Madden 17: The Ground Game

by IVIonteith 7 years ago

Madden 17: The Ground Game

It's finally here!! Our first real bit of Madden 17 news regarding new features and gameplay. While many of us here at DaddyLeagues are anxiously awaiting the CFM news, gameplay really is the core of Madden and that's just what we got today: Madden 17 gap assignments and ball carrier moves. 


Let's start by going into the new ball carrier moves. First off, ratings for moves are now more important than they have ever been before. Moves are now tiered; meaning that depending on what your players skill is for a certain move, that will determine how a move is performed. Much like the performance modifier of previous Madden where if you had a move above a "90", your player would perform a special move with the precision modifier. Well now it seems as though you do not need to use the modifier to achieve better moves. Having a special move (Juke, spin, stiff arm, truck, etc.) above a rating of "90" will now automatically perform an "elite" tier move. While being anywhere above a 65 but not above 90 will result in your standard moves, not quite as explosive as the elite level but still can get the job done if timed correctly. And lastly comes the "lumbering" move, which is basically reserved for your offensive and defensive linemen who scoop up a fumble. These moves are exactly as they sound: slow, lethargic, non impressive versions of the better versions. 


Next up comes the new fakeout system. This will play hand in hand with the new special moves that will result in about a thousand new interactions before the tackle. To break it down simply, the Fakeout Interaction System is basically a dynamic set of interactions that can occur between 2 players or up to 6 players that have varying animations based on your ball carriers skill, timing, as well as your own skills on the sticks. According to EA, each move has its own area where success is much greater, with the example of hurdling being much more successful when running at someone head on rather than them pursuing you from a side angle. 


To go with the Fakeout Interactions and tiers of move, also comes some more modified ball carrier mechanics.

The first set is the Standard Moves, which is basically what we all know and are used to: executed by just pressing the corresponding button of the move. The standard moves will be performed based on your rating for that move, and will have the normal rating on fatigue, fumbles, and injury as well as being able to fakeout a maximum of 2 defenders. 

Next up comes the Speed Modifier. These set of moves is most likely how we are currently performing moves: Holding down the "RT/R2" while performing the move. And they are just what they sound like: quick, one cut moves designed to quickly juke out one defender. The design of the Speed modifier is to be able to, as I said, quickly juke out one defender while also not diverging from your current path. Speed moves carry the lowest risk of fatigue, fumbling, and injury, but also only allow a maximum of 1 defender fakeout per move. 

Next on the list of new moves, the Precision Modifier. These moves are very close to their Madden 16 counterparts and also offer the biggest risk/reward of all the moves, and are performed by just holding down the "LT/L2" buttons along with the corresponding move. As is with all the new moves, the higher the rating, the better the move. As I stated with the highest risk/reward, comes being able to fakeout many defenders, but suffering the penalty of the highest fatigue loss, and biggest risk of fumble and injury.

Finally, comes the big new set of moves, the Steerable Modifier. The Steerable Modifier is performed by holding both the "LT/L2 and RT/R2" and the corresponding move button. The design of the steerable modifier is, as it sounds, to give the user more control and steer their move. Basically, the user will flick the left stick in the direction they want this move to be performed. Unlike the aforementioned moves, this set of moves does not involve the fakeout interaction system, but rather is designed to influence the defenders pursuit angle. 


Lastly for the offensive side, comes several new visual feedbacks which I won't go into too much detail about, as they are by default turned off on all-pro and all-madden. But the last main addition is what EA calls "Tackle Battles". This is somewhat similar to the old Fight for the Fumble feature and is designed to give the user more control, but it isn't a "who can hit the button faster" mechanic, but rather a "who can hit the button quicker" mechanic. Basically in a nutshell, when a ball carrier and a defender engage into a tackle but it is a standstill where both players are at an equal position, a random face button will appear and whoever hits it quicker will result in either a broken tackle, or a tackle. 


Now let's move on to the defensive side. With all the new offensive ball carrier moves, we need to have some defensive improvements to be able to combat this right? You guys won't be disappointed in what was added. 

Most importantly, for the first time comes a true to life Defensive Gap Assignment. I won't go into too much details of the specifics as you can read the full blog over at EA Sports, but rather will breakdown the new assignments and positions. 

First off, a fully dynamic gap assignment as I previously mentioned. Each play has pre play gap assignments that will show you who covers what gap if the run is to the right, or to the left. But most importantly, then comes the post play gap assignment. Each player who is assigned a gap is given an AI, and is able to recognize when they need to cover a gap or cover a hole created by the line. This is heavily influenced by each players Play Recognition rating. The Play Rec rating will help determine a few things after the ball is snapped; most importantly how fast they will react to the gap and if they will cover the correct gap. 

Also added into Gap Assignments, is Technique. The added techniques are Force, Cutback, Fill, Jet, Crack-Replace, and 2-Gap. Again, I won't get into too much specifics here as it is all on EA Sports, but basically this is an organic system that develops as the play goes on. A force defender is designed to force the play back inside and not get beat outside, while the cutback is designed to play on the opposite side and patiently wait to ensure he isn't beat by any form of cutback. Fill players are basically anyone who is not a force or cutback player, and not blitzing. Their job is to fill the gaps on the run and also not get beat to the outside, basically making the ball carrier decide to run through the defense, or try to beat the force or cutback defender. Jet defenders are the easiest set of the bunch, and they are just the blitzers. The Crack-Replace defender is where EA really says the new system shines. As previously stated, this defender relies much on Play Rec. Their job is to identify when the force defender is blocked, and then they will fill in and replace that force defender. A 2-Gap is used mostly in 3-4, with the job of engaging in a block, but then reading the play and deciding which direction to try and shed the tackle to make the play.

While some may think that this may be overpowered, I truly feel it won't be. Something that I will emphasize, that is also emphasized in the article by EA, is that play calling truly matters now. Unlike Madden 16 where you can see players get a away with calling mostly nickel or dime or dollar, that is not the case with the new run fit system. If you call a pass heavy defense, not all gaps will be accounted for if the offense comes out in some sort of heavy set. In addition to this, the different sets you come out with defensively, will alter the amount of gaps and techniques your defenders will use. Not all defenses will have a Crack-Replace defender, so if that force defender is picked up and blocked, the ball carrier will have some room to run on the outside.


Well guys, that's all for our first batch of Madden 17 new features. I know all my fellow Madden junkies are thrilled for this as we can now start getting ourselves readty and anticipating for what will be in Madden 17. I myself am really happy for these features, as I have been wanting improvement to the run game, Oline/Dline, and just in general run stopping defense for a couple years now. Make sure you guys keep checking out DaddyLeagues for all of the Madden 17 news and content as soon as it is released as we promised, and also follow us on Twitter and YouTube. Check back next week where we are hoping for the CFM blog which will be at least my most anticipated blog. Also, stay tuned in the upcoming weeks as we will deliver to you guys all the EA Play and E3 content we can get our hands on. As always leave any questions in the comment section as well as your feedback on our article. We will see you guys back here soon for some more Madden 17 news!  


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