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50(ish) Threshold-based Slider Set for NCAA 14

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Old 08-01-2015, 02:15 PM   #1
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50(ish) Threshold-based Slider Set for NCAA 14

All American Sliders (June 26, 2017)
I've been working for the past several weeks off and on to create a setup for NCAA which provides a more balanced and ratings-based experience. The biggest issue with this game (as with all the EA football games) is that adjusting sliders affects CPU play-calling behavior and results in a number of imbalances in player performance that results in a skewed one-way outcome for the various matchups. As such, I determined that I was going to go all-in with default gameplay and penalty sliders and conducted a number of trials.

In these trials, I came to one inescapable conclusion, Heisman is not the way to go. Heisman difficulty results in a number of issues which start us down the "slider spiral"....in short, players are overly aggressive, which leads to a lot of weird things like
  • "WWE tackles"
  • Defenders constantly overrunning plays (opening-up the read option)
  • O-linemen getting "the big push" where they can push a guy 5 yards downfield
  • Over-aggression in coverage, leading poor overall coverage and animation issues.
All of these things are issues that necessitate slider adjustments in order for the game to play reasonably well. Heck, we even went down the road of coach aggression adjustments in a vain effort to massage the problem. But, as my friend Matt10 taught me, look at the animations and fix the problem as directly as possible. So...here we go....we have issues...we're going to fix the problem....bye bye Heisman; Hello All American....and hear come the cries of, "But All American is too easy...sniffle...sniffle.".

Before this new round of testing, I last played All American 3-4 years ago. What have we learned since then that can help us?
  • HFA is a "keep games close" feature and is better when it is turned off.
  • The game plays tougher with the Main Menu fatigue slider turned "off"
  • The coach Sub Frequency is really a fatigue slider and directly impacts how well the CPU plays. We have found that a "default" value of 50 works best.
  • Use of offsetting game speeds between Main Menu and Dynasty can yield better results. More on this below...
  • Autosubs have a direct effect on gameplay. More on this below....

So, aside from the last two, this really is all pretty standard fare relative to my past work.

Game speeds: This worked really well on Madden and while I am not 100% on NCAA, the use of Main Menu speed at slow and Dynasty at normal works very well. I believe that when the two game speeds are identical, that the AI speed is "off" from the animation speed (so, you get QBs looking to throw to a receiver when he is only halfway through his route). By setting the main menu speed a notch slower, I believe that this tightens the gap and makes the CPU much more effective in targetting receivers.

Autosubs: I've said before that gameplay is most balanced when all of them are set to the same values. But here, let me throw a wrench into things. Default is not 60/80; but if you start with a brand new profile, it is actually 65/80! This was completely unexpected, but it got me going down the path of "which is default"? Well, I've played around with various settings for the last couple of months and frankly, I am still playing around with them a bit. I've played with 3 primary settings; 49/50, 60/80, and 65/80. I don't care much for 65/80; it feels a bit too "video-gamey" and I have ruled it out pretty quickly. Now 60/80 is very solid and if someone wanted to go down this direction, I wouldn't blame them.

But the autosub setting that has intrigued me is the 49/50 (which I pilfered from Madden's CFM setting). The most over-used word here is "organic"...but I am going to use it here...it feels organic. Tackling animations have variety, you see a good number of missed throws for the CPU (even though QBA is at 50), running backs have some "swerve", and because of the lower Autosub "In" value, the footplanting is much better overall.

Coach slider adjustments: Two critical coach slider adjustments should be made.
  • Change all coaches to offensive/defensive sub frequency to 50. These are your fatigue sliders; anything other than this will jack the gameplay.
  • Change all coaches' defensive run/pass ratio to 50. This greatly impacts how the CPU calls plays. While not critical to allow the sliders to work, you WILL get a much better experience making this change.

Final Thoughts before I post the set....
  • This set is designed to provide a ratings-based experience. That means, if you have a dominant team, you will probably dominate (as you probably do on Heisman anyways). But...I also think that if you play a truly "sim" style, that you will still have a lot of fun here. I'm playing without any house rules and I have won big, won close, lost close, and been blown out. Matchups matter, but you still get that variety.
  • Also....this is the kind of set you need to play quite a few games to really appreciate. The difficulty here is deceptive. I tried the exact same setup on Heisman...and frankly, I thought it was easier because of the aforementioned issues on Heisman.
  • I have not tested on CPUvCPU or Coach Mode nor will I...don't ask me about how it plays on those modes. Also, I primarily use the d-linemen at the start of the play and then switch, if needed, later on. If you solely user a LB or DB, I have no idea how this will work.
  • Do not ask me about slider changes....the whole premise is to NOT adjust the sliders. I think if you play sim, give these a really long shot and just enjoy it without worrying about stats; I think many people will enjoy these.
Recruiting Rules/Philosophy
As many of you know, I'm not a fan of "house rules" for gameplay other than the "play sim/no cheese" mindset. Recruiting on the other hand...well, I think this is an area that can be abused a bit. People complain about 'how easy' the game is then they rattle-off some ridiculous 99 overall Akron roster that they built in 3 years. C'mon, really? Most Power-5 conference schools couldn't build a 99 overall roster in three years.

I'm seriously stoked now with this game with these sliders and want to build some longevity into my new dynasty. I've always restrained myself on recruiting but never formalized a set of personal rules. There are TONS of great ideas in the forums on how to restrict recruiting. I wanted something that felt somewhat realistic, uses the mechanisms already in the game and is relatively easy to remember without a 'cheatsheet'.

So, I came up with 4 basic rules plus some thoughts on coach skills.

Rule 1: May only recruit players who have you in their list of top schools based on the following:

1 Star: (Home State: Top 3) (Pipeline: Top 3) (Any: 1st)
2 Star: (Home State: Top 5) (Pipeline: Top 3) (Any: 1st)
3 Star: (Home State: Top 10) (Pipeline: Top 5) (Any: Top 3)
4 Star: (Home State: Any) (Pipeline: Top 10) (Any: Top 5)
5 Star: (Home State: Any) (Pipeline: Any) (Any: Top 10)
6 Star: Any player you want to pursue


The idea is this...1 star schools pick up the leftovers or guys that just want to go to your school; with little cache to talk a guy into going there. Two star schools are better known/respected within the local area. Three star schols are either high mid-major or decent major programs with who are solid in their pipeline and have some national clout. It goes up from there to the 6 star programs that can go after just about anyone they want. As your school prestige increases, the wider array of options you have.

Rule 2: Must add 35 players in preseason before scouting. If there are not enough players available to fill the 35 spots due to requirements of rule 1, then add all players you can to your list.
This puts an onus on you to not just sift through and scout 200 players to find gems. You get your "short list" in preseason and start going after the guys.
Of course, I screwed myself with this rule and my decision to use 1 star Idaho. I only had a total of 25 recruits who fit the Rule 1 criteria and some of them are crap and I have 19 slots to fill. But I started thinking about it....a school like Idaho is going to get transfers, walk-ons, etc. I'm going to have gaps on my roster...but you know....isn't that as it should be?

Rule 3: May not remove player from your list of 35 until he commits to another school. Any new player added must meet the 'Rule 1' requirements.
Really a corollary to Rule 2....it is to keep one from recycling those slots and adding the random unrecruited 4-star athlete at the last minute.

Rule 4: May only offer as many scholarships as players leaving (exception: if you have a draft eligible underclassman with an overall over 90, you may offer an extra scholarship for that player)
Common rule here....no over-recruiting.

Coach Skills
Another area which is commonly abused. Here are my rules...first time I ever formally wrote them out; but I have been doing this for years.

Start with 3 points into Scouting,

OK...this isn't a 'must-have', but is how I do it

Then alternate 1 point between Game management (aside from 'Coachstradamus') and Recuiting Skills as you gain levels.

So many people subscribe to the "only invest points in recruiting" philosophy. Really? Only invest in the one area that is already lopsided in your favor? I'm sorry, I do not understand this at all. The HC game management options really are not overly exploitable (other than 'Coachstradamus'). With this in place, you need twice as many coach levels to boost recruiting. If you have a good roster base where CPU HCs are of commiserate level, the GM options really are not a huge deal (OC/DC skills are far more impactful).

May invest in "The Opener" and "The Closer" skills based on following system (1/2 Stars - 0 points, 3 Stars - 1 point, 4 Stars - 2 points, 5/6 Stars - 3 points)
All about making skills on-par with your school's prestige. There isn't much to explain here...

May invest in "Pipeline" and "Kitchen Sink" skills based on following system (1/2 Stars 0 points, 3/4 Stars - 1 point, 5 Stars - 2 points, 6 Stars - 3 points)
All about making skills on-par with your school's prestige. There isn't much to explain here...

May invest points in "Insta-Commit" based on following system (4 Stars - 1 point. 5 Stars - 2 points, 6 Stars - 3 points)

All about making skills on-par with your school's prestige. There isn't much to explain here...


OK...so, that is it. The image below captures everything in the post in an easy format. Nothing here is 'required'...it is how I am playing my dynasty and I thought others might enjoy.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg AA sliders.jpg (249.3 KB, 809 views)
File Type: jpg recruiting.jpg (174.4 KB, 803 views)


Last edited by JoshC1977; 08-12-2017 at 01:09 PM.
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Old 08-01-2015, 02:50 PM   #2
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Re: 50(ish) Threshold-based Slider Set for NCAA 14

To get things rolling....I have cobbled this together based on some settings I have played with and what jp has been using. I will post results and impressions of my first three games with this set once played...
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Old 08-01-2015, 02:59 PM   #3
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Re: 50(ish) Threshold-based Slider Set for NCAA 14

Following along on this endeavor
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Old 08-01-2015, 04:26 PM   #4
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Re: 50(ish) Threshold-based Slider Set for NCAA 14

I'm going to judge a book by its cover - I can't see the human run game being remotely contained with these. What setting are you counting on computer defenders getting off of blocks to make plays? I still feel they have to have an advantage somewhere to stop Spread Offenses from running the ball. They aren't programmed to ignore 3 or 4 WR sets to stop the run.
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Old 08-01-2015, 04:49 PM   #5
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Re: 50(ish) Threshold-based Slider Set for NCAA 14

Quote:
Originally Posted by GAMEBREAKER85
I'm going to judge a book by its cover - I can't see the human run game being remotely contained with these. What setting are you counting on computer defenders getting off of blocks to make plays? I still feel they have to have an advantage somewhere to stop Spread Offenses from running the ball. They aren't programmed to ignore 3 or 4 WR sets to stop the run.
Remember that higher threshes are a very different animal. Defender's speeds are going to be more in-line with "skill" players.

Defender ratings are going to drive their effectiveness. The holding slider being up so high is really what drives the block-shedding mechanic - the higher it is, the less holding animations.
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Old 08-01-2015, 05:48 PM   #6
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Re: 50(ish) Threshold-based Slider Set for NCAA 14

Does that mean the holding slider is reversed? According to EA the higher the slider the more "penalties" or in our case animations you will see. If it's not reversed the higher the holding setting the more holds you would see aka harder to get off blocks.
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Old 08-01-2015, 05:53 PM   #7
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Re: 50(ish) Threshold-based Slider Set for NCAA 14

Does that mean the holding slider is reversed? According to EA the higher the slider the more "penalties" or in our case animations you will see. If it's not reversed the higher the holding setting the more holds you would see aka harder to get off blocks. I wonder this because you guys always said the higher the holding slider the better the cpu run game but you also boost the hum run game. Now you say it helps you shed blocks if it is higher. (The whole run game has me perplexed if you can't tell on the slideritis)
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Old 08-01-2015, 06:04 PM   #8
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Re: 50(ish) Threshold-based Slider Set for NCAA 14

Quote:
Originally Posted by GAMEBREAKER85
Does that mean the holding slider is reversed? According to EA the higher the slider the more "penalties" or in our case animations you will see. If it's not reversed the higher the holding setting the more holds you would see aka harder to get off blocks. I wonder this because you guys always said the higher the holding slider the better the cpu run game but you also boost the hum run game. Now you say it helps you shed blocks if it is higher. (The whole run game has me perplexed if you can't tell on the slideritis)
In a manner of speaking....yes....it is reversed

This is something I very recently figured out....our assumptions on this were wrong because we were always using such a high offsides slider. It wasn't until I started using a lower offsides slider that I realized how the holding slider worked.
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