Finally we get to progression, easily one of the most often-discussed areas of Franchise mode in the community for Madden NFL 09. Donny Moore did a lot of good work with progression prior to my joining the team and I’ve been able to keep tweaking it since. Here are the major changes we’ve made so far:
• Older players will digress much faster. In fact, when a running back hits 30, he’s going downhill at warp speed.
• Younger players will progress quickly if they play well. We’re talking up 10 points in overall if he has a great year.
• Veteran players will still progress, but not substantially. They can also digress if they play poorly.
• We added more stat categories to determine a player’s success/failure for a season. For example, if you lead the league in rush TD’s but don’t do all that well in total rushing yards, you’ll still be able to progress accordingly. And it’s not just yards, and TD’s, it’s other stats like rushing attempts and rush yards per carry. This was done across the board for all positions.
• Removed age from ranking players. Some people may not know this but our previous progression systems would ranked each player statistically against players around the same age. Meaning that older players would only be ranked against other older players when determining how well they performed. This often created the situation where those older players never dropped even with sub-par years because other players in their ‘age group’ weren’t performing well either. Now, all players are ranked against all other players at that position, regardless of career phase.
The “potential” rating is another sort of ‘hidden’ addition that we are changing up this year to impact progression (and Franchise mode overall). Every player in the game has a potential rating that he cannot exceed (a la NFL Head Coach 09). This year, we’re actually exposing that rating so you’ll have an idea why your player is not progressing - typically a situation where his potential is maxed out.
Exposing this rating also help quite a bit in making personnel decisions when contracts are up. One key detail here is that you’ll only see potential for players on your own team. CPU player potentials will be hidden.
Ok, guys…I’ve probably gone on long enough. Next time I’ll talk about trade logic, hall of fame logic, regular season free agency, salary cap tuning, coach boosts and tons of other franchise stuff.