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Old 08-19-2016, 09:28 PM   #1
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JoshC1977's M17 Sliders

Final Updates
I've spent a lot of time working through sliders for this game. A gazillion iterations and a dozen patches later...where are we? We're right back at pure default.

Why default?
Put simply, a pure default All Pro is how the game was created and balanced. It is most balanced here, most ratings-based here, and (if you'll forgive the cliche) the most "organic" here. Using these settings will ensure varied and realistic outcomes (if you play a sim style game).

What is default?
Default settings aren't just about gameplay and penalty sliders. But, there are a couple of other key elements that are significant contributors.
Game difficulty: All Pro
Autosubs: 60/80 in Main Menu and 49/50 in CFM
Ballhawk/Heatseeker/Auto Strafe are all on, RB Moves are on manual, and auto-switch is off.
Injury/Fatigue settings are default (which is 10 Injury /50 Fatigue in the main menu and 50 Injury/50 Fatigue in CFM)
Game speed at normal in both the main menu and CFM (see below for discussion of game speed)
Pretty much everything else (which isn't much)

A note on game speed
When starting the process of going back to a pure default setup, the CPU passing game really stood out as a sore thumb. It was full of checkdowns and dinky-dunky stuff (and sacks galore on vertical routes). I quickly realized that the AI's timing on routes was not in-sync with where the receivers were on the field. The good news is by modifying the Main Menu game speed setting, we can modify the speed within CFM. Once I turned the main menu speed to Slow, the throw variety really improved, AI was better overall...just a much better experience...one that even lead to more incomplete passes. So, changing the main menu game speed to slow (leaving CFM at Normal) is the one change I have made from default.

Why should I use these?
  • Variety. Every play can go a bunch of different directions. You will see a lifelike interaction in player animations (especially on tackles)....the CPU will make moves, truck you, etc. You know those gameplay vids that you see in the franchise intro with RBs making all kinds of moves and wondered where they were in-game? Well, they're in the game....and this setup will let them shine.
  • Ratings matter....but within that wonderful little range that makes you feel like anything can happen. This means, if you have a bad team, you might get your butt kicked. If you have a great team, you will probably dominate. If you want every game to feel the same so you get a consistent level of "challenge"....don't even bother with these. You want to cheese your way to the top by gathering 10 first round draft picks per year....don't even bother with these.
  • The CPU will take advantage of your mistakes and will beat you but without that All Madden 'cheese' that far too many people whine about.
  • You will see things you have rarely (if ever seen) every game; animations are much more varied. Penalties are much more varied (I've seen Roughing the Passer on the CPU, illegal hit out of bounds, Illegal forward pass, etc.).
A couple of notes:
  • Auto-subbing is not ideal. For better or worse, EA calibrated the game at 49/50 autosubs. The gameplay is well worth the sacrifice. Use formation subs or manually sub to compensate. Autosubs have a massive impact on gameplay, you change them, you are using an entirely different slider set.
  • Don't just focus on play outcomes and animations, but also the ratings; especially in the pass rush. There is a huge difference between playing against a good O-line and a bad one.
  • Finally, I've tested these on both 15 min and 9 min quarters; they work well either way. If you DO use accelerated clock, do not go below 20 seconds. If you do, the CPU will stop making audibles and adjustments at the LOS.
Game-Planning and its Effect on CPU Play Calling and Gameplay

So....let's talk about the gameplanning function within CFM....while I know we're only a couple of months away from M18, I am hoping that some of this is useful for us moving forward. The game plan and weekly training elements were new to M17 and as we know, sometimes new features leave behind some unintended artifacts.

So, you pick your point of emphasis for offense and defense for that week then sim through (or play) the actual training. You get boosts on those types of plays as being a part of your "gameplan". In the play selection menu, you get the little green icons that pop up and indicate that it is a "gameplan play". What if the CPU is using those gameplan plays far too often (thus causing them to run the same types of plays over and over....the biggest offenders being stick patterns, "shots", and verticals). I mean, seriously, some teams call stick patterns 50-60% of the time...even if you stop it.

I started experimenting to see what would happen if I manually set the CPU's gameplan. So, I ran the initial experiment versus the Bengals (who in my experiences, are notorious for running stick patterns over and over). I took control of their coach the week BEFORE I played them (if you wait until the week you play them to take control of their coach, they will have already completed the drills so you can't do this). Now, as I looked at all of the gameplanning options, I noticed some that were not specific to play types ("situation" options).

So, for the experiment, I set their gameplanning emphasis to "Red Zone Offense" and "Red Zone Defense" and I did the same for mine. The two red zone emphasis drills make all plays (when within the red zone) "gameplan plays" and give the boosts there. By setting the CPU and User gameplans to those drills, they essentially "cancel out" the boosts (albeit, at a slightly boosted level). Also, teams get "amped-up" in the red zone in real life; so this feels a bit more "sim" in some respects.

So, fired it up....my god....the CPU play-calling (with their default 'balanced offense' scheme) was SO much better. They were calling a much wider variety of plays and were actually catching me off-guard on occasion. I even had a tougher time cracking their defense...

Now....I have run a few other possible options as far as gameplan drills. I've settled on the redzone offense/defense being the most reliable approach.

Here is what I know and don't know:
  • I cannot directly correlate the drill used to how often a team calls a play. In other words, if the CPU drills on a "Cover 1", I don't necessarily see them calling more Cover 1 plays. But, I have nowhere near the statistically-significant sample size I would need to prove/disprove this. Frankly, I am not going to take it quite this far.
  • However, for whatever reason, there appears to be an improvement in CPU game-calling variety when setting the gameplan to "red zone offense/defense". I think it is more the fact that this approach re-balances things a bit more.
  • Oddly, I have been seeing a few more penalties since using this approach....that is likely unrelated; but we also know the game is "happier" when things are nice and balanced.
  • I still recommend the use of modified offensive schemes, but I am going to re-work them as I believe the 'balanced scheme' is less of an issue now (and I think I am going to start shying away more from the vertical schemes).
  • I still sometimes see too many vertical/shot plays, but I think that is as much a by-product of certain playbooks (and use of the vertical scheme). However, I would say that overall, it is better.

So, in summary:
  1. Take control of the CPU coach the WEEK BEFORE your game (if starting a new franchise, this means you have to start in preseason)
  2. Once CPU coach is under your control, advance to the next week (i.e. the week of your game)
  3. For the CPU coach, change the offensive gameplannng to "Red Zone Offense" and defensive to "Red Zone Defense" (both are near the bottom of the list). Simulate the training. If you want to adjust their offensive scheme, you can do that here too. You may retire the CPU coach once done.
  4. For the User coach, change the offensive gameplannng to "Red Zone Offense" and defensive to "Red Zone Defense" (both are near the bottom of the list). Simulate the training.
  5. Play your game.
  6. Once that game is ended, don't forget to take control of the CPU coach for your next game before advancing.
  7. Repeat Steps 1-6.
Coach Schemes
After more extensive testing on coach schemes and based on the work done with the "game planning" feature, I recommend the following (as of June 12, 2017, subject to further review):

Bears: Balanced
Bengals: Balanced
Bills: West Coast or Spread (personal preference)
Broncos: Zone Run
Browns: Balanced
Bucs: Power Run
Cardinals: West Coast
Chargers: Balanced
Chiefs: Spread
Colts: Zone Run
Cowboys: Vertical or Spread (w/ Prescott especially)
Dolphins: West Coast or Zone Run
Eagles: Spread
Falcons: Balanced
49ers: Spread
Giants: Spread
Jags: Balanced
Jets: West Coast
Lions: Balanced
Packers: West Coast
Panthers: Power Run
Patriots: West Coast
Raiders: Spread
Rams: Power Run
Ravens: Balanced
Redskins: West Coast
Saints: West Coast
Seahawks: Balanced
Steelers: West Coast
Texans: Zone Run
Titans: Spread
Vikings: West Coast

To implement these, you can either do a 32 team CFM or the following:
Take control of a team's coach within CFM (hit R3 on PS4 with the CFM menus); select that team's coach....do not create a custom coach. Go to his scheme menu and change the offensive scheme (do not alter the playbook). Then, go to the far right-hand screen in the CFM menus and retire the coach. The coach will remain, you will only get the little story ("He will be missed...blah blah blah") and the changes will stick and you can do this over and over. I suggest doing this at the start of a CFM and then saving it as a "base" CFM file.


Sliders used (see image below)

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Last edited by JoshC1977; 06-12-2017 at 07:28 PM.
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Old 08-19-2016, 09:55 PM   #2
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Re: JoshC1977's M17 Sliders

Josh, will you be on All pro? Do you feel that is the best out of the box experience that uses default ratings without rating boosts?
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Old 08-19-2016, 10:12 PM   #3
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Re: JoshC1977's M17 Sliders

Quote:
Originally Posted by smoove7
Josh, will you be on All pro? Do you feel that is the best out of the box experience that uses default ratings without rating boosts?
Again, haven't played yet....leaving all options open right now. Historically though, yes, AP provides the best ratings-based experience.
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Old 08-19-2016, 10:23 PM   #4
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Re: JoshC1977's M17 Sliders

I have early access and I can tell you, Madden 17 is an upgrade over 16. Game feels more organic and smart on defense including blitz that work due to gap assignments. I have always appreciated your sliders Josh. I personally am from the SEC so I love defense and the running game. I like lower scoring games, but it is tough with the emphasis on passing these days.
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Old 08-20-2016, 12:14 AM   #5
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Re: JoshC1977's M17 Sliders

Plays really well on default but here is my early input on what could use tweaking.

-lack of penalties.
-too many sacks.
-too many QB fumbles on sacks.
-QB accuracy is too high.
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Old 08-20-2016, 07:15 AM   #6
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Re: JoshC1977's M17 Sliders

Quote:
Originally Posted by CujoMatty
Plays really well on default but here is my early input on what could use tweaking.

-lack of penalties.
-too many sacks.
-too many QB fumbles on sacks.
-QB accuracy is too high.
Sounds like 16 all over again. It seems each year the code seems to revert back to pre-patched versions for many things. Always baffles me.
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Old 08-20-2016, 09:27 AM   #7
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Re: JoshC1977's M17 Sliders

Josh, I know it's way early but wanted to provide feedback as I know you have not played the game. I am CPU vs CPU player so there are no stick skills involved in my assessment. I played first game in franchise mode (Texans vs 49ers)...score was 37-34....lots of offense.
I plugged in you 2016 set (only changes - 13 min qtrs, all penalties ON and QB ACC set to 40 for both user and CPU) I am in the first half 1:47 left...score 14-6 (Texans vs Saints). The game looks and plays great it appears. My feeling isyou may have a much easier time adjusting this year. I have not adjusted auto subs but am seeing players sub out although have not really focused on that much. Injury slider at 50 (lost both Miller's in week 1 for 4 and 8 games) Also, on very slow this game as it visually looks better to me.
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Old 08-20-2016, 03:17 PM   #8
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Re: JoshC1977's M17 Sliders

Just got it on access last night and am blackdotting this because I had more fun with Madden last year than I have in a long time with these sliders.
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