7. Editable draft classes
EA’s partnership with the NCAA was punted into oblivion by way of a 2015 lawsuit regarding player likenesses, meaning we’re stuck with fictional draft classes for the foreseeable future. That’s a shame, but it shouldn’t be unsalvageable. Take it away, texashomeboy (opens in new tab).
“Madden lacks actual draft classes for franchise mode. They have done a great job with coming up with generated players, but it just isn’t the same with not having the college rookies come up into the NFL in your franchise. I have a solution. One thing that NBA 2K does really well is draft classes in their franchise mode. You can still use generated ones that are created by NBA 2K, or you can download a class from the community creations. This allows for amazing, authentic NBA draft classes. Madden needs to steal this idea. If you give the ability for people to create prospects and build draft classes, and allow the user to download it before the season starts, it would make franchise that much more fun. It would be amazing to do a 49ers franchise and build my team around DeShone Kizer, instead of random generated QB out of Stanford.”
8. Running back committees
It’s very rare in the modern NFL that any team uses one running back throughout the majority of any given match, but Madden still utilises that antiquated approach. It means there’s no simple way to emulate, say, the Chiefs’ ride-the-hot-hand time share, where (when fit) Jamaal Charles, Spencer Ware and Charcandrick West all get carries during an afternoon’s play.
Cch99 from Operation Sports (opens in new tab) has potentially found a neat way to resolve this.
“How about add a halfback sub percentage screen somewhere for Play the Moments, or even CFM,” he writes. “Basically, give each HB a sub % and have the game auto-sub based on that, instead of fatigue. Even if they don't get a carry, they get plays on the field. Let’s say you set it to ‘HB1: 60, HB2: 30, HB3: 10’. HB1 gets six plays straight, then HB2 gets three, then HB3 gets a play.” It’s not the most nuanced of solutions, but would at least stop AI teams wheeling the same ball carrier out there until fatigued, rather than adopting the committee approached prevalent across the modern NFL.
9. Additional franchise details
@BenjiWilson why can't commentary updates be built into franchise? Bring back less than full stadiums. Update generic sideline playersFebruary 11, 2017
@BenjiWilson Better options for contracts (front/backload) in Franchise mode. Ability to man-align CBs to a set WR pre-game or in-game.February 11, 2017
10. Historic seasons
Long, but good, one this – so straight over to UFCMPunk from Operation Sports (opens in new tab): “Here’s an idea I had for a new way to play Franchise Mode. If you haven't seen the N-"if"-L videos on NFL.com, Dave Damshek takes a situation in NFL history and talks how things would be different if it didn't happen.
Within this mode, you'd still play the normal 30 years but through an alternate universe. When you select Franchise, you'll have the regular options but a new option called N-"if"-L. You select a year to start and now you're in that year. Let's say you select 2012 and want to re-do the Peyton Manning chase. Take the Cardinals and bring him to Arizona. Or do the same at Tennessee, or take over the Colts and keep Manning in Indianapolis.
Maybe change history and start the 2002 season as an expansion team from Toronto or LA – it'd allow you to choose any team and start over. After completing free agency and the draft, you now play the 30-year Franchise from whatever year you started in and can re-write NFL history.”
Complex, sure – but isn’t that what next-gen sports gaming should be?
11. Retro Madden mode
Last year GR+ based an entire feature on the Madden whambulance (opens in new tab). Really. And while the series tiptoes closer to reality with each passing year, it’s still the flourish this team misses most from the Mega Drive/Genesis days. Clearly you feel the same way.
“Bring back the 'take no prisoners' ambulance from Madden NFL 92,” writes Olimite on Twitter (opens in new tab). “In all seriousness, though, would love an anniversary mode like NHL 14.” Actually, that’s a genius call. NHL’s yesteryear throwback captured all the glory of the 16-bit era, but in pristine-Perspex HD. It’s time Madden was given similar treatment. Or a next-gen, Gridiron equivalent of the fantastically funny NHL 3-on-3 Arcade. (Nobody mention NFL Tour.)
GR+ will have extensive Madden 18 coverage throughout this year – as it did in 2016, when I became the first UK journalist ever to visit Tiburon (opens in new tab). Think I’ve missed something from the above list? Throw a shoulderblock towards @benjiwilson (opens in new tab) on Twitter (along with the idea, obvs) and I’ll factor it into GR+’s next Madden preview.