The Gridiron notes for the recent Madden stream are out.
In the stream, key Madden execs walked through the feedback from the recent closed beta and what they planned to do about it.
The biggest feedback was about the speed and feel of the user on defense.
Lets dive into it!
Closed Beta Feedback
In what was quite a well received stream, the team at Madden covered plenty of topics.
It was great to hear the thinking behind the decision making and also give the players some empathy for why things might be the way they are.
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All the bits of feedback were put together by the team and then players voted for which areas they thought were most important.
The highest upvoted item by far was "User on defense feels slow/sluggish"
History Of User Defense
This has important context as in Madden 19 this was something that took off.
The ability to user a quick MLB and cover off at least 3 different routes across the middle of field made some people virtually unplayable.
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It meant that the best user players could take a 56 OVR rated, but 90 speed, MLB and get over 20 interceptions in a franchise season.
Given that in the NFL, no player has had over double figures since 2007 and the record is 14 (from 1952) - this shows it was broken.
User Defense In Madden 21
As EA say in their notes, this is one of the most polarizing areas of the game.
The players that are good at it, don't want it to change. Those who think its unrealistic, do.
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EA confirmed in the gridiron notes that they want to remove this from the game and they are committed to this for Madden 21.
"The speed at which defenders change of direction will be largely unchanged because the vision for gameplay balance is focused more on authentic player movements and strategic decisions."
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Players will have to get used to a much slower style of user defending where an 85-speed linebacker will feel slower than a 95-speed WR.
Pros & Cons
The obvious benefit for this is an improvement to the passing game.
If playing a high quality player you won't be forced into a one dimensional game that can be shut down.
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Given the improvements to the pass-rushing and open-field tackling gameplay, it's important to give offensive players the ability to beat it too.
It should also make for more realistic defensive stats too.
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The biggest con will be in how this translates to run defending.
Being able to user at the line of scrimmage is just as important in stopping the run. As a user you can set the edge much quicker than the AI reacts.
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With the new ball carrier stick skills, there is a risk that these are OP and with a slowed-down user there is no way to stop it.
It will be interesting to see if this changes how Joker, the winner of Madden Bowl, plays.
The feedback from the stream has been positive, keep up the open dialogue EA.
When does Madden 21 land?
We now have a confirmed release date for Madden 21.
Circle 28 August in your calendar. Though you can play from 25 August with early access.
Lamar Jackson was the breakout star of last season and named MVP. He was the early frontrunner for the Madden 21 cover and EA did not disappoint.