21 Changes To Madden 15's Connected Careers Mode - Madden NFL 15 - Xbox 360 - www.GameInformer.com
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Madden NFL 15

21 Changes To Madden 15's Connected Careers Mode

Would-be GMs, coaches, owners, and superstars have anxiously awaited Madden NFL 15's Connected Careers mode. Now developer EA Tiburon has detailed a host of changes for this year's iteration.

The mode doesn't look to have long-requested features like restricted free agency and practice squads, but there are plenty of additions and improvements for '15.

CONFIDENCE

  • This is a new attribute that all players have that ranges from 1 to 99. It goes up and down after each game depending on the result and the player's performance. This system replaces Hot/Cold streaks.
  • The exact fluctuation of a player's confidence is influenced by their position on the depth chart (starter/backup), consistency rating, and the stakes of the game itself. A one-point loss produces a smaller confidence change than a blow out. No word if it takes into account situations such as come-from-behind victories or losing gimme games.
  • Confidence starts out at 50. When it gets to the 25-30 range, a player's key ratings will drop. Climb to the 75-80 range and they will increase.

GAME PREP

  • Game Prep replaces the old practice format, and it features a mix of drills and non-interactive classroom work designed to both boost your players' confidence and get them XP. The rewards are larger for participating in drills – particularly if you perform well.
  • Even if you do not participate in Game Prep, the game will sim it for you.
  • Game Prep tasks take up time, and how many hours you have  at your disposal depends on your schedule that week. If you have a short week due to a Thursday night game, then you'll have fewer hours to allocate.
  • Players gain more confidence or XP if they have a good development trait and depending on the coaching staff.
  • The sim engine takes into account CPU players development traits, confidence, and consistency, which is reflected in their stats. The stats of a rising star will be accurately reflected.

OFFSEASON

  • Free agency features a new user interface that highlights what each player thinks of your team's scheme, coaches, and other factors that they take into account before signing with you. It's no longer all about money.
  • Custom Draft classes have been removed in favor of random ones. Regardless, the mode still features still rookie storylines and commentary during the draft.

PLAYER UPGRADES

  • The interface for buying XP is improved, allowing you to buy multiple packages at once. They are also separated in groups (like abilities and traits) instead of being one long list.
  • The player goals have been revamped to be more personal. For instance, backups will no longer have to reach starter-like goals to get XP.

OWNER MODE

  • The financial computations that determine profitability have been fixed. While winning is still the best way to help your balance sheet, there is now a sweet spot where raising prices too much will lead to decreased profits. Conversely, if you do not tweak your default prices you'll leave money on the table.
  • In general, developer EA Tiburon says that it is harder to make money in the mode.
  • Owners can hire and fire coaches and staff during the season.
  • All the relocation uniforms in the game have been redesigned from last  year. The computer-controlled teams will relocate less often and rarely do so early on in the mode. There is also a setting preventing it for CPU teams altogether.

ONLINE FRANCHISES & MORE

  • Madden 15 offers more points in the season to sim to, such as skipping forward to the Super Bowl, beginning of the offseason, NFL draft, or even 10 years ahead.
  • You can now have multiple commissioners in an online franchise so someone's always in control if the regular commish is away.
  • Once per season you can take a player off injured reserve if he's healed up.
  • The Pro Bowl has adopted the real-life format where two legends are the captains and pick the teams.
  • CPU teams will don alternate uniforms at times.

For more on the game, take a look at our analysis of the top 10 players' overall rankings, the game's tackling mechanic, another bundle of gameplay/feature details, Ultimate Team, and defensive rusher moves.

Madden NFL 15 comes out on August 26 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360.

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