EA’s “most polished” Madden in years continues to stroll a tough highway. Madden 23 obtained its huge October title replace on Thursday, and with it loads of welcome tweaks to underlying gameplay. However regardless of a bevy of bug fixes, many followers nonetheless really feel like EA isn’t been sincere in regards to the present underwhelming state of the sport and what they see because the prioritization of microtransaction playing over ensuring common modes are glitch-free.
“Right now could have saved Madden 23,” Madden YouTuber Zirktober tweeted yesterday shortly after the October patch notes had been revealed on-line. By the tip of the day, gamers had found a significant bug. Upgrading any of the sport’s “Most Feared Monsters” gamers would routinely lock gamers out of Madden Final Crew, the sport’s extremely monetized aggressive on-line mode.
“Don’t improve any Most Feared Monster Maker gamers as it will possibly lock your account out of Final Crew,” EA announced that night. “We’re at present engaged on fixing this situation and unlocking any gamers impacted.” Just a few hours later the bug was fastened and gamers might use the upgrades once more with out concern of being locked out, although EA nonetheless appeared unclear on the exact supply of the problem. “We have now disabled chemistry choices on Monster Makers in the meanwhile as we’re investigating a problem,” it tweeted.
Whereas the interruption in the end ended up being simply momentary, it was nonetheless an ideal encapsulation of the rollercoaster trip followers have been on since Madden 23 launched again in August. Preliminary critiques had been principally optimistic, adopted by a harsher evaluation by some gamers, together with a number of NFL execs. Content material creators rallied round a short “pack strike” to protest the excessive worth and piss-poor odds of getting nice gamers out of Madden Final Crew’s card packs. By the start of October, some questioned if Madden 23 might nonetheless be saved, or if it’d find yourself being remembered as one of many worst iterations of the annualized cash maker in a number of years.
First, the excellent news. Madden 23’s October Title replace does deal with some core complaints in current weeks. A recalibrated slider appears to be addressing the maddening variety of super-human interceptions gamers had been beforehand witnessing. A disconnect situation resulting in plenty of misplaced progress in Franchise mode was additionally seemingly fastened. CPU groups ought to now not randomly finish negotiations with gamers. Some gamers obtained new face scans. And there have been loads of teaks to blocking, catching, and different core gameplay mechanics.
“Whereas not each situation has been resolved in the present day, extra fixes are coming with future updates as we proceed to actively work to deliver you the very best expertise. We worth and respect your suggestions,” EA wrote. “Our crew is constantly taking it into consideration and dealing on delivering updates all season lengthy.”
However the story with Madden isn’t so simple as considered one of whole catastrophe or full redemption. The title replace additionally claimed so as to add the Jets’ new alternate black helmets, however a number of gamers have been getting glitched white versions as a substitute. Franchise mode can also be nonetheless a blended bag. Whereas some gamers report lastly having the ability to progress of their seasons after beforehand hitting a wall of crashes and disconnects, others are nonetheless encountering the dreaded draft loop bug that sends them again to the start of a season at any time when they end a sport.
One other explicit sore spot stays Madden 23’s discipline passes, a battle cross system just like the one free-to-play sport Apex Legends added simply this yr. Its three tiers—Season, Aggressive, and Concern—have given gamers points ever since launch. Even now, they don’t all the time monitor gamers’ stats appropriately, that means gamers don’t get rewarded for finishing an goal when they need to. As YouTuber This Is Well-liked Stranger factors out, simply getting a cross open generally is a chore, with some gamers nonetheless getting flooded with error messages once they attempt to entry it. After which there are the lacking rewards.
Some gamers weren’t getting rewards for Home Guidelines matches, whereas others weren’t getting Trophy Packs for successful season-length Tremendous Bowls. Cash, used to purchase packs with out spending actual cash, additionally went lacking. EA acknowledged the problems on the finish of final month, however gamers are nonetheless ready to listen to how it is going to be addressed. In the meantime, Solo Battles, a important goal for accumulating different rewards, had been damaged for per week, leaving many gamers to overlook out. It’s a giant downside for a sport wherein the one various is to shell out cash on randomized card packs.
“I’m wondering if EA simply doesn’t understand what a HUGE situation damaged rewards is,” Madden streamer Kmac tweeted earlier this week. “It’s been THREE WEEKS now and so they’re simply dropping new promos like nothing is mistaken. There’s no incentive to play Madden. Nobody can afford the brand new playing cards dropping.”
It’s the stinginess of the cardboard packs—the spine of Madden’s hottest on-line mode—paired with the dearth of acknowledgement of ongoing bugs and misplaced rewards that’s persevering with to foment discontent inside the group.
“Lots of people had been like, ‘Is the Pack Strike over?’ ‘The content material’s actually good, it felt like issues had been higher this morning’—it’s completely not [over],” Well-liked Stranger mentioned throughout his current title replace video. “The bundles do look higher however we ain’t shopping for them. I hope you guys aren’t as nicely.”
A participant who goes by iowaopoly on Twitter has been monitoring pack and stat reroll odds since launch, and continues to imagine they’re a few of the worst in years. That’s regardless of the cardboard packs themselves traditionally making billions for EA. It was one of many few publishers to proceed posting nice earnings this yr whereas rivals like Ubisoft and Activision struggled, totally on the again of microtransactions in sequence like Madden.
“The primary theme of Madden 23 is stuff simply continues to come back out damaged and tremendous costly and it takes days and even weeks to get stuff fastened not directly so gamers can get rewards to get the gadgets and even play the sport so it counts for one thing on progress,” Twitch content material creator Rob Lopez advised Kotaku. Within the meantime, Madden 23 simply went on sale. It’s $20 off lower than two months after launch.