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Old 11-18-2021, 03:44 PM   #1
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Band-Aids

I recently watched this Youtube video by Deuce Close about "the cheesiest defense in Madden 22". (I preface my entire post with the following: none of this is intended as a criticism of Deuce Close, I think he does a great job uncovering and explaining nuanced behaviors of the game for the entry-level Madden competitive player). I wanted to call out a number things that specifically jumped out at me in this video:

1 - the stock three-man drop-eight rush is, as one might expect, totally inept. Jalen Hurts has a clean pocket from 2:23 to 2:50 - fully twenty seven seconds in the pocket.

2 - by making three adjustments starting at 3:16 - add Edge Threat to the defensive end, user that DE, use a speed rush move to the outside - suddenly this same play creates tremendous pressure. The only counter to this apparently is to add Edge Protector to the opposing offensive tackle in question.

3 - at 6:33, Deuce reveals another "neat" behavior about Madden 22 - on any play where the defense uses Run Commit while sending three or fewer rushers to the quarterback, the Run Commit is canceled when the offense is actually running any type of play that is not a run play, but when the offense actually does use a run play then the Run Commit stays on.

4 - at 8:06, Deuce shows to make sure to rush exactly three players when performing the always-right Run Commit behavior he detailed in point 3; when two or fewer rushers are on against a run play, the OL starts getting free pancakes (if I recall correctly, this was a band-aid EA added to counteract people basing out of Dime and Quarter defenses in competitive play)

5 - at 8:42, Deuce shows how with this same setup, if there are four or more rushers, Run Commit behaves like it is designed to; the defense crashes when Run Commit is called, even when the offense calls a pass play.

6 - at 11:29, Deuce shows how that, unlike what was demonstrated in point 1, a three-man rush can win if you hot route a fourth defender into a blitz but then user that defender in coverage (and presumably actually play coverage instead of blitzing).

My question following all these observations: what the heck is up with this layer cake of band-aids and weird very specific behaviors? I assume at one point in older generations of Madden there was a very good reason for each of these behaviors to exist, but as it stands today this is a spectacular mess. It's creating really unpredictable behavior from play to play for anyone who doesn't have specific knowledge of these edge cases, and it also artificially raises the skill ceiling of the game. There's no reason a three man rush should behave so radically differently depending on the pre-snap assignment of a single off-ball defender with no consideration to what's actually happening post-snap. There's no reason why Run Commit should silently abort in any circumstance. There's no reason why the offensive linemen should get free pancake blocks against the same defenders in some situations but not others based on the defensive player presnap assignments.

None of this makes any sense to me.
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Old 11-19-2021, 12:00 AM   #2
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Re: Band-Aids

Quote:
Originally Posted by CM Hooe
I recently watched this Youtube video by Deuce Close about "the cheesiest defense in Madden 22". (I preface my entire post with the following: none of this is intended as a criticism of Deuce Close, I think he does a great job uncovering and explaining nuanced behaviors of the game for the entry-level Madden competitive player). I wanted to call out a number things that specifically jumped out at me in this video:

1 - the stock three-man drop-eight rush is, as one might expect, totally inept. Jalen Hurts has a clean pocket from 2:23 to 2:50 - fully twenty seven seconds in the pocket.

2 - by making three adjustments starting at 3:16 - add Edge Threat to the defensive end, user that DE, use a speed rush move to the outside - suddenly this same play creates tremendous pressure. The only counter to this apparently is to add Edge Protector to the opposing offensive tackle in question.

3 - at 6:33, Deuce reveals another "neat" behavior about Madden 22 - on any play where the defense uses Run Commit while sending three or fewer rushers to the quarterback, the Run Commit is canceled when the offense is actually running any type of play that is not a run play, but when the offense actually does use a run play then the Run Commit stays on.

4 - at 8:06, Deuce shows to make sure to rush exactly three players when performing the always-right Run Commit behavior he detailed in point 3; when two or fewer rushers are on against a run play, the OL starts getting free pancakes (if I recall correctly, this was a band-aid EA added to counteract people basing out of Dime and Quarter defenses in competitive play)

5 - at 8:42, Deuce shows how with this same setup, if there are four or more rushers, Run Commit behaves like it is designed to; the defense crashes when Run Commit is called, even when the offense calls a pass play.

6 - at 11:29, Deuce shows how that, unlike what was demonstrated in point 1, a three-man rush can win if you hot route a fourth defender into a blitz but then user that defender in coverage (and presumably actually play coverage instead of blitzing).

My question following all these observations: what the heck is up with this layer cake of band-aids and weird very specific behaviors? I assume at one point in older generations of Madden there was a very good reason for each of these behaviors to exist, but as it stands today this is a spectacular mess. It's creating really unpredictable behavior from play to play for anyone who doesn't have specific knowledge of these edge cases, and it also artificially raises the skill ceiling of the game. There's no reason a three man rush should behave so radically differently depending on the pre-snap assignment of a single off-ball defender with no consideration to what's actually happening post-snap. There's no reason why Run Commit should silently abort in any circumstance. There's no reason why the offensive linemen should get free pancake blocks against the same defenders in some situations but not others based on the defensive player presnap assignments.

None of this makes any sense to me.


IIRC didnít they make 3 man rush worse intentionally and specifically in response to all the people running coverage and getting pressure with 3 too easily?


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Old 11-19-2021, 09:34 AM   #3
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Re: Band-Aids

Quote:
Originally Posted by CM Hooe

My question following all these observations: what the heck is up with this layer cake of band-aids and weird very specific behaviors? I assume at one point in older generations of Madden there was a very good reason for each of these behaviors to exist, but as it stands today this is a spectacular mess. It's creating really unpredictable behavior from play to play for anyone who doesn't have specific knowledge of these edge cases, and it also artificially raises the skill ceiling of the game. There's no reason a three man rush should behave so radically differently depending on the pre-snap assignment of a single off-ball defender with no consideration to what's actually happening post-snap. There's no reason why Run Commit should silently abort in any circumstance. There's no reason why the offensive linemen should get free pancake blocks against the same defenders in some situations but not others based on the defensive player presnap assignments.

None of this makes any sense to me.

Bolded the answer... They need to tear down this game and start fresh. There are legacy issues from 2 generations ago at this point. I can only imagine the code base on the back end of this game would make an Italian Restaurant owner blush.
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Old 11-19-2021, 01:04 PM   #4
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Re: Band-Aids

Yes, the game does have a "held together with duct tape and dreams" feel to it sometimes. For me it's never clearer than their attempts to rationalize next gen physics. Watching DBs who are flat-footed and stopped hit-stick a running back or tight end at full tilt is just insane to me, and it happens repeatedly.


So yeah, the physics would suggest that a 3 man rush should get there eventually, but the game balance dictates that it doesn't. On Point #1 above, I loved watching Lane Johnson pancake Omenihu five times in a single play.
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Old 11-19-2021, 02:32 PM   #5
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Re: Band-Aids

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On Point #1 above, I loved watching Lane Johnson pancake Omenihu five times in a single play.
Itís funny you called this out because stuff like this is a big reason why I recently came to the conclusion that I ultimately do not enjoy the Rush Moves points system added in Madden 21.

Itís an unnecessary artificial game layer which produces unrealistic results; like you called out, anytime a rusher attempts to pass rush but he has no points, he gets pancaked. There is no real-life equivalent to this behavior. The Rush Moves points system more importantly doesnít even deliver the in-game resource management dynamic it reaches for because the rest of the game doesnít acknowledge or support the system; you canít see remaining rush moves for an on-field pass rusher at play call, auto subs doesnít have any support for rotating out a pass rusher who runs out of rush move points to minimize pancakes, in-game package substitutions are way too limited and rigid to manually rotate out rushers easily (basically the only option that helps is the DL Sub package, which is way too much), and in-game formation substitutions UI / UX is way too clumsy to use in the limited time one has at defensive play call.

Itís not necessarily a band-aid similar to other things in my topic post but it is kinda cut from the same cloth in that it feels like a separate layer from everything else. I wonít be surprised if the Rush Moves points concept goes away in five or six years.
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Old 11-19-2021, 04:11 PM   #6
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Re: Band-Aids

So many band-aids is a good way to put it.

RE: 3 man rush. The feedback was that 3-man rushes were too good compared to 4-man rushes, which has generally been true. But EA doesn't solve for NFL problems, they solve for competitive crowd feedback. Because the problem wasn't that 3-man rushes were too good--the real problem was that 4-man rushes were too weak.

In the NFL, 3-man rushes absolutely get home within a few seconds. But that extra ~half-second to a second makes a difference when QBs are getting the ball out in 2.5-3s. In Madden, if every pass rusher is picked up, 4-man rushes take forever to get home vs the NFL. That's why you have players who exploit the game's band-aids to get pressure by confusing the AI instead of by having a pass rusher simply beat his man.

It's a perfect storm of suits not caring about copypasta code that's been layered on top of each other over the years PLUS little to no interest or ability to QA PLUS if they somehow do get pass rush correct, Madden players take waaaay more sacks than an NFL QB would since they don't get the ball out quick, leading to unrealistically high sack numbers, which the Madden team looks at and thinks, we need to reduce pass rush. A realistic Madden game with realistic gameplay would still lead to unrealistic stats because Madden players, even most of the sim crowd, largely make unrealistic decisions.
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Old 11-19-2021, 06:15 PM   #7
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Re: Band-Aids

During the EA play days three man rushes were better than four man rushes. This was no longer the case at launch. They did something to make three man rushes totally ineffective. Way overboard. Playing anyone out of assignment helps confuse the ai. I do not play competitive, only solo franchise so I have no expertise in that area. On defense my strategy is to play someone assigned to pass rush and drop somewhere into coverage, play someone in coverage and pass rush, play someone in coverage but not their assignment and occasionally play a pass rusher and pass rush.

This confuses the ai to come out of it's script. I like calling cover two man, control one of the safeties and play robber. Works a lot better than calling cover one robber. Even though you have no safety deep help on one side of the field. I guess I could adjust the other safety to a middle deep zone but I don't bother. I just keep the deep help on the side with more receivers of best receiver. A lot of this game is predetermined when people do what they are supposed to do on defense.
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