“Signal stealer” attribute in All-Pro Football 2K8

Posted June 15th, 2007 at 5:02 am

All-Pro Football 2K8 Screen 12

In one of the first true hands-on previews to come out, Vetzballin mentioned that there is an attribute for some quarterbacks called "signal stealer".

Joe Montana had one listed for Signal Stealer for his ability to read and know exactly what the defense was doing. Quarterbacks with signal stealer as one of their attributes will be able to see what play you called on defense by pressing the X button.

Not knowing all of the specifics makes it difficult to judge at this point. This was the first we had heard of this particular attribute. However the immediate reaction has been strongly against this idea in general. That is going to be the case unless it is restricted or rewarded, similar to how Madden 08 is dealing with it. If done in the right way, this could add another element of realism to the game.

In Madden, one of the new weapon categories is for a "smart quarterback". The handful of QBs who have this weapon will be able to see the defense's play on occasion. This is only when the defense has called the same play several times throughout the game. The defense also has players that may have "smart" weapons allowing them to view the offense's play (minus the specific WR routes) when they call one too often.

If APF has something similar where possibly an event or series of events triggers the opportunity to recognize the defense that would seem to be acceptable. However if a "signal stealer" can have the defense's play displayed every time that would really be a detriment to everyone. The game would lose a lot of the balance that it has built itself up to offer. No QB, no matter how great they are/were, can know exactly what a defense is doing all of the time.

The "signal stealer" QBs would become a staple on every team. Online everyone would have one. It would take a lot of strategy out of the game as well by doing the work of reading defenses for the user.

The other thing to consider is if other positions have advantages that could counter-balance it. If when selecting the legends for a team, there are attributes that could pay off just as much as a QB that can view the defense's plays, it could lead to people being more creative in how they shape the team. It just seems that even if it was the case, the "signal stealer" QB would be so critical to success in an over-powered way that no one would pass on having one.

I like the idea of accenting the great QBs over the mediocre or poor ones, although I feel that is more necessary to do in Madden than it is to do with players that are all considered "legends". Since QBs are user-controlled, the traditional "awareness" rating has been useless and essentially if you were good in the game you could get any QB to produce well. By giving them different weapons such as Madden has, it brings more of an importance to how good the player that is being used actually is. It also balances out against things such as a poor scrambling QB being more valuable than a good pocket QB.

Until we get the full details on how it works, the "signal stealer" attribute will be a worry for many people interested in the game. In theory the idea of giving certain QBs unique attributes and abilities is a good one, yet it is the execution of such that is so critical.