Before I start I’m going to say, read the blog linked below. The things I say won’t make a lot of sense unless you already have a grip on what this is going to be. Please go read the blog now.
My thoughts on Salary cap mode
It’s for the MUT Middle class. Because you need to own these players in your binder, the poor players who don’t have much time or coins won’t be able to get into a fair game right away like they are able to in Draft Champions.
It’s clear to me EA knows how to cater to different markets to bring in the entirety of the football loving world. Except females of course. But that’s because it’s football.
So the poor are catered to in draft champions, the rich in MUT and now the middle class with this mode.
And as to the rich, they will keep playing MUT. That is true unless they find themselves wanting to get into the competitive scene in Madden. As you guys have heard me talk about many times, this salary cap mode is the ultimate form of competitive madden. No Seahawks vs. Seahawks the entire tournament, no random luck deciding whether you get to pass the ball with John Elway or Mark Sanchez, you now get a more leveled playing field but with almost limitless customization. This is what competitive madden will be in the future. Or at least I pray. I talked about this more last year in my “Can Madden be a Competitive Esport video” which I’ll link below.
And I mention in that video about EA’s competitive sports division. I can totally see another big live event taking place this summer with this new mode. I would lube yourselves up and get ready to grind if you want to get in the tourney.
A couple more things mentioned in the blog. They mentioned that players will be given a salary cap number based on stats not overalls. First, as TexasBoy has mentioned plenty of times and now EA has confirmed, overalls don’t matter. Look at the underlying stats. I hope EA re-does their algorithm for overalls in 17 to match overalls to what they think actually matters in how players play on the field.
But this will be hella interesting to see what EA starts to rank more heavily. I’m guessing they are going to back off on awareness for some positions like RB and QB.
But the more they weight awareness or other meaningless stats, the better opportunity we have to find budget ballers for the mode. Stay tuned to the channel for more on finding these players and what EA is signaling for what matters more at different positions.
The thing that stood out to me was the seasons structure. It’s terrible. For something like draft champions where you want badges and rewards it works fine. But I want to see a little variety in my game modes. Not being able to change around the roster between games to fit a shifting meta is a bad idea from a game development standpoint. The great part about this mode is your ability to tinker with the rosters to find the right balance. You aren’t allowed to in draft champions for obvious reasons, since you play out your draft.
My solution is to implement a different ladder. I know I talk about Hearthstone a lot on this channel but they get a lot of things right. Since this looks like the competitive mode for Madden, have the ladder count down ranks from 50-1 with guys moving up and down based on wins and losses and then legend ranks after that where a Elo style ranking of guys would come in. EA could then transparently take the top 64 players in the legend rank at the end of the season for their tournament.
This solves my gripe because games will be played transparently against players near your rank and you can sub out guys between games. The rewards can be given out either per win or per milestone or both. Like 3000 yards passing in a season gets you a pro pack. And so on.
And, I understand the need to charge for the mode, to balance out the economy so that way you aren’t giving rewards out for free. I’m not going to offer any alternate solutions here like using the MUT contracts on players because I think that’s a bad idea, I think they should make it free because you are looking for a low barrier to entry to find the best players in Madden. We already have to buy the players and put them in our binders, that should be enough of an investment.
So, moving forward. What does this mean for MUT? Well, until we see the full inventory of players and what their salary cap numbers are it is hard to tell. Will this new mode cause a rise in the price of golds and elites? I don’t know. The budget ballers we have now won’t go up in price like we think. Cause EA said Za’darius Smith will now be priced according to his stats and not his overall.
But is the market flooded enough with high golds and base elite range players that they won’t take a huge bump with the new game mode? Only time will tell. I’m guessing this new demand for these players will cause a slight bump but it’ll be spread amongst so many different players that it’s going to be tough to make large profits. The best way to turn a buck is to find a mistake by EA in rating a player and buying a ton of that player.
But I assume with new players releasing through the summer that the cap numbers will adjust themselves relatively often. Maybe once a week? If they don’t re-adjust themselves we’ll run into long term issues with the program as the newer players generally have better stats like Speed. Since speed is OP, the newer cards will just be flat out better than the older ones. It isn’t as much an issue with madden 16 as there is only a little over 4 months of it left but moving into 17 I could see it being a bigger issue.
They can handle it one of three ways. The first two are to either reduce the old cards cost as the season goes along or raise the cap occasionally to fit in the new ones. Of those two I like raising the cap monthly as the season progresses the best.
The third option is to not adjust the cap at all through the season and let players figure it out themselves with the new cards. At this point I assume EA will go forward this way but that is speculation.
The biggest key to making coins off this new mode will be identifying if EA screwed up and isn’t weighing a key category enough or weighing it too much. Like Blockshed for CBs or on the other side, awareness for defensive players. I’ll be particularly interested in how they rank strength compared to base MUT. We’ll see how the BCA players turn out with that one.
And another point to be made is that it looks like positional worth has been taken into account so QBs cost more than Left ends and so on.
But 1,000 points divided by 34 spots means each player needs to average 29.4 points. High overall cards can easily double that or triple it for Golden ticket Johnny Manziel.
Roster breakdowns: 34 spots
QB1 – fine
HB1 – Only 1 HB, I know they turned down fatigue and injuries off but my god, you are almost forced into a backup here if you plan on running the ball even 50% of the time. And that’s a big bugaboo for me. They are essentially forcing us into it’s use like Call of duty modern warfare forced us into using juggernaut or stopping power perks to be competitive.
FB1 – Forget what I said, stash your HB 2 here. Unless you run in the I-form or strong close or HB dives/tosses on the goal line. What am I talking about. Of course you do. Time to freak out again by the lack of depth at HB.
WR – 4 of them. Solid depth. No complaints here.
TE – 2. Makes sense. But why more TE’s than HBs? I think a lot of players use HBs more than TEs. Seriously a pain in the ass there.
O-line – 1 of each. I’m fine with this decision. But I think Stamina will be underrated for this position.
1 LE and 2 RE, essentially 3 DEs. – Good decision
2 DTs. Fine
1 LOLB and 1 ROLB
2 Flex Players to use as you wish.
So 16 on defense and 14 on offense, 1 kicker and 1 punter. Interesting that they provide more depth on defense. I don’t have a problem with it though. The only thing I want is an HB2.
The biggest concern I have with this mode, as with any madden gameplay is the cheese. If you can custom pick your run blocking TEs and Tackles then I assume someone can cheese more effectively than draft champions. But that’ll be the meta. If everyone starts quick toss cheesing, people will bring better run stuffers. And if everyone brings run stoppers, you should bring speedy WRs to beat them deep.
But we’ll talk more though strategy at a later date because this video is getting lengthy and we’ll really need to dive into the weeds there. We’ll talk about player prices and how to construct and spend on your roster. This is like draft champions on steroids. Nice work EA. I love the new mode.
EA Blog: https://www.easports.com/madden-nfl/news/2016/mut-salary
Can Madden become a competitive E-Sport: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bDOegIou45U