When Madden 23 launches this month, it will, as always, come with several much-vaunted new features, such as an overhaul to the field, collectively called Fieldsense, as well as new wrinkles to the game’s Franchise mode, Face of the Franchise Mode, and more. With just days to go until launch and a zero-day patch now released, Madden gameplay producer Clint Oldenburg says the main takeaway from the beta is that Madden’s ever-vocal fanbase is in tune with EA. Tiburon regarding what this year’s game should look, play and feel like.
“The two most active comments from the beta were ‘don’t change the gameplay significantly for launch’ and ‘please don’t nerf the pass cover,'” Oldenburg told GameSpot. “And we were really pleased to have that feedback, because not only did we spend a lot of time working on pass coverage to bring more balance to the deep passing game, but we also increased pass rushing. ” The fact that the biggest request from gamers so far has essentially been “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” bodes well for the launch, Oldenburg believes.
Madden 23 has a big focus on “bringing more balance to the defensive side of the ball,” Oldenburg said, and the beta has greatly helped strike the right balance between giving players more influence on defense while still staying true to to the league. Madden imitates– one who is now happier and scores higher than ever before.
“During the first week or two of the beta, the pass rush was a little faster than we wanted,” the producer said, but added that it was a bug which has now been fixed. What remains, however, is still an amped up pass rush in Madden 23, which the team hopes is a way to reduce the deep passing game a bit. With added pressure, pockets will collapse faster and QBs won’t always have as much time to wait for routes to develop.
Smarter AI now instructs defensive ends to disengage blockers when players pull the correct trigger, indicating that they may be looking to scramble, or at the very least dance in the pocket a bit. Containing the QB should therefore become easier, so guys like Lamar Jackson and Kyler Murray won’t be able to let their legs bail them out as often. Altogether, quarterbacks will need to learn to read the field faster, as edge rushers will close faster in this year’s game.
“What we’re trying to take away are those third-window throws,” Oldenburg said before launching into an all-too-common example. “These are the ones where you call an oblique play, and you’re going to sit there until this guy turned it into a post and hit that third window between low linebacker and safety all the way down the field. We want you to throw the ball in time and not rely on those big plays to move the ball over and over.”
However, the beta didn’t just give players defensive upgrades. After some tweaks in the beta, wide league elites will now more consistently leave mid or worse corners in the dirt, with Oldenburg explaining that as the odds delta between a receiver and a defensive back increases, players are going to see greater separation. in the field. I asked if that meant a franchise player could then consider building an upside-down defense. Given that the pass rush is improved this year anyway, maybe you could get away with mid-level talent on the line and pay or develop stars to the corner and safety instead? Oldenburg pushed back on the idea and gave a very mechanical explanation of why you’re always going to want talent on the defensive line.
“You always want really good linemen up front, because there’s a waiting time that every defensive lineman has before they can start their first move. And the higher the advantage for the blocker, the longer the defender has to wait. So you always do have the opportunity to slow that rush down with really good offensive linemen.” An additional wrinkle, which he says is actually not new to this year’s game, underscores the importance of an offensive line’s collective conscience rating. “As your offensive line notoriety level increases, and we average that across the five offensive linemen, and double that for the center, they can start to anticipate the blitz better. “
Like when the team added X-Factors a few years ago, it seems the North Star continues to allow the divide between the greats, the good guys, and the bad guys to play out in every game. elite in one place, such as the edge carrier or the broadside, a backlash is available to a wisely constructed team. Where gaps exist, however, elite talent seems to continue to take control of games, much like when seen on real NFL Sundays.
Personally, my biggest concern during the beta was the lack of integration of the game’s new skill-based passing mechanic, which aims to give a new level of control over ball placement never seen before in Madden. But it was more confusing than it should be in practice. Much of the Madden community has come to a similar decision: once you get it, there’s no turning back. But the initial hurdle was too daunting.
“Our onboarding experience wasn’t quite ready for beta,” Oldenburg told GameSpot. “And so people were just fed through the water hose initially, and we kind of knew it would be overwhelming. But overall, we felt that once you got your hands on it, and you feel it, it’s actually quite intuitive to understand.”
Still, the team has added new onboarding elements to make sure players don’t dismiss it on sight. Oldenburg said the game will now lead players through a tutorial similar to how MLB The Show first asks new players to choose one of several control schemes for themselves. “We’ll be posting in-depth developer videos and blogs that can illustrate what we mean when we say you can do throws with this system that you’ve never been able to do before, like back-end fades. shoulder or back pylon fade routes.And then getting the ball specifically where you want between zone defenders is really powerful once you get this system down.
The team also added an extra layer of visual feedback to the mechanic to help players understand when they’re using it well or not. “The skill-based passing system reticle, that color is going to match the feedback text. So, you know, if you get the perfect accuracy, I think it’s that neon green color until very inaccurate, c i.e. color red, the reticle is the same color as this text, so no matter where your eyes are, you will be able to associate the result of your use of the meter.In this most recent iteration, this It’s a lot like shooting the ball in NBA 2K or fielding a player on the ground in MLB The Show, and it’s really good company.
The perception of annualized sports simulations is rarely upbeat or supportive, and it was clear that as Oldenburg spoke he was speaking on behalf of the team when he said they were feeling positive after what appears to have been a strong beta. Naturally, many more players having much more time with the game from August 16th will likely reveal a slew of new issues that will dominate Madden’s YouTube and forum communities, but EA Tiburon hopes the fact that fans have generally been on the same page as the team this summer may mean the studio can build better for the future.
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