• Madden NFL 17 Franchise Mode (Part 2) - Big Decisions & Community

    Just ahead of EA Play and E3, EA SPORTS has released two lengthy blogs on the improvements coming to Franchise Mode in Madden NFL 17. Part two of the Franchise blogs focuses on Big Decisions, a methodology that surfaces important decisions the user must make, and some of the top community requests added to the game, such as an in-game score ticker, full player editing, and practice squad.

    As Franchise Mode has underachieved - and been underdeveloped - in the eyes of many the last few years, M17 aims to change that by satisfying some of the biggest community requests. An in-game score ticker will help keep users connected to other games that week in the Franchise, even updating other user scores (if game is completed) during the action. Commissioners have the ability to fully edit rosters, including player ratings, appearance, and even contract terms. Highly requested, each team now has a practice squad, allowing them to develop ten players but be careful - as in real life, these players are essentially free agents and can be poached by other squads.

    Big Decisions surface the major options and choices a user must make during the course of a season that, if they existed prior, were previously hidden or buried in menus. Now, they are brought front and center.

    Continue on for part two of the Franchise Mode improvement blogs by Senior Designer John White.


    Big Decisions

    Big Decisions come to you with the right information at the right time. Do you start your star QB with that lingering injury, or go to your unproven back-up with a playoff spot on the line? In Madden NFL 17 on Xbox One and PlayStation®4, Big Decisions begin a new direction in your career mode experience changing the way you approach your gameplay strategy for every match up.

    Big Decisions: Season Goal

    The first big decision you’ll make as a coach or player in the regular season is to set your season goal. As a coach, you can decide whether you are going to make the playoffs or shoot low with a 7-win season. The choice you make has an impact since if you miss your season goal, you have a chance of getting fired, but the harder the goal then the higher the experience point gain will be.

    Big Decisions: Injuries

    Once doctors have medically cleared a player that was hurt earlier in the season, you can either play him with a lingering injury or sit him to heal to 100%. If your player plays a game with a lingering injury, then he has a higher chance of becoming reinjured, which could completely wreck the rest of your season. If you go with your back-up, he will earn extra XP that will help him with long-term development.

    While in-game, you’ll see new presentation banners that highlight your injured players. You will even see a “with and without” comparison banner showing how your team did the last few weeks with your back-up QB compared to your regular starter.

    Big Decisions: Acquisitions

    Picking up free agents and players on the trade block is easier than ever with the new Acquisitions menu. You will be able to easily browse the available players by position and compare them to your current depth chart. Improve your weakest positions quickly by using the position grades that are right at your fingertips. Expect the commentators during the game to call out recently acquired players when they make big plays.

    Big Decisions: Re-Signing

    When your players are on the last year of their contract, you can now re-sign them using a more intuitive menu. All the information you need to decide if you want to retain the player is available. The more prominent players will be open to negotiations earlier in the season, with the lower rated players available to sign late in the season after they’ve had a chance to prove themselves on the field. It’s up to you to decide how aggressive you want to be when offering a contract, but giving a contract that is too low carries the risk that they may reject your team and opt to test the free agent market instead. As you persuade your players to re-sign, the commentary team will take notice and mention it during the game.

    Big Decision: Spending XP

    Your players progress through the season as they earn experience points (XP) from training and by completing weekly game goals, drive goals, fantasy goals, season goals, and career goals. You will be able to easily spend this XP to upgrade ratings and traits at the end of each game. Quickly see who earned the most XP on the defensive and offensive side. When there are at least three key position specific ratings available to upgrade, the player will show up in the Recommended list where you will be able to easily choose which rating to upgrade.

    When playing as a coach, you will see a breakdown of all the XP you earned that week, too. You can easily see if you have an upgrade available and quickly take action.

    Big Decisions: Cutting Players

    During the preseason, you will now be presented with a new menu layout where your coaches will recommend players to cut based on position depth and player skills. This allows you to make key decisions about player retention quickly so you can progress through the preseason.

    Big Decisions: Free Agent Bidding

    While bidding for players in the off-season, you will now be able to easily see your depth chart at the various positions so you know who to bid on. Additionally, you will get feedback on how the player views your contract so you can adjust it to have a better chance of landing him. Top rated Free Agents will now regularly sign quickly so you can spend the later stages battling over the next tier of players. This better emulates real-life, where the top free agents move off the board quickly.

    Community Requests

    On top of everything else we’ve added this year, you’ll see features in the game directly influenced by community wishlists including the addition of the score ticker, full player editing, practice squad and more.

    Around The League Score Ticker

    Be immersed in Sunday football, with the new Around The League Score Ticker. While playing your game, you will see score updates occur from games around the league. For example, if you’re playing a 1pm Sunday game, you will see score updates and stat lines for all the other 1pm games. If you’re playing a Monday Primetime game, you’ll see final scores tick by for all the other league games. If you’re playing in a Cloud league with your friends, their played games will be treated like every other game. The ticker still gives you updates on goal progress when relevant, too. There is a setting to show everything, just scores, goal updates, or nothing so you can customize it as you see fit.

    Full Player Editing

    As the commissioner in your league, you now have the ability to customize almost everything about all the players. You will be able to adjust appearance, ratings, traits, and contract information for the entire league, letting you make tweaks as you see fit to alter players. Do you want to add one more year to someone’s contract? Do you think Aaron Rodger’s deep passing accuracy needs to be higher? You can do all this and more with full player editing. It is as simple as pulling up the Player Card for a player and selecting “Edit Player” to begin. In a Cloud league, other members can keep an eye on the commissioner since each player edited will show up in the Transaction log.

    Practice Squad

    Each team now has a 10-man Practice Squad that they can control week-to-week. It all starts in week 4 of the preseason. Instead of cutting players, you can now easily move eligible players to the Practice Squad where they will develop as you train the various position groups during weekly training. These Practice Squad players are available in Free Practice so you can test them out down on the field. At any point during the season, you can pull up a player from the Practice Squad to your active roster or vice versa. Only players with less than 2 full years of NFL experience are available to move to the Practice Squad so you won’t be able to stash your veterans on it. The Practice Squad is the place to develop younger players into guys that can have an impact on your team during gameday. Just like in the real-world, your Practice Squad players are free agents and can be poached by other teams for their active roster.

    Dynamic Development Trait

    Each player’s development trait is the biggest defining factor in how he develops. Players with a Superstar trait will stay in the league longer and develop into the top tier talent, while players with the Slow trait will not make it in the league long. You will now be able to see it quickly on the Player Card with prominent placement and a new icon.

    Since the development trait is such a key part to a player’s success, we want to make sure you can influence it. In Madden NFL 17, if a late round draft pick has a breakout season and wins Offensive Rookie of the Year, he will most likely go up a development trait level. Actually, any major season award and weekly award will have a chance of increasing it. What goes up must come down. Once a player fails to reach their season goals they have a chance of dropping down a development trait level. This fluidity makes sure the league is an organic system that reflects player performance.

    Regression Feedback

    As a coach or owner, you need to have a pulse on your team’s development and you need to know exactly when your team regresses and now you will in Madden NFL 17. Anytime a player on your team regresses during the season or at the end of the season, you will be prompted with a detailed report so you can calculate your next move.

    Player Card Improvements

    The Player Card has been bolstered with three key improvements. The first is a way to quickly see all the attributes for a specific player and how they rank in the league based on overall rating. The second is a view so you can see the progression history for the player. This lets you see where all the XP came from and when ratings have been impacted whether through progression or regression. Last but not least, the player card is now accessible from more areas so you will always be just a step or two from seeing the information you want.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Madden NFL 17 Franchise Mode (Part 2) - Big Decisions & Community started by cdj View original post
    Comments 4 Comments
    1. jaymo76's Avatar
      jaymo76 -
      A lot of that sounds good. However.... Really disappointed to read that game goals for xp still exist. Does that mean will still have drive goals? They just kill immersion IMO. Super exited about practise roster. Full editing is great.... But how does it work? (Aka what's the catch? ... Can it only be done in the off season? Etc.)
    1. jaymo76's Avatar
      jaymo76 -
      After thinking about this the past few days and watching some vids (eg. shopmaster et. al.) I have changed my tune a bit and am rather... underwhelmed. Don't get me wrong... practice roster, game ticker and full editing are awesome additions. However, features that I thought were new... well, most of them aren't. As a matter of fact several things are actually more dumbed down and easy to find yet being presented as new additions. The whole concept of BIG DECISIONS is very deceiving in my opinion.


      1. Coach deciding on how many wins...
      * upside... easier to get fired
      * downside... forces you to play coach mode rather than owner mode (hence access to less features)

      2. Injuries
      * upside... injuries are no longer black and white and they may linger
      * downside... none

      Well folks, that's it for new features regarding BIG DECISIONS. All the rest is simply a streamlined process to make your game faster and easier.

      Touted as new but really the same, just streamlined:

      1. Acquisitions
      * now you can see your top positions depth chart

      2. Re-signing Players
      * better players will let sign earlier in the season
      * now you can see your top positions depth chart

      3. Spending XP
      * streamlined to show the top three attributes to give xp too

      4. Cutting Players
      * the cpu gives you a recommendation on who to cut. Based on video it's the players with the lowest OVR...

      At first I thought we were getting an interactive and dynamic decision where the players had wants and personalities. However, this is 100% not the case. All that is being done is making things quicker and easier. This isn't depth. Is it an improvement? Probably it's a good thing but to suggest this is a franchise overhaul is frankly insulting to the Madden CFM players who have been loyal to this product for a long, long time (in my case, going back to Madden 05).
    1. Jayrah's Avatar
      Jayrah -
      Yeah I thought the decisions thing was going to be a huge factor too but it doesn't seem like things changed as much as is touted here. Still, mostly I was looking for improvement in these areas of player acquisitions and such, so I'm not super disappointed if it works correctly finally. BUT, still it is underwhelming in the light that it is being presented. I'm sure everything had to be wasted and added again so it's probably not unfair to call it 'new', but in reality it is an upgrade and not nearly the gap we were hoping for in immersion.
    1. Rudy's Avatar
      Rudy -
      Agreed. This blog isn't that big a deal.