Ok, I took a hiatus for a while, but the petitions for the site return got to be overwhelming so I decided to come back. My first post back is just an update on the status of Madden 09. Not surprisingly, the game needs a patch. In this case two patches and downloadable content. At any rate, if EA actually delivers on their promises then this could end up being a really good game. Why they couldn't just wait until the middle of September to release the game is beyond me. Oh and yes, I realize that Madden cover is "shopped" as the kids like to say, but sue me. I don't care for Brett Favre.
Here is the update from Madden producer Phil Frazier:
There's been a lot of discussion around rosters and patches so i wanted to go ahead and post an update.
For those that manged to get an early copy, you may have noticed that a roster update was recently made available. Many of you also noticed that Brett Favre was listed as the 2nd QB for the Packers. This roster was posted up as a final test of our roster update capability. We're actually prepping a more final roster update that should be available on 8/11.
As for our roster update frequency... Our current plan is to update rosters about every two weeks. This could change based on major roster movement but expect us to drop rosters on an average of twice a month through the Super Bowl.
Yes, I'm finally going to discuss the state and details of the patch.
Regarding the patch status... Yes we submitted a patch to MS and Sony about a week ago. They are currently going through certification and all indications point to them going live some time next week. Please understand that it's very easy for issues with the patch to delay the release of the patch. For example, if MS finds a new bug with the patch, it would easily be delayed by 2 weeks. We're hopeful the patch will drop on or around 8/14.
What's in the patch?
There's a number of changes in this patch. Most would never be noticed by the average consumer but some were targeted at improving the experience as quickly as we could.
1. Changed default quarter length of online leagues to 5 minutes.
2. Solved a very rare stability issue that occured when using a couple of playbooks.
3. Eliminated a button mashing glitch during high latency online games.
4. Eliminated a stability issue that sometimes occured while viewing the player HUB in online leagues.
5. Fixed a tricky disc eject glitch that occured at specific points of online games.
6. Kick Return Tuning - made improvements to help reduce frequent long kick returns.
7. Safety Tuning - eliminated issue where safeties in deep zone coverage would sometimes not react to a run to their side.
8. The game skill slider for interceptions was tuned to amplify it's affect.
What about some of the other early feedback on the game? Keep reading, we're not done.
Patch #2 & DLC
Now that some details for patch #1 have been discussed, it's important to note that we're not done. We think it's very important to continue to improve the game even after it's release. We're actually very happy with the non-patched product but having the ability to patch the game to make it the ultimate experience is fantastic capability that we definately want to use.
We're already hard at work on the 2nd patch and are also evaluating releasing a FREE DLC. Here's a sneak preview of what you might expect in future updates.
Patch #2 Possibilities
Please understand this list is under construction and won't be finalized until we've received more feedback on the final game from the community.
1. Ghost Juking OOB fix - aka CPU players running out of bounds
2. CPU Accuracy tuning
3. Amplify the field degredation effect (the system is currently working but is hidden by some of our late added post effects)
4. Other post-release community feedback
The same warning comes with this one. We're still evaluating these changes and are working hard to get them out as quick as possible.
1. Accelerated Clock
2. CPU Sliders (you would have the all new human sliders as well as a brand new screen of CPU sliders)
3. Legacy Gen Controller Config
4. Madden Community Gamerpics (a variety of gamerpics that will show what community you belong to. make sure your community managers know you want an OS gamerpic.)
We're targeting a mid-September release for patch#2 and the DLC but will give constant updates and screenshots as we progress.
I look forward to seeing all of your very constructive feedback next week when the game is released and will do my best to answer additional questions here.