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JoshC1977's Madden 18 Sliders (for CFM only)

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Old 08-17-2017, 05:35 PM   #1
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JoshC1977's Madden 18 Sliders (for CFM only)

July 5, 2018: New setup posted for M15/M16/M17/M18/NCAA14!!!

Overview for Approach Discussed Below.

Another year of Madden upon us and it's going to be a blast.

This year, I am starting-off from a VERY basic principle...everything default with only minor tweaks to ancillary settings if/when they are determined to have gameplay impacts. As always, the initial setup will be built around All Pro (sim) with default gameplay sliders. These will be based around not only the game's "sim" style, but are for people who also play "sim".

Why Default?
Well, assuming nothing has changed, modifying sliders from defaults begins a process in which the game's inherent balance is disrupted. This doesn't just affect the actual gameplay, but also the CPU play-calling. The idea is to leave everything alone; leave the balance intact. Now, if the game is fundamentally flawed at default (refer to FIFA), then yes, modifications away from default may be necessary. What I DO NOT want is a situation where games are played 'against the sliders'. In my opinion, the fundamental flaw in slider sets which modify sliders is that there is a great deal of 'sameness' to them - in severe situations, the sliders themselves begin to 'mute' the ratings.

Why All Pro?
I greatly prefer the balance (yup, there is that word again) that comes from All Pro, ratings are best represented here. The key though is to keep that balance which encourages the CPU to use more of their playbook, turning the game into far more of a 'chess match' instead of being reliant on stick skills. I'm not going to rule-out the evaluation of other difficulty settings but I will always start here.

So....we just take whatever EA gives us?

Yes and no. The traditionally unacknowledged aspect of Madden games of recent years is that many of the "options" like gameplay speeds, injury, fatigue, autosubs, penalties, gameplay assists and so on all trigger animations and/or influence player/team tendencies. The premise of this set (until proven otherwise) is to manipulate (globally) the gameplay using these "options" WITHOUT affecting the gameplay balance of the default sliders. The game has been traditionally "broken" by a user unwittingly toggling one setting away from its default setting.

Methodology
My methodology is different than many. I focus on animations, actions, reactions and tendencies. I pretty much ignore stats. If players behave the way they do in real life, then the stats will come. By focusing on how the players play, it is a more universally accepted setup. If I focus on "slidering" using only stats, then it becomes a "this is great if you play just like Josh and with his skill level" sort of slider set. There are an infinite number of combos that may give you "great stats" but the gameplay may look nothing like what we watch on Sundays....and how is THAT immersive or fun?

Do you have House Rules?
Not per se, but there are things I do when I play which make the gameplay more balanced. Examples include:
  • No run/pass commit. Even Clint (an ex-player) has stated on Twitter that this is more of a "video game feature". My biggest peeve is that this is something the CPU has not historically used and I'm looking to not abuse the game's programming.
  • "Hot Route Abuse". I see people calling 3-4 hot routes on nearly every play. Now, a) I don't see how that is "sim" and b) the CPU doesn't use this functionality. So, I don't use them....period. If you want to use them, go for it...but it is building you an advantage the CPU doesn't have.
  • Pocket play....dropping back 10-15 yards every pass or rolling to the right every pass....ummm....not sim AT ALL. Step UP in the pocket. This makes coverage and passing lanes far more realistic. It's one thing to be flushed out of the pocket but doing this constantly...well, you're going to give yourself too much time to throw and will distort the passing windows and coverage windows.
  • I will not dump-off every pass. One step on a defender is considered "open" in the NFL. If I see my primary has a step, I throw it to him (unless I see help coming).
  • Team-building. With a true ratings-based and balanced setup; if you build a "power team", you SHOULD win, A LOT. So....you want a challenge? Be realistic in how you build your squads. I'm not here to make things unrealistically hard just to accommodate someone who has some stacked 99 overall team.
A note on "other gameplay needs"
  • Numbers of penalties and subs are two things which trip people up. I WILL NOT adjust values STRICTLY for penalty calls or subs unless I deem that there is ZERO gameplay impact.
  • For XP sliders, I will follow the default approach but I will also assess TDawg's final setup from his thread. There were signs in M17 that the XP sliders had gameplay impact; but as I respect TDawg's work and know lots of people will use his XP sliders, I will be assessing the gameplay with his set too.
  • I do not directly support "coach mode"....never have, never will. You're welcome to use these for coach mode, but I offer no guarantees as to how well they will work.
  • I do not directly support CPU v CPU mode....never have, never will. I actually think that this mode plays a bit different than other modes (including "coach mode"). My recommendation here is to go with a setup specifically designed for that mode.
  • I will be evaluating other facets of the game; examples may include play calling, coach schemes, weekly training, playbooks, etc. once we have a solid setup

Coach Schemes
I am now recommending the following:

  • Change the CPU's offensive scheme to balanced for all teams. I do this at the start of a CFM and will update as new coaches are hired. You can then retire the CPU coaches after their offensive schemes are set. This change will greatly help in playbook utilization by the CPU. Do the following to do this:
  1. Go to your OFFLINE CFM. THIS WILL NOT WORK FOR ONLINE CFMs!
  2. In the CFM menu, push down on the right stick (R3 using PS4 nomenclature)
  3. Once the menu has been brought-up, create a new character.
  4. Select the default coach for the CPU team.
  5. Go to the 'Scheme' menu while controlling that CPU team (which is now under your control)
  6. Change the offensive scheme to 'balanced'. Do not change the positions....they will revert after you execute Step 7.
  7. Go to the far right menu (where the slider screen is). Select 'retire'. Follow prompts to retire the coach. Note: the coach will not actually be retired, they will be retained by the CPU.
  8. Rinse and repeat for other CPU teams. If starting a new CFM, I recommend doing all 30 teams in one sitting and then saving the franchise as a new file name (like 'template'). This way, you can use this as a starting point for new franchises.
  • Change YOUR TEAM'S coach scheme to balanced for all positions. For DE, you can set to 43 Balanced or 34 Versatile depending on their scheme. Now, what does this do? Simple, much like older games, the positional type appears to influence the variety of animations which can trigger. This allows from what I have seen, a much more fluid and dynamic gameplay which better differentiates player styles.

Josh's Approach to Franchise Mode

Roster
Others are catching onto this now too....but use the default 75 man roster in offline franchises. First of all, I believe that the game plays better when you're not importing a roster. It's not fundamentally different, but the gameplay is smoother and I think allows for a better fidelity of animations. Secondly, EA roster updates cause problems in franchise modes. Your top performing young players get such a huge boost in the roster updates (think Marshon Lattimore....76 overall in default...up to like an 87/88 now). Now....add your franchise rookie progression on top of that.and that upper tier of young guys will essentially have "double progression". That can have a pretty profound impact on how things shake up down the road in your franchise.

Type of Franchise
I always use the team's default HC. For whatever reason, I feel that the CPU play-calling gets dumbed-down when you are using created HC. Possibly placebo, but I won't discount the possibility that this could have some impact as we know past games had coach 'sliders' (such as off/def aggression) which impacted the gameplay noticeably.

Progression

Don't update player traits for your guys. The CPU doesn't seem to do it, so keep things on an even playing field. Sim your training every week. This should be a no-brainer for sim guys. XP is the easiest way to cheese the game. Don't compound it by doing drills. XP sliders...I personally use default. TDawg's are well-researched and should keep things in-line with EA's rosters and I have even seen interesting ideas like setting them all to 0. Keep an eye on year-end progression for your backup o-linemen....sometimes backups make the pro bowl and earn insane XP when they shouldn't have....if it happens, just spend the XP and the edit the players back to their original ratings.

Scouting
I haven't adopted any house rules for scouting yet but I don't use any tools or guides...none of those "if player has storyline X, then he has superstar dev" things.

One other little thing, I DO like to scout later-round guys regionally for fun. Example: I'm seeing several guys from Pitt in my Steelers franchise...going to scout them. Steelers also historically fond of Buckeyes so I will for sure look that direction. I like having lesser guys to "root for" in my franchises....and it can be as simple as that "6th round MLB from Pitt"...and it becomes a lot of fun if they outproduce their stats.

Trades
So simple, just keep it real. Just because the CPU offers you a 2nd and 6th for a mediocre veteran doesn't mean you have to take it if the value isn't there for them. Just like with every sports game out there, you need to police yourself in your own trade negotiations.

Contract extensions/Free Agency
I don't give a player more years than he is asking for. I see some pretty good variety based on player skill and stage of career. Locking-up all your good players to 7 year deals is a) unrealistic and b) a very easy way to build-up a powerhouse quickly, which is boring. I also like to limit the number of times I have to negotiate extensions during the season (maybe 2-3 times). For high-end players and above average or better QBs, I offer a fair bit more money than they are asking for....basing it roughly on the highest paid players at their positions.

Modifications to the 'Sense Pressure Trait'
In EA's roster, there is a rough correlation between awareness and how QBs are assigned the 'Sense Pressure' trait. The breakdown I use is as follows:

<65 Awareness: Paranoid
65-75 Awareness: Trigger Happy
75-85 Awareness: Average
85-100 Awareness: Ideal

I personally assign these traits to each QB on the game's default roster and as I progress through the franchise, I will update the QB traits (user and CPU teams) based on how their awareness rating changes (also making edits for rookies). This allows individual QB's to stand-out even more while allowing for that progression to mean something. I'll check my opponent's QBs each week and then do league-wide checks every few weeks and once in preseason (to nab the rookies).

Final note on the 'Oblivious' trait. This is more arbitrary, but pretty consistently was assigned to big, tall QBs (Ben, Cam, etc.). I will assign this trait accordingly...but it is a bit more subjective.

CPU roster management
Let's face it, the CPU sometimes needs a little help. I monitor their injury lists and make sure they don't have a cascade, I make sure my opponent has a reasonable allotment of healthy players before playing them each week. If they are short at a position (maybe only 2 healthy RBs) I first see if they have a practice squad guy I can promote for them, if not, I will sign them a free agent. If signing a FA, I base it on who is left healthy. If their starter is healthy, I sign them another backup....if their starter is hurt and it is long-duration....I might go to a higher-end vet. I will also use past precedent and storylines to add additional layers here. Simple example, I needed to sign a 3rd RB for Jax before a game. Corey Grant (an ex-Jag cut during preseason) was available...so I signed him....this happens in real life a lot. If I need to make a roster cut for the CPU, I try to demote a low-end, redundant depth guy to the practice squad first. If not feasible, I pick it a redundant player (does a team really need a 27 year old fifth guard?).

As I get deeper into franchise, I will help engineer trades for the CPU as needed....maybe simply to add some storylines. Remember, it's your world....so have some fun with this....you can add a lot to your own experience by diving into things a bit for the other teams.

My view of what sort of feedback is appropriate
  • Broad statements like "It's too easy" or "It's too hard" or "the run game is too easy/hard" will be ignored unless you provide further support. Provide full descriptions (or video) of WHY something is "too easy/hard". Broad generalizations based on tiny sample sizes (i.e. less than 8-10 full games in regular season CFM) will be ignored unless you have specific reaction/animation-based arguments to support the "why". If you have video of full games available, please refer to specific time-frames where you see things that look "off".
  • I will not make adjustments based on stats alone. I will not respond to queries based on stats alone. Video is nice, but even text descriptions of what you are seeing is helpful (oftentimes, one small detail may resonate as something I have seen myself...having secondary confirmation often helps me realize that something may be wrong). If you just post numbers, it is meaningless.
  • You're welcome to post box scores of games (lots of people enjoy seeing them) - just don't be miffed when I tell you that I usually ignore them (now, if you take the time to write specific details about how the game went and what you saw, I will totally read that). But box scores alone really don't tell me a whole lot. Stats lie all the time.
  • Take ownership of your gameplay style. If you like to go overboard and maybe exploit the CPU a bit, own it. If you're not 100% "sim", there is nothing wrong with that; but my approach may not work for you on All Pro.
  • The premise of this set is to utilize default gameplay sliders. Until further notice, I will not entertain any discussion of gameplay slider changes in this thread. If you wish to discuss gameplay slider changes, please go to another thread or take the discussion to PM.
Having high quality feedback makes our efforts here much better. I greatly appreciate everyone's cooperation.


New "Balanced" slider set
I wasn't sure how to go about posting this; but decided to latch this onto the M18 thread. I recently started thinking about the evolution I have taken with respect to doing sliders for Madden. Going back to M15 (my first year), I manipulated gameplay sliders (ewww....lol). M16 signaled my transition to using default gameplay sliders, though I still dabbled heavily with autosubs and penalties. M17 - I drifted ever closer to default. M18 became an exercise in determining "what is default" (along with fixing the damage they did to the gameplay in 1.07). I now have a very strong "just leave it alone" mentality when it comes to Madden.

Think about what we've learned with M18.
  • The main menu and CFM injury/fatigue settings are critical and should all be set to 50.
  • Autosubs are much the same way, set them to 60/80 in both the MM and CFM.
  • Gameplay assists tend to cause more issues than the help...leave them off.
Aside from the threshold adjustment made in a vain attempt to fix the damage they did to the gameplay in 1.07, this setup is all default and has lead to very well-balanced gameplay....it's smooth and it has a lot of variety (and not the same two tackle animations over and over, canned animations are minimized, etc).

But....what about the years before....when I DID mess with things? Did I (or EA by making certain setting changes....cough...MM injury to 10/CFM Injury to 40...cough) unintentionally screw up the gameplay by messing with things we didn't fully understand? So...I did a little retrospective and went with the Madden 18 setup (with the exception of threshold...I went with default) and employed it for M15, M16, and M17. Wouldn't you know, that smoothness, that variety in outcomes/animations, that better overall balance in the lineplay...it was quite good for all three. Now, all three games have quirks. Remember the "Sack Issue" for Madden 15? Yup, pretty much gone....we screwed ourselves starting by not understanding autosubs and then jacking everything else. Remember how badly we hated that final patch series for M16 as it made it "too wide open"? Yup - gone...we screwed ourselves with fatigue/injury settings (MY BAD there...I tried to hard to get cute with things). Remember the brain-dead, not willing to scramble QB AI for Madden 17? Yup....it still sucks, lol.

Now, just because the game engine is balanced doesn't mean the gameplay itself is perfect; each game has its own character and "personality". M15 was solid (albeit a tad open), M17 was meh....but M16....OMG! This setup, for this game....UN-freakin-believable (which honestly surprised me). This is truly the gold standard for sim-heads in the Madden series....moreso than maybe we realize. Some of you have caught me on Twitch streaming some M16 with this set....it is really darn good. Gameplay has a good, balanced feel - you can feel player ratings matter, and QB AI....so good. The beauty of M16: no scheme edits needed, no QB edits needed; just plug-n-play. It DOES play better with the default roster; but I have been playing with Iteachpercussion's historical rosters (PS4) and it is still very good.

I of course miss some things that were added in 17 and 18 (player editing and score ticker...not to mention faster menu speed). But, the fun for me is playing MY games with MY team and enjoying the gameplay experience....not rummaging around in franchise mode menus; to that end, M16 with this setup is pretty much unrivaled gameplay-wise IMO. M16 has very good QB AI, solidly working penalties, an actual working progressive fatigue model, and no bloody "tackle battle" prompts.




Steps for Setting-up the sliders
1. Delete your profile, restart your game. Select Simulation and Advanced (the third one over) as your preferred options. This is only needed if you did not select 'Simulation' and 'Advanced' previously or if there has been a new patch.
2.
See image and/or PDF below for the current version of the sliders.

Attached Images
File Type: png 04-30-2018 sliders.png (192.7 KB, 1995 views)
File Type: png Balanced Slider Set.png (63.2 KB, 1160 views)
Attached Files
File Type: pdf 04-30-2018 sliders.pdf (65.6 KB, 1285 views)
File Type: pdf Balanced Slider Set.pdf (62.0 KB, 758 views)
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Last edited by JoshC1977; 07-05-2018 at 07:57 PM.
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Old 08-17-2017, 06:10 PM   #2
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Re: JoshC1977's Madden 18 Sliders (for CFM only)

Look forward to actually playing sooner than later. So stick with 9 min qrts, no accel. All assist on? or default which is just ball hawk I believe.

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Old 08-17-2017, 06:21 PM   #3
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Re: JoshC1977's Madden 18 Sliders (for CFM only)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hunkerdown
Look forward to actually playing sooner than later. So stick with 9 min qrts, no accel. All assist on? or default which is just ball hawk I believe.

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Whatever is turned on by default.

FWIW, I'm taking EA Access feedback with a huge grain of salt since it does not include the day 1 patch.


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Old 08-17-2017, 06:28 PM   #4
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Re: JoshC1977's Madden 18 Sliders (for CFM only)

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Originally Posted by JoshC1977
Whatever is turned on by default.

FWIW, I'm taking EA Access feedback with a huge grain of salt since it does not include the day 1 patch.


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ouch, i feel useless now, , your assuming there will even be gameplay items in day 1 patch. All I have seen is something on regression, but i will test in online cfm.

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Old 08-17-2017, 06:39 PM   #5
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Re: JoshC1977's Madden 18 Sliders (for CFM only)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hunkerdown
ouch, i feel useless now, , your assuming there will even be gameplay items in day 1 patch. All I have seen is something on regression, but i will test in online cfm.
Sorry, but I didn't realize that until just a while ago (after I even posted this thread).....I thought the Day 1 was already rolled into EA Access (and was available for those who have the game early). It isn't and as we know from past experience, every patch has the ability to impact gameplay...intentional or not.

Just roll with it and try to have some fun. Get used to the new mechanics and so on. I'm just not going to base any potential Day 1 setups off of the unpatched game.
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Old 08-17-2017, 06:45 PM   #6
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Re: JoshC1977's Madden 18 Sliders (for CFM only)

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoshC1977
Sorry, but I didn't realize that until just a while ago (after I even posted this thread).....I thought the Day 1 was already rolled into EA Access (and was available for those who have the game early). It isn't and as we know from past experience, every patch has the ability to impact gameplay...intentional or not.

Just roll with it and try to have some fun. Get used to the new mechanics and so on. I'm just not going to base any potential Day 1 setups off of the unpatched game.
yep, i guess your GOAT edition will not get patched until Tuesday either. Some reason do not have target passing on by default, need to find option to try out.

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Old 08-17-2017, 06:48 PM   #7
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Re: JoshC1977's Madden 18 Sliders (for CFM only)

Josh, how are things going?

I played a game last evening, so, a small sample size if you will.

I noticed on 2 different 4 verts from the CPU, RW had wide open WR's. Normally, I'm not one to look at the replay, but, lo and behold, on both occasions, I noticed Demarious Randall still standing at the LOS like a lost puppy and a deer in the headlights.

I did notice that a few times on 17 too.

Those darn 4 verts are evil.
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Old 08-17-2017, 06:50 PM   #8
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Re: JoshC1977's Madden 18 Sliders (for CFM only)

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Josh, how are things going?

I played a game last evening, so, a small sample size if you will.

I noticed on 2 different 4 verts from the CPU, RW had wide open WR's. Normally, I'm not one to look at the replay, but, lo and behold, on both occasions, I noticed Demarious Randall still standing at the LOS like a lost puppy and a deer in the headlights.

I did notice that a few times on 17 too.

Those darn 4 verts are evil.
Especially with Julio!!!

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