Defensive Keys/Aggressiveness

Discussion in 'The Experience' started by DatNDaz, Aug 10, 2009.

  1. DatNDaz

    DatNDaz Walk On

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    Defensive Keys/Aggressiveness

    I know we're working through a lot of issues right now, but this is something else we're going to have to discuss. I just saw that Raz banned these things in the teambuilder league.

    In Week 2, I came out with my D-line setting on Aggressive to jump the snap. Jello noticed and asked if we were going to use these and we just agreed not to since there was no clear stance by the league.

    Aggressiveness Settings:
    I'm still not sure if these things add a balanced, strategic element to the game or not. It would be great if they did, which is why I don't want us to be too quick to ban them. Obviously they should be secondary to good playcalling. But if you're down 14 and need a strip, it's realistic to tell your team to play aggressively in that way (not that a facemask penalty is the most realistic consequence of that). If the other guy doesn't go conservative (which he probably should in that situation), he risks a greater chance of a fumble. It makes sense, and seems like good strategy, but the question is whether it's fairly implemented and not overdone. In a perfect world, these would be situational (mostly used in the 4th quarter). If guys are setting things on aggressive for the entire game and there's no way to counter it, that's a sign that these things won't work.

    Defensive Keys:
    I played an online game this weekend where the guy I played against keyed for a "middle run" on every play, even in passing situations. He got a lot of pressure on me and it was even tough to pass. I figured out a way to beat it in the 2nd half and won with a great comeback (such a great feeling vs this jerk). But that type of use is a problem.

    What I do like though is that because of this option, you can't just come out and call FB Dive on 3rd or 4th & 1 and get it 9 times out of 10. If the other guy crashes the middle and uses the run middle setting, he's got a good chance of getting you for a loss. In another example, it can be a great way to stop a guy who loves to run toss sweeps to the strong side of the field every time. I've also had situations where on D I keyed for a run to one side, and the guy countered to the other side for a 70 yard TD. I think it's a great/realistic tool to keep the offense balanced. And with the overpowered offenses we've seen in this game the last couple years (less so this year maybe), it's nice to feel like you've got the ability to take a gamble and make a big play on defense when you need it.


    I guess all I'm saying is let's give these things a good shot before we severely limit/ban them here. This is probably one of the more hardcore sim leagues even within TF/OFFL, so we should be able to trust each other to not abuse the AI (I actually don't use any of these settings against the CPU). I know EA doesn't have a good track record with features like this, but you never know what might be a good addition to the game. If we're going to limit/ban them, it should be after we have documented several specific examples of how one aspect or another just can't be countered and/or is totally unrealistic. In the meantime, I don't think using them situationally & in a realistic way should be discouraged.
     
  2. BRUCE80

    BRUCE80 Let the dirt just shower over you..

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    I dont have an issue with any of the items outside of the guess run which is plain cheese and then the strip selection because then the team tries to strip the ball every play and that just isnt realistic at all.

    As far as the dline and coverage and such no big deal. I sorta like the ability to move my zones up or back.

    Jump snap may be a issue not sure.
     
  3. Razcalking1978

    Razcalking1978 OFFL TeamBuilder Commish

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    I know when AG and I last played, we made the deal to not use these at all. If I can, I'm going to make that deal in every user game I play. AG managed to kill my FB running game quite well in that game.

    Unlike going for it on 4th down, when these are "appropriate" is a tough call. If I have you backed up to your 1, would it be appropriate for me to put jump snap on to try for the safety?

    I can definetly see your point; I would love it if these things work in a balanced way. But all it takes is one questionable time and we have a situation.
     
  4. DatNDaz

    DatNDaz Walk On

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    I don't see how guessing the direction of a run is cheese. It's a big risk / big reward type of thing, and it happens in real football. If you're calling middle run every time as a way to get absurd amounts of pressure on a QB, that's cheese. But if you've been getting pounded by the run all game and you have an important 3rd & 1, you might want to take your chances and try to guess the direction. A run the other way, or PA pass will kill you though (I can verify that with my own experience).

    Telling your team to aggressively try to strip the ball is also realistic and happens in real football. If you're down 14 in the 4th quarter, it's very realistic for a coach to tell his players to aggressively go after strips and interceptions. It shouldn't happen for an entire game though. And if going conservative on offense effectively counters your risk of fumbling (which in my limited experience I haven't seen otherwise), then it adds a positive strategic element to the game.

    Jump the snap isn't a problem if it can be countered by your cadence on offense (fake snaps), resulting in offsides penalties.

    I agree that the short and deep zones are a good option.

    We need to keep in mind that fumbles happen, and in this game they can be pretty random and in bunches. So having one game where it looks like a guy is killing you with an aggressiveness setting shouldn't cause us to throw out the baby with the bathwater. We need to see a trend that these settings don't have a counter. If they can be countered, then it's just about using them in the appropriate way, which we should be able to handle, and which is pretty easy for an opponent to tell if you aren't.
     
  5. DatNDaz

    DatNDaz Walk On

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    Also want to add, from a pretty limited sample, it's my opinion so far that someone overusing these things will get burned more often that he will benefit. For example, in a recent online game, I noticed that the other guys defenders were tring to strip the ball on the first couple plays. I switched to conservative, and he took 4 or 5 facemask penalties. I never fumbled. If this turns out to be the rule rather than the exception, then these things probably don't need to be policed.
     
  6. jello1717

    jello1717 "Those who stay will be champions." -- Bo

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    I can't believe I'm going to say this about a Notre Dame guy, but I think Dat makes some good points. I've said it in the past, but I think that almost all of the gameplan settings are counterable, especially the major ones.
    • To this date, I have still never, ever been stipped when I went conservative, even when my opponent used aggressive stripping. I have fumbled the ball while on conservative by a big hit(which has nothing to do with aggressive stripping), but never stripped.
    • I've had people use aggressive running against me and break tackles left and right, but they definitely do fumble the ball more often.
    • Aggressive D-line can be countered by fake snapping the ball, but this also causes the offense to false start. Because of that, you can't fake snap too much. I think that aggressive D-lines have by far the biggest reward/risk ratio of any of these settings because of this.
    • I haven't toyed around much with aggressive interceptions so I have no idea if it really increases interceptions and/or increases your chances to get burnt.

    For defensive keys, situations like Dat mentioned where someone keys middle every single play is a serious problem and needs to be banned imo. I would think that we wouldn't need to worry about stuff like that here, but in one of our leagues, it appears as if someone has done just that in a user game. I also agree with Dat that run commits in certain situations (most notably goal line and short yardage situations) would be fine, especially with the effectiveness of FB dives this year. Even if someone doesn't abuse FB dives by calling them a lot, all they'd need to do is call them in crucial situations and they'd have high confidence that it'll succeed. Also, if you key one direction and the back goes another, you're going to have a lot of defenders staring at the back of the ball carrier's jersey.

    I think I wouldn't have a huge problem with run commits in running situations, but even then, I think that run commits are certainly over the top. Using run commits in passing situations is a serious issue in my eyes. But even in run situations, it's still a problem. If it's a running down and you want to surprise the D by doing a play action pass, your QB had better be damned light on his feet or he'll just be sacked by the run committing defenders. In real life, if a defense sells out against the run and you PA pass him, you should get a nice gain. In NCAA '10, this frequently won't be the case.
     
  7. jello1717

    jello1717 "Those who stay will be champions." -- Bo

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    It looks like Dat and I were writing at the same time and we made a lot of the same points about gameplans. However, he also wrote this:
    I would agree if defensive keys would do something like slant all your guys to one side, but that's not what happens. With run commits, the defensive guys all go in 1 direction and they all get a turbo boosted rocket shoved up their ass to boot. If it weren't for the rocket, it would be fine imo.

    But like I said, in short yardage/obvious running downs, I think run commits are fine and is certainly a risk/reward thing (no gain/short loss reward if you're right, possible huge gain if you're wrong).
     
  8. DatNDaz

    DatNDaz Walk On

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    Jello's probably right about the d-line. The fake snapping needs to create far more offsides than false starts if aggressive d-line is called. If it doesn't, then we should probably ban it.

    Also with Jello on the Int thing. I just don't know. But I haven't seen it to be a problem in any way yet.

    It's true about the run commit / PA thing. It could very well lead to sacks. But this game also defaults to sending everyone on a pass route in most plays. If you have a 3rd and 1 and want to try to burn the D with PA, you need to hot route as many guys to block as you can. However, I can say in the game I played where the other guy was run committing every time, that while PA sometimes worked/sometimes got blown up, a quick slant or something like that absolutely burned him, so that option is viable as well.
     
  9. BRUCE80

    BRUCE80 Let the dirt just shower over you..

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    The thing is these are EA features not real football. So while it may be realistic on a football field in real life the way EA implements it can and usually is far from realistic.

    The guess run thing is lame, yea it can be burned but it also reminds me of Tecmo bowl where if you called the right play on D you swarmed the O. Teams guess all the time sure but that doesnt mean it works all the time. But if you guess right in this game it will kill the play, imo not realistic.

    Yea it can be burned but is that the reason to allow it? Or is it a vastly overdone feature that needs to be severely limited?

    The strip the ball thing sure teams try to do it but not like its done in the game. But for the point of this being a video game I think if your down late and need a big play it should be fine. I have seen it used from the start of the game all the way to the end. To me it ruins the experience.
     
  10. Archie Griffin

    Archie Griffin Walk On

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    I think we have settings that create pressure and enhance D-line play. If we're going to allow this stuff, then we need to tone down the already substantial rush. My preference is to simply not use them. Need a strip - make a tackle and do it manually. The aggressiveness settings and keys are really odd-looking, and they're just not fun.

    However, I haven't seen a problem with WR keys as of yet. I wouldn't have any problem keeping those for now.

    I'd like to ban all this EA created cheese. Our sliders should create the desired effect. That's my opinion.

    AG
     
  11. JHeb

    JHeb Sooner Magic

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    I tend to be on the same page as Dat and Jello...We should come up with a good but not overly detailed "Can and Cannot Use" list or explanation we can post in our dynasty's. I don't think they should be banned all the way, but should be very limited.
     
  12. Shaun Mason

    Shaun Mason Keepin' it 1hunnah.

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    I like this rule: Don't be a douchebag.
     
  13. Archie Griffin

    Archie Griffin Walk On

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    Funny.

    Don't make me play the card.

    Seriously, though, regulating will be near-impossible, and we're going to fight about this endlessly if we allow it in. If we institute a set of rules, think about what comes next -

    Posts about who might have abused those rules, disagreements about what is misuse, etc. It's all coming. It's something we simply can't police, and the cheese accusations will happen fairly regularly.

    AG
     
  14. DatNDaz

    DatNDaz Walk On

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    We're always looking for ways to keep the game fresh, and I think EA might have actually given us something good here, but we're talking about throwing it out before we understand it.

    It seems like we're split down the middle, but I haven't seen an argument from the "ban" crowd that any of the settings can't be easily countered or are grossly "un-sim". In fact, Jello and I have both seen that if effectively countered, using/overusing these settings almost always backfires.

    What ruins this for me is something like when a guy run commits up the middle on every play because he thinks it stops everything. It's unrealistic, looks stupid, and isn't fun to play against. Guys in this league aren't going to do that though. If we feel we need a restriction on Keys, I'd say 3rd/4th down or &goal situations is a good guideline. I think "Shaun's Rule" can be effectively applied here though. If I come out and run a toss sweep right on 3 consecutive first downs, I'm not going to be upset if my opponent keys on run right the next time.

    All I'm asking is that we give these things a fair look. I think we saw some fumbles/facemasks early on because guys were playing with these things on all the time and we got a bad taste in our mouths. After a few weeks though, my still-early opinion is that EA might have actually done a decent job here. However, if we see evidence that it's over-the-top / unfair, let's ban it then.
     
  15. Archie Griffin

    Archie Griffin Walk On

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    The new sliders jack up the D-Line play in a huge way. These guys don't stay blocked for very long.

    Adding to that might be overkill. When guys start jumping all over the place, and busting blocks like crazy, guys are going to have a problem. In my opinion, the new sliders negate the need for defensive keys. And like all things EA, it's overdone. The response to keys is like guessing the play in Tecmo. I'd like guys to make plays after the snap rather than before it.

    Guys in this league are pretty cool, but any advantage we give will be overused, and issues will arise. I could maybe get with a 3rd and 4th down kind of thing, but I wouldn't be real happy about it.

    And I'll have my "I told ya so's" ready and waiting.
     
  16. DatNDaz

    DatNDaz Walk On

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    Good point about the slider changes, but let's just see how it plays out before we make a decision. Plus, we don't really know what impact these sliders have on user games, I'm guessing none, which is where the Game Plan / D Keys really come into play (user games). And I understand the Tecmo Bowl comparison and the "un-sim" feelings that raises, but that's what makes the feature work as high risk/reward. If it was just a glorified line slant, there would be little point in it.

    I've never been good on the sticks. If I have success it's usually because of strategy & balance. I don't get big hits (1-2 a game, maybe), user strips (ever), rocket catches (don't know how), or user picks (ever). I guess you could say I "make plays before the snap". This is probably why I'm into this sort of thing and hate to see it killed before it's given a chance.
     
  17. Razcalking1978

    Razcalking1978 OFFL TeamBuilder Commish

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    I don't see any counter to the Aggressive Snap Jump. Sure, go ahead and fake snap me - you'll get penalties just as much as I will.

    And if we allow Defensive Keys, then they're allowed. Period. If I think you're going to run up the middle on most plays, then I can call Run Middle as much as I want.

    Basically, if these are allowed, then I'm not going to risk losing to them by not using them every time I think it will give me an advantage.

    I guess what I'm saying is that if this crap (and that's what I think it is) is going to be used against me, I'm sure as hell going to use it back.
     
  18. Basis4aDay56

    Basis4aDay56 Walk On

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    I tend to agree with Raz on this. I would be in favor of agreeing to terms while scheduling games. If someone doesn't abide by the terms, the other guy plays the cpu. However I don't think we would see any problems really.

    There are definitely realistic situations these could be used, and certain gameplan things that aren't over the top. I can see potential abuse though. I don't want to be in a situation where I have to try to figure out how to beat the gameplan features, keys, AND opponents playcalling. That is just my $0.02.
     
  19. jello1717

    jello1717 "Those who stay will be champions." -- Bo

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    I'm not sure why this particular rule would have to be so black and white. It seems like we have other "grey" rules. IE:
    If we have so many other "you can do this in that particular situation" rules, why do you think that this one has to be different?
     
  20. Archie Griffin

    Archie Griffin Walk On

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    I don't know how this will end up, but I will let you all know now that I will ask all of my opponents to agree not to use these. If they want to, and they remain legal, that's fine - I'll use them back, but it looks like Raz and I already have an agreement.
     
  21. Razcalking1978

    Razcalking1978 OFFL TeamBuilder Commish

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    Because unlike goalline formation or going for it on 4th down, I can come up with a "reasonable" explanation for using defensive keys, jump snap or ball strip on every single play in the ball game. I could use them to gain momentum, protect my lead, gain back the lead, confuse my opponent, demoralize the opposition, etc, etc, etc.
     
  22. Colemanchu

    Colemanchu GOAT SPLITTER

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    Why can't we just outlaw the ridiculous arcadish run commit. As for the strategy side couldn't we turn down the false start penalty to combat the jump snap thing? I don't see too many false starts in football anyways. Plus I still think it will be sticky trying to outlaw those because there will be times when a play goes against you and you will have to wonder if it was the opponents skill and playcalling, or if he used the agression slider.
     
  23. DatNDaz

    DatNDaz Walk On

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    I guess you could, but what we're saying is that it would likely cause you to lose.

    You guys all keep talking like you've determined that these things are a major advantage if you use them. Jello and I are telling you that we've actually used them and paid attention, and you get burned more often than you benefit by using these things.

    This is what I keep saying that you guys don't address - If the risk is greater than the reward, then there's no need to limit them. Anybody with any sense at all would limit their use to situations where the risk is worthwhile (3rd & short, goalline, maybe to go for a safety - but you risk giving up a 98 yd TD). Guys who think they can ride these things to easy wins will get beat repeatedly.
     
  24. jello1717

    jello1717 "Those who stay will be champions." -- Bo

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    That's close to my opinion. To break it down as far as risk/reward goes here's how I see it:
    Column 1 Column 2
    Situation risk/reward
    aggressive stripping too risky for the rewards especially if opponent goes conservative. Then it's all risk and 0 reward
    aggressive jump the snap vastly greater reward compared to risk
    aggressive running the ball too risky with the fumbles compared to broken tackles
    run commits against the run very risky if you guess wrong, but great reward if you guess right
    run commits against the pass in a passing defensive formation Haven't done this, but have had it done against me and seems to be almost all reward
    aggressive big hits pretty even risk and reward. Can definitely miss tackles and get burnt, but big hits have a chance to force a fumble


    As far as the "turn down false starts to combat aggressive JTS" argument goes, I don't know if this would work. Yes it would help combat this and I think that aggressive JTS is almost all reward with very little risk (since the offense is just as likely to false start as you are to go offsides), but changing this ration could hurt defenses that don't use JTS like users who choose not to and the CPU. Ideally there'd be a ratio such that normal JTS will go offsides 50% of the time and offense would false start 50% (or whatever ratio is appropriate under normal circumstances). This same ratio would make it such that aggressive JTS will come offsides a lot more often than the offense would false start. Then the offense can use fake snaps effectively against aggressive defenses while it would be as dangerous to themselves as it is to a normal defense. I'm just not sure that there is such a slider ratio.
     
  25. DatNDaz

    DatNDaz Walk On

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    I don't care if we ban the d-line JTS setting. Not a huge deal, and if fake snaps still cause as many false starts as offsides, not worth changing sliders to fix it.

    The rest I pretty much agree with based on what I've seen so far.

    As far as run commits against the pass - this is the thing I'm most unsure of. I know I was able to beat it pretty regularly after a half of getting crushed by it. I could see guys getting pretty frustrated with it though, even though one half isn't a very long adjustment period and I'm guessing over time we'd know exactly what to do. But this is the main reason I could see for needing a 3rd/4th down & short and &goal limit on defensive keys. I really hate banning this feature altogether and giving up the ability for the defense to take a risk to get a big 3rd down or goalline stop. FB dives are just too difficult to stop without this.
     

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