Operation Dynasty Deep Dive

What's up NCAA Football fans? My name is Dr. David Johnson (aka Madscientist06) and I am an EA SPORTS Game Changer and owner of MaddenMatrix.com - a NCAA Football and Madden NFL community site.  Those who know me, know that I am a NCAA Football Dynasty-aholic! I was honored to be invited to attend several NCAA Football 13 Community Events this year and because Dynasty mode is my absolute favorite, I was excited to be asked to discuss several of the new features of this upcoming release with you. Let's dive right into the good stuff!!!

For those of you new to Dynasty mode, this is the mode that allows you to take over a team as the head coach or coordinator and play out multiple seasons, building your team by recruiting fictitious computer-generated prospects. Players on your team transfer to other schools, graduate, or head to the pros, just like in real life; so it is your job to continually bring in new players and, at the same time, develop the players currently on your team (they improve, partly based on their performance and playing time). I call it "Refresh and Rebuild"! To add to the excitement, you can compete with a number of your friends in the same dynasty for bragging rights! The better job of recruiting you do, the better your team will be and the better your chances will be to achieve NCAA Football glory!

One huge feature everyone is sure to love in NCAA Football 13 is how the game emulates the stories of Saturday.  One of the things that really keeps a Dynasty player engaged is to become totally immersed into the emerging stories within the dynasty.   Now, while you are playing your dynasty games, you'll receive in-game Studio Updates containing late-breaking action, ESPN style, with commentary by ESPN's very own Rece Davis! The ESPN-styled update is done very realistically, so, if you are playing an early game, for example, you would not get scores from a game that is being played later that evening.  EA has also added an ESPN Bottom Line ticker, which is virtually identical to its real-life counterpart in appearance and functionality.  The ESPN Bottom Line ticker, which displays at the bottom of the screen, keeps you updated with non-stop updates while you are in the middle of playing your game with scores from games in progress around the league. How cool is that?

One of the great appeals to Dynasty mode, and a feature which adds tremendous replay value to me and many of Dynasty enthusiasts, is recruiting.

Dynasty mode has received a major upgrade with the addition of recruit scouting. Yes, I did say scouting! Here's how it works: You can scout recruits weekly and during the off-season. During the off-season, you are allowed 20 hours to scout players that you are interested in. Each week during the season, you are allotted 5 hours of scouting time which you can spend on any recruits of your choice.  Similar to recruiting in previous years, you can spend as much as 1 hour scouting each recruit or as little as 10 minutes.

Once you select how much time you want to scout a player, you are taken to the scouting screen where you'll see the true ratings revealed.  The scouting screen is nicely designed, organizing recruit's attributes into related groups, such as Base (speed, strength, awareness, agility, acceleration, stamina, and injury), Tackling (tackle, hit power, pursuit, and play recognition), Coverage (man, zone, and press), and Block Shedding (block shedding, power moves, and finesse moves).  Of course the groups listed depend on the position (e.g. quarterback, wide receiver, defensive end) of the recruit you are scouting. The example I included was for a cornerback.

Those familiar with dynasty mode know that each computer-generated recruit has a letter grade for each of the existing player skill attributes such as Speed, Catch, Acceleration, Route Running, Strength, Break Tackle, and Agility, the same as in previous years. New to NCAA Football 13 you can view a recruit's "Projected Overall Rating (OVR)". The term "projected", in this case, means the prospect's OVR could actually be better or worse than advertised, and in some cases, the difference could be substantial. As true player attributes are revealed, the player's projected OVR also changes, moving closer to the true OVR rating with each new reveal.

In previous years, a player's true numerical attribute ratings would not be revealed until the off-season.  In NCAA Football 13, you are able to discover a recruit's true attribute ratings, over time, starting in the off-season, and weekly, as you devote more scouting time to the same recruit. You may, however, uncover an attribute that changes your interest in a particular player as well. For example, you are looking for a possession wide receiver and find the 85 OVR rated recruit with a B+ catch you added to your recruiting board is not as good as you initially thought. In that case, it may be time to target other recruits. On the other hand, you may find the prospect is actually better than initially rated. This, my friends, is real life! Gotta love it!

Another HUGE upgrade to Dynasty mode is the new Dynamic Pitch system.  In Dynasty mode, each team is rated on a number of key characteristics or attributes such as Pro Potential, Coach Prestige, Conference Prestige, Program Tradition, and Championship Contender. Each computer-generated recruit rates each of these team pitch grades based on his interests. For example, the recruit may be interested in playing at the NFL level, so teams which have traditionally produced pro athletes (teams with high Pro Potential grades) would greatly appeal to him.  Your job as a recruiter is to match up your team strengths with what the recruit values most.  In other words, accentuate the positive. One big problem with team pitch grades in previous versions is the grades were mostly static, meaning some of them never changed over time. The problem with that is if you took over a low C-rated team and built them into a powerhouse, you'd often still be stuck with the same low pitch grades.  The same would normally be the case if you took over a powerhouse and performed poorly.

EA has addressed this issue in NCAA Football 13 by linking team pitch grades to team characteristics and on-field performance metrics.  Let me give you an example. Conference Prestige will now be determined based on an evaluation of the top teams in a selected conference.  If the top teams, on average, get better over time, the Conference Prestige pitch grade will improve.  Conversely, if teams decline, so will the pitch grade.  The Pro Potential pitch grade is determined based on your team's ability to produce NFL players.  A mock draft conducted at the end of each season is used to determine where your players would fall in the draft. The more of your players that make this mock draft, the more it helps improve your Pro Potential pitch grade. Players drafted higher make more of an impact on the pitch an players drafted in the later rounds.

Each pitch grade is linked to a number of metrics.  In order to help you maximize your grades, EA has included dedicated screens, in the dynasty, which provides details on what factors are used to determine each pitch grade, providing you clear understanding of what you need to work on to improve your pitch grades.

One last thing, random recruit pitches are a thing of the past! In NCAA Football 13, you have complete control over the pitch process. You decide which pitches to make each week, and, to add even more flexibility, you can even ask a recruit what topic he'd like to talk about as well. The only stipulation is you cannot duplicate a pitch during a single phone call. I'm sure everyone in the community who were not fans of random pitches will be happy with this change.

I want to thank EA for allowing me this opportunity to share some of the new features with you.  There are so many other great changes to dynasty mode I could talk about, but I just wanted to cover a couple to get you fired up for the early July release!

I personally can't wait to get my hands on NCAA Football 13 and start a new dynasty! I think the community will be really excited about the improvements made to my favorite mode! If you have any comments, hit me up on twitter (@Madscientist06).