With the postponed release of Madden 21 full details, we decided to fill the void with one last wish list of the top five features EA will announce. It is more realistically a personal top five hopes list as I am solely playing Connected Franchise Mode. By now we all have a decent understanding of where the majority of their resources are distributed, and that destination has proven not to be CFM. Therefore, I’m not overly optimistic about getting more than one new CFM feature. I am certain about hearing all the new MUT additions.
There Is Hope On The Horizon
However, the last couple release cycles have seen CFM take steps in the right direction with the addition of Custom Draft Classes, the 5th year option, fog of war for player ratings and development traits. These are great features, although the fog of war can be improved upon. This demonstrates that the mode hasn’t been completely forgotten.
There is hope for us franchise junkies yet, maybe, just maybe. But these are just small additions to a mode that has been neglected for far too long. Moving forward, these features must be built upon and not removed, as many good features from the past have.
Here are 5 features that I hope will be announced for Madden 21. These are features that the community asks for on a yearly basis. If just one of these features is announced, CFM fans will certainly feel blessed. Before we begin, this list makes one very simple assumption. The assumption is that the EA has addressed their ongoing issues concerning basic football concepts. Before these 5 features are added, the basic concepts must be corrected. These problems have been thoroughly commented upon by RyanMoody21 on YouTube for years.
With all that said, below are the top 5 features I hope to hear on announcement day.
5. Bring Back Old Franchise Features
This one can easily become an article in its own right. Wanting to bring back old franchise features may be a bit of nostalgic comfort, for most of us it’s the obsessive desire to be completely immersed in the world of the general manager and owner. In this space, one of the most popular features the community requests is team relocation with custom stadiums and the ability to completely customize your team, we can never have enough customization. NCAA 2014 had a version of this with the Team Builder feature. Five years ago and approaching a second console release; why is this not an option now? Give the user complete control of their football universe!
Some of the other features include setting ticket prices, parking, and concession prices. One all time favorite immersive features from any sports video game is the weekly ESPN NFL Primetime highlights show and halftime show. Chris Berman’s voice added so much to the authenticity and excitement. This gave a glimpse into the action around the rest of the league, even the music of the show exuded a feel of NFL, talk about immersion! Of course this was not in Madden, but I do hope one day EA will have an even better highlight show.
4. Contract Restructuring
To EA’s credit, updated contract asking prices were implemented into Madden 20. However, more work on contracts is needed to improve the team building aspect of the game. One key element that makes any type of franchise save worthwhile is a strong front office mode with features that allow for good team building opportunities. Giving the user the ability to front load or evenly distribute a contract is one way of increasing the experience. As it is now, contracts in the game are back loaded, thus making team building difficult later in the franchise save. This would be a huge benefit to the immersion factor of CFM. This would not take much effort for EA to implement.
When negotiating player contracts the game should consider the particular player’s personality. This could be the result of an improved Scenario Engine from last year. Some players may be willing to restructure for the sake of building a winning team. Perhaps taking less salary to save cap space, thus allowing the team to sign that missing piece. Other players might want financial security and will hold out or demand a trade. These are all contract related features that would add to the the realism of CFM.
3. Expanded Dynamic Player Scenarios
This is one of the most original and underrated features to grace the game in recent years. The goal of the Scenario Engine is to ensure that each franchise experience is different from the last. It attempts to recreate the unpredictability of the real world NFL. From how much XP and development boost a player earns in a week to a player requesting a trade because he has been benched. Hopefully, this development cycle was used to expand upon last years’ development of this feature. If so, maybe we see a superstar decide to become more committed to his team instead of self, therefore making the Pro Bowl for the first time in years. Heck, if we’re really being hopeful here, maybe that story would even be reported on a weekly NFL Primetime type show.
This year could see the introduction of off-season scenarios. These could lead owners and GM’s to make difficult decisions during training camp and the preseason, adding more authenticity. This brings to mind visions of playable training camps with mini-games, this would be a nice depth feature to have in the near future. With the computing power capabilities of next-gen consoles, I am excited to see how the dynamic player scenarios unfold.
2. Coaching System Revamp
Not that there was a coaching system to revamp in the first place, but hey, it sounded good! Let’s just completely move on from the coaching “system” we had in Madden 20 to something with depth. The new system must insure that every coach has unique ways of impacting game-day. It must use different strategic skill sets that coaches develop over time. It must be about more than developing two skills for training XP and scouting points. Hopefully the new system will allow users to customize coaches based on the type of team they want to build. The system will hopefully bring back the coaching tree from NCAA 14. Of course it will need to be more robust than a game made 5 years ago. It should be a game within the game – approaching the RPG realm.
Offensive and Defensive coordinators should matter and should have trees of their own. No real coach names needed here, give the user the ability to CUSTOMIZE! It really shouldn’t be difficult to add a feature that was in one of your games 5 years ago. Let’s do this guys!
1. Year To Year Franchise Saves
Okay, so I know this one will surprise everyone and almost no one will agree. That’s okay, this is one that I’ve really wanted in the game for many years. This is a “hopeful” list, so why not through it out there? It is a feature that allows the user to save their franchise from the current release and continue it on next years’ game. Therefore, if you’re in the sixth year of a franchise you can keep it going while still experiencing the offerings of the current game. There is no need to waste the time and effort spent on your franchise save in order to play with the improved graphics and game play of the latest release.
I’m not naive however, I know that MUT is the mode that makes EA loads of cash. Getting them to put more resources into something like this seems unlikely. Year to year saves have been in MLB The Show for years and I’m hopeful the next-gen consoles will deliver the feature to Madden
CPU vs. CPU In Offline CFM
I want to sneak this last one in because it’s not something technical or daunting enough to deserve a 1-5 feature, but it would add so much to an offline CFM. If there is a big Sunday night prime-time match-up between two teams scrounging to make the playoffs, a user should absolutely be able to watch the game. Yes, you read understood me correctly, CPU vs. CPU within offline CFM. Better yet, a user should be able to watch highlights and view stats from the other games around the league, especially come playoff time. I know it is a niche user base that would want the ability to watch other games from around the franchise save. But it’s not too much to hope for, is it?
What do you hope they add to Madden this year? Have you been away from Madden and hoping that EA Sports will announce something big? Share your thoughts below after logging in via your forum account.