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Madden 22 NFL Scouting Update Review: Good Foundation but Not Worth the Wait

Madden 22 Scouting Update Review

Madden NFL 22

Madden 22 NFL Scouting Update Review: Good Foundation but Not Worth the Wait

Madden franchise mode fans had to wait a couple months for the hotly anticipated Madden 22 scouting update. This scouting feature is one that many of us have put a lot of hope into as we hunger for a franchise mode experience that taps back into the glory days of Madden‘s franchise mode — glory days that are many years in the past. The problem with announcing additions to a franchise mode in a sports video game and then asking your fans to wait for it is that it can often lead to inflated and unjustified expectations.

That said, the importance of this patch for me was at a very high level. So instead of rushing to make a judgment based on the initial impact of what I saw, I wanted to take a couple extra days and see how it played out with different scenarios in multiple seasons.

My hope for this patch was that it would add layers to the Madden franchise mode and give me, and many others, reasons to continue to play season after season. So let’s get into whether or not it did that in this Madden 22 scouting update review.

Madden 22 Scouting Update Review

Madden 22 cover

New Scouting Additions

From the start, the scouting update alerts you to a timeline that you as a coach will follow and adhere to. You will notice as the season progresses that there are different requirements and options that will become available to you during any given week. An example of this would be multiple mock drafts that are made available and are dynamic in nature as teams’ records start to fluctuate as the season progresses.

Madden 22 Scouting Update

You will also be able to direct your scouts in different directions as the season continues, and you will start to have the option to re-direct the scouting focus on a national and regional level. You will also hone in on specific players and positions that will help fill the specific need(s) of your current team.

The new scouting additions also give you, as the head coach/GM, the ability to hire and fire scouts based on need and experience. While I really like the idea behind this option, it feels a bit tacked on. The developers could have taken this idea and implemented a risk versus reward type of system that we have seen in other sports series.

Madden 22 Scouting Review

As it stands, the ability to hire or release a certain scout is based only on experience and expertise in a specific area. There is simply no monetary involvement in deciding on who to hire or retain. In addition, there was very little information that helped me understand which scout best suited my needs in the present and in the future.

The new scouting options are something that I did enjoy, and I think they are a great foundation for the future. However, they were not as dynamic or as deep as I was hoping for this time around.

Regional Scouting

As I previously mentioned, one of the new scouting additions is the ability to scout on a national and regional level. This may not sound like that big of a deal, and in some ways it isn’t.

However, what I did find interesting and useful was the fact that I could have certain scouts focusing on certain regions where the bulk of the players better suited my team’s needs. This allowed me to fill voids in the short term and help change the philosophical direction of my team for the future.

Madden 22 Regional Scouting

I think it is important to understand how to maximize your scouting efforts and focus. If you have the right scout in the right region with the right players that are considered “needs” for your team, there are bonus attributes that can be utilized to help unlock more information. Seeing as how unlocking certain information that is critical can feel randomized, placing your scouts in positions to maximize their talent and skills is an absolute must.

Again, regional scouting is wisely implemented and is a feature that can be fleshed out to really help the user in trying to focus on team-specific needs. While what we have does help in that regard, it could go much deeper in the future and become a greater asset in terms of finding talent that may not be on that front page of the big board.

Fog Of War Element

I will always embrace the idea of the “it’s an educated guess” mentality when it comes to sports titles and transactions. Even the best owners, GMs, and coaches will miss, and some of the best can miss badly on any given transaction. Some coaches and GMs are known for being excellent in the late rounds, while others often struggle with the pressures of a top-five pick in the first. These types of scenarios are nothing new to the NFL and should have been implemented into the Madden franchise long ago.

Madden 22 Fog Of War

Even if a mid-season trade doesn’t work out, or a free-agent signing during the offseason goes bad, or a draft pick busts, the positions of power still relied heavily on scouting reports, film, visits, and group discussions to make these initial decisions. In short, this is a very difficult thing to replicate in a video game. While the scouting system in Madden 22 doesn’t reach the level of realism that I was hoping for, it does poke at that realism and adds elements of confusion and mystery that are good building blocks for the future.

Beyond that, there is less information to be consumed than what we had available to us previously. In a small way, I kind of enjoy that. There is some important information on the table that can be unearthed, but in the end, the scouting information feels less complete and puts us in a position to be more reliant on others.

Madden 22 Draft

When you replace a system that so many are used to — and one that has grown stale over the years — it is probably best to make sure the component you’re replacing it with is deeper and more realistic. Make no mistake, I like the new system, but they need to keep adding to it and give greater control to the user with more input.

Less To Do

To build on that, regardless of your thoughts on the new scouting system and process, the fact is there is simply less to do. As I mentioned above, I always enjoy the idea of the “unknown” element being implemented into a sports title, and in a sense, we have that. Sadly, it comes with a clear downside for now.

In the future, I think the developers can accomplish implementing the “fog of war” scenario while still have scouting be a deep and immersive aspect of the Madden franchise mode. Truth be told, I have always liked the “points allocation” system where you can disperse points in areas of greatest need and interest.

The system that is in place now feels more like the tagline of the famous pitchman Ron Popeil and his “set it and forget it” brand of marketing. The reality is here that once you pick your scouts, assign them to their region, and inform them where their focus should be, the new scouting system becomes very hands-off and very disconnected for the user.

Lacks Substance

To put this another way, the more hands-off approach could even be a net-positive, but you have to give me more input in terms of how to help shape the outcome.

Let me assign scouts points from a pool and let me tell each individual scout what is most important to me, with detail. Let me see the scouts’ strengths shine or give me a reason to show them the door and find their replacement.

The biggest issue I have is that scouts that are in place are just names with a number designation and a focus. Give me the minutia of the situation and let me choose the type of scout I want and need.

Even if I hire a new scout to replace the former, I am forced to replace that scout with a similar type of scout. In other words, the only advantage of a replacement is a new player focus. This is truly where the lack of monetary investments into specific scouts shows up as a glaring weakness.

Madden 22 Scouting Update Review

The new scouting system also includes NFL combine reports, pro-day results, and the option to hold private workouts. While there is a lot of information here, it feels like they really missed an opportunity to let the user actually control and use the perspective draftee in the private workouts.

The practice field is already there in-game, so let me take control of the talent and run them through different scenarios. Let me see what they seem naturally gifted at and where there might be an area of concern.

Once again, there is so much that can be added to deliver a real in-depth experience here, but it feels more like a foundation is being created. That said, the foundation only works if the architects continue to build on and deliver the pieces that make sense.

Bottom Line

In the end, was the wait worth it for those who held off on starting their online franchises and leagues until now? The answer to that is always going to be subjective, but in my mind, the answer is most likely not. The new scouting experience just does not offer quite enough depth and realism at this point when balanced against all the games (and even seasons) some of us could have played by now.

As I mentioned throughout this article, there just isn’t enough depth to the system as it stands right now, and unless the EA developers continue to flesh this system out, it feels like it will be an empty gesture.

That said, if they keep the foundation and continue to build upon it and add scenarios that include variables and risk-vs-reward opportunities, then we have something here. Continue to create a necessity for the scouts, but keep me (as the GM) involved in the process so the final product on the field is either a success or failure based on the collective whole.

21 Comments

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Discussion
  1. Again, it's clear in the article, but want to be clear the headline is more to say the enjoyment you maybe lost out on while waiting to start an online franchise or something with friends outweighs what's here months later when you now start your franchise.
    We like the general foundation here and the update in a vacuum, but it's probably not glorious enough as a post-release update that had people waiting around for it.
    It's a fine line in some respects because we don't want to discourage updates like this, but we also have to be realistic about how long these games have a shelf life etc. and missing out on that opening window of time is sometimes the most enjoyable portion of a game release.
    Well said. Potentially a good foundation but there's nothing to do and there's no depth. Also, this wasn't sold as a foundation. It was sold to us as a scouting overhaul. There's no promise that they'll ever deliver on this feature in a complete, fulfilling way in a future update.
    The fog of war is the only element that makes this worthwhile, but I wonder if we would have roughly the same thing by spending scouting points in the old system on the first two tiers and ignoring the 3rd that reveals their true talent...
    PhillyPhanatic14
    Well said. Potentially a good foundation but there's nothing to do and there's no depth. Also, this wasn't sold as a foundation. It was sold to us as a scouting overhaul. There's no promise that they'll ever deliver on this feature in a complete, fulfilling way in a future update.
    The fog of war is the only element that makes this worthwhile, but I wonder if we would have roughly the same thing by spending scouting points in the old system on the first two tiers and ignoring the 3rd that reveals their true talent...

    Agreed, I've did that with the old scouting system for a couple years now.
    "Not much to do"....I fundamentally don't agree, having stuff to do doesn't always involve clicking buttons. You can spend dozens of hours poring over scouting reports, trying to put the pieces of the puzzle together; trying to really identify those guys that matter based on limited information. What I DO NOT want is a highly granular system; the more control you give to the user, the more obtuse and unrealistic it gets. Scouting is an inexact science; and needs to remain this way.
    The model is very reminiscent of MLB: The Show's outstanding scouting module but Madden actually lacks one thing MLBTS does; enable you to focus your scouts one specific parts of the players' games when you scout them. So, instead of sending Scout A to the Northeast to focus on CBs, I would also ask him to focus on say, slot-focused ratings.
    The only other issue I have is more interface-related, being able to hit L2/R2 to go through player screens while in a certain screen (such as with the combine numbers) instead of exiting, entering, hitting R1 a couple of times, etc. would be helpful.
    Was it worth the wait? For me, it was. I had a blast playing games while waiting. I'm sure others have varying opinions on that.
    JoshC1977
    "Not much to do"....I fundamentally don't agree, having stuff to do doesn't always involve clicking buttons. You can spend dozens of hours poring over scouting reports, trying to put the pieces of the puzzle together; trying to really identify those guys that matter based on limited information. What I DO NOT want is a highly granular system; the more control you give to the user, the more obtuse and unrealistic it gets. Scouting is an inexact science; and needs to remain this way.
    The model is very reminiscent of MLB: The Show's outstanding scouting module but Madden actually lacks one thing MLBTS does; enable you to focus your scouts one specific parts of the players' games when you scout them. So, instead of sending Scout A to the Northeast to focus on CBs, I would also ask him to focus on say, slot-focused ratings.
    The only other issue I have is more interface-related, being able to hit L2/R2 to go through player screens while in a certain screen (such as with the combine numbers) instead of exiting, entering, hitting R1 a couple of times, etc. would be helpful.
    Was it worth the wait? For me, it was. I had a blast playing games while waiting. I'm sure others have varying opinions on that.

    I think that's fine. I think more what Bob is saying is that he doesn't want the fog of war gone or anything -- he wants the inexact science too -- he just wants more ways to collaborate and push/pull his scouting team in ways that enable you to do more without knowing everything. He thinks there is a way to have your cake and eat it too in this regard and this doesn't quite get us there.
    ForUntoOblivionSoar∞
    It’s worth the wait to me. Ngl this game is pretty good in its current state. Sucks for those who bought early and had to deal with all the constant headaches. But for those who waited… :D
    I bought the game early and waited on scouting, and it was worth it to me.
    Sent from my Pixel 4a using Operation Sports mobile app
    I really like the update and already learned what I will need to do better in my scout choices in years 2 and beyond.
    It is a great foundation and I do believe they will enhance and expand on it moving forward through this new console cycle.
    Sent from my iPhone using Operation Sports
    ForUntoOblivionSoar∞
    It’s worth the wait to me. Ngl this game is pretty good in its current state. Sucks for those who bought early and had to deal with all the constant headaches. But for those who waited… :D

    Still waiting BUT I think by Black Friday and Cyber Monday I'll jump back in. Here's to hoping there's another patch by then
    The AI is going to do what the AI is going to do, with or without the Users interaction.
    With that, what I have done to enhance the FOG element upon my experience is I don’t Scout per say, but use the Trait Report, players initial top 3 ratings (not scouted) and choose based off what my team needs per position, basically taking an gamble on a player without the detailed data.
    Talk about drafting like John Gruden, you will definitely sometimes “Reach” on players which will impact your building direction.
    This forces the User to focus on getting Scheme Fit players vs choosing players outside the Scheme with the hope they’ll be high OVR’s.
    - Scheme Fit players still can develop faster than non-Fit players
    Just kind of stumbled on doing this and really love what it forces me to do along with the tangible Risk/Reward it applies.
    - not cool blowing a 1Rd pick who turns out to be a 62OVR player (ouch!!!)
    I just realized that the Mock Draft for teams (At least Solo CFM), the Projected draft pick is just the top player in your favorites.
    I don't know if that was intended and specified, but kind of took the excitement out a little
    Not necessarily what "experts" are projecting.
    PhillyPhanatic14
    Well said. Potentially a good foundation but there's nothing to do and there's no depth. Also, this wasn't sold as a foundation. It was sold to us as a scouting overhaul. There's no promise that they'll ever deliver on this feature in a complete, fulfilling way in a future update.
    The fog of war is the only element that makes this worthwhile, but I wonder if we would have roughly the same thing by spending scouting points in the old system on the first two tiers and ignoring the 3rd that reveals their true talent...

    There is no fog of war. Read my thread on tips, you spend 1.5 hours going through the roster and you'll know everything you need.
    Beside the garden variety anti EA twitter posts, if it wasn't for OS I wouldn't know how many issues this game supposedly has. The gameplay along with the new Franchise features, including Scouting, are really great to me and I'm can't wait to play my Franchise every day.
    What sticks in my craw is how the big new feature revolves around the draft but they couldn’t retain the draft logic fixes from last year. It’s mind-boggling.
    Until the logic is fixed, this feels pointless to me.
    ForUntoOblivionSoar∞
    It’s worth the wait to me. Ngl this game is pretty good in its current state. Sucks for those who bought early and had to deal with all the constant headaches. But for those who waited… :D

    I still have around 7 hours remaining on my trial. I'll use some of that to check out the scouting update this weekend. As for the update itself, if I'm not mistaken, Deuce wasn't with EA for M22's full dev cycle. Therefore, I'd expect the feature to be vastly improved for M23 and beyond.
    To me the new system is just to tedious. Some things I like and some things I don't but the amount of time it takes to gather the information is enormous. It may be better on the new generation consoles but on the Xbox one it is very frustrating doing all the clicking and waiting and then back and to the next player and it resetting you at the too again and then the scroll down and click and the bumper over and wait and bunker over and wait and then the back and then maybe scroll down to the next player or maybe back to the top. Tedious.
    timhere1970
    To me the new system is just to tedious. Some things I like and some things I don't but the amount of time it takes to gather the information is enormous. It may be better on the new generation consoles but on the Xbox one it is very frustrating doing all the clicking and waiting and then back and to the next player and it resetting you at the too again and then the scroll down and click and the bumper over and wait and bunker over and wait and then the back and then maybe scroll down to the next player or maybe back to the top. Tedious.

    So you mean the UI sucks? Agree. They should completely remove the “team needs” crap on the side and replace it with information related to the player so you don’t have to click on him to see stuff.
    Kanobi
    I still have around 7 hours remaining on my trial. I'll use some of that to check out the scouting update this weekend. As for the update itself, if I'm not mistaken, Deuce wasn't with EA for M22's full dev cycle. Therefore, I'd expect the feature to be vastly improved for M23 and beyond.

    100% agree with this. I can easily see Deuce working intensely on Scouting, The Draft itself and the injury system, as well as a continued expansion of the Scenario Engine.....which BTW is vastly improved from where it was when it was introduced.
    Things are going in the right direction.
    Now if they would just make penalties authentic for those of us that play on simulation mode and completely revamp instant replay and bring authentic network presentation. So much potential. The game is the most fun I have had in years. Madden 21 was a great start....and 22 really built on it IMO.
    Again....for the first time since Madden 2003 I feel like the series is truly heading in the right direction for offline franchise players. Both on and off the field.
    I am excited to see what Deuce and his vision can bring to the game moving forward. We are already seeing some of that on Madden 22
    I know I'm a little slow, but, after we assign our scouts and stuff do the scouts just progress each week based on what they do? Then we pick our favorites?
    Creasy1010
    I know I'm a little slow, but, after we assign our scouts and stuff do the scouts just progress each week based on what they do? Then we pick our favorites?

    That is correct. They will scout their region and the position focus you assigned them.
    Your National scout covers all regions for the position you assign them.
    It is very important IMO to really study the draft class then hire/fire your scouting department based on the strengths and weaknesses of that particular class.
    I am a BPA drafter…..if my needs are extremely weak within the class and I am not picking high in tue draft….I focus on BPA.
    If my team is weak….I have high picks then I can hone in on a blue chip player at the top of the class per say.
    All depends on your teams situation.
    Sent from my iPhone using Operation Sports
    The scouting update has enough to be fresh for CFMs but there is always something that ends up messing up the experience. I am in charge of editing draft classes for my CFM and downloaded TFGs, then I re-arranged the projected order based on how I edited certain players. Main goal in doing that is to rate players a certain way and then put them in a specific spot for draft projection in order to create some true gems/busts in the game, since in previous madden's it was way too easy to know who's good in drafts.
    Turns out, the game literally tells everyone where I re-arranged each player.
    LT Sean Rhyan was originally a 5th Round 15th Pick Projection, I moved him up to be the 17th overall projection. Underneath his #17 overall on the left side of the prospects screen shows ^126^. So now everyone knows that I am trying to give a fog of war type projection to his rating because it literally shows how high up I moved him from his original spot.
    Not sure how much of a problem it will be, if at all, but would be nice if my edits weren't shown for everyone to see.

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