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Intentional Grounding Slider - the key to QB play

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Old 01-01-2015, 10:34 AM   #1
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Intentional Grounding Slider - the key to QB play

Everyone has been dealing with the "sack issue" on M15. We have all tried to account for it in our slider set-ups and most people have tried to bludgeon the issue by using extreme measures (jacking up pass block or using 0, toning down penalty sliders, using roster edits, etc.). I'm just as guilty as the next person as I have tried most of these things. The thing is....none of it is necessary - if you have the Intentional Grounding slider set correctly.

Why Intentional Grounding and how does it work?
The IG slider controls AI for the CPU QB, but it has to be calibrated for the set you are using (including skill level, threshold, penalty sliders, and Hum/CPU sliders). This basically means you have to settle on your settings first and then calibrate the IG slider. There are three "zones" for the IG slider as you move up from 1-99 (setting it to 0 is a non-option as the CPU AI falls apart completely). As your set changes, so do the actual numerical values - but here they are.

Zone 1: The "Dumb Zone" (IG is too low)
Lots of people have used IG at 1 to try to combat the sack issue. The problem is that when you see guys like the Manning brothers try to scramble, it gets ugly. They rarely throw downfield and completion percentages skyrocket because they are constantly checking down. Aside from accuracy of throws, there is no real differentiation of QB styles. We want to see guys like Brees and Stafford attack and guys like Alex Smith play 'checkdown ball'. If your IG is too low....you won't see much of that.

Zone 3: The "Must make safest play possible" Zone (IG is too high)
You set IG too high and they will get rid of the ball as quickly as possible, bypassing wide open deep WRs (guys with scramble trait will scramble a little too quickly). If short targets are covered...they will stand in the pocket...and stand there...and stand there...until a defender gets close and then, maybe, they will do something. If you have seen these effects often, your IG slider is too high.

Zone 2: The ideal Zone
This is where you want it and it is typically a range of about 5 points or so on the 1-99 scale before you get into the other zones. Players with the "Force Throws" trait at Aggressive will throw deep while Conservative guys will dump off passes. QBs will take a mixture of short and deep throws. Scramblers will take off and rookie QBs with low awareness won't do nearly as well. Within this range is the ideal point...this is what you want.


How do I set IG for my set?
This takes some time, but it is possible. To save time and aggravation, try to finalize the rest of your slider set and then do this...

Go into 'Play Now' game against a CPU QB with the Force Passes trait set to Aggressive. From here on out...when referring to aggressive or conservative QBs, I am referring to the 'Force Passes' trait. Play Now games utilize rosters with Confidence higher than "normal" and we want to see how they will perform when at the top of their game. We are looking for the IG setting where the CPU QB begins throwing deep passes and attacking downfield. You can also change sliders in the middle of a 'Play Now' game, so this speeds up the process.

If you are playing on All Madden, you are probably going to target a range of 30-60. This is highly dependent on the CPU QBA. For example, on an All Madden set I am working on right now (yet to be released), I settled on an IG setting of 41 for QBA at 6 and IG at 56 when QBA was 3 (one can infer that the proper IG settings for QBA at 4 or 5 will be in between). I suspect that the proper setting for the All Pro difficulty is in the 70-90 range, depending on QBA (I have not done any testing on AP to hone-in on where we need to look).

Key note: if your QBA is higher, IG goes lower - if your QBA is lower, IG goes higher. QBA does not affect the AI itself, merely influences where IG needs to be set.

Once you get into your game, watch how the CPU QB plays. If a guy like Matthew Stafford starts scrambling when he isn't under pressure....IG is too low....bump it up. If he is flinging the ball to a short receiver when he isn't under pressure, watch the replay and see if he bypassed a better option downfield (if he did...lower IG). You'll go back-and-forth moving ever closer to Zone 2...now start start adjusting very slowly (one point at a time). Remember, too many checkdowns and IG is too high (lower it). You are waiting for a value where they start attacking downfield and throwing deep (remember, you are playing against an aggressive QB - not all QBs will do this). Once you hit that point....exit the 'Play Now' game and save your settings. You can then load the setting into your CFM and see how it shakes out (if Aggressive QBs are checking down too much for your taste, lower IG a point....if Conservative QBs are throwing deep too much for your taste, increase IG a point). That's it! You're done....

(For coach mode players....it is very important that you set Human and CPU QBA to the same value when you do this so they both reap the benefits of your calibrated IG setting)

Unfinished Business
There are a couple of things I still don't know...
  • What is the ballpark range for All Pro? I may look into this...haven't decided yet.
  • What sliders affect the calibration? QBA definitely affects IG and I am pretty sure that PBK and the other penalty sliders do. This is a low priority issue but more for intrigue.

Final Words
I hope that all of you take the time to benefit from this...it really does make the game better. If you are interested in seeing what I am talking about, I will be uploading Version 5 of my new slider set later today and hopefully, it will give you a feel for what I am talking about.


Feel free to post questions/comments in this thread.


Further updates (02/23/2015):

I totally neglected this thread, but wanted to provide some additional feedback here:

I am confident that for M15, the IG setting is solely dependent on three settings:
  1. The CPU QBA setting
  2. The threshold
  3. The difficulty level
The IG setting is directly proportional to the threshold and is inversely proportional to the CPU QBA setting and difficulty level. Also, there is a massive difference between All Madden and All Pro. For example, lowering a set from AM to AP (but keeping all other settings the same) can potentially require a jump in IG by 15-20 points.

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Last edited by JoshC1977; 02-23-2015 at 07:39 PM.
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Old 01-01-2015, 10:50 AM   #2
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Re: Intentional Grounding Slider - the key to QB play

Excellent post !!! I am working on a "Pro" set and will work within your guidelines and if I can locate a good range for that "pro" skill level I'll post it for anyone who may find use for it; if that is cool?
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Old 01-01-2015, 12:36 PM   #3
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Re: Intentional Grounding Slider - the key to QB play

Quote:
Originally Posted by 4thQtrStre5S
Excellent post !!! I am working on a "Pro" set and will work within your guidelines and if I can locate a good range for that "pro" skill level I'll post it for anyone who may find use for it; if that is cool?
Absolutely - IF this will work on Pro. However, please post what QBA level you were using.
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Old 01-01-2015, 02:32 PM   #4
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Re: Intentional Grounding Slider - the key to QB play

Incredible explanation!!! I am a coach mode player and I am in great anticipation for your findings for 5.0 I don't know how you do it with the incredible lineup for football today! Greatly appreciate your perseverance. Happy New Year Josh!
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Old 01-01-2015, 04:09 PM   #5
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Re: Intentional Grounding Slider - the key to QB play

Incredible find josh. Has changed this game big time for me. I am using your sliders on all madden, normal speed with 65 TH and I am loving it. My first game using the IG slider at 40 and I could only get to Flacco using Denver twice the whole game. Was doing everything I could think of to get to him. Lost the game in the divisional playoffs 26-7.

For coach mode players this will save the game as well. I have that option on also and Manning was getting rid of the ball as he should. The only thing I will look at is the running game on both sides struggled quite a bit, will need to bump up the run block a tad.

Nice work man
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Old 01-01-2015, 04:12 PM   #6
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Re: Intentional Grounding Slider - the key to QB play

Interesting.

Tells me I've been very close to the money. With everyone raising or lowering IG to extremes, I maintained that default 50 was the best and most consistent I had seen. If your IG is 41 with QBA 6, and 56 with QBA 3, then my default 50 would be about on the money with QBA 5 (which are my exact sliders).

Either way, I'm looking forward too seeing your new set.
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Old 01-01-2015, 05:18 PM   #7
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Re: Intentional Grounding Slider - the key to QB play

Quote:
Originally Posted by Teleo
Incredible explanation!!! I am a coach mode player and I am in great anticipation for your findings for 5.0 I don't know how you do it with the incredible lineup for football today! Greatly appreciate your perseverance. Happy New Year Josh!
I had the PS4 hooked up to my CPU monitor and my TV on to the games...some great games thus far...I sure wasn't going to miss them for slider testing

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheWood56
Interesting.

Tells me I've been very close to the money. With everyone raising or lowering IG to extremes, I maintained that default 50 was the best and most consistent I had seen. If your IG is 41 with QBA 6, and 56 with QBA 3, then my default 50 would be about on the money with QBA 5 (which are my exact sliders).

Either way, I'm looking forward too seeing your new set.
New set is uploaded.

But it is funny....I used QBA at 5 with 50 IG and swore up and down that you shouldn't change IG from default because it played so well. Little did I realize that 50 just happened to be at or near that sweet spot for that QBA setting.


One other thing....I did a LOT of slider variations today as I was trying to hone-in on my set. The thing is, I didn't wind up changing the IG slider from where I had it. If that holds....IG may be solely dependent on QBA...if that is true (and it needs extensive testing), then it may be possible to develop a chart of IG settings based on CPU QBA settings.
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Last edited by JoshC1977; 01-01-2015 at 05:36 PM.
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Old 01-01-2015, 06:49 PM   #8
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Re: Intentional Grounding Slider - the key to QB play

cedwebb, been following your conversations about coach mode for years. I see your remark about using a different speed and threshold than josh, but is that the only thing that is different? What specifically do you have both qb accuracies at? Thank you in advance for your response.
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