If you’ve booted up Madden 19 today, you probably noticed a pretty hefty update. That would be the November title update, and it includes a number of changes and features “heavily influenced” by the Madden community.
Today’s update is a mix of gameplay, franchise, and visual improvements. Most notably, it marks the first-ever post-launch update to playbooks.
“We are excited to announce that for the first time in Madden history, we can now support Playbooks via Title Updates,” EA proudly announced. “This has been a long-time goal of the Madden Dev Team. These Playbook changes are the first of many we hope to do as we move into the future.”
There are a number of changes in regards to playbooks. For starters, the Split Backs formation has been added to both the West Coast and Balanced playbooks. Also highlighted under the playbooks – though it has more to do with formations – is the ability to “allow slot receivers to motion out wide from the Singleback Tight Slots and Singleback Tight Flex formations.” Other changes address an exploit regarding the alignment for kick Return formations as well as updating logic around Coach Cam play-art.
With EA now having the ability to update playbooks post-launch, it should be interesting to see what they do with it in the future. While today’s update was largely aimed at correcting exploits, I hope to see them use this feature to implement new plays and formations once the season begins. Madden‘s playbook begins to get stale pretty quickly once players discover the “cheese” plays, so being able to address this mid-season could help with competitive play as they either adjust formations or introduce new plays.
Connected Franchise Mode also benefited from today’s update, though it’s mostly just fixing issues that have plagued the mode. Some highlights include adding retired veterans who have since come out of retirement to the preseason roster, updating logic for awarding the Super Bowl MVP, and updating the computer’s draft logic for first round halfbacks.
At this point, what we see with CFM is what we’re going to get. Sure, minor tweaks to AI logic and such are always welcomed, but I was pretty disappointed with the lack of new features in this year’s Madden 19 CFM. Hopefully, CFM gets the attention it badly needs in next year’s game.
There’s a lengthy list of gameplay tuning adjustments, though the general focus was on improvements to zone coverage and pass blocking. A lot of the changes seem to be focused on fixing gameplay issues presented by the community, particularly with coverage logic in various zone formations. A much-needed change also addresses exploit blitzes from the Nickel 3-3-5 Odd and other similar formulations.
EA has posted the full patch notes for the Madden 19 November title update, so be sure to head over to their blog for the complete list of all of the new features and tuning adjustments. With the 2018-2019 NFL season winding down, it’s unclear how many more of these major title updates we’ll get, but they are certainly always welcome.
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