One of the greatest game modes ever to be added into a sports video game is the ability to take control of your favorite team and either make them successful or run them into the ground. We’ve enjoyed this feature in Madden over the years, but it seems as though it’s taken a back seat to MUT now. This game mode is what put Madden on the map. To see it not get the attention it deserves is saddening. Connected franchise should play differently than the regular game modes. But unfortunately it doesn’t. Here’s some changes that should be made to make Connected franchise a viable game mode again.
This area needs a major overhaul. We are tired of seeing the same old bland, generic looking stadium choices we have to choose from. Then if you choose to relocate, the locations and list of team names makes you feel like you’re starting up an arena league team instead of an NFL team. When you are rebuilding your stadium, you should be given more options to choose like do you want natural grass or synthetic grass, where to put your Jumbotron, or where to place your logos on the field. Then there’s the team options. Who ever heard of the Mounties or Red Dragons? Really EA? You gotta do better than that. Why not give us the options to upload our own images for our teams.
Then whatever happened to the naming rights to your stadium? Madden used to have this but now it’s gone. I was playing a league game & I rebuilt my stadium but you never knew it because the announcers kept referring to the old stadium I had. For Madden 18, let’s see some new stadium designs. Instead of changing the team name why not give us the option for redesigned logos like the Chargers did when they moved to LA. If we keep our old stadiums, give us the option to make it natural grass or synthetic grass. For example the Baltimore Ravens used to play on synthetic grass for years, and last season they switched to natural grass. Give us those type of options EA.
In Madden 17 injuries were either the same or extreme. I’m in an online league and it seemed like there was epidemic of broken collarbones going around. Everyone can’t be suffering from the same thing. Or when a player gets injured you basically had to put him on IR because he would be gone for at least eight weeks minimum. But the worst is the phantom injuries. After a play you realize you have a backup qb in the game. What happened to my starter? EA why not let us know who got injured?
What I would like to see in Madden 18 is give us more variety of injuries. Bring back the probable, doubtful, questionable, and game time decision options for injured players. Just because a player gets injured they shouldn’t automatically be out for weeks at a time. Why not have them injured for a quarter or two or maybe even a half? Also we need to see offensive lineman injured. That’s not realistic to have your starting offensive line to go injury-free an entire season. Why not have injuries in practice? This happens from time to time and some could be season ending or just a few games or maybe limited play? With all the concussion and other injuries that’s in the NFL why not have players retire over career ending injuries? It used to be in the game. Bring this back EA!
Owners and Coaches
This feature needs a lot of fixing. The current setup is you pick an owner and your given 3 owner models to choose from. Each have their own perks. You control every aspect of your team. Pick a coach and you can bypass the normal daily operations of running your team such as ticket prices, food prices, and merchandise. Some people like being a coach and some like being an owner, but each one you never really experience that true feeling.
For Madden 18, why not make everyone owers, but give them the option on what they want to handle. Some like the hands on approach like Jerry Jones and be owner and GM, but then they’re some who only want to do a few things. Why not let them hire advisers who would handle those day to day operations of the team? Of course both would have good or bad consequences. For example if you want to control everything on your team, then you will come under heavy fire if you don’t produce a winning product on the team or be forced to hire people who can do the job or eventually you have to sell the team. Then for those who don’t want the hassle of the day to day stuff, let them hire advisers to run a particular aspect of the team. I know it sounds complicated but with the right kind of planning it could work.
Also bring back players who retired to coach not only as head coach but maybe as offensive or defensive coordinators. For example, Imagine you could hire Peyton Manning and Ray Lewis as your offensive or defensive coordinator or head coach and they’ll give your players a little bonus XP at their positions respectively like QB’s or LB’s get 120 bonus XP because they played that position. If a coach has lost the respect of his team then show it on the field with players missing their blocks or just bad play.
Contracts, Salaries, and Free Agency
The back and forth of contract negotiations, luring free agents to your team, and trying to stay within the confines of the salary cap shows who can really wheel and deal. Unfortunately you could never fully get that feeling in Madden 17. A lot of times it was dump players around the age of 29 on up because their decline was drastic or they wanted a ridiculous contract that nobody was gonna pay them. Then the free agent pool turns into has beens and a bunch of garbage practice squad guys who weren’t going to ever see the field.
For Madden 18 we need players to have personalities. For example, let’s say a player is in the last year of his contract and you want to resign him but he maybe wants to play in a big market area or looking at the fan base or maybe he looks at he wants to play with a winning team. These are just a few things but this will make it interesting in trying to resign him. We should get to see players holding out or demand a trade. Also why not bring in restructured contracts. We could maybe make promises to players. For example we can make them the highest paid Qb or maybe guarantee them a championship. The possibilities could be endless but you get the point.
Game Prep and Practice
Game planning for your opponent each week took on a whole new meaning in Madden 17 with game prep and practice. This feature was done perfectly well and for Madden 18 it should be expanded even further.
Madden 18 should introduce scrimmage games in Connected franchise. In your franchise you should be able to use your own team and play scrimmage games against other users in your league. Of course these games won’t count for XP or anything but it would be nice to use your team to try out new plays or just to get more familiar with them instead of playing outside of your league.
Substitutions and Depth Chart
In Madden 17 formation subs were brought back after a long hiatus. But it was broken. Even the auto sub was confusing. You really didn’t know when your players would actually be subbed in or out of the game.
In Madden 18 we need a better explanation of auto subs. Make easier to understand when your tired players are getting subbed in and out of the game.
Scouting and Draft Day
The scouting and the draft have been known to make or break teams. Madden 17 scouting and the draft felt like a waste. You would scout a player projected to go in the 1st rd only to find out the player’s real draft potential grade is an drafted player. Each draft class there were very few good players. The story line players just didn’t feel like storyline players. For Madden 18 give us more storyline players. Give us more sleepers in late rounds.
When playing in an online league, one of the most hardest thing to do is schedule a time for everyone to make the draft. Madden 18 needs to let us draft via mobile device. EA needs to implement this into the Madden mobile app. Let us setup our draft boards, scout, and make trades from the app. This will help everyone who can’t make the draft.
Madden has always been a highly atticipated game and Madden 18 will be no different. We’ve seen strides over the years to make the game better but some game modes go lacking for others. EA needs to address this and make all of the game modes enjoyable for all.