When Madden 23 launches this month, it will arrive, as always, with several highly publicized new features, such as a field overhaul, collectively called Fieldsense, as well as new wrinkles for the game’s Franchise Mode, Face of the Franchise Mode, and more. Within days of launch and a day-zero patch now made public, Madden gameplay producer Clint Oldenburg says the main result of the beta is that Madden’s ever-vocal fan base is in step with EA Tiburon when it comes to what this year the game should look like, play and feel like.
“The two most active feedback from the beta has been, ‘don’t significantly change gameplay for launch’ and ‘please don’t alter pass coverage,'” Oldenburg told GameSpot. “And we were really excited to get that feedback, because not only did we spend a lot of time working on passing coverage to bring more balance to the deep pass game, but we also brought an increase in the passing rush.” The fact that the biggest player demand so far has essentially been “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” bodes well for the launch, Oldenburg believes.
Madden 23 has a lot of focus on “bringing more balance to the defensive side of the ball,” Oldenburg said, and the beta helped a lot to strike the right balance between giving players more influence on defense while staying true to the league that Madden mimics: one who is now happier and with a higher score than ever.
“In the first week or two of the beta, the rush to switch was a little bit more thrust than we wanted,” the producer said, but added that it was a bug that has now been fixed. What remains, however, is still an amplified passing rush in Madden 23, which the team hopes is a way to cut down on deep passing play a bit. With added pressure, pockets will collapse faster and QBs won’t always have that long to wait for paths to develop.
Smarter AI now instructs defensive ends to disengage blockers when players hit the right trigger, which indicates they may be trying to climb or, at the very least, dance a bit in their pocket. Containing the QB should become easier as a result, so guys like Lamar Jackson and Kyler Murray won’t be able to let their legs lift them as often. In total, the quarterbacks will have to learn to read the court faster, because the edge rushers will be closing more quickly in this year’s game.
“What we’re trying to take away are those third window flips,” Oldenburg said before launching into an all-too-common example. “Those are what you call a slant game, and you’re going to stay there until that guy turned it into a post and hit that third window between the low linebacker and the all-court safety. We want you to throw the ball. in time and you do not rely on those played to pieces to move the ball over and over. “
However, the beta didn’t just provide players with defensive buffs. After a few tweaks in the beta, the league’s elite wideouts will now more consistently leave average or worst angles in the dirt, with Oldenburg explaining that as the rating delta between a receiver and defender expands, the players will see greater separation on the pitch. I asked if this meant that a franchise player might then consider building a back to front defense. Since the overtaking race is still being boosted this year, maybe you could get away with mediocre talent on the line and pay or develop the corner and safety stars instead? Oldenburg rejected the idea and provided a very mechanical explanation as to why you’ll still want talent on the defensive line.
“You still want some pretty good linesmen in attack, because there is a waiting time each defensive linesman has before he can start the first move. And the higher the advantage for the blocker, the longer the defender will have to wait. . So you still do have the opportunity to slow that pass with really good offensive linemen. ” An additional wrinkle, which he said isn’t actually new to this year’s game, underscores the importance of an offensive line’s collective awareness score. “As your offensive line’s awareness score increases, and we average it across all five offensive linemen, and actually double it for center, they can begin to anticipate the blitz better.”
Like when the team added X-Factors a few years ago, it seems that the Pole Star continues to make the gap between the great, good and bad players felt in every game. For every elite player in one spot, such as edge rusher or wideout, a counter punch is available for a cleverly built team. Where shortcomings exist, however, it looks like elite talent will continue to take control of matches, just like when seen on real NFL Sundays.
Speaking personally, my biggest concern during the beta was the lack of onboarding for the game’s new skill-based passing mechanic, which is intended to provide a new level of control over ball placement never seen before in Madden. But he was more confused than he should have been in practice. Much of the Madden community has come to a similar determination: once you get the hang of it, there’s no turning back. But the initial obstacle was too daunting.
“Our onboarding experience wasn’t ready for beta yet,” Oldenburg told GameSpot. “And so people were initially fed from the water pipe, and we knew it was going to be overwhelming. But in general, we felt once you got your hands on it, and you feel it, it’s actually pretty intuitive to understand.”
However, the team added new onboarding elements to ensure players don’t download it on sight. Oldenburg said the game will now take players through a tutorial similar to how MLB The Show first asks new players to choose one of several control schemes for themselves. “We will be posting some in-depth developer videos and blogs that will be able to illustrate what we mean when we say you can do flips with this system that you have never been able to do before such as back-shoulder fades or rear pylon fades. And then putting the ball exactly where you want it between zone defenders is really powerful once you’ve mastered that system. “
The team has also added an extra layer of visual feedback to the mechanic to help players understand when they are using it well or not. “The skill-based passing system reticle, that color will match the feedback text. So you know, if you get perfect accuracy, I think it’s that neon green color to be very inaccurate, which is that red color, the reticle is of the same color as that text. So no matter where your eyes are, you will be able to match the result of your measurement usage. ” In this more updated version, it sounds a lot like throwing the ball in NBA 2K or fielding a Grounder in MLB The Show, and that’s definitely good company.
The perception of annualized sports sims is rarely positive or favorable, and it was clear that, as Oldenburg spoke, he spoke for the team when he said they are feeling positive after what appears to have been a strong beta. Of course, many more players who have much more time with the game starting August 16 will likely reveal a host of new issues that will dominate the Madden YouTube communities and forums, but EA Tiburon hopes the fact that fans have generally been the same. team page this summer could mean the studio can build better for the future.
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