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

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Old 08-01-2015, 04:15 PM   #1
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50(ish) Threshold-based Slider Set for NCAA 14

May 12, 2020 - Thread Re-boot!

Only in rare instances does a sports game have an extended period of activity. Unfortunately, NCAA 14 is one of them due to all the legal complexities and so on. Fortunately, this game is easily the best in the series and provides us with a fantastic experience.

But let's take a step back. It's been 7 years and consider how our knowledge of EA football games has broadened. It's time to look at an older game with a modernized approach. NCAA 14 may very well be the best Sports RPG ever made and it's time we stop trying to force things otherwise and embrace what it truly is. I know...I know....you're all set in your ways. You think QBA has to be at 5, you think AA doesn't provide "enough challenge", you think read option is overpowered? Let's assume we're wrong about all of these (chances are, we ARE)

Starting Over
As an old musical once stated, the beginning is "a very good place to start". Let us cast aside everything we think we know about the game. Let us cast aside our biases. Let us cast aside the concept that "We know better than EA". We have to approach this like it is a brand new game. That means that we have to find our baseline. We have to set our goals and then find how we can best achieve them.

What ARE our goals?

Goal 1: Balance, balance, balance. I preach this in all my slider threads; keep the game ENGINE balanced.
Goal 2: Make sure ratings matter. I'm not talking about making sure that Ohio State blows out Idaho, I'm talking about making sure that a DT with a high block shed going up against a poor RBK O-lineman does his job. We HAVE to get down to individual matchups, because only when player ratings stand out will dynasty mode TRULY be the best it can be.
Goal 3: Avoid repetition. There's nothing more obnoxious than when every game feels the same. I don't want to play against a slider set. I want to play against my opponent.
Goal 4: Maximize the in-dynasty RPG elements. This means playing the part.

What are NOT our goals?

Not our goal 1: achieving arbitrary statistical outputs
Not our goal 2: focusing on mimicking real life as closely as possible (BORING)
Not our goal 3: making the game unrealistically difficult by catering to people who like to 'cheese'

Unacceptable behaviors
I'm drawing a very firm line here. This thread is not for you:

If you back up or roll out on every throw.
If you zig zag on your runs.
If you spam the same five plays over and over.
If you exploit recruiting flaws. (I got you covered though to help with that)
If you are a coach mode, "no switch" player or let the CPU call plays for you. Be accountable for all aspects of the game.
If your idea of a "good sample size" is a handful of games.

Play football, not video game football. If you can't accept that, you'll be happier with other threads and that's perfectly fine. But please; don't play video game football and then chime in about how things are "too easy" for you.

C'mon, get to it already, what are the sliders?!!

OK...fine, here we go. Let's start with the Main Menu screen

Main Menu Settings

Step 1: Go to Advanced Controller Settings. Turn OFF Auto Strafe (this is actually "On" by default). This changes a lot of the movement on the field and adds a lot of different angles/interactions. I think it makes user defending more challenging personally.

Step 2: Enter the settings screen:

Offensive Skill - All American (I DO plan on exploring other difficulties at some stage)
Defensive Skill - All American (I DO plan on exploring other difficulties at some stage)
User vs User - All American (I DO plan on exploring other difficulties at some stage)
Injuries - ON
Fatigue - ON
Quarter Length - 9 Minutes (8-10 should work)
Play Clock - ON
Game Speed - NORMAL
Threshold - 50
HFA - On

Penalties
All default

Gameplay Sliders
All default

Autosubs
60/80 across the board

Step 3: Rosters
We're not going to go crazy here. One strong recommendation: edit coach sub frequency to 50 for all teams (this is basically a fatigue slider). I DO plan on taking a look at the pure default rosters with varying sub frequencies to see what happens....haven't gotten there yet.

Dynasty Setup
Exactly the same as the Main Menu. BUT, now for the fun part.

Set Coach Progression Speed to Normal! (This is a requirement)
Any slider set that does not have this set to normal is essentially broken IMO. I totally understand the rationale for lowering it to very slow...we ALL did that. Yet we ALL broke key elements of the game by changing this one setting.

The Coach Progression Speed has a tangible effect on how quickly/slowly hot/cold streaks occur in game. If you don't know what I mean, when at the LOS, hold down R2 and push down on the right stick. When on a cold streak, the little indicator under the player will be blue. As players heat up, they will go to yellow, to red, and then pulsing red.

What will happen with the coach progression speed at slow/very slow is that players will get on hot streaks and then stay there. That does a couple of key things that jack up the gameplay:

1. The CPU will invariably begin to weaken in the second quarter to the end of the game as your players get hot and stay hot. In mis-match situations, this will begin to happen...but THAT makes sense. In an even matchup (or game where you're outmatched) this is a fair bit more rare occurrence.
2. As a consequence, you'll begin stifling their run game with your red pulsing d-line and they won't stick with it.
3. It has an effect on fatigue/injury rates; I've seen a definite improvement in these areas since going back to Normal Coach Progression Speed. Even with default autosubs, I see d-lineman rotating, RBs rotating, players getting winded. It also has another impact in that the CPU manages fatigue much better...so yet another reason those constant 'second half collapses' don't occur. I also see several injuries per game (mainly minor, but still, far better than with slower progression).

The hot/cold streaks are vital to the dynamics of how the game plays. I cannot state this enough. QBs that are cold will miss more throws, tackles will get missed, coverages blown...hot players will take over games....but these things can change dynamically throughout the game...and THAT is the brilliance of EA's default setting here. So many of the issues that we've tried to address over the years with sliders are greatly minimized. Just give things time, play some games, and enjoy the variety in the games.

Embracing Dynasty Mode as a true RPG
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.

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

Optional: you have the choice to go after any 1 Star recruit you want.


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 is where the option for 1 Star recruits can be helpful).
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.

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.

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...
Attached Images
File Type: jpg recruiting.jpg (174.4 KB, 7213 views)
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Last edited by JoshC1977; 05-28-2020 at 02:22 PM.
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Old 08-01-2015, 04:59 PM   #2
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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, 06:26 PM   #3
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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, 06:49 PM   #4
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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, 07:48 PM   #5
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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, 07:53 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. 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, 08:04 PM   #7
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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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Old 08-01-2015, 09:59 PM   #8
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Re: 50(ish) Threshold-based Slider Set for NCAA 14

I was going to wait to complete three games before posting stats, but figured I would post the first two. Both games played using a "default" 2013 roster - the only global change was to adjust the sub frequencies as outlined on the OP:

Game 1
UK (user) versus WKU (CPU)

User HC/OC/DC
Off Agg: 60/40 ; Def Agg: 62/38; Off Run/Pass: 55/45; Def Run/Pass: 40/60

CPU HC
Off Agg: 60/40 ; Def Agg: 55/45; Off Run/Pass: 55/45; Def Run/Pass: 65/35
CPU OC
Off Agg: 50/50 ; Def Agg: 50/50; Off Run/Pass: 55/45; Def Run/Pass: 50/50
CPU DC
Off Agg: 50/50 ; Def Agg: 50/50; Off Run/Pass: 55/45; Def Run/Pass: 50/50

UK (user) vs WKU
Score: 23 - 10
Fds: 22 - 19
Total offense: 366 - 290
Rushing: 39-154-1 TD - 23-27 1TD
Passing: 14/38-212 3ints - 25/50-263 1 tds
3rd downs: 6/14 - 2/15
Turnovers: 3 - 1
Sacks: 6 - 3
TOP: 19:08 – 16:52
Penalties: 0-0 – 2-15

Notes
· CPU RB had 12 carries for 60 yards
· CPU had 12 drops….really killed them
· Coverage solid on both sides
· Most CPU sacks due to QB holding the ball too long



Game 2
Rutgers (user) at Fresno State (CPU)

User HC/OC/DC
Off Agg: 62/38 ; Def Agg: 75/25; Off Run/Pass: 50/50; Def Run/Pass: 41/59

CPU HC
Off Agg: 60/40 ; Def Agg: 60/40; Off Run/Pass: 55/45; Def Run/Pass: 47/53
CPU OC
Off Agg: 55/45 ; Def Agg: 60/40; Off Run/Pass: 55/45; Def Run/Pass: 47/53
CPU DC
Off Agg: 55/45 ; Def Agg: 60/40; Off Run/Pass: 55/45; Def Run/Pass: 47/53

Rutgers (user) vs Fresno State
Score: 41 - 30
Fds: 23 - 33
Total offense: 654 - 633
Rushing: 33-173-1 TD - 31-87 2TD
Passing: 23/46-481 4TDs 5ints - 44/70-546 1 td 1 int
3rd downs: 8/14 - 9/19
Turnovers: 5 - 2
Sacks: 2 - 1
TOP: 18:10 – 17:50
Penalties: 0-0 – 1-5

Notes
· Lots of diving catch animations
· Several blown coverages
· Speed receivers able to get deep often
· Some tendency of QB to still hold ball too long
· CPU struggled to run the ball consistently – defenders in backfield too quickly
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