Blitz Elite Leagues
In football, building a successful team is no small feat and one that takes a lot of teams years to accomplish. Of course, once a franchise actually manages to put one together, maintaining and sustaining that success over multiple seasons is a whole different story. Coaches and managers are constantly evaluating their players from a number of different angles in order to give their team the best chance for success, and in Elite League, you'll be doing much of the same. Elite League is the deepest, and my favorite, of our new online modes. It allows you to build your team from the ground up and decide what you feel is best equipped to make your team successful for the long haul.
When you first start off, you'll be asked to pick an NFL team to play as and then give your new team a name. Soon after, you'll be introduced to your starting lineup. You'll notice right away that the players in Elite League are represented as trading cards with an image of the player on the front and their ratings on the back. Your initial team may not be the strongest or best bunch of guys, but they'll definitely get the job done.
Of course if you want to improve your team, you'll need to give yourself more options as soon as possible and the only way to do that is to buy Elite League card packs. Card packs come in three different sizes: 5-card, 12-card and 25-card packs which can be purchased using Blitz Bucks earned from playing games in any of our online modes.
Once you've acquired a few more players, you can then start to manage your lineup which, coincidentally, is done from the Lineup screen.
From here you can see all of the players that you currently have at each position on Offense and Defense. Selecting any of these positions opens up the card viewer which displays all the players you own that are eligible to play at the selected position. Quick pro tip - there are certain positions where you can substitute in a player who normally plays a different position. For example, when selecting the Wide Receiver slot, any Running Backs you own are also eligible to be used in that slot. The question you may be asking yourself is, "why?" The reason is in the ratings. Every player has their own set of four ratings, (Speed, Power, Skill and Recovery), and the values of these ratings represent the real world skills for that player, but Elite League is all about building a team, so it’s the combination of these ratings that’s key. When you combine the ratings for all the players on your Offense or Defense, you get a squad rating which is displayed at the bottom of the Lineup screen for that squad. Squad ratings are what determine how your team will play on that side of the ball. Each squad rating affects the game in a different way. For instance, if your squad has a high speed rating, your Turbo bar will drain slower and refill faster, while a low speed rating will have the opposite effect. Here are *some* of the ways that your squad ratings can affect gameplay:
- Speed – Affects the way your Turbo Bar drains and refills
- Power – Affects the ball carrier's chances to break more tackles
- Skill – Affects the ball carrier's chances of fumbling the ball
- Recovery – Affects a receiver's chances of faking out a defender
- Speed – Affects the way your Turbo Bar drains and refills
- Power – Affects a defender's chance of causing a ball carrier to fumble
- Skill – Affects the chances of your CPU defenders pushing, diving and attempting interceptions
- Recovery – Affects the likelihood of a defender biting on a fake
The cool thing about this system is that it allows you to shape or guide your team to excel in a specific area of the game even if you don't have all the best players. This allows for even lower skilled players to make an impact on your team by contributing to a squad rating that you're trying to focus on.
In Elite League, improving your team doesn't have to be done exclusively through player upgrades at the skill positions though. When you buy card packs, players will make up the majority of the cards, but they're not the only thing can get from card packs, you'll also have access to Power Ups. There are a total of eight different Power Ups that can be acquired in card packs and each one can be equipped into your lineup to change the game in unique and exciting ways. You can equip up to two Power Ups into your lineup at any time and once you do, you'll start to see them appear in game.
There is one catch though…players and Power Ups both have either contracts or uses that deplete after every game. If a player's contract expires or a Power Up's uses run out, neither will be eligible for use in game, so make sure to use your Blitz Bucks to renew them whenever you start to see them getting low. Whenever you have a player contract that is close to expiring, you'll start to see flashing warning signs appear both in the menu where you can select the Lineup screen and on the Lineup screen itself. A yellow warning sign means you have three games left while a red warning sign means that your player's contract has already expired and you won't be able to start a game until you either renew their contract or substitute in a new player at that position.
As you start to buy more and more card packs and acquire more players and Power Ups, your card collection will start to grow, which is a very good thing. Collecting cards is exactly what you'll need to do if you want to improve your team beyond the limitations of where normal card pack players can take you. Each NFL team in Elite League contains twelve different players. When you collect an entire team of players, you'll then have the ability to trade those players in and unlock the opportunity to purchase a Pro Player. Pro Players are the best players on each team and have at least two maxed out ratings along with an infinite contract. Once unlocked, you can go to the Blitz Store and purchase your new Pro Player. Each team has a Pro Player, so there are 32 in total that you can unlock.
But the fun doesn't stop there…trading in all four teams from an entire division will reward you with the top prize, the opportunity to acquire an Ultimate Player. Ultimate Players are the best players from each division and have all maxed out ratings as well as infinite contracts. But wait, there's more…trade in all 16 teams in a conference and you'll receive two extra Ultimate Players for all your hard work! There are only 12 Ultimate Players in total, one for each position, which means that if you manage to collect and trade in every team in the league, you can actually field the ultimate Elite League team, a team of players with all maxed out ratings and believe me, it's powerful.
To help you keep track of your collection, the Team Collection screen gives you a quick “at a glance” view of where you're at with each team. Scrolling between all the team logos will show you which Pro Player will be unlocked when you complete and trade in that team. Selecting a logo will take you to that team's collection page where you can see all the players that make up that team, flip cards that you own to view their ratings and select players so that you can compare them against other players in your collection at that same position.
Just like players, Power Ups can be collected too. When you collect all eight Power Ups you'll have the ability to trade them all in for an Ultimate Power Up. The Ultimate Power Up that's unlocked for purchase in the Blitz Store is random, but it has unlimited uses.
Playing games, earning Blitz Bucks and buying card packs is definitely the way to fill out your collection quickly, and we give you two great ways to do that through the Play Now and Friend Match game types. But what happens when you get down to that last card for a team collection and you just can't seem to get it no matter how many packs you buy? That's where Risk and Reward comes into play. The Risk and Reward game type allows you to play a game like you normally would against a random person using your respecting Elite League teams, however there's a tiny twist. At the end of Risk and Reward games, the winner gets to take any player card from the loser's collection! Not only will you be able to rummage through the loser's collection and take any player card, but here's the best part, they have to watch you as you shuffle through their collection before finally taking their card. Talk about the ultimate insult to injury!
Much like our other online modes, we want you to be able to track your progress in Elite League against your friends and that's where the Records screen comes in. On the Records screen you can see the normal wins and losses for yourself and your friends, but you can also see fun stats like how many packs you've purchased and how many cards you've won or lost in Risk and Reward games.
So I hope you guys are as excited as I am after this preview for Elite League. Next week we'll finally go over these Blitz Bucks that I keep bringing up as well as the Blitz Store and all the cool stuff that you can buy inside of it. In the meantime, don't forget to click on the Forums button at the top of the page and let us hear what you think about what you've seen so far. I'll be stopping through routinely and am always more than happy to answer any questions you guys might have. See you next time.
NFL Blitz Designer,