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My solution to the potential/progression debates

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Old 09-09-2009, 04:18 PM   #1
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How Potential and Progression SHOULD work

There seems to be a lot of debate going on about the ‘potential’ ratings of players as well as player progression. Here are my ideas on these topics:

First of all, I would like to state that my goal is to have a system that as closely as possible replicates the results of real life player progression. I don't think it would be possible/fun if the game replicated the process
of real life progression. The reason for this is that real life progression involves studying film and listening to coaches and practising a lot. I don't think very many people would be happy with a franchise mode that involved more practising and studying than actual gameplay.

Potential

My solution to the ‘potential’ debate is to get rid of the concept of potential. Instead of potential, I propose that there should be a rating called "Talent". This rating would replace the potential rating but serve a very similar function. Talent could still be rated with the letter grade system, but it would not function as a hard cap to player ratings. In real life, talent limits how well a player can do, but it is still quite possible for a player to perform above and beyond their talent level. Professional sports are full of stories of players who weren't as talented as others, but still managed to perform well because they worked harder. At the same time, it is nearly impossible for a player with low talent to achieve superstar status.
I propose that Madden should work in this way. Talent would act as a guideline for how a player can progress. For example, player X has a talent level of C and an overall rating of 61. He is young and plays reasonably well, so he eventually progresses to a 75, at which time his overall score corresponds to his talent level. If he then performs exceedingly well he might surpass his talent level and become an 80something player. In order to become a superstar, however, this player would probably have to lead the league in performance for several seasons. So, in the case of normal performance, a player will meet their talent level. In the case of exceptional performance, they may exceed it, but it will be more difficult the higher above their talent level they get.
This would solve the problem of a player's potential pre-determining how they will progress. A large part of the fun of franchise mode for me is taking mediocre players and making them better. With the current potential ratings, this has become impossible or pointless. If I already know what a player is pre-destined to become, what is the point of working to make him better?

Progression

Before I discuss player progression, I would like to define player ratings, specifically the overall score. Player ratings are originally determined (for the most part) by watching players perform in game situations. Because of this, player ratings do not represent what a player is like "in reality". Player ratings simply reflect how a player performs in games.
So, for the purposes of this discussion, player ratings can be defined as representing how a player performs in games.
For example, player Y doesn't actually have a rating of 85, he simply appears to have that rating based on how he performs in games. Therefor, if player Y performs better or worse than an 85 overall player, his rating should be re-evaluated to better reflect his performance.

What causes progression?

I believe that progression should be based on a number of factors. Progression should be based on talent, age/experience, and performance compared to others:
Talent: As I have already discussed, player progression should be limited by talent in that it should be relatively easy to reach an overall score that matches one's talent level, but increasingly difficult to surpass that talent level.
Age/Experience: Based on age and/or years in the league, a player should progress more quickly and easily when he is young. He should also digress more easily when he is old. The types of attributes changed by progression should also change based on age as well as player position. Here's a great explanation of what I mean: http://www.operationsports.com/forum...-movement.html
Performance compared to others: While talent and age affect how much a player progresses, performance affects whether or not a player progresses. Progression should be affected by performance in three different ways: performance vs. others at your position in the league, performance vs. others with the same rating at your position, and performance vs. others on your team. If player Z has the best performance of any QB in the league, he should probably progress. If player W performs significantly better than other CBs with a mid 70's rating, he should probably progress. If player Q has significantly better receiving stats than his team-mates, he should probably progress.
All of these factors would come into play when determining if a player's overall rating should change. Maybe a player leads his team in rushing, but he's old with little talent and other HB’s in the league have better rushing stats. That player probably wouldn't progress much if at all. The weight of each of these factors would of course have to be determined by trial and error and simming many seasons.

When should progression take place?


There should be one progression at the end of pre-season, several throughout the season, one or two in the playoffs, and one in the offseason:
Preseason: Having progression at the end of the preseason closely represents how players progress in real life. How often has a previously unknown player become a starter over the course of the preseason? How often has a starter been cut or demoted during the course of pre-season? This is the time when backups have a chance to step up and grab a starting spot. Combine pre-season progression with expanded pre-season roster size and this part of the season could become the most interesting part of franchise mode.
Regular season: Progression should occur once every 3 or 4 games. This would eliminate the problem of one good game changing a player's rating, but would also reward consistent good play and punish consistent bad play. Regular season progression would be relatively small. A cap of maybe 5 or 6 overall change for the season would be set so that even if a player performed extremely well or extremely badly his overall rating would not drastically change. In this system backups would progress very little if at all during the regular season. This system is realistic because you often have players lose their starting jobs during the regular season due to consistently poor play. With the current system this never happens. In fact, with the current system, barring injury your starters on opening day will be the same as on the last day of the season. That is extremely unrealistic.
Playoffs: There should be a small progression after the second and third weeks of the post-season (and maybe after the super bowl). This progression represents the advances players tend to make after performing well in the playoffs. Often, it is in the playoffs that a player really shows how good he is. This should be represented in Madden.
Offseason: This is currently the only progression present in Madden. I feel that this progression should take age and talent into much more account than performance (perhaps discounting performance altogether). So, this is when young talented players would get suddenly higher overall scores and old players would suddenly decrease. Once again, this is realistic because it is often between seasons that a player gets better or worse in relation to his age.

I believe that if this progression system were implemented in Madden, it would create a much more entertaining and realistic franchise mode.

On a side note, if player ratings and talent (potential) were made editable within franchise, it would only further improve the system. If editing power was given to the user, any mistakes or problems with progression could be fixed by the user. Giving the ability to edit the players to the user is simply admitting that the developers are capable of making mistakes. If I was able to edit player rating and potential I would probably have much less of a problem with the current system because I would simply edit any progressions that I disagreed with.

Thank you to anyone who took the time to read this. And an extra special thank you to anyone who read it and made a comment, even if it's to disagree with something I wrote.

Last edited by Argooos; 09-09-2009 at 09:00 PM. Reason: I didn't like the original title
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Old 09-10-2009, 08:39 AM   #2
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Re: My solution to the potential/progression debates

...bump?
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Old 09-10-2009, 09:21 AM   #3
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Re: My solution to the potential/progression debates

I dont think that this solution is that radical from what is already in place. I agree with the multiple progression timeframes 100%. Here is my twist:

I think rookies are WAY overrated, especially the premade draft classes. We just had a draft class with an 85 and an 84 ovr rated qb's. How many qbs straight out of college are as good as Aaron Rodgers (86) or Tony Romo (87)? Those 2 players are also loosely based on 2 classic gunslingers who were nowhere near that good until they were like 5 year vets.

Almost all rookies should have a cap of around 75, then the progression should kick in. Preseason/training camp, get a boost from learning the system. Play well in-season, get a boost from playing time and success on the field. Make it to the playoffs and play well, get a boost for playoff experience. Offseason workouts, get better physically.

The progression should be very dynamic and then there is a factor called, potential, talent, work ethic, whatever... that is a hidden attribute that factors in heavily to all of this. It will not cap your player, a C rating will mean that he progresses mildly fast, but he can still be an elite player in the league at some point.
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Old 09-10-2009, 09:31 AM   #4
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Re: My solution to the potential/progression debates

Ah I didn't see this thread as I'm on my phone.

Similar to a thread I just made about potential vs expectation.

I like it though.

For some reason I want madden to have the best progression system from any sports game on the market. I quite enjoyed last gen even though every team usually ended up 90 ovr.

FIFA 10's is also looking promising.
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Old 09-10-2009, 09:37 AM   #5
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Re: My solution to the potential/progression debates

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phife1442
I dont think that this solution is that radical from what is already in place. I agree with the multiple progression timeframes 100%. Here is my twist:

I think rookies are WAY overrated, especially the premade draft classes. We just had a draft class with an 85 and an 84 ovr rated qb's. How many qbs straight out of college are as good as Aaron Rodgers (86) or Tony Romo (87)? Those 2 players are also loosely based on 2 classic gunslingers who were nowhere near that good until they were like 5 year vets.

Almost all rookies should have a cap of around 75, then the progression should kick in. Preseason/training camp, get a boost from learning the system. Play well in-season, get a boost from playing time and success on the field. Make it to the playoffs and play well, get a boost for playoff experience. Offseason workouts, get better physically.

The progression should be very dynamic and then there is a factor called, potential, talent, work ethic, whatever... that is a hidden attribute that factors in heavily to all of this. It will not cap your player, a C rating will mean that he progresses mildly fast, but he can still be an elite player in the league at some point.
The lower rookie ratings would certainly go hand-in-hand with this system. The reason they are so high to start now is because they won't get their first progression until after the season. If all rookies started at 75 or under under the current system, very few would start in games and they would advance much too slow. Add preseason progression into the mix and you can have rookies starting off low, but still starting at some point during the season.
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Old 09-10-2009, 09:40 AM   #6
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Re: My solution to the potential/progression debates

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jono078
Ah I didn't see this thread as I'm on my phone.

Similar to a thread I just made about potential vs expectation.

I like it though.

For some reason I want madden to have the best progression system from any sports game on the market. I quite enjoyed last gen even though every team usually ended up 90 ovr.

FIFA 10's is also looking promising.
Thanks. I too want Madden's system to be the best it can be. I really liked the old system too except for the fact that the whole team became superstars eventually. The beauty of my system, I think, is that it keeps the old style of progression, but makes it much harder to have a whole team of superstars.
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Old 09-16-2009, 03:59 PM   #7
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Re: My solution to the potential/progression debates

I like the majority of your ideas, particularly the more frequent progression during the season one, mostly because your idea of a starter losing his job to a back up during the season is brilliant and it could work for both the user and CPU (this would require the CPU to update it's depth chart at the same time as the in-season progression).

I agree that progression should use a comparison method and I like the concept of comparing a players stats to those of the same position and similar overall rating but I don't think a player's rating should change in comparison to his teammates performance because:
1) It's a variable too many.
Comparing player A to player B on Team A;
Whilst also comparing Player A on team A to Player A on Team B; Whilst also comparing Player A to Player B in rating Region A would cause bedlem in the ratings.
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Old 09-16-2009, 09:02 PM   #8
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Re: My solution to the potential/progression debates

Quote:
Originally Posted by salbowski
I like the majority of your ideas, particularly the more frequent progression during the season one, mostly because your idea of a starter losing his job to a back up during the season is brilliant and it could work for both the user and CPU (this would require the CPU to update it's depth chart at the same time as the in-season progression).

I agree that progression should use a comparison method and I like the concept of comparing a players stats to those of the same position and similar overall rating but I don't think a player's rating should change in comparison to his teammates performance because:
1) It's a variable too many.
Comparing player A to player B on Team A;
Whilst also comparing Player A on team A to Player A on Team B; Whilst also comparing Player A to Player B in rating Region A would cause bedlem in the ratings.
Thanks for the support!
I had imagined the three-pronged approach would work something like this. Say, due to the player's age and talent level, they are up for a potential 6 point gain in overall ratings. Each of the 3 variables would be responsible for 2 points of overall progression. I think most statistical programs can handle 3 different variables like that.
That being said, that particular part of my progression idea is the part I feel is the least important.
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