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Madden-ing Glitch Irks Gamers 83

Posted by michael
from the insufficient-beta-testing dept.
theodp writes "A vexing glitch in Madden NFL 2005 has players complaining in online forums and even demanding a recall. Because repeated offensive shifts exhaust the defense before the ball is snapped, EA's forced online players to turn off the fatigue setting, which disables the exploit, but spoils the realism of the game. At least you've got an excuse for that first-round Madden Challenge loss."
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Madden-ing Glitch Irks Gamers

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  • Wait a sec... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by JabberWokky (19442) <slashdot.com@timewarp.org> on Friday September 03, 2004 @05:20PM (#10153772) Homepage Journal
    I'm not sure I understand, but this appears to be a bug that you have to intentionally take advantage of (by changing the offensive choice over and over). Couldn't this be easily solved... by not playing with people who cheat?

    --
    Evan "I trust people across the table when they say they rolled a nat 20"

    • by Senjutsu (614542) on Friday September 03, 2004 @06:02PM (#10154066)
      Couldn't this be easily solved... by not playing with people who cheat?

      New to the internet, are we?
      • Nope. Been using networks that later became the internet since around 1981. The demise of being able to trust a random stranger on the net happened around 1993.

        New to the net yourself?

        --
        Evan "Still maintaining that the whole World Wide Web is a teenage phase".

        • Wrong.

          There may be a virus loose on the internet.

          Andy Sudduth of Harvard, 34 minutes after midnight, Nov. 3, 1988
          • RTM's worm was an accident, not a violation of trust, and certainly not a indicative of the population of the internet in general. If anything, it shows how open the internet was at the time. Vulnerable in the same way doors in a small town are left unlocked because you know and trust your neighbors.

            --
            Evan

        • The demise of being able to trust a random stranger on the net happened around 1993.

          I am Mr, JAMES UDEH, Your contact was given to me by a friend who was here on a diplomatic mission this was in my search for reliable foreigner overseas who will help me an urgent transaction that will require your utmost confidentiality and with a sense of trust...

    • Re:Wait a sec... (Score:5, Informative)

      by Alkaiser (114022) on Friday September 03, 2004 @06:17PM (#10154167) Homepage
      That's not a "cheat", it's the way the game works. That's a "bug". You can find a good player who won't exploit it, but the blame lies on the company for producing it not the player for using it.

      This isn't the first completely retarded Madden bug. The first version on the PS2 I had, it took me 2 games before I figured out an onside kick didn't have to travel 10 yards in the Madden world. Pretty soon, the computer was getting blown out 210-7.
      • My commentary was more on the social aspect of the assumption that a known exploit will be used. That's not the case in many face to face games, and has not always been the case with video games.

        --
        Evan "Of course, lots of tabletop gamers 'leech' pizza..."

      • They actually scored a TD? It must be another old Madden bug from the Genesis days cropping up. Even with the 'help trailing team' option turned off the AI would complete almost every pass and break off big runs until they were back to within 14 points.

        That would get me so worked up I'd go to a total ball control game just to gain the satisfaction of winning 50-0 rather than 70-20.
    • Re:Wait a sec... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by August_zero (654282)
      1. This is the internet we are talking about, people cheat when they get the chance, a lot. 2. In leagues this is not always possible, you may be stuck playing a specific opponent. 3. How many times can I change before it is cheating? How do you know I am not just indecisive? 4. This is the Internet, people will accuse you of cheating when you win, especially if the potential top cheat is there (OMG AIMBOT). Ever play a round of counter strike and get kicked for cheating even though you weren't? All of
      • Correct. I never disagreed.

        Now is the greater problem the bug or the fact that you are playing a recreational game with "friends" you can't trust?

        --
        Evan

      • I don't think they are obligated to fix the bug just as I don't think people are obligated to buy their product if they are not happy with it.

        What about the hundreds of thousands of us that didn't find out we weren't happy with their product until after we had already bought it? We are obligated to let them keep our money, so don't they (EA) have any obligation to satisfy us?

        • Oh no, cry us a river.

          Ever heard of Caveat Emptor? Or possibly waiting a week or two and reading reviews of a product before purchasing it?

          In other words, no Virgina, there is no Santa Claus. Grow up. No, they don't owe you anything. You bought a lemon.

          Make lemonade: Give it to a deserving kid who won't whine and complain about the "realism" of a retarded video game.
          • So the concept of Caveat Emptor excuses EA from providing customer service?? Would you consider it OK for, say, GM to shrug their shoulders and turn their backs when customers complain that the air conditioning doesn't work? They bought a lemon, caveat emptor right?

            And another thing: Waiting a week or two and reading reviews before buying this game would not have helped. Reviews for Madden 2005 were uniformly positive. Not to mention the fact that this bug wasn't discovered until almost a month after rele

            • No, if EA wants to do something about it to retain LOYAL customers, it's certainly within their power to do so. But the original posting demanded it of them. EA is free to ignore the problem and lose future business, if they feel like it.

              Oh my goodness, a whole month? Someone might have to wait a whole month to purchase a GAME if they want to know there's not major bugs hiding in it?

              The comment about non-gamers is funny. Could be re-worded as "Those who don't want to drink the Kool-Aid laced with cyan
              • EA is free to ignore the problem and lose future business,

                Nope. Ignoring this will INCREASE their future business, because Madden 2005 will advertise "New, accurate player fatigue gives you an even more realsitic football experience!"
    • Sure it could be easily solved. Too many offensive shifts tire out the defense, making them easy to plow through. To ballance it, too many offensive shifts should also tire out the offense, making them put up less of a challenge.
  • Here's a thought... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by databoing (259158)
    Why not have give the offense players a "fatigue" setting that fatigues the entire offense when they repeatedly shift. That would even the stakes, right?
    • He's right, if the offense were running around between formations over and over eventually they'd either tire, strike, or start getting punchy.
    • Except that it appears they can't patch the game itself. If they could, it would be one patch goodbye where they would simply remove the fatigue factor before the snap or, as you suggest, add in offensive fatigue penalties for repeated shifts. As it stands, they're taking the only action they can (short of replacing everyone's discs) which is to simply take the fatigue option out of online play by modifying the servers' game options. Better than nothing, but still bad.
      • Umm... We're talking about the people who wrote the game, right? They wrote the game, and they never thought they'd have to patch it?

        What is wrong with this picture?
        • You can't patch code stored in ROM. Believe it or not, this is generally a good thing, because it means that people who make console games know they can't get away with not getting it right the first time.
          • Oh, right. I was thinking of the PC genre. I forgot about consoles.
          • yeah, you can.
            if newer copy exists on hard disk than on rom, load the hard disk version (assuming its signed by a trusted authority to prevent a hacked copy).

            Or just intercept the loading. Gamesharks been around for years, game genie even longer.
            • Your first idea is fine for the Xbox versions, and I think some use it. Playstation 2 doesn't have a hard disk by default however, so your either limiting the fix to Final Fantasy XI players, or your going to have to load the fix from an 8MB memory card.

              If you went to the trouble of pressing a load-intercepting patch disk, why not just repress the entire game?
          • A lot of times if a bug creeps in on a console game, they'll fix in subsequent manufacturing runs (slipstream it), then potentially replace bad copies with good ones on a case by case basis.
          • they can't get away with not getting it right the first time

            They can now [penny-arcade.com]. The X-Box (and probably all future game systems) has a hard-disk allowing patches.
    • Yes it would, however that's not really the problem. That this error was never caught is the problem (maybe the playtesters mostly played single player mode.)

      Oh well, I guess you'll start seeing 140 to 150 point games with 1200 yards total offense. Yea, back to Madden 92 days! ;)
  • Wow what a mess for EA, and at the worst possible time. ESPN Football is $20 (or less!) for the current version. Madden? $50. I wonder if that extra $30 goes straight to Mr. Madden himself? Maybe they should be using it to hire better QA testers.
    • Yeah, but from earlier reports ESPN NFL is even more buggy than Madden. I went with ESPN, sure, and just yesterday picked up NHL 2K5 as well, but that's because I like it better anyway.

      Your point is valid on another level. Player should probably forego this year's football games altogether. Better yet, do it the way I do it-- buy the god damned game once and don't buy it again next year when all that's changed is a stupid roster.
  • Updates (Score:1, Interesting)

    by falcon203e (589344)
    Hmm... I suppose I'll be buying NHL 2005 for my PC instead of my PS2. Gotta love free updates.
  • If you read the 2K5 message boards, there are similar issues, the "DT exploit" where with a shift of the D-line you can get one of your DT through untouched, and the "QB scramble" issue, where the AI isn't able to cope well with scrambling QBs
    I think with the increased complexity and addition of internet multiplayer to console games, they might have to go to "patches" since AI issues and other problems are more likely to be exploited. You'll get your ass kicked if you exploit against your friends in the do
    • Neither of those things sound like exploits as described, could you provide a link?
    • by AvantLegion (595806) on Friday September 03, 2004 @07:13PM (#10154560) Journal
      The DT "exploit" (more like an AI hole) can be dealt with by having a back stay in on pass protection on that side, or better yet, call play-action passes (which show run block and don't try to hone in on stunting linemen) Shouldn't exist, no, but easily dealt with.
    • some comments about this...

      -DT exploit - generally, this sucks, but as Legion pointed out, it's not too difficult to defend against

      -QB scrambles - Bah. This is not an exploit. This is users abusing the fact that some of the QBs scramble well (as it should be) and MANY users don't think to (or know how to) defend against it.

      and most importantly

      The Madden glitch is so subtle that you might not even know your opponent is doing it. That's what makes it so devious in my mind.
  • by thelenm (213782) <mthelenNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Friday September 03, 2004 @06:00PM (#10154041) Homepage Journal
    Jeez, that should have been about the first thing on their minds when designing the new formation shift feature. Can online players do anything to unfairly abuse it? Hmm, oh yeah, a formation shift affects the defensive team's fatigue level without the defensive player being able to do anything about it. Whoops! Maybe even more surprising is that apparently no playtesters even thought to try it. Aren't you supposed to be as evil as possible in kicking the crap out of every aspect of the game before it's released?
    • See this post. [slashdot.org] No, you are not smarter than the testers, but sadly they are not the final word.
    • True but don't forget the #1 reason why people hate EA so much. Because they're a corporation first, and a gaming developer/producer second. When it comes time to decide to, A) fuck your consumers by upgrading the graphics and saying its a new game or B) fuck your investors by repolishing the game for an extra 3 months, we all know EA picks A. Whereas developers like Blizzard say 'we'll delay a game for 2 years if thats what takes!'
    • Aren't you supposed to be as evil as possible in kicking the crap out of every aspect of the game before it's released?

      Sounds like a good idea... but EA's testers seem to be focused more on basic software quality (driver compatibility, memory usage, and crashes) than on game balance.

      They also had a high-profile mistake in their recent rollout of Battlefield Vietnam. It was supposed to be a team-based game of cooperative combat by players in different roles. But on the USA team, one of the 5 classes go
  • by Guspaz (556486) on Friday September 03, 2004 @06:56PM (#10154425)
    The game is for XBox and PS2, right? While this doesn't work on the PS2, from what I understand EA could easily release a client-side patch for the xbox version to fix this. This is one of the benefits of having a hard drive in a console.

    Of course I could be wrong, but it is my understanding that xbox games can and are patched.
  • Manual Blitz... (Score:3, Informative)

    by way2slo (151122) on Friday September 03, 2004 @11:18PM (#10155681) Journal
    Big deal. Logical game flaws have been around for decades. Back in my old SNES days, I found a logic glitch in Madden '95 where I could sack the opposing QB about 90% of the time it called a passing play. It would also stop most run plays for negative yards too. The trick was this:

    I pretty much worked out of the nickle and dime defensive packages the whole game. Right before the snap, you quickly adjust my defensive line close together and nudge them an inch forward then you pick on of the two in the center and have them take a step back. When the ball is snapped, their offensive linesmen will block yours, but the one that is suppose to block the one you control will block someone else. The double-teamed defensive tackle gets plowed out of the way leaving a nice hole for you to run through and sack the QB. There were a few run plays that could counter this, but the computer rarely called them. In season mode, my record for sacks by a single player is 136 by Bruce Smith. I don't know how many his teammates had, but it had to be similar.

    Another one of my favorite SNES games with broken logic was NHL Stanley Cup.
    #85 of the Oilers scored 473 goals in one season with only 917 shots on goal. (The counter rolled over somewhere around 250)
    Most goals by a team in a game: Oilers 30 out of 51 shots on goal
    Most goals in a game by a single player: #16 St. Louis - 17 out of 24 shots.

    The trick was to get a break-away with a fast skater, come up along the boards and angle towards the net at the dots, then when you get to the dots - coast. This draws the goalie away from the net and towards you. When you see him advance, you skate around him to the front of an empty net. Some goalies are quick enough to recover, but you should still be able to sneak in a few goals a game against the best.

    Another game, Super Tennis, the easy way to beat Don J. is to lob to one of the back corners then run to the middle of the baseline. Don J. always smashes back up the middle. You use his hard smash against him by returning it up the opposite side of the court.

    • What you described doesn't really sounds like glitches, but play tactics. The problem is, the computer player isn't smart enough to catch your repeated plays and counter them, like in real life. This is why online play is so important, and fun, because you can't keep doing the same cheap move over and over. Your opponant, usually, learns. The problem in this case, you can weaken your opponent before any action starts.
    • My favorite was always with Tecmo Bowl (I) for the NES...

      simply select a pass play and run all the way back to your 1 yard line and pass.. it was always caught for a touchdown.
    • The champion move is in Madden 94 or 95 (don't remember which exactly) you could go for a field goal and if it went out of bounds on the full, you got the points. It happened when I was playing a mate of mine and I was getting my arse kicked and I was 70 yards away and went "Fuck it" and just went for a field goal, misjudged, went way off right and got the points anyways.....

    • In one of the Madden games in the mid-90s (can't remember which -- think it was '96) I was able to block every field goal / extra point by picking a certain play in the 3-4 defensive set which would, for some reason, cause one of the linemen to directly plow through the line at the kicker...

      They corrected that in the next Madden but then a new glitch was found in the onside kicking where you could recover your own onside kick about 80% of the time...

  • So what? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Grave (8234)
    I find it vaguely amusing that Madden is beset with glitches right after EA won the big contract with Microsoft to secure XBox Live! support. I find it much more amusing that ESPN NFL 2K5 is a superior football game for much less. At the game store I work at, we've sold a roughly equal number of the two games. But most of the Madden sales were on release night and in the two days following. I've not heard a single person say that they liked Madden over ESPN after having played both. Not one. That's pr
    • If you had ever played any of the previous madden games, you would know that every title has "glitches" like this.

      Its not uncommonat all, "Dime Double Slot" anyone?

      Competition is good, (nfl2k was far better then the madden of thesame time) but madden has always been easy to pick up and consistant, I dont see this as a suprise at all, there has always been cheap tactics, and this is just another.
    • I've played both. I like Madden better.
  • Well, I am afraid to say that perfection is too high of standard to put any game. Every game has a glitch and people sit around looking for them. Unfortunately the glitches do drastically change the game and ruin the realism set forth. But, if you are REALLY into realism you wouldn't be looking for the error in the first place.

    This is why I don't play online competitively. Some 13 year old kid who knows nothing of the simulation they are enjoying sits down looking for a way to exploit the principle of
    • Well, I am afraid to say that perfection is too high of standard to put any game.

      This may be true for a PC game, which you can update fairly easily if something is caught. But you can't do that with console games until a hard drive or some other storage medium comes standard with every unit. Until that time it is to the benefit of the software companies to beta test their games as much as absolutely possible to get rid of simple things like this.
  • interesting how exploits are rampant on PC games and it is now crossing over to console games. Ah the joys of playing with only yourself. no one gets hurt and never accused of cheating.

The greatest productive force is human selfishness. -- Robert Heinlein

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