
- Player Movement is authentic, don’t change it
- There should be a bigger difference between big players vs. small players in speed
DEV NOTE: With a lot of players experiencing the current console generation for the first time (Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 5), the feedback towards Next Gen Player Movement was very polarizing for the second year in a row. After many years on Xbox One and PlayStation 4, we know how big that adjustment is for players, but we are confident that a more realistic movement system that is using data straight from the NFL is what’s best for our players and for the future of Madden NFL. We will continue the quest to make the game as real as being on the field. The feedback on this topic was almost evenly split between like and dislike.
That being said, we will continue iterating on Next Gen Player Movement, and some of the specific issues players called out have been tuned and improved. One frequent example mentioned from the playtest was a desire for bigger, heavier players to show more differentiation in speed than smaller, faster players. We’ve done some tuning to widen that gap between the fastest players in the league and everybody else.
However, two important pieces of the movement equation that we want to mention is that acceleration and change-of-direction are just as important as speed. The acceleration rating (ACC) controls how long it takes for a player to reach top speed and the change-of-direction (COD) controls how long it takes a player to turn, while the speed rating (SPD) controls how fast a player runs when at top speed.
With a relatively small ratings-range within the acceleration rating, where there’s a bunch of players between 80-84 acceleration across many positions, from defensive line to receiver, some bigger players will still reach their top speed faster than some smaller players with lower acceleration ratings. However, the bigger players with lower COD ratings will be slower when turning and cutting, regardless of their SPD and ACC ratings.
- Game crashes and softlocks
DEV NOTE: Week 1 of the playtest had some serious stability issues for some players, and most were fixed for week 2, and all have been fixed for launch. One of the most valuable aspects about the community playtest is identifying some of these hard-to-find crashes and softlocks across the game and getting them fixed so they don’t impact players when the game is launched. Here’s where we want to say THANK YOU to all our players who participated in the playtest. Your BIGGEST contribution was finding and reporting these issues so the team could quickly get them fixed! We will continue to react to stability feedback during and after launch to ensure the game delivers the best possible experience to all players.
Top Bugs/Suggestions from Madden 22 Playtest
The following bugs have been fixed for launch:
- Receivers are dropping the ball really late after the catch
- Dive Tackles are too powerful
- Dive Tackles sometimes would warp a player off the ground to make the tackle (note: there is ongoing work in the same space for diving catches in upcoming updates)
- Lower-rated QBs play too well on All-Madden
- Momentum Meter fills up too fast
- Competitive Modes Momentum Formula not ready for launch
DEV NOTE: We will not launch with this unique formula for Online Ranked Head-to-Head or Ultimate Team Head-to-Head. We have a formula specific for competitive games that’s currently being tested, and we also want player feedback from the base formula after launch so we can make further adjustments to get it completely dialed in when we deliver it in a title update.
- Situational Pursuit tuning
- Edge Rush is too powerful
DEV NOTE: We have made an effort to make the pass rush heavier across all modes to get more realistic time in pocket and have the pass rush play a bigger part of balancing the game. We did this by unlocking non-engaged moves for AI-controlled pass rushers on the edge. These non-engaged moves are the speed rushes introduced in Madden NFL 21 for user-controlled pass rushers.
However, we did add some additional levels of tuning to edge rush, specifically so that the ratings match-up of the blocker vs. defender is more heavily differentiated than in the playtest, to increase the win-chance for really good pass blockers and decrease the win-chance for lower-rated pass rushers.
- Too much pass rush pressure when only rushing two or three on Competitive game style
DEV NOTE: To further balance the increased pass rush in Madden NFL 22, we’ve added some logic specific to the Competitive game style so that it will be very difficult to get consistent pressure when rushing three or less, especially vs. double teams.
- Gunslinger/QB Releases Changes
DEV NOTE: For launch, we are distributing the Gunslinger ability to more QBs. We will continue investigating ways to improve QB releases for future title updates, while still ensuring that QBs are properly differentiated and that all QBs cannot make every throw that elite QBs can.
- QB Contain not always effective in certain situations
DEV NOTE: Contain animations now goes deeper into the backfield; more conservative pursuit angles to keep contain after disengaging away from blocks.
- Drive Summary in-game banner showing bad clock data is fixed
- First Down line missing is fixed
- Offensive Line abilities don’t seem effective
DEV NOTE: These abilities have been tuned and reworked to function more effectively.
- Improvements for defense vs. TE Delay Fades:
- Logic to improve QB Contain logic vs. delay blockers
- Tuning to improve pass rusher logic to properly disengage away from a delay blocker
- Logic to improve QB Contain logic vs. delay blockers in double teams
- Tuning to man coverage to stick in coverage on the TE in delay longer
- RPO Fixes:
- Tuning to improve the angle of the read defender when playing the QB to avoid faster QBs from being able to run around him
- The QB will no longer be able to turn and run before completing his first step after faking the handoff
- Wind Direction Indicator fixed to show the appropriate direction of the wind
- A variety of updates to all 32 team playbooks has been completed for the launch of Madden NFL 22. Most of these updates were not in the beta, but players will notice new plays and formations for every team.
- New NFL Live Playbook content is already in progress for delivery via title updates in an effort to keep playbooks fresh and exciting for our players all season long. We’ll go more in depth to discuss playbook updates in an upcoming Gridiron Notes devoted to nothing but playbooks, so stay tuned!
Franchise received more ideas and suggestions than any other mode, and we greatly appreciate the community’s consistent passion, engagement, and feedback. Detailed here are some of the main areas—as well as a list of supplemental adjustments—that the team made based on specific feedback ahead of launch for Madden NFL 22.
- Players noted that their starters would quickly become too fatigued to play, particularly when practicing in full pads, and would not return to the games to replace backups even when having ample time to recover.
DEV NOTE: We made improvements during the second week of the playtest and have continued to tweak the fatigue system since then. It is important to us to create meaningful decisions around Weekly Strategy that feel authentic and fair, and we’ll be soliciting more feedback from the community following release to ensure that fatigue plays a balanced role on a weekly and season-long scale. As in the NFL itself, fatigue will be progressive, functioning as less of a concern early on in the year and increasing in magnitude as your team gets deeper into the season.
- Players noticed that stars and top players were not receiving free agent interest or signing contracts, causing high OVR players to be available for veteran minimum contracts.
DEV NOTE: We’ve taken multiple approaches to address the quality of offseason free agency and teambuilding, starting with the amount of money teams have. To create more opportunity for players, we’ve increased the amount of available cap space in the first two seasons as well as the base amount of cap room to start. These changes, along with logic updates to team spending logic and player valuation, will cause teams to engage with top players throughout the three offseason bidding weeks. A secondary goal of this tuning was to also increase the number of players that sign contracts in the offseason, while still maintaining authenticity in that some veteran players may not sign until the preseason.
- Draft classes received mention in different capacities around balance and uniqueness, with the overhauled scouting system also likely to put a fresh emphasis on this topic.
DEV NOTE: The way teams draft, the ratings of rookie prospects, and positional value are all nuanced discussion areas that the design team is constantly evaluating in the context of our systems. To this end, we are working on logic changes to allow CPU teams to make draft selections more appropriately.
- Scrambling quarterbacks were not rushing for enough yards when simulating, and players made other authenticity suggestions.
DEV NOTE: We have tuned our simulation stats so that quarterbacks will have significantly more rushing yards along with other miscellaneous improvements to this area. The NFL remains unpredictable and evolves over time, so variation will always be part of the system, but league leaders are now more likely to be composed of players/teams that are among the best in their respective areas.
Madden 22 Additional Tuning, Fixes, and More
- A deep refresh of news includes more insightful and compelling content. Look for more detail around specific player and coach actors, with hundreds of new lines of content added to bring you closer to the happenings of your league.
- The cost of talents was increased for tuning purposes, particularly in the Head Coach and Player Personnel trees.
- Fixed an issue where a user could repeatedly hire and fire a staff member to collect signing bonus staff points has been addressed.
- The option to promote a coordinator to head coach has been added.
- Aspects of the user interface on the goals system have been revised for clarity.
- Stability fixes have been made throughout the entirety of the mode.
- Many more bug fixes and quality updates have been addressed.
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