e3 2018

Madden NFL 19

Finding The Right Scheme
by Matthew Kato on Jun 09, 2018 at 01:45 PM
Publisher: EA Sports
Developer: EA Tiburon
Release:
Rating: Everyone
Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

Putting together a good NFL roster – to say nothing of one that can win a Super Bowl – is very hard. Head Coaches and GMs have to have a philosophy in place and know which players, whether that’s big-name veterans or late-round draft picks, can fill their expected roles. Madden 19’s franchise mode is trying to replicate the way NFL teams put together their rosters and how it affects the players in a new scheme/player archetypes and progression system for Connected Franchise Mode.

Each team has an offensive and defensive scheme (which can be changed), and players fit into these schemes via player archetypes. Like previous years, as you play you earn XP for your on-the-field actions. These get you skill points, which can be applied to the specific player archetypes that apply to that player, like being a Strong Arm QB. Doing this raises the OVR in that archetype a full point and raises random ratings assigned to that archetype.

Players get XP bonuses for playing in the schemes that are appropriate to their player archetype, but playing in the wrong scheme does not make your player worse – it just doesn’t make them progress as fast.

So as you assemble your team for the season and envision what it’s going to look like years down the road, you can maximize the talents of role players that fit into your scheme, sign free agents that have appropriate skills and not just the highest OVR, and have a better idea of who to scout and target for the draft. You can also reverse engineer your team like changing your scheme and the players on your team to build around a QB that unexpectedly fell to you in the draft, for example.

Gamers might have some interesting choices to make. Do you start a good vet around who doesn't fit the scheme, or do you give his spot to the rookie who does? The former may have better stats, but the latter will benefit from being a scheme fit and progress faster.

Here's how it works, as well as details on some other changes for Franchise mode.

SCHEMES

  • EA created eight offensive schemes and six defensive ones:
    • Offense: Spread, West Coast Zone Run, West Coast Power Run, Vertical Zone Run, Vertical Power Run, Multiple Power Run, Multiple Zone Run, Run and Shoot
    • Defense: Base 4-3, Multiple 4-3, Base 3-4, Multiple 3-4, Tampa 2, 46
  • If you want to change your team's playbook, you can see what schemes go with that playbook.
  • Visual indicators allow you to see a player's scheme fit, including while you're scouting for the draft.
The game surfaces how well a player or players fit into your schemes.

ARCHETYPES

  • Player Archetypes fit within the schemes, and there are up to four archetypes for each positional group. The QB archetypes, for example, are: Scrambler, Strong Arm, West Coast, and Field General. If you are running a vertical scheme, the archetype you'd be looking for is Strong Arm.
  • Each of the archetypes has its own internal formula that determines the attribute mix within that archetype.
  • Players whose archetype fits the team's scheme get XP bonuses, so they will gain new skill points faster, but there are no penalties for those who don't, and archetypes do not change a player's existing ratings.
  • Great overall players like Antonio Brown excel in multiple archetypes.
  • You can apply skill points into any archetype, so if a player doesn't fit the scheme off the bat, you can level the appropriate archetype to eventually make them fit the scheme. 
Many players fit into multiple archetypes.

PLAYER PROGRESSION

  • Players' archetypes fitting into their team's scheme doesn't modify players' ratings from game to game. Scheme fit players progress faster than those who doesn't.
  • When you apply a skill point to an archetype, you get a random bump in the archetype's appropriate ratings. This is based on weighted randomization and can change the next time you apply a skill point or do it with a different player. You cannot see what the outcome will be before you apply your skill point.
  • Why is it random, and why can't players grow the attributes the way they want? Senior designer John White says that players in online leagues would save up all their points and then dump them into an attribute like speed all at once. This, however, wouldn't change the player's OVR rating, creating an imbalance that threw off the game's free agent or resigning logic. "We would never rate a guy like people were able to build these guys," he said.
  • Traditional player traits like Clutch are not buyable, but are an innate part of the player from the start.
  • The Development Trait is changed; there is no more Slow development. It's Normal, Quick, Star, and Superstar. Superstar encompasses only 30-40 players in the league. This trait can evolve.
  • Weekly gameplanning and Focus Training stay the same.
  • Player regression has been overhauled and sounds like the progression system in reverse in that players won't automatically lose their speed, for example. It's also based on weighted randomization.

CUSTOM DRAFT CLASSES, NEW RATINGS, DRAFT DAY & MORE

  • Players can choose to use a custom draft class on week three of their franchise. This can be imported, created, or loaded.
  • If you create one, you'll start with one of the pre-made ones from EA Tiburon that are normally in the game, and then can edit as little or as much as you like.
  • You can create your own hidden draft gems and stash them in the lower rounds. "If you can imagine it,  you can draft it," says producer Ben Haumiller.
  • Madden 19 introduces new ratings for some positions – QB (Throw Under Pressure, Break Sack, and Break Tackle), WR (Short, Medium & Deep Route Running), and OL (Run Block Power/Finesse, Pass Block Power/Finesse, and Lead Block)
  • If you're a coach or owner in Franchise mode you'll see them in their office, complete with idle animations. If you're a player they'll be in the locker room.
  • Draft day has been reworked to feature a new draft location, complete with a stage with a crowd and a cityscape in the background. When you draft a player, you'll see that model come out on stage and even strike a pose.
  • You can take five or six snapshots from within games which will then be threaded through the mode's other menus, the news, and loading screen.
  • The team depth chart, like in Ultimate Team, contains special positions: Slot receiver, slot corner, rush defensive end, rush defensive tackle, power back, and sub linebacker.
  • You can choose your team captains, and you'll see the appropriate patches with their stars. Some teams don't have captain patches or only have them in the playoffs.
There are now specific depth chart spots for specialized positions like the slot receiver or corner.