The holidays are the busiest time of the year, and with many gamers asking Santa Claus for Madden 23 this holiday season, EA Sports is fine-tuning their game before the inevitable holiday rush. Madden’s latest update via Patch #5 dropped a few weeks ago. And after finally finding time to play through some of the changes, I’m ready to break down the good and the bad from the latest update with the help of the Operation Sports community.
While the last Madden 23 update added visual improvements to some players — including Jaylen Waddle’s infamous touchdown celebration — the latest update focuses more on some of the superstars’ abilities and X-factors. Here’s a list of all the players who have received an upgrade in abilities. And, of course, some impressions from myself and the community.
IlluminatusUIUC was pleased with the changes but had some advice for EA’s decision-makers.
“I can’t really argue with any of the players they bumped into or out of the SS/XF rankings (Tucker wasn’t SS already?). Though if the ratings guy is Cowboys-biased like many accuse, bumping AJ, Slay, Hurts, and Barkley while dropping Zeke had to sting. I suppose I would additionally drop Micah Hyde, Chandler Jones, Kyle Pitts, and Kyler Murray, then bump Tua, Justin Fields, Matt Judon, and Sauce Gardner.”
BarfytheOwl shared this sentiment. However, he’s made it quite clear that he thinks Michah Hyde should keep his superstar ability.
“Why drop Micah? He was one of the top-graded safeties before an injury ended his season. I don’t think that’s really a good reason to remove his SS — same thing with EA removing DHop’s X-F because of the suspension. I do agree that Chandler should’ve been dropped, and Murray too. Pitts idk, I’m not sure if his issue is him or how Atlanta has run their offense. Tua and Sauce definitely need to be bumped, Tua to star and Sauce to SS IMO.”
As a Miami Dolphins fan, I agree entirely that Tua Tagovailoa deserves superstar/X-factor abilities. I can also relate to what MoneyOvaHuds said when he wrote, “Giving Roquan superstar (abilities) after he leaves the Bears lol.” After all, it always seemed like players would get rating boosts only after they left my favorite football team, but that paranoia may only be in my head. Nevertheless, many fans should be happy with EA’s attempt to update superstar X-factors and abilities.
There were several authenticity updates, all of which can be found here.
I like how Madden 23 feels post-patch, especially after settling on the right settings and sliders. In the past, I’ve always been a Sim/All-Madden type of guy, but I would still find the game to be unrealistic at times. Examples of this were in the trenches, where the offensive line play was underwhelming. Far too often, blocks were completely missed, resulting in game-changing plays. Additionally, there were times when defensive backs would turn super-human, making plays that would jeopardize the game. And maybe that’s because I’ve been playing the game wrong all along. One Operation Sports member, kahliib, believes Arcade/All-Madden is the way to go:
“A) I’m still on the Arcade/All-Madden train as the game style because of the aggressive nature of the AI Offense
B) I didn’t see as many of those “whiff” animations by the T’s.
– stayed attached in the interaction longer to QB drop point
C) 95+ THP (or Ability) is so needed to fit balls in Mid-Tight windows like Seams or Deep-In routes
– funky transition period where the ball doesn’t seem to keep its velocity, almost like it slows down some
D) Liking the AI QB play in the pocket
– I’ve yet to see that logic where they just continue to drop back and take a sack
E) Weird, but I saw more broken tackles by AI Ball Carriers on Default Sliders than before.
– even WR’s getting in on the action, which I rarely see”
MizzouRah shared this sentiment.
“Post patches, M23 is a fantastic game. I play on AM defaults (everything 50) and make two coaching adjustments each game. On offense, I use “conservative ball carrier,” and on defense I use “strip ball conservative.” Those two simple changes have basically eliminated tackle battles and excessive broken tackles. Those were the two big issues I had with the game.
All-Madden may be the favorite among fellow OS members, but All-Pro is still a viable option for some.
Unlike myself and the rest of the gang, BlackBetty15 has been playing on default All-Pro with 10-minute quarters and is finding the game to be everything they hoped for and more. They’re also pretty certain Madden is best played in competitive mode.
“I am now 100% convinced that Madden is at its best when playing in competitive mode. @Khalib stated this earlier, and it holds true. Arcade mode is good. However, the play art was a bit much, and it’s ridiculous you can’t toggle it. Much like the momentum info on the screen, it’s dumb. I can’t get rid of that graphic.
Back to Comp mode, I have about a 6-game franchise sample size in default AP, 10 min quarters with no accelerated clock. The only penalty I toggled was Intl Grounding set to off. Here is what I am getting:
1. CPU is a true champ at playcalling. I get attacked in a variety of ways, and it seems they scheme to their studs. I played the Colts, and Allie-Cox, Pittman, Pierce, and Taylor were a problem. The CPU is also aggressive as all get out. If the CPU is in “no man’s land” on your side of the field, they are absolutely going four play mindset. I loved it as it was a reflection of how I would go.
2. Penalties, yes, I see them, and shockingly I have gotten 1 DPI PER GAME without messing with any sliders. Not saying much, but on SIM, it was weird. The animation of DPI and OPI was there, and it just wasn’t getting called. I am sure if I messed with some sliders and maybe coach schemes, I could generate more penalties which is kind of dumb, but it’s madden, so what can you do?
3. Animations are nice in regard to the CPU utilizing way more of their abilities than the sim. That’s all I am going to say about that because you have to play it to know what I am saying. I have been loving the variety of moves being used against me, and when watching the WR/defense interactions, it’s been nice.
With this in mind, I am now convinced that my theory regarding SIM is correct. There is definitely too much crap in the gumbo, so to speak. Between the endless player ratings that need to be simplified, the individual player traits, and slider mysteries…this code is not talking smoothly. It conflicts with each other badly, and so when SIM relies on true ratings, well…what ratings is it relying on? The ratings, traits, and other old code are making a convoluted mess. Couple that with penalties nonsense, SIM is a mess.”
JFSolo later added some of his gameplay impressions from the latest update, reminiscing about a 24-21 loss he had in the divisional round of the playoffs.
“Losing in the divisional 24-21, the gameplay team has made some more nice subtle improvements with this update. I’m really enjoying this game a whole lot. My defensive coordinator actually got hired by the Jags as their new head coach. First time this has happened to me since they added the coordinators.
“I know the boosts they get on that level (All-Madden) makes it unpalatable for a lot of folks here, but the CPU AI on All-Madden is such a great challenge to play against now. All positions have been improved from before, with CPU QB play being a standout.”
Regardless of how you decide to play — Sim or Competitive, All-Pro or All-Madden, many thoroughly enjoy Madden 23. Armor and Sword believes this is the best Madden in a long time post-patch, and I agree.
“Most fun I have had with Madden since 16.”
I’m not a hardcore Madden Ultimate Team fan, but whenever I sit down and give it a chance, I want more. However, one of my biggest gripes over the first quarter of Madden 23‘s cycle was the lack of practice mode. Half the fun of building your roster is figuring out the perfect lineup. It’s also nice to finally be able to test out different game styles and skill levels that you may encounter during your MUT journey.
EA also released an update on franchise mode and made minor tweaks to Face of the Franchise mode to better align linebacker and cornerback rewards. As someone that has a FOTF going as a linebacker, this was something that needed to be tweaked. However, I think it can probably be adjusted even more throughout all positions, regardless of offense and defense.
Dev Note: Since Title Update 4 launched, we have been working hard to improve Franchise Mode. Since then we have fixed two of the highest priority issues: the 32 User Online Franchise Bug and the Draft Revert Bug. Rest assured we are not done and are working towards more fixes for you in the future.
With the NFL postseason quickly approaching, EA has Madden 23 playing as well as it has in ages. Sure, we’d love to see more updates to CFM and a completely revamped Face of the Franchise (or just remove it entirely), and maybe some additional gameplay changes, too! But for now, Madden is playing very well in certain situations (the competitive scene seems to be a bit of a mess with some recent tweaks to AP and how it will create Inside Shades spam now). And although many will still find things to nitpick over, this is the best we will get — at least until Patch #6.
I like video games and the miami dolphins.
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