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Preview

Madden NFL 12

Madden NFL 12's Online Blitz
by Matthew Kato on Jul 25, 2011 at 03:00 AM
Platform PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Publisher EA Sports
Developer EA Orlando
Release
Rating Everyone

Madden's online feature set the past few years has been filled with controversy, from ranked invites to the lackluster Online Franchise mode. While EA has already said that it isn't improving Online Franchise mode apart from some behind-the-scenes tweaks, it certainly hasn't given up on trying to improve the head-to-head and Online Team Play (OTP) experiences. We talked to Madden designer Anthony DiMento about Madden NFL 12's online features.

COMMUNITIES
Communities is EA Tiburon's way of addressing users' frequent complaints that there aren't enough "good" players to play online because of chronic quitters and griefers spoiling the fun for others. Players can create and join Communities based on whatever custom game sliders and options that the Community wants – whether that's six minute quarters or the honor system promise to stick to "sim-football" conventions like punting on fourth down or not running the same play every time. "Play who you want, and play them the way you want to play," says DiMento. Gamers who band together in Communities will play each other in head-to-head (H2H) games as well as against other Communities in three-on-three co-op squad OTP matches (complete with leaderboards for both).

Some Community features include:

  • Communities can consist of two to two thousand members, and you can be a part of up to five different Communities
  • They can be open to the public so anyone who reads the text description of your Community and is interested can join, or they can be invite only. Unfortunately, there is no way to solicit invite-only Communities to let you join unless they invite you in the first place
  • Community creators or managers deputized by the creator can kick people out at any time
  • Rules or gameplay sliders can be tweaked whenever you want
  • Communities will have private lobbies, a message board, individual stat tracking, and other info and communication methods
  • When you create a Community, you can choose from over 50 current and historical NFL team logos. No custom logos, unfortunately.

The Community Description box is your chance to advertise what kind of players you're looking for

All the normal game options and AI sliders can be tweaked for your Community

Continue on for info on OTP and head-to-head play, as well as a highlight trailer

ONLINE TEAM PLAY
The main change to OTP this year beyond being able to do it between your Community and others (outlined above) is that boosts are gone and the camera has been moved to the traditional Madden camera. OTP has also been amended to fix the OTP griefing practice of constant encroachments (only three encroachments in a row or five in a game are allow) and delay of games. Any OTP squad stats you accrue will follow you regardless of which Community you earn them in.

INDIVIDUAL HEAD-TO-HEAD PLAY
Ranked invites remain for traditional H2H play, but developer EA Tiburon has made some modifications to try and keep the integrity of the feature. Last year people were exploiting ranked invites to friends who'd let them win in order to cheat up the leaderboards, but Madden 12 features a degenerative point system whereby if you play the same person repeatedly you'll gain less and less skill points with each win over a 10-game span until after three or four games you're not earning any even if you win.

Quitters are also being punished more harshly via more stringent rules. Any quits during a game will be not counted (and no skill points awarded to the quitter), and the remaining player will be awarded the win/skill points. DiMento also told us that there were many instances where players thought they should have been awarded a win last year because they thought the other person quit the game, when it fact it was their connection that dropped the match. In order to help alleviate confusion about who really quits in Madden 12, there is a post-game info box that explains the exact reasoning behind who is the winner/loser when someone quits.

Take a look at this trailer highlighting some of the game's online features

Products In This Article

Madden NFL 12cover

Madden NFL 12

Platform:
PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Release Date: