NCAA Football 12 Road to Glory Impressions

by
Posted July 11th, 2011 at 3:45 pm

Yesterday I posted my overall impressions of NCAA Football 12 and included some brief thoughts on Road to Glory mode. Largely neglected since debuting as ‘Race for the Heisman’ in NCAA Football 06 and also going by the ‘Campus Legend’ name for a few iterations the career mode now adds in motivating factors establishing more of an investment in progression for users however some underlying issues remain.

High School starts with creation of the player including selection of a single position or both an offensive and defensive position in order to play both ways. Then comes the the selection of three colleges of interest. They are tracked and display interest levels for the particular positions. Earning XP will increase their interest and enough of it (which varies based on college prestige levels) will earn a scholarship and a better place on the depth chart going in as a freshman.

Other colleges will also jump in when they become interested. In my case they were in my player’s region – Idaho, Washington State, Boise State, and Oregon State. Presumably earning enough XP could get any college involved in the process.

High School though is a terribly tedious time. Playing both ways means the games go about twice as long. Considering they are so dull and the CPU plays so poorly I ended up simming the second half of the season and coming back in for the playoffs. XP isn’t earned when simming however. Still I was able to collect enough by extending the season all the way through the playoffs and winning State in order to get a handful of offers.

When playing both ways the XP builds by individual position. Some schools will have high interest in one position potentially offering a scholarship while showing less in the other. It ends up making for an interesting choice when the time comes to choose a school. Only one position can be played in college so the decision has to be made.

Players can accept a scholarship – with which they are given an XP bonus – or choose to attend a school as a walk on. Every school lays out the position on the depth chart that will be the starting point. Most of the walk on options were 4th and 5th string however some lower prestige schools or those who run certain systems were still offering 1st or 2nd string opportunities. I noted Georgia Tech offering a starter role as a walk on receiver and figured that’s because they don’t throw the ball that often.

Once into college that is when the mode starts to really become compelling. Coaches’ Trust comes into play and XP points can be spent on ratings boosts. Positional battles can also enter in though as a starter I’m just told after each practice that my current position on the depth chart is safe.

Coaches’ Trust is the most interesting new element. Players will come in at different levels – as a starter I came in at the “Starter” level. Making positive contributions on the field will earn ‘trust’ points. There is also the possibility to lose ‘trust’ by playing poorly. As a receiver however I’ve only seen that happen on dropped passes and the loss is insignificant.

At WR points have been given for catching passes, yards gained, touchdowns, and on reverses for yards gained (or a deduction for losing yards). What I quickly realized was my instinct to sim run plays was misguided. A “lead block” earns +10 ‘trust’ points and those are easy get. I simply hunt for someone to knock on their ass with the right stick and pick up +10 for each one on a given play (sometimes I get several). Those points seem to be earned even when a run isn’t coming my direction. Because of this I’ve earned more points for blocking than receiving.

Along with XP both can be earned in practice as well as the games. 25 reps are given. The very first practice when I was just feeling things out I earned 1200 XP and a decent amount of ‘trust’. That seemed like a lot at the time but I’d imagine QB and RB can earn much more considering how often they touch the ball.

The different Coaches’ Trust levels offer different rewards. Move up to a “Captain” and receive the ability to pick from three plays instead of being assigned one to run (up to five times in a game). Reach ‘Hometown Hero’ and be able to call hot routes at home. The pinnacle is “Team Legend” where up to 20 times in a game you would have the choice to pick from three different plays.

After just four games and practices I had earned an upgrade to “Veteran Starter” which sounded premature. Now after five games my player is very near achieving “Captain” status. Sorry, but this doesn’t scream “Team Captain” to me: Freshman WR, 19 receptions, 171 yards, 1 TD through five games.

At certain positions and using the XP to purchase ratings boosts (which is the mode’s intended use of XP) it would be possible to get a player’s rating up as high as 99 even in the freshman year. Gaining enough ‘trust’ to move up several steps in a single season is also obtainable.

Once to a 99 rating what more is there to the mode than just playing games? It takes any challenge and sense of achievement out of the picture. If someone just wants to play that way then provide the option to start out as a 99. The mode should be designed otherwise to provide a RPG feel as players improve their skills and team stature over the course of years not just a few games.

Looking at the mode as a whole the players are rewarded for putting up numbers and not necessarily for playing well or being consistent. As a receiver no reward or penalty is based on running the right routes, or running backs picking up a critical block, of defensive tackles collapsing the pocket and leading to a sack or forced pass. Until credit is properly distributed it will be a mode based solely on putting up numbers instead of helping the team win.

CPU play calling is improved, especially as it pertains to running individual team styles, but problems still crop up at times. As a receiver being sent on a fly route when in the red zone (had it happen as close as on the opponent’s four yard line) is a waste of a play. The CPU performs pretty well once to college but basically it holds all the positives and negatives of the gameplay in general – play on defense and see the CPU sacked a ton for example.

Quarter lengths are not adjustable and the option is not given to select the uniform to be worn before each game. These have been requested as options over the years but as it stands now way too much XP and ‘trust’ would be earned in longer games so they’ll need to find a way to change distribution levels depending on quarter lengths. Also keep in mind that time still doesn’t run off the clock like it should. Non-dead ball situations see only eight seconds run off the clock from the end of one play through the break of the huddle.

One big graphical difference between the standard game and Road to Glory comes with the crowd. The crowd becomes much less defined, is more sparsely populated, and blends together at a distance. Frankly the crowd looks terrible and sorely stands out in what otherwise is a largely beautiful game.

Understood is the idea that as an individual player there is no need for commentary. That is a big part of the blandness however being left with just the PA announcer. Maybe if there was something more be it better crowd noise, some sort of emotional factor on the field, or coach interaction and talk from him then maybe that would spice things up. (Edit) Turns out commentary can be turned on but only for college. The option is in the ‘System Settings’ area of the RTG menus.

The biggest problem with Road to Glory is that it still favors positions that rack up stats. QB, RB, and to an extent WR have a huge advantage over any defensive position. I always want to play as a corner but no credit is given for shutting down a receiver. Since the CPU intentionally (still after all these years) avoids throwing the way of the user the opportunity to gain XP or Coaches’ Trust is much more rare and there is a sense of being completely uninvolved which saps the enjoyment level heavily.

The work that went into Road to Glory is appreciated as the concepts are sound…they just don’t seem properly balanced. In the future more elements such Coaches’ Trust and ratings distribution should be added to manage, an emotional factor needs to be instituted in order to really feel involved, and proper evaluation of every position has to be instituted. Until then it will be a fun mode that in what it lacks keeps it from being great.

  • Jz

    I never play this mode in games though after hearing about it latley I thought it would be cool and fun to play. But it seems 100% broken and everything ive heard and read is you will be a 99 overall very fast. EA makes it so its not a suprise that its broken.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_HTQIVF56H6M7SJ2RFXAD5BYWWE Meemvv Meem

      lets go———wwwjordanforworldcom

  • HR33

    thanks for this. hate that only a few positions are any good to use

  • http://twitter.com/MaSTASoLIDUS MaSTA SoLIDUS

    I’ve heard you can turn on commentary. Haven’t seen that confirmed though.

    • http://pastapadre.com/ pastapadre

      Yep just found the option. Can be turned on for college (not High School)

      • Sdot

        GOOD WRITE ^^ PASTA I LUV’D DID MODE WEN IT 1ST APPEARED

         (BAC WEN U HAD 2 PIC A MAJOR & TAKE XAMS 2 STAY ELIGIBLE DATZ WEN DIS MODE WAS @ ITZ BEST)

        • Sdot

          DEN 2K11 GAV A GLIMPSE OF HOW COMPEELIN DA SINGLE PLAYA ASPEC COULD B N A TEAM SPORTS GM

          & I WAS HOPIN EA WUD TAKE & ADD SUM THINGS FROM 2K “MP” 2 RTG MODE BUT DEY DIDNT SO I AINT F’N WIT IT

          I WANT DEM 2 DO DIS MODE RITE DEERZ NOTHN BETTA N COLLEGE DAN DA LIFE OF A STUDENT ATHLETE 2 BAD ITZ SO BLAND N NCAA

          • Sdot

            COMPELLN*

          • ClemsonPoker

            Compelling*

            Not to ruin your ‘street cred,’ or whatnot.

          • Sdot

            U CUD NEVA RUIN ME LIL MAMA DONT FLATTA YASELF

          • FlavoringArt

            Dude, seriously, learn to spell, put the controller down, and pick up a spelling book, or turn on PBS and watch Sesame Street

          • ClemsonPoker

            Compelling*

            Not to ruin your ‘street cred,’ or whatnot.

          • Chuckg8732

            why do you type like that??theres no need to talk like a retard online its easier to just speak english then talk like a “cool guy”

          • Smitt

            Speak english. You sound like an idiot. It truly takes a monster effort to take you seriously.

        • Whahadin2datboi

          What?

  • http://twitter.com/Starfoxleon The Great Leon

    I rarely played the RTG mode in past NCAA’s. But I am willing to give this one a try.

  • pablo

    Hey pasta great article, do u know if you are able to return kicks and punts this year? I usually make a saftey and enjoy the mode but the one big problem I have is not being able to return kicks.

    • http://pastapadre.com/ pastapadre

      I don’t *think* its possible to become a returner. I’m not 100% certain on that.

      • Dan Da Man09

        Yeah you can, it says so in this statement:

        “Once in college, student-athletes can only advance on their team’s
        depth chart (or call their own plays or audibles if a quarterback) when
        they have earned enough “trust points” from their coach. The player can
        also become a punt/kick returner if they choose to be a running back or
        wide receiver.”

        • http://pastapadre.com/ pastapadre

          Cool…I haven’t come upon that opportunity I guess. Not sure how it presents itself. 

        • ballsucker69

          i wish they had that for cornerbacks and safeties too, because i wanted to make a corner like patrick peterson from lsu.  unfortunate that corners still don’t get any love in this game.

  • Conwaywest2020

    Until they actively attempt to place a story around the mode (a la Fight Night Champion) or make it so you can actually build a character/life around a player, the mode is pointless.  Why not add personality traits?  Why can’t I go to Terrell Pryor’s place, smoke a blunt and roll around in my new whip someone so happened to graciously lease to me?  

    I’m half kidding here, but this mode is complete ass at this point (same with the Madden version) and should be scrapped altogether until they can make it at least somewhat compelling.  

    • http://twitter.com/bigsupes2232 deen cain

      IMO madden’s superstar mode is much worse. in college at least there’s a little bit of urgency (at least if you’re at a smaller shcool) to try and win a national championship in four years but in madden it just gets really tedious. most people i know don’t even bother with superstar mode at this point

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1499293051 Rock Miller

      Madden 07 had the best Superstar mode by far.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1499293051 Rock Miller

      Madden 07 had the best Superstar mode by far.

  • Anonymous

    On defense they need to input a shut down factor. Ex holding a receiver to under 50 yds, an impact receiver to under 75 yards. Jamming a receiver off the line. Holding a runningback to under 75 yds an impact runningback to under 100 yds. More or less you should get achievements for a total defensive game. If your defense holds the opposing team to under 300 yards of total offense let me get some points! (just an ex.).

    For linebackers and DEs if i disrupt the pass play if thats through hitting the QB or deflecting a pass i should get points. You play linebacker and hit the QB to where he throws a bad pass and it gets picked but you get no points, kinda like i wasnt even a part of that whole thing yet it wouldnt have happened if it wasn’t for me.

    For corners you should get bonuses for smaller achievements ex getting 5 tackles in a game should come as a boost cuz playing corner youre never gonna get 10 tackles unless youre out of position. deflections and interceptions should be even more valuable cuz you dont see the whole field you see about 10 yards to the left or right and in front, its not like safety where you vision the whole field.

    Point system should be cut in half between Heisman and Freshman, If you play on Freshman then you should be able to be a 99 by time youre freshman season is over. If youre on Heisman then you work with what ya got, if youre good and you can make a 75 overall runningback good then you deserve to get to 99 by time youre a senior. If youre not then it should be that you need to adjust your difficulty level or deal with being an 83 overall by time youre a senior.

  • http://pastapadre.com/ pastapadre

    Also I should mention…I didn’t do much in High School. 1TD at WR (a bunch of catches just more of a possession receiver) and no picks on defense just a couple tackles and a forced fumble. I still went into college as an 80 overall. 

  • Anonymous

    Can you use downloaded rosters in your RTG?

    • http://pastapadre.com/ pastapadre

      Nope.

  • Pingback: NCAA Football 12 Road to Glory Impressions – Pasta Padre | USA Baseball America

  • Guest

    Will u hav roster names ready for tonight?

    • http://twitter.com/Starfoxleon The Great Leon

      He doesn’t do names he said in another post but he said he will inform us.

  • Guest

    Will u hav roster names ready for tonight?

  • SSRuns

    I read somewhere that once in college there’s an option to change your uniform? Have you found that option yet?

    • http://pastapadre.com/ pastapadre

      Not that I’ve noticed but maybe I missed it or wasn’t paying full attention to that.

      • Miamiheat2442

        You can change uniforms before college games 

      • Miamiheat2442

        You can change uniforms before college games 

  • Jordanlray

    Are you forced to play RTG playing both positions in high school?

    • Jordanlray

      Never mind. Didn’t see it but you answered my question.

    • Jordanlray

      Never mind. Didn’t see it but you answered my question.

  • Jordanlray

    Are you forced to play RTG playing both positions in high school?

  • Dylan_tufts

    what would you rate the game? and would you recommend it to football loving gamers?

  • Dylan_tufts

    what would you rate the game? and would you recommend it to football loving gamers?

  • Fofoman23

    Pasta when do you think the named rosters will be ready? I don’t mean to rush you or anything just kinda wondering?

    • http://twitter.com/Starfoxleon The Great Leon

      Pasta doesn’t do the names but he finds out who has them an post an article to tell us.

      • http://pastapadre.com/ pastapadre

        Correct. And my understanding is we’re still probably a couple days away.

  • Fofoman23

    Pasta when do you think the named rosters will be ready? I don’t mean to rush you or anything just kinda wondering?

  • Whygen

    EA seriously needs to take a look at NBA 2K11’s my player mode. That mode is in no way perfect, but in terms of earning XP for helping ur team win it is beyond lightyears Ahead of RTG. I actually find my player fun where as RTG gets boring after a game or two, I usually just create my guy on a team and do a dynasty, sim offense and play as my guy player locked on D.

  • Jwallace0317

    I don’t understand why EA refuses to incorporate an individual player grading system similar to the NHL series, or in My Player in NBA 2K11, where various non-stat-measurable actions can reap a benefit.  In basketball, it’s being in the right position on a fast break, effectively boxing your opponent out on a rebound, etc., and in football it can be running a route precisely, blanketing a receiver if you’re a corner, etc.  That kinda stuff would flesh out RTG play a lot more.

    • 23r32

      question.. i preordered the game.. where do i put the code to unlock nike pro uniforms

      • http://pastapadre.com/ pastapadre

        360? Hit the guide button, scroll over to the left, and there will be an option for “Redeem Code”

      • Rsandin6

        How do you get like team color accessories and like the nike carbon vapor gloves or whatever you call them???

  • Anonymous

    Well I really wanted to buy this game, but after reading this and seeing how absolutely shitty the RTG mode is… well this is no where near 60 dollars lmao. No Named ROSTERS in RTG! again seriously. wow EA is fuckin garbage im sorry. total sellouts. I had hopes and now I can’t play a football game this yr again. smh.

    • ballsucker69

      we could use named rosters last year couldn’t we? what happened?

      • http://pastapadre.com/ pastapadre

        Not in RTG. It automatically generates names, cant load a roster file to start with.

        • justguesting

          Actually it was possible in RTG in 11. I found success with it by simply loading the named rosters prior to starting RTG and declining to generate names when the option was given. Once I completed the high school playoffs and was added to my college team, the named rosters were utilized.

  • Anonymous

    NCAA Football 12 “takes the journey of the college athlete to the next level of depth and authenticity,” per the EA website description.     http://bit.ly/rfJns6

  • Cody Sharp

    A 99 rating after 1 or 2 years?  Does no one even test this stuff at EA?  I know most large software companies use server farms to run specific scenarios looking for bugs but apparently they missed this because it requires human eyes and performance.  Hell, Pasta said he came out of high school as an 80.  A fricking 80  Only the best players in the country should come out of high school with that rating because that overall is comparing them to college players.  How many high school players have you seen that are as athletic as a good, but not great, college player?  Possibly a few.  Probably not ones that had the stat line Pastas said his guy did.  That all makes you think one thing – EA’s testers didn’t even play out a single season of high school ball at the WR receiver position and say, “my rating is way to fricking high for how crappy I played”.

    • Wildfirexxi

      Overall doesn’t matter since you will most likely still have a bunch of very low stats

  • Dododan16

    When i try to download the patch it gives me the error (8002AE22) is anyone else getting this?
    Please Help!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/jastone837 Jason Stone

    biggest problem with RTG mode is the playcalling..several times on 3rdand long i will have to run a draw or some kind of run play. even in the 4th quarter..even if i’m losing..sometimes when you press the trigger to bring up the alternate plays, they are all the same run or similar…the good news is you can exit out of the alternate plays without penalty and run the one that was called…also..having won the national title in RTG..there is absolutely no mention of it or presentation of the trophy or anything..it felt just like the 3rd or 4th game of the season as opposed to winning  the BCS title..really disappointed that there was no sense of accomplishment..but i will say that it is much better game mode than last year

  • http://www.facebook.com/jastone837 Jason Stone

    biggest problem with RTG mode is the playcalling..several times on 3rdand long i will have to run a draw or some kind of run play. even in the 4th quarter..even if i’m losing..sometimes when you press the trigger to bring up the alternate plays, they are all the same run or similar…the good news is you can exit out of the alternate plays without penalty and run the one that was called…also..having won the national title in RTG..there is absolutely no mention of it or presentation of the trophy or anything..it felt just like the 3rd or 4th game of the season as opposed to winning  the BCS title..really disappointed that there was no sense of accomplishment..but i will say that it is much better game mode than last year

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/ABLC757UG25E6RN7OECFE57JLA Daniel

    I HATE the fact you could [theoretically] unseat a Tim Tebow simply by doing well in practice.  Should be SOME logic that says that if the starter is doing what is expected and/or the team is winning, you have to wait, regardless.

    That itself would make your college decision important, as you could very easily sit out a year, REGARDLESS of your overall rating, because you never get your shot because the starter is doing what was expected.  Then you enter the next year, and still have to win a position battle.

    But its EA, and doing something like that is HARD. :D

  • Rob

    anybody having trouble with their player gettin injured. my RTG player gets injured at least 3 times a game. i havent looked at my injury rating but even if it was low, thats still to many  times to get hurt

  • Jrzfnst11

    you actually can pick uniforms in RTG

  • Jaydurand1982

    I am a WR in RTG and I hate. I’m in my soph year at oklahoma and I am the number one guy, but I get few passes. most of the time, I don’t even get to run my route before the a throws to someone else. Not to mention my qb throws about 19 times a game and my RB rushes about 32 times. It is annoying.

  • Wildfirexxi

    lol this article was pretty misleading. Yes, you can get to a 99 overall in a season, but the overall doesn’t matter at all. I was a 99 overall HB with only 80 agi, high 70s spin and juke, no trucking, no stiffarm and very low stamina and injury

  • Mistamac66

    Rode to glory sux I am a running back in mine. I get 5 carries a game if I’m lucky. Not sure how I’m supposed to get into a good college with 5 runs a game

  • http://www.facebook.com/Birdman222 Tayler Beckman

    i wish you could have your player have dreads

  • http://www.facebook.com/Birdman222 Tayler Beckman

    i wish you could have your player have dreads

  • Cmoney2016

    They should let you play both sides in college if you want to.
    It would also make it so much funner if you could return punts and kick offs

  • Cmoney2016

    They should let you play both sides in college if you want to.
    It would also make it so much funner if you could return punts and kick offs

  • Cmoney2016

    They should let you play both sides in college if you want to.
    It would also make it so much funner if you could return punts and kick offs

  • Cmoney2016

    They should let you play both sides in college if you want to.
    It would also make it so much funner if you could return punts and kick offs

  • Jerryehedrick

    The camera angles for defense is also a huge problem. The camera faces the quarterback, so any receiver that gets beyond your defender is out of the screen, then if the ball is passed over the top, the camera swivels around forcing  the gamer to switch the direction their running. This makes it impossible to properly run down a receiver after the catch. 

  • Guest

    u can choose uniforms before the game. This dumbass doesn’t know what he is talking about it’s the best college game ever so far.

  • Ajfadeaway99

    i play on defense as a cb and i have the option to audible but when i try to using the right anaolg stick (ps3) i see some different plays sometimes but i can never change the play in home games or away games does anyone else have that problem on defense if you’ve gotten that far? 

  • Hcterp57

    They should allow us to take kick and punt returns and like you said the corner backs never get the ball there way.Defensive linemen have face a superman Offense of line and it is impossible to get past them.Line Backers i guess are alright but the Offense of line charges towards you and it is already hard enough to make a tackle.

  • Jbahorich92

    NCAA 12 really butchered RTG this year. Last year my guy, FS, would make pics like never before. This year, no matter what kind of player, good or bad, no matter what jumping rating, will not jump for a interception. He’ll just stand there and quickly flail his arms like a moron and give up a touchdown. Ive been playing RTG since it began. I know my routes to the ball and tricks on picking them off. Apparently evey player I use is an idiot. So that is major thing that has pissed me off. The controls are screwed. When I dive to make a tackle, my guy dives in the opposite direction and doesnt come close to making a tackle. When my guy makes a swim move on the line, he trips over himself and it becomes a big hit wiff. Come on. I mean, a lot of the things they did work on are amazing features, but you cant lose focus and forget about the rest of the original stuff. I mean for real, Youre gonna tell me that EA is paying people over 75k a year to forget about managing the controls? That’s pathetic. I love EA, I love NCAA, I love Madden, but come one man. Do your damn job and make it worth my 60 bucks.

  • gater3

    how kan i be a returner? for punt or kickoff

  • gater3

    how kan i be a returner? for punt or kickoff

  • Drivercaleb2

    Thanks for the review. Now I know what to expect this year. But I have really always liked the road to glory mode and just being able to control one player. But you are right. MLB hiesman winner four years in a row. But rookie setting :P

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