Dynasty Improvements

Hi NCAA Football fans, Jordan Peterson here and I’m happy to be the one to discuss the new additions and improvements to Dynasty mode.  Developing new features for such a deep mode that is also a fan favorite is always an exciting challenge.  This year, we have focused on several different areas to improve depth, make Dynasty even more dynamic, and strengthen the existing foundation of Dynasty mode.  Some of the new features include Scouting, enhanced Phone Calls, Dynamic Pitches, Breaking into theTop 10, and Triple Threat Athletes.

The new Scouting experience starts in the pre-season where each Coach will have 20 hours to scout players to determine their actual attributes, eventually unlocking their true Overall rating.  This time in the pre-season is best spent trying to find the most suitable players to fill a team’s needs, looking for gems and trying to filter out the prospects that do not quite meet expectations.  Going into the regular season each Coach should have some knowledge of the abilities of players on their recruiting board.

Once in the regular season, there will be three hours available that can be used to continue to scout prospects already on the board, or to unlock attributes for new prospects that have been added.   Prospects can potentially have a large difference between their actual OVR rating and their projected rating.   For example, you may scout the 5th best half-back in the country, to discover his overall is higher than the top half-back.  Prospects that have actual overall ratings either far above, or below, their projected rating will be identified as either a Gem or a Bust. 

Scouting is done by selecting the amount of time you want to spend on a player in the Recruiting Action popup.  The amount of time spent scouting directly corresponds to the amount you can learn about each prospect.    Keep in mind, depending on the prospect’s position, there will be a varying amount of attributes that are important to discovering their Overall rating.  Athletes will have the most attributes to unlock; however, their unlocked ratings will help determine where they will be most efficient on the field.   

While we’re discussing Athletes, I should take the time to mention that Athletes have also been given a complete overhaul, making them some of the most valuable prospects each year.  These are the premier players in each prospect class who are now truly skilled at two to three positions. In short, they will provide significant flexibility for your recruiting class.  These prospects will not only be able to play at multiple positions, but there have been new position combinations created for the prospects.  For example, previously a QB would only have skills associated with a HB, or WR.  Now, they may be skilled at WR, HB, DB, or in some cases even TE.

Breaking Into theTop 10

Scouting is vital to the recruiting strategy this year, largely because of the changes that were made to how prospects’ interest in schools is calculated.  Prospects will now have open spots in their Top 10 to consider other schools than those on their initial short list.   Previously, it was very difficult, and sometimes felt impossible,to break into a prospect’s Top 10 schools if you were not there already.  Now, if you see an open spot on a prospect’s Top 10, it may be worth adding them to your recruit board.  This may be enough to gain some interest in the prospect, and break into their Top 10. 

This is an excellent way to gain the interest of prospects that simply have yet to be targeted by other schools.  Especially as a low tier school early during the season, it may be possible to gain some interest in a 3 star prospect before the upper tier of schools start looking to fill the gaps in their own recruiting board.   There is some risk involved though; going star chasing for the big prospects can backfire.  If you reach too far, you may find that once the top schools start talking to the same prospect you will not be able to keep their attention. 

Express your interest in the prospect by adding them to your recruiting board, and the following week you will see if you made it onto their Top 10 schools.  Also, keep an eye out on your prospects; you may see some other schools try to join the chase later in the season!

Dynamic Pitches

After scouting has revealed which players you want to recruit, the next step is to sell them on the ratings of your university using the Phone Call system.  However, before I get into the changes made to the phone call, I’d like to discuss just how you can now improve these ratings with the new Dynamic Pitches feature. 

Each school has 14 pitches which can be viewed on the My School screen in the Recruiting hub (Pictured above).  These grades are utilized during the Phone Call, and in the past were practically static with only a slight chance of changing from year to year.  However, they are now dynamic and can be directly influenced through various actions in Dynasty.  I’ll be walking you through each of the pitches, detailing out how the pitch can be influenced, how often they will be updated.

Championship Contender

Championship Contender is based upon Coach Poll rank and updated weekly.  The contender grade will look four years in advance, evaluating the overall rating of not only players on the team, but any prospects that have committed to the university.   The better the recruiting class, the better your championship contender rating will look for the next four years.  Also, if a high quality prospect commits early during the season, you may see an immediate impact upon this grade, helping you recruit other prospects.  The current classes are weighted so that they will count more towards the overall grade than projections for later years. 

Coach Prestige

Each week Coach Prestige is determined by passing, or failing, goals in your contract.  These objectives will have varying impact upon Coach Prestige, depending upon their difficulty.

Coach Stability

The new Coach Stability rating replaces Coach Loyalty and Program Stability.  It is determined by the number of years a Coach has spent at the school, years left on the coach’s contract, their current job security percentage, and the number of times the Coach has renewed their contract at the school.  There is also a penalty for leaving a contract early if it’s not for a better job, so be careful when trying to switch positions in the Coaching Carousel. 

Conference Prestige

Previously Conference Prestige was static and never changed, regardless of how the teams in the conference perform.  Now each week, the conference’s prestige will be evaluated based upon the BCS ranking of the top six schools in the conference.  You are now partially reliant upon the success of the other teams in the conference, so you may find yourself cheering for your rivals.  

If you are fond of creating your own custom conferences using the Custom Conferences feature the conference prestige will now dynamically update after you have made your changes in Custom Conferences.

TV Exposure

TV Exposure grade is now based upon a team’s performance in front of the camera, whether on the national or regional stage. Furthermore, the number of televised games has been slightly increased to more accurately represent the current level of media coverage for college football.  Playing in, and more importantly, winning these games will provide a boost to TV Exposure grade.   Of course, Bowl games and the National championship will also improve TV Exposure. 

 However, be careful, losing those big games in front of a national audience can also have a negative impact on your TV Exposure.  While you do earn the prestige of playing in front of a national audience, losing the big game can also give you a negative reputation of not being able to win the big games.  Nothing is more embarrassing than finally making it to a national stage and then choking against a tough opponent!

Pro Potential

Each team’s Pro Potential rating is evaluated by looking at the draft classes for the past four years.  Improving this grade will require signing prospects with high overall ratings and having them play well on the field once they are at your university.  With consistent positive results in recruiting and on the field, you will see your prospects drafted at higher rounds, which will increase your pro potential.  

Keep Pro Potential in mind when deciding whether to convince a player to stay instead of declaring early for the draft.  Another year playing at the collegiate level could potentially increase their draft stock, or, it may be better off to let them go pro if they are projected at an early round.  While on the topic, I should discuss the new Players Leaving feature, which changes how you convince players leaving early for the draft and transfers to stay with your school. 

Players will now be more likely to leave early based upon their projected draft rank.  Each season there is a mock draft generated, assigning eligible players a projected draft round.  The mock draft is generated based on actual data on how many players are drafted per position each year.  All eligible players are considered for the draft, but it isn’t finalized until after the players leaving stage.  This way, any players that are convinced to stay are replaced by other players that did not initially make it onto the mock draft board. 

How difficult it is to convince a player to stay is largely dependent upon their projected round.  In order to convince them to stay, you once again have to promise something to player, whether it is a higher draft round next year, guarantee an award, or even the national championship.  Coach Integrity ties directly into how convincing the coach is when making these promises to the player.  The prospect will evaluate the new promise and ultimately decide if he is going to stay for another year, or enter the draft early. 

For Transfers, there are now a myriad of different reasons a player may consider transferring from a school, or to a particular school.  A player may request a transfer if a Coach has broken promises that were made during the recruiting promise, coaching changes during the Carousel, not getting enough playing time or perhaps even because they are homesick.  Transfers can be convinced to stay by leveraging a different series of promises focused upon their requirements as a transfer, such as more playing time, or better statistics.

Stadium Atmosphere

Stadium atmosphere is directly driven by the Toughest Places to Play each week.  The more success you have at home by winning games, and creating home win streaks, the more this grade will improve.  It’s now more important than ever to get those victories at home, especially if you have big rivalry games later in the season.

Playing Style

Playing Style is completely new pitch that is evaluated by tendency based directly on how your team is performing on the field.  This allows a team that runs an Air Raid offense with a pocket passing quarter back to have a higher Playing Style grade for Pocket Passing Quarterback prospects.  Of course, they will be competing directly with all of the other schools that are passing the ball frequently.   Each tendency will be evaluated by a different statistical category, meaning a Scrambling Quarterback will be looking at different statistics than Pocket Passing quarterback.  In order to improve this grade, focus on the statistics for the tendencies you want on your team.

Keep in mind that having a low Playing Style grade for a prospect doesn’t mean you will not be able to sign the prospect.  It will simply be more difficult, especially if they have a high interest level in Playing Style.  The positive side is that since this is evaluated weekly, you can focus on improving the right statistics and potentially climb up the ranks and boost the grade for that tendency.       

Program Tradition

Another pitch that is impacted directly by your team’s performance on the field is Program Tradition.  Winning regular season games will provide a slight boost, but it’s winning the conference championship games, bowl games, and the National Championship that will really boost a program’s tradition.  You will also be able to improve Program Tradition by simply playing in Conference and National Championship games, but winning those games will provide a significantly higher boost.

Playing Time

Playing Time is evaluated by each prospect’s position against the skill level of the players on the team already and other prospects that have committed.  This will require you to think twice before offering scholarships to multiple prospects at the same position, especially if one is more talented than the rest.

Proximity to Home

Proximity is determined by how close a prospect is to the university.  However, in order to get an A+ rating the prospect must be from the same town as the school.   There was nothing more frustrating than seeing a prospect from the same city as your teams have no interest in their local team whatsoever.  Now, if the prospect is from the same city as the University, they will have that boost to Proximity to Home grade.  

Academic Prestige, Athletic Facilities, & Campus Life style

These three pitches have a small percent chance to change each season, depending on how well the team is playing and the number of victories. 

Now that you have an idea of how each pitch can be impacted and how frequently it’s evaluated, you can begin putting together the best strategy as to how you will improve your school’s pitch grades.   This entire system is meant to be dynamic and to be a more accurate assessment of your team’s status week-to-week and year-to-year.  Now, if you take a 1 star school and win a National Championship, you will see some significant improvements in the team’s grades.   You can now truly turn that one star school into the powerhouse program to rival the best in the nation. 

Phone Call

We receive a significant amount of feedback from our fans, and one thing we have seen and heard repeatedly over the past few years is to remove the randomness from the Phone Call and put the control back in the player’s hands.  Now the Coach will be able to select the topics of discussion for each conversation. With this added level of control over the Phone Call, it’s important to discover which pitches are important to your top prospects.  This will help determine what areas you should be focusing on improving.  A prospect that may have seemed out of reach since their interests did not align with your school’s strengths may suddenly be an excellent match because of changes to your school’s Dynamic Pitch grades. 

Alternatively, the Coach can also take a chance and see what the prospect wants to discuss.  However, as opposed to years past where the call was completely random, now the prospect will only select topics that are at an Average or above interest level.   Since you are letting the prospect choose, you will receive a slight bonus, but be careful, the prospect will select any topic they are interested in regardless of the school’s grade.

Finally, all promises are now available from the start of a dynasty, regardless of initial coach integrity rating.  Breaking any promises will cause a significant loss to Coach Integrity, decreasing the value of future promises and how convincing the coach will be when attempting to convince players to stay during the off-season.   Also, breaking promises that were made to a prospect could potentially cause players to transfer.  So while there is significant gain to making some of the more grandiose promises, there is also significant risk associated with breaking them.

Online Dynasty Stability Improvements

When NCAA Football 12 launched, we were troubled by the stability issues we saw with Online Dynasty which lead to Transfer Failed errors for some of you out there.  When reports of those errors started to roll in, we found that we did not have the proper tools we needed to be able to diagnose and solve those issues quickly and efficiently.  While we have continued to work diligently to resolve these issues; there is always the potential for one of these incidents to occur.  This year we have added a new popup indicating a transfer failed has occurred and an associated incident identification number.  This will provide an idea about what has caused the transfer and help us track down the issue faster.  We have also added new processes to provide more detailed logging of failures should they occur, improved automated scripting to help identify the failures, and finally improved logging for user actions within Dynasty.  

However, due to the complexity of an online feature such as this, there is always the possibility that an error can potentially occur.  Through our new tools we will be notified when an error occurred but reporting the identification number will help with the communication of what errors people are seeing when they are reported and also which errors have been addressed if we have to roll out fixes.

Between Dynamic Pitches, Scouting, Triple Threat Athletes and Breaking into the Top 10, Dynasty mode in NCAA Football 13 will be a dynamic and unique experience, offering more depth and accuracy than ever before.  I look forward to everyone diving into the new Dynasty experience when NCAA Football 13 hits stores on July 10th