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Madden NFL 20: Breaking Down the Franchise Mode Additions

Madden NFL 20

Madden NFL 20: Breaking Down the Franchise Mode Additions

We’ve been asking, begging, and dare I say it…groveling for franchise mode to get this kind of treatment for years and finally, it looks like we’re going to be seeing some big changes in Madden NFL 20.

But let’s not stand on ceremony, you can check out more on what we are about to analyze on the announcement story.

Scenario Engine

One of the biggest problems with franchise mode has been it has gotten a bit too predictable and impersonal over the years.

Thus, the inclusion of the scenario engine is a big deal in terms of finally driving some story and personality into franchise mode, which will likely bring some real unpredictability and fun back into the mode.

The scenario engine basically underpins franchise mode with potential story elements like hold outs and scheme changes causing players to get angry with your decisions as a GM. There will be both major and minor storylines which EA reverse engineered over the last seven years of NFL action.

For the first time in the series’ history, you are going to have to consider the fact that you are building a team with at least some semblance of personalities to balance. You can’t just cut an aging franchise guy for a rookie and expect things to work out anymore, at least that’s the plan according to EA.

From the sounds of it, there’s going to be a real risk and reward to almost every roster decision you make, which is something straight out of deeper text-sims like the beloved Out of the Park Baseball.

One of the biggest problems with franchise mode is that it has always felt like you could game the system and succeed no matter what — if done right the scenario engine could introduce unpredictability that’s sorely needed to get things back on the right track.

And in case you are wondering, it does sound like EA will be updating franchise with more and more scenarios throughout the year to keep the possibilities as dynamic as ever.

Scheme Fit Changes

The scheme fits last year were a logical first step towards what we’re now seeing in franchise mode — and it’s good to hear they’re also seeing some improvements.

If the changes do indeed smooth out the problems with last year, this will already be a big improvement for the series. However, on top of planning on fixing some of the problems the development team is also looking to provide more flexibility with how teams can actually be built.

If a player doesn’t fit a scheme, their presence probably won’t be crippling this year — at least according to what EA is saying.

On top of that, there’ll be some new scheme types, which is something you would expect as the feature matures into year two and the game of football itself continues to evolve.

Expect RPOs to become a bigger deal in this year’s game as one example.

Superstar Abilities

This is either going to be amazing or its going to be a regretful decision: but the attempt to differentiate computer opponents now sees superstar abilities coming into the spotlight.

The goal with superstar abilities is to make playing legendary players a more daunting task — which should in turn make each opponent feel different.

The hope is that these abilities aren’t so overpowering that they take over the game — but that they do make each opponent different because they all feature different sets of great players to scheme against.

Final Analysis

It does seem like there are now real attempts at moving franchise ahead. The hints were there last year, and this year we are finally getting player personalities and elements that move team building from beyond just matching a bunch of high numbers together.

Here’s to hoping it all works out when Madden NFL 20 ships on August 2.

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  1. I got EA premier last year and played this for about a week before I unsubscribed and didn't touch it again. This sounds like I might actually be buying this season.
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    i like those features added to Franchise Mode, i am huge fan of Franchise mode for long time.. Hopefully EA add dynamic real time weather for presentation, hopefully there is new scoreboard during gameplay.. hopefully EA fix major problem on defense including man and zone man coverage like Elite CB or Elite safety can't cover properly
    I'm glad Madden is getting some love with their Franchise Mode.  Here's hoping EA does the same thing with their NHL and NBA Live series, because both have become predictable and stale of the years. 
    The scenario engine sounds really interesting. Curious to see how that will work. I can see Superstar abilities like the article said ending poorly if they're too overpowered. Wish they would put some features that were present in NFL Head Coach 09 and 2k's Myleague to really make the franchise mode deep.
    Seems like Scenario Engine could make or break Franchise. If it can add some life into Franchise, that could be the step in the right direction. I just don't want to some crazy stuff. It has to have logic to it. I definitely want to see CPU teams affected by this and make decisions based on this. For so long, Franchise has felt like exhibition games. So hopefully this adds more intrigue.
    I really hope they added more to presentation and commentary. If they can have commentary tied into the scenario engine, that could be big for Franchise. I would love to hear "WR has been complaining about his lack of touches and has requested a trade..." Or "This QB has been upset that drafted a first round QB." So if they had commentary specific to scenario engine, it could make you feel you are apart of a living season.
    Yeah execution will be key. They idea is great. I used to create my own story lines to make games more intriguing. It'll make the experience a lot more immersive it they get it right. That feature alone will add a ton of replay value to Franchise
    Like the sound of the scenario engine, but I am a bit concerned about the implementation. Sounds like there are scripted stories with triggers as opposed to a framework that allows stories to create themselves. There is some danger in that.
    Glad to hear they tried to fix some of the scheme for problems, but I still don’t like the feature. Rather than picking from a predefined scheme I would prefer the ability to build our own.
    Lastly I am highly skeptical of the superstar ability feature. Don’t think I’ll like it. It seems like a trick to make up for subpar AI. Like hey we can’t figure out how to make players play like themselves so we’re just going to give them op abilities
    ggsimmonds
    Like the sound of the scenario engine, but I am a bit concerned about the implementation. Sounds like there are scripted stories with triggers as opposed to a framework that allows stories to create themselves. There is some danger in that.
    Glad to hear they tried to fix some of the scheme for problems, but I still don’t like the feature. Rather than picking from a predefined scheme I would prefer the ability to build our own.
    Lastly I am highly skeptical of the superstar ability feature. Don’t think I’ll like it. It seems like a trick to make up for subpar AI. Like hey we can’t figure out how to make players play like themselves so we’re just going to give them op abilities

    We'll have to wait until the franchise blog this week to find out more but I don't think that they would be calling it the scenario engine if it was just scripted stories. Even with some kind of simulation engine driving this scenario they still probably need to program possible outcomes in to it. If done well this could really breathe life in to and greatly increase the fun factor of franchise.
    I'm with you on the schemes though, the purpose of the franchise mode in sports video games is to build your team how you see fit. That should include the ability to customize your scheme at least to some extent.
    To give players more individuality we need some kind if badge system and I think the superstar abilities are an attempt at that. With EA's track record I'm just worried about the gameplay balance when it comes with to these abilities.
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    If it’s done right Superstar abilities and the scenario engine could be huge for franchise mode. I’m wondering if they left a few things out to reveal during the stream on Thursday or if this is it.
    Cowboy008
    If it’s done right Superstar abilities and the scenario engine could be huge for franchise mode. I’m wondering if they left a few things out to reveal during the stream on Thursday or if this is it.

    Clint stated that is all they were willing to share on draft night, more to arrive once the blogs and streams are ready.
    All of this sounds so cool. Excited for more information on M20!
    After picking up OOTP 20 I just want a more difficult experience on Madden, just like OOTP provides.
    Huge fan of the scenario engine. Big fan of the idea of superstar abilities that bring about actual differences in players and teams more than ratings do. I play Out of the Park and not The Show anymore. A huge part of that is because of the stories created constantly in the world to make it feel alive. If Madden is able to bring that into the franchise mode along with players having personalities then that will be an incredible addition to the franchise mode and will help me overlook the other shortcomings I have with the current ratings, scouting, and development systems.
    I'd love for Madden to keep taking things straight out of Out of the Park. Anyone who is a franchise nut owes it to themselves to at least look at what that game offers in terms of features, depth, and customization.
    The dream additions to the franchise mode after what we've learned so far would be the ability for ratings to be tied to scouting reports only and never be 100% correct. My favorite way to play Out of the Park is to set it to where the scouting accuracy is low or very low. That's more realistic to me and what I'd love to see in Madden. I love knowing that my scout may see two players completely different than the scouts from another organization. I love knowing that it could make ore break my career trusting him and trading for a guy because he believes he'll develop into a star while the team he currently plays for has reports that suggest that his ceiling is being an above average player.
    Give me that in Madden! It gets old knowing that every player and every individual in the draft pool is scouted the exact same for all 32 teams in Madden. That isn't realistic. The schemes system does make the teams value other players differently, but overall everyone still sees the player in nearly the same light and the development trait is known for all 32 which is crazy. Give me a system where teams all have varying scouting reports on all current and future players. Give me a system where their development isn't known and is an educated guess for you and the scouts based off of their work ethic, their personality, their age, their amount of raw skill, etc.
    You get me a system like that combined with what they've announced so far and I'll nearly be in football heaven. All I'll need after that is an NCAA game with the same setup and depth along with college atmosphere and world.
    Can they just add a season mode like every other sports game?
    For the rest of us that don't give a crap about the overhyped franchise changes, It would be nice if we could just pick a game off the schedule and play it each week without all the BS that comes with Franchise mode.
    bears1387
    Can they just add a season mode like every other sports game?
    For the rest of us that don't give a crap about the overhyped franchise changes, It would be nice if we could just pick a game off the schedule and play it each week without all the BS that comes with Franchise mode.

    Is it really that much more to just play 1 season of franchise mode and be done?
    Here is my gamechanger, forgive the pun, , but gameplay fixes are more important than anything. Passing, running, defense are all subpar in any mode and need major fixes. These types of stories are for those few people that are only happy with those specific things. 
    Would you go to a car dealership and buy a new car but the transmission slips and the engine isn't quite right?  Yet every year u keep trading in that new car for another on the promises of a better design and great radio and LED lights and yet everything else under the hood is subpar.? 
    Please,spare me this drivel.  This is nothing but another car dealer using the same old tricks to get u to spend more money on the same thing but with new tires. 
    As long as we keep going  down this path,it won't change. I'm going back to just reading the forums and renting day one. Saves me so much time and money. Not to mention saving on ibuprofen. 
    The problem is not only them, it's us. 
    Appreciate you guys letting me rant. 
    Shosum13
    We'll have to wait until the franchise blog this week to find out more but I don't think that they would be calling it the scenario engine if it was just scripted stories. Even with some kind of simulation engine driving this scenario they still probably need to program possible outcomes in to it. If done well this could really breathe life in to and greatly increase the fun factor of franchis
    To give players more individuality we need some kind if badge system and I think the superstar abilities are an attempt at that. With EA's track record I'm just worried about the gameplay balance when it comes with to these abilities.
    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk

    I see your point, but the line about going back seven years to pull stories is what has me concerned. Sounds like it may be similar to the Universe mode in WWE games. I’m definitely anxious to hear more and see it in action.
    NBA 2k also has player tendencies and to me that is what makes players truly feel unique. I remember few years ago being in awe because Kobe played like real life Kobe. Not because of badges but because of how he behaved. He kept posting me up on the elbow every time lol. Badges were the icing on the top that completed the feel. I’m worried we are getting icing without the cake, similar to the weapon system years ago that was widely panned
    ggsimmonds
    I see your point, but the line about going back seven years to pull stories is what has me concerned. Sounds like it may be similar to the Universe mode in WWE games. I’m definitely anxious to hear more and see it in action.
    NBA 2k also has player tendencies and to me that is what makes players truly feel unique. I remember few years ago being in awe because Kobe played like real life Kobe. Not because of badges but because of how he behaved. He kept posting me up on the elbow every time lol. Badges were the icing on the top that completed the feel. I’m worried we are getting icing without the cake, similar to the weapon system years ago that was widely panned

    Hopefully they go further in to detail on the scenario engine in the blog. I believe it releases on Thursday, I definitely am interested to hear about how they intend it to work in further detail.
    I will say that about 2K, it's not a perfect game by any means and has it's own flaws but one thing they do very well in my opinion is making a lot of the players play like their real life counterparts. When you play against the Rockets James Harden plays like his real self. The Rockets run a ton of ISO through him and he will take deep contested 3's and make them. Heck I'm a couple of years in to a my league and the created Zion Williamson that was in the draft class I used plays a lot like he really does.
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    ggsimmonds
    I see your point, but the line about going back seven years to pull stories is what has me concerned. Sounds like it may be similar to the Universe mode in WWE games. I’m definitely anxious to hear more and see it in action.
    NBA 2k also has player tendencies and to me that is what makes players truly feel unique. I remember few years ago being in awe because Kobe played like real life Kobe. Not because of badges but because of how he behaved. He kept posting me up on the elbow every time lol. Badges were the icing on the top that completed the feel. I’m worried we are getting icing without the cake, similar to the weapon system years ago that was widely panned

    I agree.
    While abilities can help bring out signature star animations, I don't think it will really make stars actually play like themselves. Without tendencies, what really determines when a CPU player performs his abilities. Awareness and intangible ratings determined how CPU play. But how often do you see CPU make a mistake. You don't see CPU QB make the incorrect reads.
    Tendencies would really take gameplay to the next level.
    There are some other behind the scenes tweaks/improvements that aren't back of the box but will be appreciated as well. They may not all come out Thursday but I think people here will appreciate them.
    T4VERTS
    There are some other behind the scenes tweaks/improvements that aren't back of the box but will be appreciated as well. They may not all come out Thursday but I think people here will appreciate them.

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    T4VERTS
    There are some other behind the scenes tweaks/improvements that aren't back of the box but will be appreciated as well. They may not all come out Thursday but I think people here will appreciate them.

    Thank you, sir.
    triggerfish1976
    So I saw in the pre-order bonus summary that the superstar skills are going to be like the MUT cards, you can buy them. I don't like the sound of that.
    Hopefully you can't just buy them in franchise mode. In franchise it should be like dynamic dev trait where guys gain abilities but they can also lose them.
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    illwill10
    But how often do you see CPU make a mistake. You don't see CPU QB make the incorrect reads.
    Tendencies would really take gameplay to the next level.

    CPU QBs miss open receivers all the time. The player just has to get enough presure to force the QB to move. When they dial up those stupid PA shot plays they'll throw the vertical even if a defender is draped all over the receiver.
    Occasionally they'll just stand still waiting for the rush to get home. It's not anywhere near as bad as M18, but it's still present and noticeable.
    stinkubus
    CPU QBs miss open receivers all the time. The player just has to get enough presure to force the QB to move. When they dial up those stupid PA shot plays they'll throw the vertical even if a defender is draped all over the receiver.
    Occasionally they'll just stand still waiting for the rush to get home. It's not anywhere near as bad as M18, but it's still present and noticeable.

    My main thing is that I want their to be noticeable difference between cerebral QBs and average QBs. I know Superstar Abilities should help with signature abilities. But I am more concern about the CPU AI behavior. I want to see QBs who are patient and makes all the reads versus those who only makes 1-2 reads and forces passes. I want to see those who throws with anticipation versus those who waits until they are noticeably open. I want to see those who gets the ball out fast versus those who improvises and waits for big play. All have its pros and cons.
    That's why we need a true tendency system. It would take gameplay and franchise to next level. With that no two players or teams should play the same. It'll you have to prepare for each game a different way
    This thread or a newer thread will be lit after the stream.
    More hot takes to continue, but hopefully, with it live, it won't be just their word for it.
    This thread or the newer thread will be similar to "must see tv,"
    roadman
    This thread or a newer thread will be lit after the stream.
    More hot takes to continue, but hopefully, with it live, it won't be just their word for it.
    This thread or the newer thread will be similar to "must see tv,"
    What time is the stream going live?
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    roadman
    7pm EST.......................
    7 pm! Good lord. They must be taking a cue from the NFL draft making a huge production out of this. Wasn't last year just a press release type thing in the middle of the day?
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    jsteele14
    7 pm! Good lord. They must be taking a cue from the NFL draft making a huge production out of this. Wasn't last year just a press release type thing in the middle of the day?
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    Just marketing a product a different way.
    jsteele14
    7 pm! Good lord. They must be taking a cue from the NFL draft making a huge production out of this. Wasn't last year just a press release type thing in the middle of the day?
    Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk

    Nay, they've done these things before just not every year. Most of the time it's just blogs at night. They did one for 16 or 17 with AJ & RG or whatever his name is.
    I don't hate the idea of "buying traits" a la MUT. To each their own really. If it's offline, just don't buy them, I don't think the CPU will be :) If it's online CFM, then it could become a house rule.
    Even better, if you are playing arcade mode CFM, you would have the ability to purchase superstar traits enabled, but in Sim/Comp, you would not have that ability enabled. That way, for people that want a hybrid MUT/CFM they could still pump loads of money into EA and it wouldn't affect Sim players.
    Also, are the three game modes still a thing? Just moved over the past three days and missed a ton of content being dropped. If they are going away from the three modes, I feel a lot stupider.
    But if the three modes are staying, I think it could be a good idea to allow some of those traits to be a little more exaggerated for arcade mode (even like the old Madden cards almost) and then completely phased out for Sim style.
    roadman
    7pm EST.......................
    Isn't there a franchise blog coming out to accompany the stream? I thought I remembered hearing something about some kind of blog all also coming out but I could be wrong.
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