Leading up to the release of Madden NFL 23, a large emphasis was put on the improvements to franchise mode. Fans of the series were excited that a mode many felt had been neglected for years was going to see some much-needed improvements. Sadly, following a title update last Friday, many players reported severe problems with franchise mode, with some calling the mode completely unplayable. This is especially true with online franchises with multiple players that were started after this title update.
Madden 23 Franchise Mode still in disarray
The biggest problem currently with online franchises is the inconsistency of autosaves. Online franchises in Madden NFL 23 exist in the cloud and thus rely on autosaves to catalog the progress of a league. It seems that something has caused issues with these saves, as several important actions in online franchises are not being saved properly. For example, games can be played yet remain flagged as unplayed afterwards. Additionally, games may also indicate having been saved only to disappear in the future. Game stats, final scores, and storylines still pop up, however, they will seemingly just magically disappear.
Games are not the only thing not saving in online franchises. Many have experienced issues with advancing weeks. This has caused leagues that had advanced past the preseason to revert to preseason saves once players load into the league. Such occurrences force players to redo all the preseason work of signing and cutting players because the game failed to save properly. Depth chart changes, difficulty changes, cap resets, player upgrades, and player edits are all examples of additional items not being saved consistently in online franchises.
— CrossfireLG (@CrossfireLG) September 11, 2022
Speaking of cutting players, players have reported problems with CPU logic for cutting players on user teams. If a team with more than 53 players sims past the cut players portion of the preseason, the CPU will release players for them. However, this year the CPU seems to be cutting higher-rated players as opposed to the lower-rated ones. This allows CPU teams to sign these very valuable players, and users are forced to make trades with CPU teams to get their players back.
Furthermore, there is a huge problem with the difficulty in online franchises that could compromise the integrity of any highly competitive league. Online Franchise appears to feature an exploit that enables players to back out of the franchise, change their personal difficulty setting, and load back in with the new difficulty setting. This means a player in an All-Madden league could exploit it so their games are being played on lower difficulties.
On top of that, users have also reported being kicked out of their franchise due to inactivity while they were active in the menus. Franchise mode in Madden NFL 23 has several menus for players to go through for things like stats, player edits, lineup changes, and more. Apparently, Madden NFL 23 is seeing time spent in the menus as time spent inactive. If players spend too long making changes in the menus and not actually playing their games, they will be kicked back to the main menu and must load back into their franchise, hoping all their changes are saved properly.
Along with these new bugs and exploits, a few familiar problems from previous Madden games seem to be rearing their ugly heads again. The 31/32 user bug is still present in online franchises. This problem prevents leagues from adding the final 32nd user into their league, as for some reason Madden thinks once 31 players have joined the league is full. Players with this problem either have to restart their franchise or just play without their final member.
The dreaded NFL Draft “loop” bug has also been reported to still be ruining online franchises in Madden NFL 23. This bug occurs during the NFL Draft in the offseason of a franchise. Once the draft starts, the commissioner will not have control over advancing the draft. The draft just never ends. Once all picks have been completed, it just starts all over again and again and again. This bug has been called the “death of franchises” as there seems to be no workaround for leagues affected by it.
These issues have been reported by several players on places like Twitter and EA Support Forums. Hopefully, EA Sports is aware of these issues and will soon provide some communication on when we can expect these issues to be fixed. Online franchises are such a big part of the Madden community and seeing the mode in this poor of a state nearly a month after launch is very disheartening.
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