Full Details on Patch #2 for Madden 09

Posted August 25th, 2008 at 9:23 pm

Details on items that have been fixed with the second patch for Madden 09 are the topic of a brand new blog posted by producer Ian Cummings on the Madden 09 website. Included are the disconnects that have been plaguing online, franchise progression, fixed exploits including the WR Direct Snap and Deep Ball glitches, field degradation, and gameplay improvements. Most of the gripes consumers have had with the game look as though they’ll be addressed in the coming patch. Not sure there is much more you can ask for out of this.

The work on the patch has been completed and is being submitted to MS and Sony on Tuesday. This puts the time frame to expect it to arrive still at least a few weeks out. Continue on to read the full list of issues and workarounds.

1. Kicking play disconnect: If two opponents play a game with two different camera angles, in any situation where a game winning or tying kick was to be made, a disconnect could occur. “ActionCam” forces the game to go into slow-motion to add drama to these late kicks, but unfortunately the Classic camera does not, thus forcing the “disconnect”. This has been fixed…all cameras can still be used as well.

Workaround until the patch: If possible, ensure that you and your opponent have the same camera type chosen before starting an online game.

2. Stability issues in the play call / halftime highlights / postgame highlights screens (especially in Franchise mode after training games): This was a hard one to track down as not everyone was seeing it , we did find the issue however with some Instant Replay / cache corruption, and have a fix ready for patch 2.

Workaround until the patch: Save and re-boot after any point where you have entered the game. We learned that the likelihood of this issue appearing is magnified after multiple loads into and out of the game engine. From what we’ve seen so far, people that have tried playing only one game at a time (or even one Franchise training session at a time), and saving/rebooting afterwards, have had zero crashes.

3. Stability issues with Madden IQ end of game popup: This has been fixed.

Workaround until the patch: Always choose “No” at the Madden IQ end of game popup.

4. “WR direct snap” exploit: Cheesers found an exploit to direct snap to a WR for easy short yardage gain. Not only are we fixing this play (i.e. we aren’t removing it), we are also going to be re-setting records for anyone with a winning record that has been found to be using this play.

5. Franchise Progression / Regression (or lack thereof): The lack of higher numbers was a tuning value that I think everyone agreed was just too low. This has been juiced up so you should see more realistic progression now.

6. Edited players don’t progress: Players were not progressing after their jersey number (or pretty much any other attribute). This has been fixed.

7. Stability issue when exiting Madden ’93 in CE version: This has been fixed.

8. Deep ball glitch: Some enterprising gamers found a way to throw a deep ball while crossing the LOS and hit a receiver wide open at a decent rate. We addressed this by making sure the DB will no longer break on the ball when the QB crosses the line while throwing.

9. CPU running out of bounds: This bug appears when the CPU tries to switch hands while running to the sidelines. This is fixed for patch 2.

10. Penalty sliders ineffective: A common complaint from the hardcore community was the lack of effect from the penalty sliders. We increased these substantially for patch 2.

11. Field degradation: Another common complaint was the lack of field degradation. Our effect was very subtle, which was also getting overshadowed by our lighting and post effects, so we increased this effect for the patch.

12. Stability issue with the Eagles and a full ring meter: We found and fixed a rare issue where the gamer could run into stability issues while using the Eagles in mini-game with a ring meter that was completely full.

13. Play call screen hitch: We found and fixed a bug that was causing a noticeable hitch when exiting the play call screen

14. Prevent Defense issue: We found and fixed an issue where defenders sharing a deep zone/prevent assignment would loosen their coverage (because they thought the other guy was covering for them), which allowed the receiver to get behind them even though they were in Prevent.

15. Brett Favre stats: With the late addition of Brett Favre, we were not able to get his Career and Season statistics into the game for the roster update. This has now been added for patch 2.

16. Defensive Preplay Mis-cue: We found and fixed an issue where defenders would leave their man wide open in a Cover 3.

17. CPU quick-snap: A very common complaint on the forums was the speed at which the CPU snapped the ball. We added a random length of time (no less than 5 seconds) for the CPU to wait and even make pre-play adjustments.

18. Online playbook switch: We found and fixed an issue where playbooks were re-setting to the defaults after the playbook select popup was closed.

The patch is being tested as I write this and will be sent off for verification in the morning, so we are targeting less than a 3 week turnaround from today for this to hit the general public. (Woohoo!) We will also make sure to provide updates as the patch progresses through the 3rd party approval process. As a side note, as of this moment there have been no changes to database schema, so you won’t have to re-start your Franchise or delete any files.

It makes us very stoked to be able to make this many changes for a patch, and do them based directly on community feedback. There are always going to be folks that are upset if what they felt was a top issue wasn’t addressed, but I’ll state again (as I have before) that we have to keep balancing this work against Madden NFL 2010. The longer we keep going on patches, the less we can add to the following year’s product. On a side note, there is also a Franchise stability issue that we have been investigating, and we are working feverishly to get this figured out. We will update on that issue as soon as we can. As for the rest of the items, I personally feel that we have hit a very good balance of top items because many of these issues can actually detract from an enjoyable experience, which is obviously the last thing we want.

And now that this patch is nearly out the door, I figured I’d drop some more good news… We have officially started building the “Sim Madden Gamer” DLC pack, which includes Accelerated Clock, a “Classic” Controller Configuration, CPU Sliders, and Community Gamerpics for 360. I’ll state again that there’s no promise that this goes through, but we have nearly every one of these features actually done’ internally, so now we have to figure out how to get Microsoft and Sony to allow us to release them.