Madden NFL 16 Primer: Why 'Draft Champions' Matters

How Madden NFL 15 Could Solve The Quitting Crisis

Madden 15 wants to defend better on the field, but what can it do to defend its players?
Madden 15 wants to defend better on the field, but what can it do to defend its players?

Quitting in online games has always been a problem in the Madden franchise, or indeed any game that pits players against one another in a competitive environment. With a few key changes, however, the upcoming Madden 15 could go a long way to curtail football gaming’s quitting crisis.

Throughout the years, Madden had tried a lot of different solutions to keep players playing in games with one another. The introduction of DNF (Did Not Finish) percentages allowed players to see from the lobby how often their potential opponent quits their games, but that only helps you avoid those players in the first place, and doesn’t actually deal with the players quitting.

Giving players a loss for quitting has become a necessary and important step, but the big concern there is very real: Glitchers go to great lengths to find ways to disconnect players from the game for easy wins. This was such a focus that at one time, the Madden franchise made the short-sighted decision to allow players to disconnect from games without getting a loss, provided they did so in the first half. The idea was this would slow down players that rise through the leaderboards by knocking their opponent offline, but it of course made the obvious oversight of forgetting that players would inevitably use the feature to leave games when they feel outmatched. It didn’t take long for an oversight like that to get patched, but it still happened.

While giving players losses for leaving games is a very important part of the equation, the only significant impact that has is one rankings, and does very little to stop players who already have poor or mediocre records from quitting, or players that are destined to lose anyway. If EA wants to help make Madden NFL 15 leaver-free, then it should take a page from many of the top competitive games on the PC.

The Reconnect or Wait Philosophy

Go look at any quality competitive team game online, and you’ll notice an almost mandatory feature: When you get disconnected from a game, you not only have the opportunity to reconnect to the match, but you can’t play another match until the one you left has ended. Games like DotA 2 and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive both employ this type of feature, because it not only helps out with the occasional internet hiccup, but it keeps players in games.

Many of these games even go so far as to implement a system, where so many games left over a short period result in a minor, and sometimes extended ban from online play. This has proven to be not only a good deterrent to quitting, but it also has the added benefit of systematically removing cancerous players from the online community before they can cause more harm.

CS:GO implements this system for ranked games very well.
Reconnect or abandon system in CS:GO

Madden is Different (And Why That Matters)

Of course, there are some differences between these types of games and Madden, and it’s important to understand how those differences impact the effect of such systems.

Madden NFL is a 1-on-1 game, not a team game (for the most part).

The method of making leavers wait until their game is over to play another game is a bit different in team games, than in head-to-head. For starters, team games use this feature because quitting impacts many players at once, whereas in head-to-head you are only impacting the single opponent in front of you.

In short: You want to leave the game, your opponent gets a free win, so who is complaining?

That is a very important question, but I believe the answer is quite a lot of people. There’s nothing that feels particularly fun about having a player quit against you. Win or not, you also get no feeling of finality to your efforts and the many small details that exist in the game (such as viewing highlights, or seeing end-of-game stats) are withheld from you once an opponent drops from the game. On the other side, this only breeds more quitting from the guilty party, and the unpleasant cycle of quitting continues online — that is not a fun online experience.

Because head-to-head games only involve two players, the effect of leaving or reconnecting also changes the dynamics of how this all works. For example, if my opponent disconnects in the first quarter, does that mean I have to play against the computer until the game is over if they don’t reconnect? Isn’t that punishing me for not quitting just as much as him for quitting?

This is yet another very important question and one that has deterred many good solutions in the past, but I believe the solution is quite simple for Madden 15: Put reconnection on a time limit (and in effect, the game), but force leavers to sit out a specified amount of time from online play if they miss their window to reconnect.

How a Reconnect System Could Work

If I disconnect from a game, a timer should appear along with the option to reconnect to my game. This doesn’t need to be much longer than 2-3 minutes — enough time for accidental disconnects to get back online and in the game. If I miss this window (because, say, I quit on purpose and don’t want to come back), then after it expires I will be unable to play another game online until a specified amount of time has passed. Ideally, this would be a smart and simple system, such as making leavers wait for the length of an average online game if they leave in the first half, and making them wait the average length of a half if they leave in the second half.

This simple timing system would deter people from leaving games at the very beginning since the cooldown would be quite long, and would encourage players to finish the game the deeper they get into it, as their cooldown timer in the fourth quarter would still be worth the average half if they left. Losing players quitting just minutes before a game ends has always been a problem, and this would finally give them incentive to stay in the game.

On the other side, the player who saw his opponent leave the game will not see any punishments. They will not be forced to play the computer all game, and in fact they will be able to exit the game early with a victory just as before. If the player does not reconnect within the time window, then they can choose to finish the game against the computer, or take the win right away and return to match making.

GoMadden’s “Don’t Leave Me Bro” System

• Disconnected players have 2-3 minutes to reconnect.
– They cannot join another online game during this period.
– Disconnected players are deemed “leavers” once reconnect expires.
– Leavers unable to play online until average game time has expired (or half average if left in second half).
– Leavers receive a loss.

• Players who had their opponent disconnect will wait 2-3 minutes
– Game continues as normal against computer during this time
– After reconnection ends, players can choose 1 of 2: Take win now or finish game against CPU.
– Players are free to find another game immediately if they take the win. Offenders are still in cooldown.

This system vastly improves upon the current method of just handing out wins and losses. It helps minor disconnection hiccups, deters players from leaving & punishes them for doing so, encourages players to play until the end of the game the further they progress through it, and wouldn’t negatively impact users in Madden NFL 15 who had their opponent leave any more than the current system. This could be further supplemented by a system to temporarily ban offenders that repeat their leaves within a short period if necessary.

Should Madden 15 adopt this leaver system?

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  • http://gomadden.com GoMadden

    Been racking my brain trying to think of how they could fix the quitting issue. I think this is a good one!

    • drewdat

      I agree this is an awesome idea EA should do this. also they need to bring back custom tournaments those were really fun i dont know why they got rid of it

  • cordarrelle84

    this is a good idea. i can’t stand quitters. sometimes after i score 1 time they just get up and leave.. where’s the fun in that? jus play the game man.

  • Scannezzy

    i like it. and if u quit too much u get suspended for a while i think that’s fair

  • Topnotch Vs

    They Should Have 5min To Reconnect If They Don’t Then 1 Day Penalty For Online Play…But It Would Not Be A Madden Suspension But PS4/Boxshiit Itself Should Implement That Rule n Block Your Online Privileged For The Day Cause If Madden Simply Do It Some Losers Will Just Be Like Fine I’ll Play Another Game For That Day n Madden Could Be Losing Profit From Them Losers Doing It They Might Decide Not To Buy a Madden Games But If Both Consoles Doing That For Matches You Play Vs People Online Then It Will Stop Them Bums From Quitting Cause They Be Time People Would Quit On Me When I’m Whooping Them On Madden n A Sec Later I See Them On COD Like MF I Know Your Connection Ain’t Drop lol

    • http://gomadden.com GoMadden

      That’s a lot of capital letters man haha :)

      • Topnotch Vs

        lol

  • Jerome72

    People who quit usually quit for the night or enough time to cool off. I doubt they quit and then go right to another game to play! Usually they’re pissed so 2-3 mins is really not a big deterrent!

  • Demion Hunter

    I said no, because it could still be flawed…What about brief power outages, internet failures or console/game freezing? I for one know that restarting a console and reconnecting to the internet due to freezing can take longer than 2-3 minutes at times.

    The best ways to battle quitting are for EA to….
    1.) get rid of the “Play Now : Top 100 Leaderboards”
    2.) stop being lazy year to year and fully complete and adjust new features they introduce annually. Such as “Community Mode”… This Mode would be the ideal way to combat, not only people who quit frequently, but cheaters all together. The reason the first attempt failed from games past, is because EA didn’t do anything to improve this mode, nor after the first year it was introduced. With a “proper H2H lobby” for players looking for match ups (not the OTP lobby no one used), a complete commish rule settings (ala Fairplay, etc…), the ability to restart a game(s) from the time you were disconnected from opponents (ala CFM), and then complete all that with a leaderboard and reputation option.

    Quitting wouldn’t be much of a issue if EA gave us more avenues to create our own Online experiences. Hell, even if they would allow us to just play with our CFM teams in a play now mode with in the leagues would encourage more enjoyable play in a community controlled environment. .

  • dennis

    Do it im so tired of beating ppl and losing or getting nothing

  • Preston Draon Kutz

    I agree, but I would add in there that EA takes 5k coins from the quitter and gives them to their opponent that they quit on, since they denied them the full amount of coins they would receive had they finished the entire game. that would really keep people from quitting if they lost a ton of coin every time they quit