We are at the halfway point in Madden 16, and with the football season now over
and Madden being our last remaining football experience, the excitement and
desire for the next Madden is upon us. It is around this time that we all start
thinking about what can make next year’s Madden even better than it already is.
After hours of brain storming, Madden Bomber League, MBL, has come up with
several key features that we think would make Madden 17 a Madden to
The main feature of Madden for us, as well as the sim gaming community, is the
Connected Franchise mode. CFM has been lacking the past several couple of
years due to the improvement and love affair with Madden Ultimate Team. While
Madden Ultimate Team has its time and place, the force that has driven Madden
to the point in which it is at now is the enriched content in CFM. And we feel it is
truly time that the enrichment and true feel of being an NFL owner or coach is
brought into the Madden CFM experience.
Let’s start with the most fundamental building blocks of any team: The NFL draft.
The NFL Draft is one of the most publicized events after the conclusion of the
NFL season. Nobody knows who will be a boom or bust; just educated guesses
can be taken. It’s the same for Madden. The draft is one of the most fun and
anticipated stages in Madden. Chaos constantly ensues in the war room. No
matter whether you are trying to trade up, down, or trade for picks in the following
season, we all love the draft and more work needs to be put into upgrading the
dynamics of the draft.
The draft board was a simple feature in the early days of online franchise that
has since been removed from the game. While the draft board does not need to
be any sort of elegant feature, it is a fundamental aspect and should be in
Madden every year. In the CFM world and community that Madden and EA have
created, full 32 owner leagues are the lifeblood of an ever growing sim
community. With that being said, a draft board is essential because gamers
aren’t always available. Many folks put a lot of time and dedication into running
CFMs, as well as just being a player in a CFM. If we aren’t available to make the
draft, a draft board would solve all those problems.
NCAA, and just college athletes in general, are what make the NFL what it is for
years to come. During a Madden season, there is limited amounts of information
given about the upcoming draft class. We get several stories but not much
substance is given. The once up and coming Peyton Manning who is having a
poor season is briefly touched on as we hear his performance against the top
teams in the nation are suffering, but that’s about all. The ride of watching your
#1 prospect grow or fall in his last college season is part of the thrill and
excitement we want to see in CFM.
The scouting system received a huge overhaul in Madden 16, and for that
we are grateful. However, it is still not where it needs to be. When scouting a
player, a scout has access to virtually unlimited knowledge of the player. Stats
and achievements should play a part into who and why you’re scouting a
particular player. The Draft has so many unknowns, and drafting that #1 QB we
see a general guideline of their attributes determined by our scout, but what we
don’t see is what they did. No season stats or career college stats are given.
Bringing in the combine was a good idea, but that’s only half the answer. NFL
scouts have a limitless amount of information on these athletes, so why can’t we?
Character and Injuries
Injuries and character issues are an intricate factor in football. When players are
being scouted, some teams stay away from these players regardless of upside.
This should also be implemented in Madden. This will steer CFM owners in a
different direction. With injuries, it will make owners think twice about drafting a
particular player despite their upside. Will you waste a high pick on a prospect
that has a history of getting hurt like RGIII or Sam Bradford? They had all the
upside in the world, but they haven’t been able to stay on the field. With
character issues, it can destroy your team’s chemistry (which we will get into
later). Johnny Manziel is a perfect example of this. Every coach knew what they
were getting into.
Minor Draft Additions
There is also many smaller additions that can be added into CFM to really
immerse you into the feeling of being an NFL Owner or coach. Mock drafts would
be an awesome feature to add, even just mock drafts of the first round that
periodically will be displayed in the news screen throughout the season. The
ticker that is in the bottom of our screen usually displaying real NFL scores/news
is great, but wouldn’t it be even better to show our CFM scores for that week?
And while we are drafting, show who was picked and at what pick.
Overall CFM Improvements
Let’s move forward now past just “The Draft” and move into the broader scope of
CFM as a whole. If you look at CFM over the past few years and over the last
decade of just the franchise mode in general, it has taken steps forward and also
steps back. I believe CFM right now is not perfect, but it has the building blocks
set up that can make it truly a one of a kind experience.
Let’s start off with what we in MBL think is the most fundamental and best
improvement Madden 17 can possibly offer. And that is Team Chemistry. This is
something that is essentially already in the game, but only utilized in the MUT
mode. It would make team building an even deeper strategy than it already is
while you now have the added bonus to attempt to make a team “gel” together as
they play together more and build chemistries and connections between players
who have the same scheme and have played on the same team for multiple
Schemes are something that you have had in madden for several years now but
essentially has only changed the numerical number value of the players overall.
It’s time to make schemes mean something to the team. Players that play under the same scheme receive bonus chemistry, as they already know the system. We think the confidence system in Madden works well, but we also don’t think it ever really turned out to what you in EA have expected it to be. But the system can be easily implemented to be more dynamic by changing this to team chemistry.