While EA Sports has apparently fixed the problem with head-to-head games in Madden NFL 15 Connected Franchise mode not reporting results, another issue seemed to arise at the same time (but may have been happening all along) relating to desyncs occurring in online franchise games. Many users were failing to even get through the first quarter without having their games disconnect due to a “desync” error thus stalling progress in their franchises.
So this doesn’t seem to affect the basic functionality of playing online games such as being able to change your camera angles or any other primary settings but rather those very specific visual displays. It’s probably best just to leave anything questionable set to the defaults in the meantime. A patch is likely at a minimum still two weeks away.
EA Sports has made another crucial server-side update to Connected Franchise mode in Madden NFL 15. Following one a few days ago that addressed some minor issues the latest alters the simulation stats in the mode which had been way out of whack.
The problem was related to touchdown numbers being very low and interceptions extremely high. Based on some quick testing this does look to be much improved with TD numbers close but maybe a little low at the very top and INT numbers still a tad heavy across the board.
35 TDs led the league in the sim (Manning had 51 and Brees 39 last season). Only one starting QB threw in single-digits of interceptions in the sim (Ben Roethlisberger with 9) while names like Russell Wilson, Andrew Luck, Nick Foles, Colin Kaepernick and Alex Smith all stayed out of double-digits last season. There has clearly been a reduction in the total number of interceptions however as the league leaders finished with 8 (same as Richard Sherman last season) instead of a bunch of players having as many as 15.
The biggest concern right now for online franchises are problems with head-to-head games. While EA claims that results are now being reported for those games it seems users are frequently struggling to even get past the first quarter due to “desyncs”. It might also be a good thing to have adjustments made to how funds are handled for “Owners” who have found themselves unable to sign free agents due to a lack of funds despite having ample cap space. For rebuilding or struggling teams it is a downward spiral as revenue drops that may have been made too difficult to recover from and it’s ruining the enjoyment of taking on owner responsibilities.
Server-side updates of course only apply to franchises that have been designated as “online”. In the case of these recent fixes new franchises have to be started as they won’t apply to those already in progress. The only way to reach “offline” ones is with a patch and that first one could still be weeks away.
Having spent considerable time now with both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 versions of Madden NFL 15 there are some slight differences of note between the two. Last November at the launch of the two systems I discovered a slight preference with the XB1 for Madden NFL 25 despite settling on playing PS4 for the long-term.
That hasn’t changed with Madden NFL 15 in either regard. The games are practically identical but the Xbox One version gets the nod in a couple areas that wouldn’t really be identified without trying to make judgments between the game on one system vs the other.
Once again player control feels a little tighter on the Xbox One. I don’t believe this to be game-related but rather due to variations in the controller sticks and buttons/bumpers/triggers. I have the same opinion when playing the NHL 15 demo.
It’s mostly felt in Madden when running the ball as movement tends to be a little more precise. This stood out a lot last year initially but after playing the rest of the time on the PS4 the effects of that faded away as adjustments were made to how the players moved. Only if you were to bounce back and forth between the systems would this become distinctive.
There’s also the vibration in the triggers on XB1 that helps with timing the snap and QBs can draw you offside with it. I do like the way that feels and miss it when I’m playing over on PS4.
In what will hopefully become a trend in attending to consumer concerns, EA Sports now has a status page that lists some of the most pressing issues people are having with Madden NFL 15 in its first few days of release. The company is acknowledging the problems and state that they will update with information when they have more to share.
Right now those include user-vs-user games not recording results in Online Connected Franchise mode, a message some are seeing regarding EA Servers being down, and the inability to redeem the pre-order bonus Ultimate Team packs. All three would presumably be fixed with server-side updates rather than necessitate a patch that would take much longer to address them.
While it released last week on Xbox One, and has been available through Steam since mid-April, The Golf Club has made its way to the final platform. The game can now be downloaded on the PlayStation 4 in addition to XB1 and PC.
The Golf Club is unlicensed (no real golfers or courses) and features an extensive course creator and the ability to share courses with all regardless of platform, no loading times between holes, and online Tours and Tournaments. It’s a unique entry into the space for many reasons that include being self-published, all golfers possessing the same abilities and the complete lack of microtransactions. The company plans to update and evolve the game over time without charging more for the improvements or new content.
An issue has been identified regarding a gameplay stutter for those that have 150+ friends on PSN. According to the official Twitter account for The Golf Club an imminent patch will take care of that problem.
For those possibly looking at making a decision between buying on one vs the other the game runs at a higher resolution (1080p vs 720p) on the PS4 vs Xbox One. The Golf Club is only available as a digital download and is being sold for $ 35.
Mobile games these days are largely dominated by free-to-play offerings that pressure users to spend money. Often it’s about spending money just to be able to continue playing the game rather than the more traditional paying for optional upgrades or bonus content. This has resulted in a reliance on “whales” – the incredibly small percentage of users that account for the majority of the revenue – and creating a game that will hook them. They’d rather do that than make the game fun and inviting with the belief that satisfied users will be more likely to spend money to expand their experience due to a desire to play longer while recognizing the value.
This is where Tap Sports Baseball gets it right and those involved in making those design decisions should be applauded. The game is free to download and really is free to play. At no point will you be stopped from playing because you have to buy the right to continue. Plus you can succeed and field a strong and constantly improving team simply by playing more! TSB is primarily turn-based (you only hit but there are ways to improve your pitching) against other users but there are also games that can be played against AI opponents.
I’ve spent some money on the game to support the developers but for the purpose of evaluating the game I instead used it to buy the likes of different uniforms rather than players. The only deviation from that was the offer of paying $ 2 to get rid of ads which also included a “First Round Draft Pick”. 37 games in without having paid to improve my team I’ve got a fairly strong group together that are at least competitive against teams I’m going up against. I’ve been able to play at the pace I choose, whether that is slower at different points of the day or back and forth with my brother on his phone in the same room completing a game in 10 minutes.
Believe it or not Tap Sports actually rewards you for playing more! You get bonus cash for logging in every day, for getting “achievements”, for completing games whether having won or lost, and for advancing to a new level. They give you bonus “Draft Picks” for many of the same things and you can trade in your inactive players for a “Late Round Draft Pick”.
I’ve yet to come across another sports game on mobile that provides so much positive reinforcement rather than backing people into a corner where they feel the need to spend money or just stop playing the game. When did it become okay to make games that were about putting people into situations where they can’t even play them how or when they want to? Sadly that’s become the way many developers design their mobile games now.
It may be practically dead at this point but it remains important for EA Sports to support the UFC title that launched in June. Having opened to weak sales, and dropping off the map since, the goal isn’t necessarily to capture new consumers (the damage has already been done, interest waned and competition too fierce now) but display a commitment to what is hoped to be a long-running franchise.
The changes that have been made since release in now two patches demonstrates the company has identified why the game wasn’t successful. Unfortunately the reasoning was obvious all along, and they chose instead to design and promote it in a manner that led to its downfall, but if the lessons have been learned that could lead to a significantly improved product when the next iteration arrives likely in 2016. Continue on for the details of the latest patch and who has been added to the roster in the update.
- Three new fighters have been added: Matt Brown, Mike Pyle, and Stipe Miocic.
Users will now have the ability to catch opponents’ kicks during parries if the attacking fighter has low stamina or high leg-damage when throwing the kick. If the parry button is held, a takedown will be initiated.
Users will now be able to add insult to injury with a well-placed taunt. Pressing Left or Right on the directional pad will cause a fighter to taunt their opponent mid-bout.