Hey all, I'm cross-posting this from a forum I more often frequent, as I think it might get more attention here, it was promptly buried where I normally post. Any thoughts or comments are appreciated. Thanks! --- tl;dr - I want better information about players in the league presented more quickly and conveniently to the user so that the user can make more informed roster decisions for his team. --- I think that Madden - and NCAA too, for that matter, but this is a Madden forum - needs to become more accessible to the user with regard to roster management. Let me start with a screenshot of the Madden 13 roster interface. I'll start immediately with the example above - I have no idea who is good at what skills based on what information is immediately presented on this screen, and further I have a tough time deciding starters at DT1 and DT2. I see that Linval Joseph probably should start, as he has the highest OVR rating and has youth on his side, but I have no idea what he's good at, why he should be playing over anyone else beyond the OVR rating, or any particular strategies I should employ should I choose to control him. The picture becomes even more muddy when attempting to pick the second starting defensive tackle; what's the biggest difference between me starting Marcus Thomas, Shaun Rogers, or Rocky Bernard? It's entirely unclear on this screen alone as to how any of these players fit into my defense, what each player's strengths and weaknesses are, or what high-level defensive strategies I should employ or eliminate based on just what I see immediately; I have to go dig for that information by trawling through the massive spreadsheet for specific number comparisons. I shouldn't have to do that much work just to figure out which guy is a better pass rusher, if I decide that's what I want from my DT2, for example. A second example: assume for a moment that I just started a Career mode as the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys. Imagine also that I am brand-new to the game of football and the NFL and that Madden 13 is my first NFL game; I know a few general concepts, such as that teams tend to move the football via running and passing, I know that defenders want to stop the passing game by sacking the quarterback or by intercepting passes. Along those lines, I know generally what the positions are - I know there's a quarterback who throws, running backs who run, wide receivers who catch, offensive linemen who block, defensive linemen who try to break blocks, and defensive backs who try to intercept passes, though I'm not clear on their exact responsibilities. Assume further that I have no specific knowledge about any player about the Cowboys' roster or in the NFL, and that I'm not well-versed on the particulars of the Madden player ratings system (honestly, who is?). A lot of assumptions, but hear me out. I find myself at the View Roster screen looking at my team, and I'm presented with a massive spreadsheet of player ratings, overwhelming me foremost, but I decide to explore it a little bit. I see some of my top players belong on my defense - we'll cull it down to linebackers DeMarcus Ware and Anthony Spencer. The default scheme-specific overall ratings give me an idea that Ware and Spencer are both good players for my defense; assume I changed no defensive options because I don't know what they do. However, I have no idea exactly what my defense is or how to call my defense to put my players in a good position to win. I can't figure anything out about my players without a deep exploration of the roster interface. I could inadvertently set myself up for a lot of failure by dropping Ware and Spencer into zone coverage more often than not; the information about what they excel at is buried deep in the interface, and unless I go looking for it, I'm not going to find it. A third example: let's say I'm playing as the Saints, and assume similar conditions to my previous example that I have only general knowledge. I find have a few good running backs on my roster - Darren Sproles, Pierre Thomas, Chris Ivory, and Mark Ingram. Again, without a deep exploration of the roster interface, I am not going to know how to deploy my players to put my team in the best position to win. I have no immediate idea that Sproles is not going to excel between the tackles but that he's going to be a weapon in the passing game. I have no idea that Ingram is going to be a better option as a between-the-tackles runner. A thought unrelated to any specific example - nowhere on the Madden roster screen is it acknowledged that Dynamic Player Performance even exists. In order to see any DPP trait information, I must select one player and one player only. Comparisons between two players with different traits is unnecessarily difficult, since I can't view more than one player's traits at a time. The various traits further are not incorporated into the OVR rating whatsoever, and I argue they should be; for example, a receiver with "Drops Open Passes: Yes" should absolutely see an OVR penalty compared to a receiver without that trait, IMO. To my point as to how Madden should change going forward: compare Madden's roster interface to a different sports game, NBA 2K13: In less than ten seconds of study and exploration of this roster management interface with the selected team, in this case the Houston Rockets, I have an idea as to how I'd play with this team, despite that I only have a high-level knowledge of NBA basketball. I'd use Jeremy Lin as my primary ball handler, since he has the best Handle rating on my team. I'd use James Harden as my primary scorer and defender; he has the best combination of ratings at inside and outside scoring, and he's also my best inside - outside defender (obviously he's not going to be a force on the defensive block, but nevertheless overall he is my best defender on this page). I see that many players on my team are threats on offense from the outside, so I'd consider making a strong effort to set up more open looks from long distance. I see my team has reasonably high basketball IQ across the board, so I consider calling more dedicated plays rather than simply calling isolations all the time. I see my team is weak on interior defense and rebounding, so maybe I try to make a personnel move to bring in a stopper and cleanup guy down low. There is no comparable accessibility in the roster interface in Madden. I am proposing that that needs to change. Given that there are so many different positions with unique responsibilities in Madden, I first propose repurposing the "All" tab of the View Roster screen to not display individual ratings (arguably except OVR); there's no clear way to prioritize ratings for every position in the NFL when considering all players at the same time, regardless of position. The screen could then be used to display information commonly important to all players: total salary, years left on contract, age, accumulated XP, and Legacy Score are some ideas as to other useful information that could be placed here, which would make that information more accessible to the user and allow the team to remove some redundant screens from the CCM interface. I then propose that the first four ratings I see for a position (i.e. if I scroll to Quarterbacks, I'm no longer viewing all players) vary based on what position. I would do this instead of prioritizing whatever individual ratings are important to that position (for example, I think for QB, the first few ratings that show up are THP, TAS, TAM, TAD, PAC, TOR, and AWR), since those ratings which can be weighted differently based on my scheme settings. The information I'd display instead in the first four columns would be some specific sub-overall ratings, which I propose as follows (the specific ratings checked to calculate each sub-overall rating could be up for debate, but the general idea is what I'm arguing for here): Spoiler QB Range - THP, TAD Precision - TAS, TAM, TAD, TOR, Consistency DPP Trait Intangibles - AWR, PAC, CAR, Senses Pressure DPP Trait, Throw Away DPP Trait, Brace For Hits DPP Trait, Clutch DPP Trait Scrambling - SPD, ACC, BCV, CAR, TRK, ELU, SFA, SPM, JKM, TOR RB Power - STR, TRK, SFA, ACC, Fight For Yards DPP Trait Evasion - ELU, SPM, JKM, ACC, SPD, AGI Receiver - CTH, RRT, CIT, SPC, RLS, Drops Open Passes DPP Trait, Feet In Bounds DPP Trait Reliability - AWR, STA, INJ, TGH, CAR, Consistency DPP Trait, Brace For Hits DPP Trait, Clutch DPP Trait FB Lead Blocker - RBK, IBL, AWR, STR, Consistency DPP Trait Runner - BCV, TRK, SFA, SPM, JKM, ELU, CAR, Brace For Hits DPP Trait Receiver - CTH, RRT, CIT, SPC, RLS, Drops Open Passes DPP Trait, Feet In Bounds DPP Trait Athleticism - SPD, STR, AGI, ACC, JMP WR Playmaker - SPC, CTH, CIT, JMP, Drops Open Passes DPP Trait, Fight For Yards DPP Trait, Clutch DPP Trait Route Runner - RRT, RLS, ACC, AGI, CTH, Feet In Bounds DPP Trait, Consistency DPP Trait Deep Threat - SPD, ACC, RLS, CTH, SPC, Drops Open Passes DPP Trait Yards After Catch - ELU, TRK, SFA, SPM, JKM, CAR, BCV, Fight For Yards DPP Trait, Brace For Hits DPP Trait TE Blocker - PBK, RBK, IBL, PBS, PBF, RBS, RBF Receiver - CTH, CIT, RRT, SPC, RLS, Feet In Bounds DPP Trait, Drops Open Passes DPP Trait Athleticism - SPD, STR, AGI, ACC, JMP Yards After Catch - ELU, TRK, SFA, SPM, JKM, Fight For Yards DPP Trait, Brace For Hits DPP Trait OL Pass Blocker - PBK, PBS, PBF, ACC, AGI Run Blocker - RBK, RBS, RBF, IBL, STR Technique - PBF, RBF, ACC, AGI, AWR Dominance - PBS, RBS, STR, IBL, ACC, High Motor DPP Trait DL Run Support - BSH, PRC, PUR, TKL, AWR Pass Rush - PMV, FSM, ACC, PUR, PRC, Swim Move DPP Trait, Bull Rush DPP Trait, Spin Move DPP Trait Explosion - SPD, STR, AGI, ACC, POW, High Motor DPP Trait, Big Hitter DPP Trait Technique - PMV, FSM, BSH, TKL, AWR, Consistency DPP Trait LB Run Support - BSH, PRC, PUR, TKL, AWR Pass Rush - PMV, FSM, ACC, PUR, PRC, Swim Move DPP Trait, Bull Rush DPP Trait, Spin Move DPP Trait Coverage - MCV, ZCV, PRS, PRC, AGI Athleticism - SPD, STR, AGI, ACC, JMP, POW, High Motor DPP Trait, Big Hitter DPP Trait CB Man - MCV, PRS, AGI, Play Ball In Air DPP Trait Zone - ZCV, AWR, PRC, Play Ball In Air DPP Trait Run Support - PUR, BSH, TKL, POW, Big Hitter DPP Trait Athleticism - SPD, STR, AGI, ACC, High Motor DPP Trait S Coverage - MCV, ZCV, PRS Run Support - PUR, PRC, BSH, TKL, POW, Big Hitter DPP Trait Pass Rush - PMV, FSM, ACC, PUR, PRC, Swim Move DPP Trait, Bull Rush DPP Trait, Spin Move DPP Trait Athleticism - SPD, STR, AGI, ACC, High Motor DPP Trait K/P Power - KPW Accuracy - KAC, Consistency DPP Trait, Clutch DPP Trait Athleticism - STR, STR, AGI, ACC Run Support - PUR, PRC, BSH, TKL, POW, Big Hitter DPP Trait Immediately with these at-a-glance ratings, I would have a good idea as to the strengths and weaknesses of my personnel, just like I have in the NBA 2K games. I get a better idea of how my roster is built to start with, from which point I can more easily decide how I want to deploy them on the field and how I want to improve it going forward. It would open up the game a lot more to new players and allow them to field competitive teams more quickly, as they'd more immediately be able to figure out how best to use given personnel on their team. It would help even veterans of the series access information about players more quickly, particularly with regard to drafted players from any of the game's draft classes who have no real-life counterpart from which expectations may be drawn. It would more easily allow a user to see if he's building his team correctly for a given scheme and defensive front and also help the user keep tabs on the types of players his opposition is acquiring during the roster-building stages of the game. An immediate comment about schemes, this won't make player scheme settings or the scheme-specific OVR ratings irrelevant, IMO; it's simply making player performance information more readily available. The player scheme settings are still paramount for team-building logic performed by the AI. A possible alternative to idea, but to the same end, would be displaying all scheme-specific OVRs for a given position group of players simultaneously; for example, when viewing QBs I'd see his Strong Arm, West Coast, Balanced, Field General, and Pocket Passer OVR ratings. I'd argue those aren't as descriptive as what I laid out above, but it'd be a happy medium and certainly a step forward with regard to quick and more effective personnel evaluation.