Hellisan’s 12 Requests for NCAA 14
12 Little Requests for NCAA Football 14
I have a list of a few things I would love to see added (or added back in, as the case may be) to NCAA 14. The idea here isn’t “back of the box” additions or major headliners, just things that would add to the overall experience of playing the game from the perspective of a hardcore guy. Getting right to it…
1) Auto-Load to any screen in the menus - Right out of the box, NCAA has one of the longest load times of any game I’ve played, and there’s always multiple screens to navigate to get where you want to go. Once there is a certain amount of game save data, the waiting time increases significantly. The annoyance isn’t the sheer time (2 min, 28 seconds at my last load up to get to the T1 dynasty) but the fact you have to sit there through the whole thing. I would like to see something implemented where you could set a given spot in the menus (your favorite dynasty, or the dynasty select screen, for instance) to have the game automatically load to when you put it in. I understand that a “start button” might be a required feature of the game, but it seems like there must be a workaround. Even if it’s an EA billable feature like the recruiting coordinator, I’d pay for it.
2) Watch List in Recruiting - Putting a recruit on your board has downside to it. It can make other players on your board less interested from the playing time perspective, gives you less of a shot at that all-important X2 on an important player, etc. Yet as you’re scouring through the recruits you still see interesting players you might want to look at later. Give us a way to mark players and then sort by that mark later – a watch list.
3) Additional Scouting Time during Bye Weeks - There are approximately 2,700 players in a recruiting class. Right now at an hour apiece we can “scout” (not fully scout) around 77 players in a season, or 2.9% of the class. If “scouting” is going to give us the exact ratings (which I do not agree with, but that’s another topic) then I don’t think this is too far off base, but give us another few hours to work with on a bye week. That adds some strategy to the process and helps to account for the fact that it takes 3 hours to scout an athlete.
4) Bring back AWR in scouting and recruiting - A review of the AWR rating on recruited players in the game indicates that there are some players a given recruiting class with great AWR ratings, and some with horrible ones. From what I can tell, there’s no longer any way to account for this while recruiting. There’s no more GPA, no AWR included in the scouting. Please fix it, give us the opportunity to favor brains over athleticism, or vice versa.
5) Diversify Animation Time for the Ball Carrier - Almost any time you break a tackle, there’s another defender waiting to hammer you as soon as you break free. I noticed while practicing passing one day that QB break tackle animations almost always take the same amount of time. A guy came from the left, one from the right, and one up the middle. My QB shook all three off, and each was a different animation. I was caught in an animation cycle that was time costly and repetitive, with each broken tackle taking a nearly identical amount of time. This extends to runs as well. The very best animations (attributed to the highest ratings) should be a lot quicker. Give the most elusive runners the ability to slip tackles more quickly. Or the best power backs the ability to dispose of a tackle attempt more quickly, at least sometimes.
6) Change how position changes impact AWR - I think it’s a fair argument that the majority of the time, a position change should result in reduced AWR and the player needing to learn the new position. Yet we have seen too many examples of position switches in real life where a player is just naturally gifted at a certain position. Especially on the offensive line. Give players a “baseline” AWR at each position (make them better at some than others) so that it’s not ALWAYS a -10 or more hit… and also give them a “potential” AWR at each position that they can reach with improvement. The better the potential, the faster they can learn. The cherry on top would be if there were some way to get insight on this aspect from your position coaches during position changes. A comment such as “he looks really good at guard in practice” might give you a hint that an offensive tackle can improve quickly if moved inside, and add some much needed depth and realism to the game.
7) Add position promises to athletes - We have all heard of athletes that went to a given school because they were promised they would be given a shot to play a certain position. Marshall Faulk at SDSU comes to mind. He wanted to play HB, not corner. It would add a lot to the game if teams could promise a player he would play a certain position. Make this one of the more powerful promises for an athlete. And make it very likely he goes somewhere else if you don’t keep the promise… Unless you can convince him he’ll go to the NFL! (example: Leon McFadden, currently playing corner at SDSU after being the only school to promise him he could play WR). This ties in well with the earlier position change suggestion. Leon wanted to play WR. He was much better at CB.
8) Change up the swaying system - Swaying now seems to be more worthwhile than it has in the past. I’m not sure why I think that, maybe it’s not even factually true. Yet it’s still too little risk versus too little reward. The risk should be that you tick the player off a bit (get less points) with the reward being that you were able to change his outlook and make him see some aspect of the recruiting process in a new light. Changing his perspective permanently should have a significant reward (more points… this week, not next week). Also, it would be great if you could have 2-3 different conversation options in how you go about trying to sway him, that tie into his other interests. In other words make it slightly more skill oriented than luck.
9) Practice mode media and locales - Give us the ability to practice indoors (similar to how is already available in the menus) from our online dynasty. And give us the ability to take photos/videos in there. That would be cool for the hardcore dynasty fans.
10) Transfer team control to another user - Sometimes people go on vacations or miss time during an online dynasty. Some leagues may decide they don’t want the player to be penalized by losing an easy game or not being able to recruit. Similar to how you can transfer the commish control, give us the ability to transfer team control (only one week at a time) to another user. The commish should have control over this, obviously. But it saves people from having to give out their Xbox Live password, or being booted/re-invited.
11) Tie key position skills to AWR - How come I can put in a freshman cornerback with horrible awareness, and if he’s running stride for stride with a receiver down the sideline and the ball comes, he gets his head around and high points it? I realize this is going in the direction of a much bigger request than some of the others but I feel like bringing it up. This is the key difference between Darrelle Revis and other corners. He’s no faster or a better leaper than most corners, he just gets his head around at the right time. It’s game awareness, plain and simple. Change this, and make AWR count at specific skills that separate players at a given position. Same with Larry Fitzgerald at WR. His primary skill is high pointing the ball, which is presently programmed into the basic movement skills of players rather than tied to their AWR.
12) Preseason Practice Mode - A lot of leagues take a day for the preseason to let players set up their board and allow the commish to do the schedule, which is time consuming if done correctly. Let us practice with our teams during the preseason to pass the time.