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How Madden 18 Turns Their GOATs Into Goats

Madden NFL 18

How Madden 18 Turns Their GOATs Into Goats

With the release of new holiday GOATs and solo challenges this month, Madden 18 is providing people with the opportunity to add some of the greatest players in NFL history to their squad. But at what price? In the wake of EA coming under fire for their excessive reliance on microtransactions in Star Wars Battlefield II, it’s worth pointing out exactly how the release of these new GOATs uses a similarly frustrating system to ensure that anyone who wants to get their hands on a GOAT has either paid an exorbitant amount of money or sacrificed a huge chunk of their lives in the process.

First off: I’m a Giants fan. (please, no jokes about this horrendous 2017 season Editors Note: Please no jokes about the Chiefs either.)

This naturally means I would love to be able to add that newly released Michael Strahan GOAT to my defense. A quick look at the GOAT set requirements reveals that obtaining Strahan requires 40 Baby GOATs. These can be accomplished in a few different ways, so we’ll look at the different paths that can be taken to achieve this goal.

Paying for GOATs

Let’s say you have deep pockets and you just want to buy yourself that Strahan card and be done with it already. Madden’s got you covered, offering a limited-time bundle that will give you 34-plus Baby GOATs, all for the low price of just 5,850 points (or approx. $50 USD). That might not get you all the way to those 40 GOATs, but we’ll throw in a couple of gold Baby GOAT packs that contain 1-3 Baby GOATs at a cost of 450 points per pack (approx. $7.50 USD) and that should get the job done.

Total cost: approx. $57.50 USD

Solo Challenges

Fortunately, there are 22 newly added challenges to help start you on your way, meaning that you can get more than halfway to the goal without spending so much as a dime of real money, or even a single coin from your stash. That said, the challenges are not exactly the easiest to complete as they all demand playing a full game (with 3-minute quarters). The first 11 are on arcade mode and pro difficulty, while the last 11 are instead on competitive mode. They aren’t exactly challenging from a difficulty standpoint, but even if you complete them all on your first try and chew the clock as much as possible, they’re still bound to run you about 15 minutes each.

Total Time: 5.5 hrs

The Remainder

With those out of the way, now how to get those remaining 18 Baby GOATs without shelling out any actual cash? Maybe you could get the most value out of that GOAT bundle or even those gold GOAT packs seem like a bit of a deal, right? Well, forget about those because neither can be purchased with coins, only points. Instead, if you want to buy GOAT packs with coins, your only option is to buy a silver GOAT pack which contains 1 (and only 1) Baby GOAT for the cost of 8000 coins. This means, of course, you will have to buy 18 of those packs.

Total Cost: 144,000 coins 

Avg coins per game: 900

# of games to 144,000 coins: 160 games

Avg length of game: 30 minutes

Total Time Cost: 80 hours

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  1. These modes are like cigarettes. They're not good for you, but enough people are enjoying it to have it go away. One of my boys dumped a couple of hundred dollars a few years ago just to try and get a Barry Sanders card. He never got it. I stay away from these modes...
    MUT could be done in a really fun way. But it wouldn't have the same money making potential.
    What they would need to do would be to remove the ability to add contracts to cards. With that small change they would be able to put good cards in reasonably priced (coin and point wise) packs which would make buying packs with coins actually fun. Right now it's a terrible economic move to buy those cheaper packs, but if they buff them then everybody will have superteams before long.
    But people aren't going to shell out a ton of cash for cards that expire after 15 games.
    Toupal
    After the disaster of Battlefront II???
    This company has no shame.

    Not sure why or how anyone could reasonably expect any of EA Sports Ultimate Team modes to change their entire economies mid-stream in response to another unrelated game's PR problems. These in-game promotional events are planned out weeks and months in advance, changing course mid-stream is nearly impossible.
    Generally, the balance between gameplay grind and pay walls with respect to access to content is an industry-wide issue. EA is certainly participant in this problem and certainly criticize them for it, but it's hardly exclusive to them alone. Overwatch, Shadow Of War, Forza Motorsport 7, NBA 2K18, and Call Of Duty: WWII immediately come to mind as other games pushing the micro transaction driven economy in AAA games; Battlefront II is merely the latest poster child.
    CM Hooe
    Not sure why or how anyone could reasonably expect any of EA Sports Ultimate Team modes to change their entire economies mid-stream in response to another unrelated game's PR problems. These in-game promotional events are planned out weeks and months in advance, changing course mid-stream is nearly impossible.
    Generally, the balance between gameplay grind and pay walls with respect to access to content is an industry-wide issue. EA is certainly participant in this problem and certainly criticize them for it, but it's hardly exclusive to them alone. Overwatch, Shadow Of War, Forza Motorsport 7, NBA 2K18, and Call Of Duty: WWII immediately come to mind as other games pushing the micro transaction driven economy in AAA games; Battlefront II is merely the latest poster child.

    I wonder if people as a whole are just getting to the point that they find this unacceptable. I bought a nintendo switch for my daughter's Christmas earlier today and had an interesting conversation with the guy that sold it to me.
    He just told me that this Nintendo is probably the best console out there (value wise) and we both agreed that things were just so simpler when we were kids. I asked mama or pop for a game, they dropped $50 and that was the end of it. You knew you were getting a finished product. I've seen and talked to countless people who recognize this.
    Now they sell you what feels like half a finished game for $60, and ask you to be a beta tester for a few patches before the game is actually finished.
    I find myself getting exhausted with the industry in it's entirety.
    Thunderhorse
    I wonder if people as a whole are just getting to the point that they find this unacceptable. I bought a nintendo switch for my daughter's Christmas earlier today and had an interesting conversation with the guy that sold it to me.
    He just told me that this Nintendo is probably the best console out there (value wise) and we both agreed that things were just so simpler when we were kids. I asked mama or pop for a game, they dropped $50 and that was the end of it. You knew you were getting a finished product. I've seen and talked to countless people who recognize this.
    Now they sell you what feels like half a finished game for $60, and ask you to be a beta tester for a few patches before the game is actually finished.
    I find myself getting exhausted with the industry in it's entirety.

    The patch culture we live in now is a double-edged sword.
    On one hand, the digital age does enable developers to release games with more bugs in them, because the option exists now to correct those bugs between the gold master and the game's official release date (and also post-launch, obviously).
    On the other hand, if you bought a game for a console as late as the PS2, the concept of a patch wasn't a thing, so if a game-breaking bug did slip through QA everyone was screwed (and there were plenty of games released during this time frame which did have such bugs). Patch culture also allows games to evolve over time. Madden has leverage this advantage several times - features such as CFM formation subs, the skinny play call UI option, MUT Salary Cap Ranked, CFM fantasy draft, and even MUT itself were added in post-launch patches across various Madden games.
    The issue I'm more concerned with personally is that so much of these games nowadays are having their content locked behind pay walls or massive grinds. Battlefront II's alleged 4000-hour time investment to unlock everything is the most egregious example, but there are plenty of games guilty of locking away content which was previously accessible behind such barriers.
    I agree that the Nintendo Switch might be the most accessible console for a child at this point. Nintendo games tend to avoid the - to borrow a Jim Sterling term - "fee to pay" culture that other AAA games have adopted at this point and be the most straightforward "spend $60 and get a game" which you want. These games still get additional content - there's paid DLC and a season pass for Breath Of The Wild - but the nickel-and-diming that the major PS4 and XBOX One games have embraced just doesn't happen on the Switch.
    CM Hooe
    The patch culture we live in now is a double-edged sword.
    On one hand, the digital age does enable developers to release games with more bugs in them, because the option exists now to correct those bugs between the gold master and the game's official release date (and also post-launch, obviously).
    On the other hand, if you bought a game for a console as late as the PS2, the concept of a patch wasn't a thing, so if a game-breaking bug did slip through QA everyone was screwed (and there were plenty of games released during this time frame which did have such bugs). Patch culture also allows games to evolve over time. Madden has leverage this advantage several times - features such as CFM formation subs, the skinny play call UI option, MUT Salary Cap Ranked, CFM fantasy draft, and even MUT itself were added in post-launch patches across various Madden games.
    The issue I'm more concerned with personally is that so much of these games nowadays are having their content locked behind pay walls or massive grinds. Battlefront II's alleged 4000-hour time investment to unlock everything is the most egregious example, but there are plenty of games guilty of locking away content which was previously accessible behind such barriers.
    I agree that the Nintendo Switch might be the most accessible console for a child at this point. Nintendo games tend to avoid the - to borrow a Jim Sterling term - "fee to pay" culture that other AAA games have adopted at this point and be the most straightforward "spend $60 and get a game" which you want. These games still get additional content - there's paid DLC and a season pass for Breath Of The Wild - but the nickel-and-diming that the major PS4 and XBOX One games have embraced just doesn't happen on the Switch.

    You hit my thoughts on it exactly.
    Patching and updates are a great thing! Or a least they should be.
    My biggest gripe with Madden is that they have seemed to use these updates as a crutch over the years. What I mean is their last few releases have had more issues than a game should at release, and they depend of patches and updates to fix them. When instead, updates should be used to add to the game.
    The same goes for paying for features.
    If Madden came out and said, "Hey, for $20, you can buy this years current draft class for your CFM." Or "For $10 you can download ____ ammount of these historic teams...." I would have no problem with that.
    But the issue here is you have to pay real money for a CHANCE at getting a good card out of their packs.
    A lot of potential, just improperly used.
    CM Hooe
    Not sure why or how anyone could reasonably expect any of EA Sports Ultimate Team modes to change their entire economies mid-stream in response to another unrelated game's PR problems. These in-game promotional events are planned out weeks and months in advance, changing course mid-stream is nearly impossible.
    Generally, the balance between gameplay grind and pay walls with respect to access to content is an industry-wide issue. EA is certainly participant in this problem and certainly criticize them for it, but it's hardly exclusive to them alone. Overwatch, Shadow Of War, Forza Motorsport 7, NBA 2K18, and Call Of Duty: WWII immediately come to mind as other games pushing the micro transaction driven economy in AAA games; Battlefront II is merely the latest poster child.

    Of those COD and I believe (but I'm not sure since I never played it) Overwatch are cosmetic only, which is a very different thing than pay to win. Forza is very fair when it comes to race rewards so while there is a pay to win component you can easily get the same cars by just running a few races (besides a few that are DLC, which is a different thing and they aren't unbalanced relative to "standard" cars).
    I haven't paid 2K18 or Shadow of War so I can't speak to them at all, but EA is doing a totally different thing than the games you mentioned that I am familiar with. MUT is impossible to build a good team in without paying for cards or doing an infeasible amount of grinding, and some cards are straight up impossible to get without paying. Acting like that's equivalent to paying for camo or something in COD is misleading.
    Whilst I applaud this article and its author for having the bravery to say what needs to be said in relation to EA and this mode model.. It's a shame that it has taken OS so long to speak out and it's only on the back of others shaming EA with BFII for them to do it.
    Many of us every year comment on this only to be shut down and silence on here - "Developers need to hear positive and helpful feedback"
    This card pack/loot box model of randomly assigning prizes is a form of gambling - its a form of gambling openly accessible and unregulated that children have access to - worse still they can win Items for real money that have no value - it really isn't cool - its a addictive and one big con.
    Winning items for in game currency from grinding/playing would be fine but why game makers would want to give people almost an impossible challenge to unlock all is beyond me.
    It because websites with a voice like OS up to now have stayed silent and defended such modes.
    These modes could exsist without the real world costs. EA profits are fine and games will still be developed. The way these modes are pure greed and are set up with one aim - to milk the customer.
    As a community we need to say no to these modes in their current format and shame EA into change.
    None of these hours/costs are new - its just EA are slowly edging them up... as they get people addicted they are pushing the boundaries and people hooked will pay.
    Hopefully reviews and hype for games with VC modes and Card packs etc that cost real money can be reflective to make producers think about this practise and concentrate on making the actual game better and not just focusing on the part designed to milk us of more money.
    People currently seem obsessed with the play to win aspect but that really is only the tip of the iceberg.
    fballturkey
    Of those COD and I believe (but I'm not sure since I never played it) Overwatch are cosmetic only, which is a very different thing than pay to win.

    "It's only cosmetic" doesn't mean it's not a problem. Better than pay-to-win, sure, but the point of cosmetics at all is for someone else to see the cool thing you're wearing, think "I need that!" and then go try and find it in loot boxes.
    Speaking to other games: if you have a problem with how Madden handles MUT then that same criticism must also apply to NBA 2K18 MyTeam, FIFA Ultimate Team and MLB The Show Diamond Dynasty. Both Forza and Shadow Of War hamstrung their games' original designs in order to shoehorn loot boxes into the game.
    Belgium Aims to Ban Loot Boxes in Europe http://www.ign.com/articles/2017/11/22/belgium-aims-to-ban-loot-boxes-in-europe
    I hope this happens. First step towards getting rid of these crazy  microtransitions

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