Back in November, EA released the first details on changes coming to franchise mode in Madden 21. The first set of franchise updates dropped late last year as part of the November 12th Title Update. Tomorrow, more Commissioner improvements and other franchise changes will be added alongside another title update. The big news in today’s Gridiron Notes reveals these franchise updates will be coming to all versions of Madden 21. This is different than NBA 2K21’s approach, where huge improvements to the game’s engine and game modes are exclusive to next-gen versions of the game.

You can find the full list of changes below including new commissioner tools, as well as CPU logic improvements.

Gridiron Notes: Madden 21 Franchise Update Deep Dive

Hey Franchise fans!

Today we’re going to be taking a look at the second set of updates for Franchise mode in Madden NFL 21! As we said in our previous post-launch update, a priority for our team is that these features work both in new and existing Franchises. We’re also excited to say that these features will be on all platforms including Xbox Series X|S and PS5.

CPU QB Draft Logic Improvements

When teams draft a first-round quarterback in real life, it’s a sign of commitment from a team to a player saying, “we think you can be, or now are, the face of our organization.”

As a part of our next update, we have added new logic checks that CPU teams will use to guide whether they should even be interested in drafting a QB when they’re on the clock in Round 1. Now, teams will evaluate their roster and previous draft picks of the last two years to keep teams from replacing players too soon.

DEV NOTE: 

This feature came directly from community feedback around situations where rookie QBs ultimately got replaced after their first season due to their OVR being lower than an incoming prospect. Embracing the authenticity of teambuilding and player development, teams now consider their incumbent starters as a piece of their future to give runway for those players to reach their full potential. Now, teams will consider previous investments to influence their future selections.

When a CPU team is on the clock, they will now deprioritize drafting a first round QB if:

  • Their current starting QB was a 1st round pick in the last two Drafts
  • Their current starting QB was a 2nd/3rd round pick in the last two Drafts
    • And has a Normal Dev and 72+ OVR
    • And has Star or higher Dev trait
  • The CPU’s current starting QB is a 94+ OVR
  • Their current starting QB is 87+ OVR and 32+ years old
  • The CPU’s current starting QB is 74+ OVR and < 29 years old
  • Their current backup QB is a Star or higher Dev Trait and < 28 years old

Lastly, if a team’s current starting QB is over 35, the team will consider drafting a replacement.

As always, whether the team does draft a QB is dependent on many factors, and like real life, there can still be times where a team decides a player is just too good to pass up depending on the situation. The Draft is full of surprises!

Commissioner Controls: Undo FA Signings – Offseason Only

Commissioners are able to undo FA signings in the offseason directly through the transaction log. Simply click on a signing and revert it to send the player back into the free agent pool.

Commissioner Controls: Team Override Settings

Giving commissioners of leagues the ability to turn on/off or allow users to keep individual settings for Heat Seeker tackling, Ball Hawk, and Switch assist – one of our top requested commissioner requests, this creates a way to level the playing field regarding assist features.

Commissioner Draft Tools

Commissioners will now be able to assign autopilot during the draft, along with pause/resume functionality. This way advancing to the next user pick will skip any player who is on autopilot.

Commissioner House Rules: Play Cool-Down and Repeat Play Limits

After these settings made their debut last year in MUT/KO, House Rules became one of the most requested features for franchise players and we are incredibly excited to bring them to you. Take control as a Commissioner and dictate how many times a play can be called in a game, and how long a player must wait before calling the same play again.

Commissioner Setting – X-Factor Customization Restrictions

Commissioners will be able to determine who is able to edit abilities on players through the X-Factor Customization tools we enabled in our previous continuous development release. The settings are Commissioner only, Any User, or None, responding directly to multi-user league feedback.

We also wanted to share with you our final updates coming to Franchise mode targeted to arrive in early March!

Trade Logic Improvements

We are focused on delivering improvements to player and draft pick evaluations to create more rewarding and authentic trades for Madden 21 that we will continue to build and improve upon in the future.

DEV NOTE:

To move forward on improved trade logic, it was important to acknowledge there wasn’t a magic quick fix. As a team, we’ve reevaluated everything about our previous trade logic with the goal of improving realism and fun of interacting with the trade system using a few key goals: Establishing new baseline scales around player and draft pick values by reconsidering every factor and modifier that is currently used in trades, resolving top community exploits around AI trades (like elite offensive linemen for late round picks), and looking for opportunities to improve or add new AI considerations when evaluating offers from teams. We’re excited to discuss more about how we are bringing all of those things to Madden 21 in the next Deep Dive!

Franchise League History

We are adding a new tile where you can see the Super Bowl and key award winners from each year of your franchise. This will include how many times a team has won the Super Bowl in the franchise, along with MVP, Coach of the Year, Offensive/Defensive Player of the Year, Offensive/Defensive Rookie of the Year, and Super Bowl MVP.

DEV NOTE:

For Madden 21, this will track every season in your franchise from the season this is added and forward. Any history prior to the addition of this new feature will not be accessible as we previously did not save off Superbowl scores among other things upon the start of a new league year. Any new league will have every season played tracked, however.


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