Today I’m writing about the issues with Madden’s gameplay including the zone logic, the running game and much more. Let me know in the comments or on twitter if I missed anything. Thank you to the gutfoxx discord for helping me brainstorm.
Obviously we all hate spins and jukes being too powerful against users so I don’t feel I need to get too in depth there. This thread before the game even launched does a good job of telling why we don’t like it:
Linebackers get too quickly to the sidelines being able to cover spread sets too easily. There is a limited disadvantage of running a 3-4 against 4 WRs. I’m not sure something as drastic as what happens when you run dollar against heavy sets needs to be added but maybe shuffle animations need to slow down a tick or something to allow them not to be able to cover out routes and the like so fast.
“Clearout routes” aka streaks have limited effect on how a DB breaks on a ball. Say you have a streak, corner and flat against a cover 3. The DB cuts and reacts to the ball too quickly if the corner route is thrown even when he’s running stride for stride with a streak route. Almost psychic at times with how he breaks on a ball being thrown behind him. They shift their momentum too quickly at times too.
In a cover 4 or other defenses, a safety doesn’t react very well to a ball thrown right at him on a streak route aka 4 verticals. They stand there flat footed as opposed to breaking on it to make a play on the ball or WR. The offensive players can call a possession catch and fall down without triggering an animation from the defender.
Along with the above, the lack of animations at times is very frustrating when you’re near a WR but he goes up and grabs the ball as your player stays flat footed. Since Madden is animation based, not being able to trigger one even as you’re close to the ball is very frustrating. Might be worth looking to increase the radius of animation triggers on passes very near a defender.
D-line going offsides on balanced should be removed. Random chance for a clutch 3rd or 4th based on a d-linemen jumping makes sense in real life but not how competitive madden is presented. Aggressive pass rush should be the only thing that allows them. And if we’re going off traits, does this mean disciplined o-linemen never jump offsides or are they just much better at not jumping but still will if the button is spammed?
Cloud flats are tricked by motion. For example, in bunch if you call the play curl flat (below) you can streak the TE, out route the outside WR and motion snap him to get the cloud flat to suck down.
Cover 3 and cover 4 should be able to counter corner routes without a clearout WR. The TE angle corner route gets open against cover 3 and it shouldn’t as the ball is thrown just about directly at a defender.
The force defenders need to be looked at in 18 the same way they were looked at in 17. The stretch and toss are killing us right now.
In addition WR’s hold LBs too long on blocks. The blockshedding this year isn’t as well balanced as past year. I blame some of this on MUT card stats. They made high end WRs like Antonio Brown and OBJ get too high of run blocking stats.
Run blocking intelligence – fullbacks and o-linemen run right past their assignments/the nearest defender and guys don’t find assignments down the field very well.
Linebackers need to be able to react to pulling guards better and not be faked out by ballcarriers on counters or left flat footed in tosses. I think play rec needs to show more of a difference in how guys react to runs. So a player with 80 play rec loses a step or two moving towards the ball carrier vs. a guy with 99 play rec is easily able to recognize the offensive playcall and move quickly towards where the ball carrier is going on tosses/stretches/dives and the like.
User controlled defenders shouldn’t be made to move by the CPU. I hate having my guy move across the formation in the wrong directions on counters because the CPU made me.
The scramble drill defensive zones are terrible. It seems after a while the guys stop reacting to threats that come in their zones.
The scramble drill for WRs could be improved. Often times I see a guy wide open but by the time I queue up the pass he’s moving directly towards a defender instead of staying right where he is, open. Make some intelligence where they try to get as far away from defenders as possible.
Playmaker is OP as CPU players don’t react to it very well to it. The playmaker chem makes centering an offense around it valid again like it was in Madden 16. There was a reason it was changed the following year.
Never stumble should be a thing on defense as users get tripped a ton. There is no chance to jump with defenders over downed bodies like there is with ballcarriers. Also, based on the standard camera angle It’s hard to see what’s in your way.
When trucking someone with a ballcarrier, the CPU still acts like the play is over on defense. Same with some other tackle animations. Players should stay pursuing and go for a gang tackle/strip animation or just try and bring them down as the truck animation plays out.
Vert hooks don’t match vertical routes like they should. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Call 4 verts from a spread or trips sets and watch. What separates vert hooks from hook curls? Both of them seem to end at 15 yards or so and a WR behind them goes unrecognized. A lot of times they basically become cones a couple seconds after the ball hikes.
Purple zones seem to be useless with the exception of showing us that’ll it’ll play match man in cover 3 blitzes or cover 3 match. They don’t cover as well as cloud flats so they are very rarely used online.
The Mid-Read zone coverage by MLBs is supposed to cover the deep middle in a cover 2 but it allows WRs to get behind it. People have just switched to calling a deep zone for the MLBs to play the tampa 2 coverage like it’s designed to do.
There is no “hard flat” hook zone so you can throw drags under them.
Guys can reach their max vertical jump too easy. Like they can move, stop, jump 35 inches in the air and pick a ball off 10-15 yards behind them too easily.
The sidelines should be able to be attacked better in a cover 2. I thought 17 had a decent sweet spot to fit the ball between the CB and the safety.
Let me know if I’m missing any gameplay issues. Thanks