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Coach Mode Slider Observations

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Old 10-12-2015, 02:13 PM   #1
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Coach Mode Slider Observations

For those of you who are devoted to Coach Mode as I am, it's sometimes tough to get a good slider set off of other players, because they're physically interacting with the game play, thus you can't exactly mimic how their sliders would work in coach mode. However, as Coach Mode players, we see the game in its purest form of CPU vs. CPU with no risk of human input or variations in player skill set, etc. In other words, a much more controlled environment.

Therefore, I wanted to start a thread where fellow Coach Mode players can post their game play observations in the hopes that we can learn more about the gameplay, slider impacts, and all the other little oddities Madden has (e.g., not matching sliders between the main menu and CFM menu) without worrying about any outside variables other than the teams we play with.

Finally, this is not intended to be slider set thread, although it may eventually turn into one. At this point, I just want to hear what others are experiencing to see if A) they match my experience (and if not, why?); and B) I can improve my game play experience from learning something new.

So let's begin...to start, there are several things I've observed that I wanted to share and see if others have had the same experience.

AP DEFAULT
So far, regular AP default sliders have been pretty darn good. In a recent test with the Bears without the tuner (more on that below), I went 1-4, averaging 18 points a game, and most of my stats were on par with the league average in sim stats over the same 5-week period. There were only four things that I didn't like:
  1. Very few deflections...only averaged 1 game, when the sim engine shows a 5+ average for teams.
  2. Too many pancakes...Bears averaged 3/game when sim engine shows other teams get 1 game, at best.
  3. Very few fumbles...I saw only 3 fumbles in 5 games, when sim engine shows average of 1.5 fumbles per game.
  4. No injuries...there was not one injury in all 5 games.

Tuner
There are lots of opinions out there on whether or not to play with the tuner. At this time, I am firmly in the camp of NO TUNER for Coach Mode. I did a test with the Bengals and Bears (two different CFMs), where I played the first 5 games of each CFM with the tuner and then the same 5 games without the tuner. I used AP Default. It was very clear that the tuner made a big difference, particularly on defense for the USER. In other words, the tuner seemed to give the USER team a big advantage. Here are just some examples:

With tuner...
  • Both Bengals and Bears had a 4-1 record.
  • Both teams were in the Top 10 in defense, particularly run defense (both Top 3).
  • USER averaged 3 sacks, 2 INTs, 3 pass deflections and 1 FF each game.
  • CPU run game averaged 59 ypg at 3.2 ypc versus 120 ypg at 5.3 ypc for USER.
  • USER averaged 35 points/game for both teams combined

Without tuner...
  • Bengals were 3-2, Bears 1-4
  • Bengals had Top 15 defense, but Bears were ranked 28th.
  • USER averaged 2 sacks, 1 INT, 2 pass deflections, and 0 FF a game.
  • CPU run game averaged 93 ypg at 4.1 ypc while USER had 94 ypg at 4.9 ypc.
  • USER averaged 23 points/game for both teams combined

VERDICT: I'm getting much more challenging games WITHOUT the tuner, so for now, I'm not including it.

SLIDER MATCHING
Last year, several players discovered that if you don't match the same exact slider set between the main menu and the CFM menu, you get a different game play experience. I didn't believe it at first for M15, but I tested it out again for M16, and seems to be a difference. I haven't done extensive testing on this, but here's a quick example. Using AP Default except lowering Fumble = 40, with NO matching, I saw 7 fumbles (6 for the user) in just two games as the Bears. When the sliders matching at the same slider setting, I saw zero fumbles for the same two games replayed. Another example is the overall game play. With NO slider matching, the Bears defense was a brick wall...11 sacks, 6 forced fumbles, and 6 INTs, for instance. With matching, 4 sacks, 2 INTs, and 0 forced fumbles in the same two games.

VERDICT: For now, I'm matching all sliders between the menus. I'm not 100% sure yet, but the game played way differently between the two scenarios. I liked it better with matching.

SLIDER DOMINOES
No surprise, since it's been like this for a while, but changing one slider seems to impact other areas of game play, sometimes ones that appear to have no connection. So far, I did a 4-game comparison test with the Bengals where I did AP Default vs. all default except Fumble = 40 and then another test with all default except Tackling = 40. Here's what I noticed:
  • Lowering Fumble to 40 negatively impacted the overall run game, while still not increasing fumble frequency. Instead it lowered YPC average by 2 yards for both USER and CPU, cut pancake average in half and also cut broken tackles in half.
  • Lowering Tackle to 40 did increase broken tackles by an average of 2 more a game, but it also seemed to increase QB comp % by up to 8 points for both CPU and USER.

VERDICT: I'm on the fence here. I'm just reporting the numbers I collected, but it's a small sample size. I'm not 100% yet on the tackling slider impact, but I am 90% sure that lowering Fumble does negatively impact the overall run game.

I welcome all other observations, samples opinions, etc. I'm hoping we all can learn from each other for Coach Mode.

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Old 10-19-2015, 03:08 PM   #2
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Re: Coach Mode Slider Observations

Hey picker great post. I really enjoy playing my coach franchise also as the bears. I have some decent sliders going but i was wondering since were not actually controlling the players wouldn't only the computer sliders be the ones relevant since the whole game is controlled by the AI? Or is it better to set different user and computer sliders in coach mode?

Thanks
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Old 10-20-2015, 03:04 PM   #3
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Re: Coach Mode Slider Observations

Well, since allegedly, AP is supposed to be even rating for all, I want to keep both USER and CPU sliders always the same. However, I don't think they're really ever even, but it's certainly better this year than before. For instance, if you read the Default Slider thread, a lot of people complain (me included) that on AP Default, the CPU doesn't run as well as the USER, even in coach mode. So, I'm actually about to test out some minor slider adjustments in favor of the CPU to boost their run game. For me, the run game is the only thing that's not "even." When I compare stats, everything else is pretty much inline. So, I'm trying to keep both slider sets the same.
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Old 10-20-2015, 03:25 PM   #4
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Re: Coach Mode Slider Observations

Very nice observations, i donīt play as coach myself but i almost never make an impact when i play, specially on Defense since i play no switch and i control the CB. I usually avg 1 tackle per game so you get the idea.

Anyways, regarding the tuner i had the same experience, iīm actually playing with the TUNER because i said to myself i was crazy, but back then i did the same test as Picker did, i got the same results as he had.

With the tuner i got easy games and felt more scripted experience, same games, same franchise just reload, harder games more organic games.

After seeing this post iīm going back to NO Tuner and trust what i saw, rather than logic.

Regarding the CPU Rushing, i think even if you play coach mode, it will be almost impossible to get similar ypc. since Human select plays so it tend to go with plays that he know they work well. In Madden Dive or Trap Runs work much better than Stretch/draws for example. CPU may call 3 or 4 stretch plays with 3 or so draw plays later. that would kill his YPC and if you look, user end up with over 6 or 7 TFL while CPU only get 1 or 2 per game.

So in the end you have to "balance" the AI with Sliders, personally i found that you donīt have to go crazy, maybe 45 would work. I play on 40 but then i donīt play coach mode and i think 40 may be a tad to much, of course this will lead to less fumbles, and so on. Just an opinion about how hard is to balance all of this.
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Old 10-20-2015, 05:39 PM   #5
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Re: Coach Mode Slider Observations

IMO, there's no doubt this year's Madden is the best it's been with default. But nothing is perfect. When I look back at all my Coach Mode AP Default stats, overall, I see everything looks "fair" between USER and CPU except the run game. Unlike others, I don't watch the animations (e.g., I know in real life, there aren't so many wrap tackles) to make it realistic, but rather I go off of the stats and the sim engine to try and match what the game is trying to do. To date, WITHOUT THE TUNER, there are several things that don't match the sim engine when you play AP Default Coach Mode:
  • Pancakes (too high)
  • TFLs (too high)
  • Pass Deflections (too low)
  • Fumbles (too low)
  • CPU Run Game (too low)

For now, I've given up on trying to match the sim engine on everything but improving the CPU run game. That's because everything I've touched to try and decrease pancakes or increase fumbles, for instance, impacts something else. For instance, lowering the Fumble slider seems to also negatively impact the overall run game (less ypc, less broken tackles, etc.). But overall, most of my games are close. Hell, with the Bears, I've gone 3-9 in my first year CFM so far. But the one stat that I beat the CPU at most of the time is with the run game. When I look back at all my games, if the CPU could have run better in just 25% of them, I probably would have be 1-9 instead. But because I have a better run game most of the time, I have more ball control, thus more plays (and therefore, more chances to score).

I read somewhere that someone was seeing great results playing WITH the tuner on All Madden. I might eventually try that some time, but for now, I'm doing very minor tweaks to see if I can boost the CPU run game. Booker is right...only small adjustments are needed. If I see anything interesting, I'll share it here.
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Old 10-20-2015, 06:38 PM   #6
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Re: Coach Mode Slider Observations

It's greatly appreciated to see all of the attention from the community about coach mode this year...this was a community of players that was far and between for so long. Great insight with your findings!
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Old 10-21-2015, 12:31 PM   #7
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Re: Coach Mode Slider Observations

Well, I'm a product of NFL Head Coach 09...stopped playing Madden a LONG time ago and then when HC09 came out, I got hooked. Didn't stop playing it until a year ago, so obviously, coach mode is my preferred method of playing. I'm too old (and too impatient) to have "stick skills." So, yes, I hope we get a little community going of coach mode players where we can help each other out.
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Old 10-21-2015, 01:10 PM   #8
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Re: Coach Mode Slider Observations

In full agreement about Head Coach 09...it is a challenge year in and year out for this style of gameplay. I've been playing madden since '89 on PC and played with "the sticks" for many years but became fully immersed in coach mode via NCAA football and now Madden for the past installments, but unfortunately it becomes quite the enigma. I have run many samples in having user/cpu settings different and then the same. I have incorporated the thought of using cpu offense versus human defense and matching the same figures for both. I am currently using this method with Armor and Swords with the only change being raising CPU Run Block to 60. Games have been very competitive, so I'm swayed to stay...but, out of curiosity, if you had to roll with a set of sliders, what would your slider set appear to be? Always interested to see what other coach mode players have their slider settings at....thank you once again man!
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