• NCAA Football 11 Dynasty Blog - Recruiting Logic and Extras

    The third blog covering improvements and changes to Dynasty Mode in NCAA Football 11 has been posted. Composed by developer Russ Kiniry, the blog covers Recruiting Logic and Extras.

    Among the pertinent information:
    - CPU Recruiting Difficulty Setting increasing points the CPU can earn each phone call
    - Changes to the recruit logic in picking schools
    - Half sacks and assisted tackles are new stats being tracked
    - New Trophies: Walter Camp, Nagurski, Ray Guy, Biletnikoff, Outland
    - Expect more Dynasty news around E3 next week

    Continue on to read the blog and share your thoughts with the Gaming Tailgate community.

    Dynasty is such a huge part of NCAA Football games that it took three blogs to get through all of the new features this year. You can check out the first two on the new Phone Call and Prospects by clicking on the links. This blog is dedicated to the behind the scenes logic and extras in NCAA Football 11 Online Dynasty and Dynasty Modes.

    One of the biggest changes to Dynasty Recruiting this year is a new setting allowing control of the difficulty. It has four options: Freshman, Varsity (the default setting), All-American, and Heisman. What you will see as you increase the difficulty is the computer controlled teams will maximize the amount of points they earn each Phone Call. In turn, you really need to be on your game on Heisman mode to sign the Top Prospects.

    A huge part of the Recruiting Logic is making the Prospects have a more realistic approach to what school they are going to attend. To accomplish this, we made a few changes to the Prospectís thought process. First, before a Prospect can pick his final school, he has to have his Top 10 in order. Second, the better a Prospect is, the more it takes to get him to come to your school. Finally, for some Prospects staying near home is a major deal, and it should give those close schools an advantage. To ensure this happened, we did the following:

    1. Worked on the logic each Prospect uses to decide what schools he will consider for his Top 10 at the start of a season. The objective was to limit the amount of lower caliber Prospects that were filling their Top 10ís with the best schools in the nation. Now, they take the Teamís Needs and Prestige more into account.

    2. In years past, each recruit was given an equivalent point total that would have to be met before signing with a school. The process now bases the total number of points upon the recruitís caliber - meaning, a 1 Star Prospect is significantly easier to sign than a 5 Star Prospect.

    3. There is now a chance that a Prospect will have a bonus to any school close to home. For some of the Prospects, every school in their home state will get a different amount of extra points when he is created.



    Example of a Top 10 start for a top Prospect in Week 1.



    Example of a Home Town bonus in Week 1.

    Once Prospects were working properly we moved on to the CPU Teams and how they recruit. In years past, the CPU has not been very competitive in Recruiting. To ensure they would provide a challenge, we changed how the CPU goes about all aspects of Recruiting; from how they order their Recruiting Board to how they pick which Prospects they are going to call:

    1. CPU Teams will now go for Instant Commits more often. If a Prospect has their school number 1 in his Top 10 list, the CPU will be far more likely to offer a Scholarship for that chance at an Instant Commit

    2. CPU Teams will reorder the Recruiting Board more often and ensure the best players are near the top of the board. Team Needs is still a big part of filling and ordering the Recruiting Board, but the Caliber of the Prospect is going to have a significant impact upon ranking.

    3. The logic behind how the CPU calls prospects has been completely reworked. If the CPU wants a Recruit, they are going to start spending the maximum amount of time possible early and often until he signs. At the same time they are much smarter at giving up on Players they do not have a shot at signing, so they donít waste Recruiting Time. The real key to this rework is how the system changes over the course of a season. For example, early in the Season itís still anyoneís game for most Prospects, so they will continue to call a Prospect even if they are behind to try and make up ground. As the season progresses, that gap gets smaller and they really start to focus on Prospects they can get to commit.



    All of the changes to Recruiting, from the Phone Call to the CPU Logic, have allowed for some really cool situations to occur in my time playing Dynasty in NCAA 11. One particular instance, as a smaller school (Kent State) I found a 4 Star Quarter Back early in the season, that wasnít being recruited yet by the bigger schools;. He had me on his Board at number 10 because he really wanted to stay near home and we had just had a great season last year. I used every option I had and worked my way up to 3rd on his Board when I noticed Penn State had offered him a Scholarship midway through the season (they were 5th at the time).

    For the next five weeks I worked every angle I could. I used the Compare option when I had a higher grade on a Pitch than Penn State (which was only Playing Time and Proximity to Home), offered all of my Promises, and brought him in for a Rivalry game that we won big. But each week I would continue to see the point difference between my school and Penn State continues to shrink. This year, on the Top 10 screen we have already mentioned that you can see how many Points you are behind, but just as in previous years, filling that bar does not mean the Prospect is instantly going to sign. When Penn State filled the bar I started to panic; but knew I still had a shot and called one last time. Surprisingly, I had my biggest score of the year thanks to the times two bonus (amazing odds that it came up when it did) so I hit Week Advance and crossed my fingers.

    Anthony Ware was the prospectís name and we were going to make waves in College Football. I say were because, well, he ended up signing with Penn State. At first I was not happy because I spent all season on a player and lost him in the end. When I retold that story I realized it was one of the coolest things Iíve had happen in an offline Dynasty recruiting against the computer teams. All made possible by the following things:

    * I was a small school who got a chance at a Prospect because of the super bonus

    * Managed to work my way up his Top 10 alone for a few weeks because the computer teams were focused on getting a better player

    * I had to take longer to sign him because of his higher points for being a 4 Star Prospect whichÖ

    * Gave the CPU team time to lose the player they wanted first, reorder their board and realize they wanted the same player I was going after

    * Then a larger school came calling and earning more points than I could every week because of the new phone call



    Anthony Ware throwing his first PassÖ not for my team sadly.

    It was just awesome! Iíve rambled on long enough; let me get the last few details into this blog before I break the size limits. We also added a bunch of new Trophies to Dynasty Mode and started to track Half Sacks and Assisted Tackles for every player. Here is a list of the new Trophies:

    * Walter Camp

    * Nagurski

    * Ray Guy

    * Biletnikoff

    * Outland

    So itís been a really big year for Dynasty Mode in NCAA Football 11 and Iím very excited to get the game into your hands to hear what you think about the improvements. I know this was Dynasty Blog 3 of 3 butÖ weíre not done. If you are a fan of Online Dynasty mode (and Iím guessing you are if youíre still reading this novella) then you have to pay attention to the NCAA Football news that will come out around E3.

    -Russ Kiniry

    Designer NCAA Football 11
    Comments 27 Comments
    1. JBHuskers's Avatar
      JBHuskers -
      Something to note.

      So it’s been a really big year for Dynasty Mode in NCAA Football 11 and I’m very excited to get the game into your hands to hear what you think about the improvements. I know this was Dynasty Blog 3 of 3 but… we’re not done. If you are a fan of Online Dynasty mode (and I’m guessing you are if you’re still reading this novella) then you have to pay attention to the NCAA Football news that will come out around E3.

      -Russ Kiniry
    1. cdj's Avatar
      cdj -
      The Recruiting Difficulty setting was something they were working on when we were at the Community Event and they were hoping to get it in. Glad to see it there.

      The team put a big emphasis on making the CPU more efficient in recruiting, more challenging for users, and also allow users to customize the difficulty/experience with the difficulty setting.

      With all three Dynasty blogs now out, what do you guys think?
    1. gschwendt's Avatar
      gschwendt -
      I love all of the info we got but a little disappointed that the blogs were called dynasty updates when it would have been more factual to be called recruiting updates. Que sera sera.

      Either way though great info. I actually wasn't even aware that they had been working on the recruiting difficulty slider. Very nice addition.
    1. Solidice's Avatar
      Solidice -
      sounds good. as someone who likes to take small schools and build them up, it sounds like it'll be a lot more fun this year. also the half-sacks and assisted tackles will be a nice little add.
    1. cdj's Avatar
      cdj -
      Quote Originally Posted by Solidice View Post
      sounds good. as someone who likes to take small schools and build them up, it sounds like it'll be a lot more fun this year.
      I'm anxious to see what difficulty level people use for recruiting and if they base it on Team Prestige or some other factor to make it challenging/realistic/fun.
    1. Solidice's Avatar
      Solidice -
      Quote Originally Posted by cdj View Post
      I'm anxious to see what difficulty level people use for recruiting and if they base it on Team Prestige or some other factor to make it challenging/realistic/fun.
      tough to say without being able to test it. while I wont say recruiting was a cake walk in NCAA 10(or any version). there were times where my teams would improve rapidly and be up there with the big teams in a few years. It's nice to know that the CPU recruiting logic is getting an upgrade.

      I imagine I'll start on AA recruiting difficulty and adjust from there when/if needed.
    1. beartide06's Avatar
      beartide06 -
      Quote Originally Posted by cdj View Post
      I'm anxious to see what difficulty level people use for recruiting and if they base it on Team Prestige or some other factor to make it challenging/realistic/fun.
      This is all exciting news! Most of it was recruiting, but half sacks and assisted tackles is pretty significant IMO. AND.... there is still more to come on Dynasty features. It sounded more favored to Online dynasty, but that's all I have played basically, so I'm pumped.

      As for the difficulty setting I will be using... I am starting an OD with mainly Top teams in the league and So I will most likely set the recruiting to All-American and/or Heisman. It was too easy in the past so I really want to challenge myself and make it more interesting and fun.

      Can't wait for more info on dynasty!
    1. Deuce's Avatar
      Deuce -
      Quote Originally Posted by JBHuskers View Post
      Something to note.


      So itís been a really big year for Dynasty Mode in NCAA Football 11 and Iím very excited to get the game into your hands to hear what you think about the improvements. I know this was Dynasty Blog 3 of 3 butÖ weíre not done. If you are a fan of Online Dynasty mode (and Iím guessing you are if youíre still reading this novella) then you have to pay attention to the NCAA Football news that will come out around E3.

      -Russ Kiniry
      Are you going to let us know when the 2 "wows" are announced? Im guessing the one mentioned by Russ is one of them? I'm interested to hear even though I'm not an OD guy. Maybe this will convince me to try an OD.
    1. cdj's Avatar
      cdj -
      Quote Originally Posted by Deuce View Post
      Are you going to let us know when the 2 "wows" are announced? Im guessing the one mentioned by Russ is one of them? I'm interested to hear even though I'm not an OD guy. Maybe this will convince me to try an OD.
      My guess is E3. Russ confirms a item related to Online Dynasty will be mentioned there. The other item is something those who closely follow the franchise will appreciate. That one may not be mentioned at E3, but usually demos have load screens detailing all of the features in a game so we should at least have first mention of it by next week.
    1. Rudy's Avatar
      Rudy -
      I love the recruiting slider and I love that the cpu will work harder at getting the top recruits. I'm with Solidice - I'm starting at AA and then see how it goes.
    1. Rudy's Avatar
      Rudy -
      I've always thought that a recruiting slider would be huge and I think that will be the biggest improvement they could make to dynasty - both offline and on. Just think about how many people that don't play with their favourite team just because they know their team would be too good too fast. I could actually play with Michigan if I want (especially since they won't start out well) and build that team slowly and more realistically. I've thought of playing with Texas A & M this year but the talent rich state of Texas concerned me. No more with a recruiting slider! How about all those goofy online dynasties where there are rules on the teams you can use like 3* dynasties. Those restrictions can be relaxed or removed.
    1. jaymo76's Avatar
      jaymo76 -
      So other than a major online dyasty announcement is there anything else for OFFLINE dynasty that would be considered a major feature???
    1. morsdraconis's Avatar
      morsdraconis -
      I think this is some pretty huge stuff for dynasty in general. Love that they've added new trophies for the other individual positions.

      ANYTHING that they could do to make recruiting more difficult for small schools is a HUGE factor.

      There are still most likely going to need to be restrictions for teams like Notre Dame, Texas, USC, and Florida because they are just so damn ridiculous. Not sure anything will change the fact that teams like them pretty much have their pick of whoever they want to take.
    1. morsdraconis's Avatar
      morsdraconis -
      Quote Originally Posted by jaymo76 View Post
      So other than a major online dyasty announcement is there anything else for OFFLINE dynasty that would be considered a major feature???
      What more do you want?

      Formation subs, new recruiting to actually make it difficult to recruit and more rewarding when you are able to recruit a big player, Locomotion, new offensive styles to (supposedly) accentuate teams and make them feel different offensively, and ESPN presentation integration just to name a few of the new additions.

      Coach carousel definitely wasn't going to happen this year because coaches aren't on the sidelines. Halftime shows and all that stuff becomes repetitive VERY quickly (and personally I think it's retarded to begin with) and something I ALWAYS skip on other games (all the annoying cut crap that NBA 2k10 does REALLY annoys the hell out of me when all I want to do is play the damn game).

      It just blows me away that you are getting ALL of that above and STILL want more...
    1. Deuce's Avatar
      Deuce -
      This blog is huge for me. All my time on NCAA is spent building weak teams into powerhouses. With the recruiting slider and new CPU logic this will hopefully double the life of each dynasty and potentially open up the possibility of a dynasty with OU. Great, great stuff...
    1. JBHuskers's Avatar
      JBHuskers -
      Quote Originally Posted by cdj View Post
      I'm anxious to see what difficulty level people use for recruiting and if they base it on Team Prestige or some other factor to make it challenging/realistic/fun.
      It definitely adds to the customization for your dynasty.
    1. morsdraconis's Avatar
      morsdraconis -
      Quote Originally Posted by JBHuskers View Post
      It definitely adds to the customization for your dynasty.
      Between the slider and the randomness of the phone call now, I'm actually a little worried it might be too hard now...

      But I'm definitely EXTREMELY anxious to get my hands on the game now to test it out.
    1. cdj's Avatar
      cdj -
      Quote Originally Posted by morsdraconis View Post
      Between the slider and the randomness of the phone call now, I'm actually a little worried it might be too hard now...

      But I'm definitely EXTREMELY anxious to get my hands on the game now to test it out.
      Knowing how EA tries to make Freshman mode very easy and accommodating for new users, Freshman and maybe Varsity difficulty probably will be very manageable.
    1. jaymo76's Avatar
      jaymo76 -
      [QUOTE=morsdraconis;3174]What more do you want?

      Formation subs, new recruiting to actually make it difficult to recruit and more rewarding when you are able to recruit a big player, Locomotion, new offensive styles to (supposedly) accentuate teams and make them feel different offensively, and ESPN presentation integration just to name a few of the new additions.

      Coach carousel definitely wasn't going to happen this year because coaches aren't on the sidelines. Halftime shows and all that stuff becomes repetitive VERY quickly (and personally I think it's retarded to begin with) and something I ALWAYS skip on other games (all the annoying cut crap that NBA 2k10 does REALLY annoys the hell out of me when all I want to do is play the damn game).

      It just blows me away that you are getting ALL of that above and STILL want more...[/QUOTE]

      Wow! Can we say "major overreaction!" I guess that's what I get for asking a question... aka are there any additonal features for offline or is the last announcement going to be for online only? As to the cut scenes comment, a lot of people love them and never skip over them as it adds to the immersion of the experience. To each his own. On this I guess we will cordially agree to dissagree.
    1. cdj's Avatar
      cdj -
      Quote Originally Posted by jaymo76 View Post
      Wow! Can we say "major overreaction!" I guess that's what I get for asking a question... aka are there any additonal features for offline or is the last announcement going to be for online only? As to the cut scenes comment, a lot of people love them and never skip over them as it adds to the immersion of the experience. To each his own. On this I guess we will cordially agree to dissagree.
      The feature Russ is referring to will be marketed and talk mainly (solely?) about the Online Dynasty aspect, but will apply to offline as well as far as I know (or it did at the CE, at least). Once the snake in the mailbox is revealed, it'll make sense and we can talk about it.

      The three blogs may not have been flashy (as in no back of the box feature), but the changes were needed to improve the quality of Dynasty Mode and some of it had to be very time-consuming if not also very difficult. (Rebuilding thousands of recruits in the Dynasty recruit pool? Yikes, no thanks. Not to mention reconfiguring the CPU logic, etc.)