After dropping a deep dive trailer on Tuesday, EA is back with a set of Gridiron Notes going over everything new coming to Madden 22 franchise mode. Franchise staff, weekly strategy, scouting, season engine, and more are all on the docket.
Check out everything outlined below.
NOTE: ALL FRANCHISE MODE INFO BELOW COMES DIRECTLY FROM EA SPORTS MADDEN 22
Inside of coach and owner mode, Franchise Staff is a brand new way to manage your Franchise in Madden 22. We have expanded the coaching roster to include an offensive coordinator, defensive coordinator, and added a player personnel department that serves as your primary player acquisition character. With four characters to manage (including yourself in coach mode), each week you can upgrade your staff through “Talent Trees.”
With the addition of Franchise Staff comes a brand new Franchise currency called “Staff Points.” Staff Points are earned through playing games, meeting selectable gameday goals, and completing scenarios. Completed objectives and milestones will grant Staff Points to a singular pool, which means that you can upgrade any coach character once you have earned enough points. Upgrading your staff comes in the form of purchasing talents on each character’s Talent Tree.
We also included a league setting that lets you modify how many Staff Points each talent costs. This way, each league has the flexibility to determine how quickly or slowly gamers will be able to purchase talents.
Furthermore, Staff Points are not purchasable with real-life currency. Staff Points can only be earned through playing games, meeting selectable gameday goals, and completing scenarios.
Talent Trees replace our old coach upgrade system by giving gamers tree structures with various boosts for each character. At launch, each of the four characters will have two sub-trees associated with them. Each tree is themed to that character, as well as the role that character has in the organization. Some Talent Trees require you to make a choice, or a branching decision where selecting one talent will “lock” the opposing branch of the tree. With key decisions like this, you will have to build your characters wisely.
Types of Talents
Now that we’ve shared more about Talent Trees – let’s take a look at the Talents themselves. There will be over 60 unique Talents at launch, and with some having multiple tiers – there will be over 95 Talent purchases. To try and capture what makes each character unique, we broke Talents down into four categories: Player Growth, Staff Changes/Improvements, On-field Performance, and Player Acquisition/Retention. To make each of the four staff members feel different, the head coach focuses on overseeing the growth and development of their roster and the staff. An example of a head coach talent would be “increase QB XP during weekly strategy.” The offensive and defensive coordinators prioritize the on-field product and essentially represent the entirety of the position coaches on each side of the ball. For them, you might see rating boost branching decisions like “boost DT block shed by 3” or “boost LE/RE block shed by 3.”
Lastly, the player personnel department is designed to build your team up through trades and free agency. Some of our personal favorite talents are in these trees, and include “trade discount for older players” or “scheme fits have more interest in signing through free agency.”
Lastly, there are special, powerful talents at the end of each Talent Tree. We call these “Renewable” and “Ultimate” Talents. Ultimate Talents are stronger as they are essentially rewards for completing a character’s Talent Tree. One of the most intriguing rewards is “access additional focus player slots through weekly training.” The renewable talents take that a step further. These talents can be purchased multiple times, but have a cooldown that could be anywhere from 1 week to once per season. We will keep the Renewable Talents under wraps, for now, so you will have to experience them for yourself when you jump into Franchise Staff.
When you load into Franchise Staff for the first time, you will have a full coaching staff already assembled for you. However, if you are unhappy with your coordinators or head coach as an owner, you can fire them and hire someone else from the candidate pool during the season. Generated coaches will populate out through each year of your Franchise, and some may be better than others – if you get lucky. When you hire a coach, you will earn a Staff Points bonus.
The amount of Staff Points is inversely related to the number of Talents that the coach currently has owned. This presents an important decision: do you want to get more Staff Points to use across the board and the flexibility to shape this coach how you deem fit or do you want the coach with more experience, thus more Talents? (Note: Only the first hire of each coach position in a season will grant a hiring bonus, and it is significantly less in-season than if you wait until the off-season)
In the offseason, you will be able to hire coaches from an expanded pool, which will feature the ability to hire former head coaches as coordinators, and vice versa during the “Staff Moves” week ONLY. Staff moves week directly follows the Super Bowl, so make sure you don’t miss the window to give some down-on-their-luck coaches a second chance!
Scouting in Franchise
One of the most highly-requested features for Franchise was a more robust scouting feature when searching for your future star player. Since Scouting is a significant structural overhaul and fundamental piece of the Franchise experience, there will be a Live Service update targeted for September. This will require players to restart their Franchise in Madden NFL 22 after downloading the Title Update.
We’re so excited to share details around our new Weekly Strategy feature!
We have received tons of feedback about how the week-to-week activities between games have needed a refresh. The old Gameplan feature quickly became “earn a Gold once in your drills and sim every week thereafter.” It was not a great experience, so we wanted to rethink how we could make this a more fun and realistic representation of what an NFL coach must do each week to prepare for the upcoming game.
The NFL is a long season and one of the biggest challenges head coaches face is to find the right balance of weekly game preparations and getting players the right amount of rest. Every week in the NFL is a unique experience. Who you play, when you play, where you play, all factor into how a team plans its Weekly Strategy. With that in mind, we’ve tried to consider all these factors with the new Weekly Strategy feature.
The first thing you will see when you go into Weekly Strategy is your Defensive Gameplan for the current week. The Defensive Gameplan will show important information about your upcoming opponent’s offense including their team stats and where they rank, their overall run-pass ratio, and the recommended Defensive Gameplan Focus for the week. The recommended focus is determined by a few different factors but generally shows what your opponent is best at on offense. There are six different focuses that you can choose from, including:
- Defend Inside Run
- Defend Outside Run
- Defend Short Pass
- Defend Medium Pass
- Defend Deep Pass
- Contain QB Scramble
Each focus will have a Top Threat player with some specific Next Gen Stats and ranks associated with him. While building this feature, for example, if you were preparing for the Super Bowl and playing against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the defaulted Gameplan Focus would show Defend Deep Pass along with Tom Brady’s deep passing stats and ranks. This would be an area of focus as you would want to make sure you are prepared to slow down the Bucs’ deep passing attack.
The Offensive Gameplan would be very similar to the Defensive Gameplan in how it looks and how it is set up. However, instead of looking for a way to slow down an opponent’s strength as you did for your Defensive Gameplan, you can look to choose a focus and attack an area that is more susceptible. For example, one of the Offensive focuses is Run Inside, and when you look at the Bucs’ defensive stats from last year for this, you will see that they were excellent at stopping the inside run. Because of that, you would want to shift your focus onto something that they are not as effective against. Their team stats can also help point us in a good direction by informing us that they were among the league’s best in sacking the quarterback, but they were below average in pass yards allowed. With that in mind, we can key on the Throw It Short Gameplan Focus to get the ball out of your quarterback’s hands quickly to slow down their defensive pass rush.
The Offensive Gameplan Focuses are:
- Run Inside
- Run Outside
- Throw It short
- Throw It medium
- Throw It Deep
- Blitz Counter
Another difference on the Offensive Gameplan screen is that the Top Threat players will not show player-specific Next Gen Stats, but team-specific stats. All of these Next Gen Stats, Player Specific Stats, and Team Stats and ranks, along with the pros and cons, will help give you all the information you need to make the best Gameplan focus choices for your team that week.
A big improvement this year is our expansion on how Gameplan Focus choices carry over into the game. Last year, you would get small ratings to boost if you called specific plays from whatever drill you chose for that week. Now, in Madden NFL 22, each focus will also have very specific pros and cons for how the AI will play in-game. So, in the example above, where we are talking about defending the deep pass, the pros are that your defenders are going to get a boost in man and zone coverage on receivers running deep routes by doing a better job of staying over the top of those routes. One more pro is that defenders in deep zone assignments will automatically increase the cushion on receivers. While this helps cover the deep passes, the cons of this focus are that you will give up more room underneath on short and medium passes, as well as have slower reactions to the run by your secondary.
The Season Engine is the tool that drives narrative storyline moments that you’ll see throughout Franchise. There was a major focus in Madden NFL 22 to not only deliver a diverse and deep amount of content, but also to make the content that you experience a more personal, exciting, and rewarding experience.
Madden NFL 22 will feature over 30 brand-new scenarios taking place at any point in the season – whether it be the preseason, regular season, playoffs, or Super Bowl. Each scenario has context-based trigger conditions meaning that what happens in your Franchise is going to dictate when scenarios happen and what kind of scenarios you experience.
Our number one goal with the Season Engine this year was to make these narrative moments feel more immersive and more personal when playing through them. Previously, all of our scenarios have been based around text message interactions and this led to similar scenario development, regardless of conditions (characters, scenarios themselves, etc.).
One of the first things you’ll notice and the most dramatic change to scenarios in Madden NFL 22, is the addition of modular cinematics. Similar to what you’ve seen in Face of the Franchise, this year we’ll be able to leverage the use of 3D environments and character models to create an immersive experience and a more personal interaction between your coach and the characters involved in each scenario.
In the Press Conference environment, you may find your coach fielding questions about how you’re going to stop one of your rival’s top players or one of your players facing the media and speaking about the key to his recent rise to success.
The GM’s Office can either be a place of encouragement and promise or a place filled with tension and accountability – depending on the circumstances. Earlier in the year, a meeting here might revolve around looking at a college prospect that is on the rise, while a meeting later in the year might include having a tough conversation about what it’s going to take to retain your job.
With the Locker Room environment, you’ll get a sneak peek behind the curtain that will include interactions between your coach and players, both before and after games. This can include your coach warning the team about tough weather conditions or more personal interactions, like your coach congratulating a player on his big game.
These new environments will provide every new scenario with an immensely immersive and personal experience, all while maintaining a quick, fluid user experience to get you in and out of each moment quickly.
Dynamic Actor Goals
New this year within our scenarios is Dynamic Actor Goals. In Madden NFL 22, we can directly assign goals to the players involved in our stories. These player-specific goals will be featured in many of our new scenarios and will show up in the goals hub. Upon completion, you will be awarded Staff Points to upgrade your Franchise Staff.
Previously, interaction with your starting running back would likely lead to a goal for your team to achieve 100 yards rushing. This year, that goal will be directly tied to the player involved in the story – which will help tie together the narrative stories we’re telling through scenarios and the players that are involved in them.