Friday, January 27, 2012

Madden 12 - What attributes effect OVR and the percentage they effect it by position

**  UPDATE - If you like this blog post, check out my new BLOG PAGE:
In this blog post you will see what attributes contribute to the overall (OVR) of each position in Madden 12, and what percentage (%) of those attributes contribute to OVR.  This post will have a lot of data. It's important to understand that there are several ways to get a player to 99 OVR, and that there are more than 99 OVR points available within these attributes.  Basically, the percentage will not apply equally to every player since some attributes can be lowered and others can be raised to come up with the same overall.  What this will tell you is which attributes carry the most weight when it comes to overall.  It will also show you which attributes to look for when you see an increase/decrease in OVR after a roster update.

    I got the idea to do this because as consumers we have never been told what the formula is for overall, and to completely understand Madden Ratings we need a better idea of how the OVR formula works.  I don't claim that this data is perfect, but I do think it paints a very good picture of the OVR formula.

How I did this:

1.  First I went into player edit mode to identify which attributes effect OVR at each position.

2.  Once the attributes where identify, I had to figure out a consistent way of computing the impact of those attributes to OVR.

3.  I started by lowering every attribute that had no effect on OVR to 0.  Then, I raised each attribute that did effect OVR to 99.

4.  While raising the attributes that mattered to 99, I realized that a 99 OVR was reached before all attributes were set to 99.  Because awareness (AWR) weighs heavy in OVR at all positions, I left every other attribute that mattered at 99 and lowered awareness until I reached 98 OVR.  By doing this, I could be sure of the total change in OVR by moving the other attributes individually.

5.  I would lower one attribute at a time to 0 and compute the change in overall.  Before moving on to the next attribute, I moved the previous one back up to 99.  Doing this helped me keep my procedures and calculations consistent.

6.  In the end I increased AWR to 99 while lowering other attributes until I reached 98 OVR, this allowed me to calculate the change in OVR when I moved AWR to 0.  Finally, I totaled up the change in OVR at each postion to get a total of the OVR points available.

7.  They percentages (%) you will see is the OVR point change for each attribute divided by the total OVR points available at that position.  This was my way of finding out which attributes changed the OVR rating the most.

**  Please know that this was not an exact science and at times the OVR points available to a position could be different by a few points.  Basically, you could do this for a position and come up with 172 OVR points available and I could come up with 174.  It's not a huge difference, but it's there.  I do believe that these numbers would be very close to the real figures if EA was to release them.

- I will do each position one at a time and list my observations about each position before moving on to the next position.

- It's very important to note, that if you don't see an attribute listed for a position it's because it didn't have any effect on overall (OVR) based on my findings.

- The first column is the attribute, the second is the change in OVR and the third column is the percent (%) of the attribute based on total OVR points available.

    I like the percentage distribution in general, but remember since there are 160 OVR points available certain attributes must be lower regardless of the players true ability just to get to below 99 OVR.  So to get an 80 OVR QB you must manipulate the top 6 attributes the most.  This manipulation is where we see inaccurate and inconsistent attributes throughout the game.  You could have two QBs with a career 60% completion percentage and 40% deep accuracy, but most likely they will be very different in accuracy attributes.  This is because one QB is viewed as average (75 OVR) and the other is viewed as good (85 OVR).  So, while the percentages look good, the OVR is not determined by 99 available points, it's determine by 160.  This is why I believe that OVR is broken, it forces the ratings staff to lower attributes despite the players true ability.  Once a player has reached 99 OVR, other attributes can continue to go up without a change in OVR.

 * THA is not an actually attribute in the player edit/creation mode, so it's probably just some combination of SAC, MAC, DAC, or it's manually put into the game by the ratings person.

     I like the distribution of the percentages with the exception of CAT, I think it should play a bigger role for a RB. We still have the same problem here as with QBs.  You will constantly fight the attributes to hold an OVR to a predetermined number that the ratings person is trying to reach.  Right now, player ratings are done backwards because there is already an OVR in mind before the attributes are rated (adjusted).  It should be the other way around, accurate and consistent attributes should come before OVR.

    Fullbacks had the most available OVR points.  I was surprised to see how low STR was on this list.

    TE's fill so many different roles, that they have the most attributes that actually effect OVR.  I think PBS/PBF should play a larger role, both at 2% seems very low.  So, good pass blocking TE's won't really receive much credit for that skill and poor pass blocking TEs won't be penalized.

    Since CAT plays such a large role in OVR, this is why we see inaccurate/inconsistent CAT attributes.  The CAT attribute should be a players actual ability to catch the ball,  but it is commonly used to hold down OVR.  By doing this, you will see more drops during Madden gameplay even though the real NFL player might be very sure handed.  RTE is also commonly used to hold down OVR.


    I decided to put LT and RT together so they are easier to compare.  Notice how much PBS plays into a LTs OVR.  Of course they are responsible for blocking the QBs blind side in most cases (right handed QBs only).  So basically the easiest way to lower a LT is by dropping PBS.  The RT has a nice balance when it comes to blocking ability, so it would force a ratings person to either guess or gather some statistics to properly support and increase/decrease. does have RBK and PBK grades, but I haven't seen any statistics or analysis that would help some grade the footwork traits (RBF/PBF).  By the way, RBK and PBK themselves had no effect on OVR, just the strength and footwork attributes effect OVR.

    I actually did LG and RG completely separate and the numbers came out exactly the same.  So run blocking leads the way for guards, which is not surprising.  Notice that the % of AWR for a guard is very close to that of tackles.  Offensive lineman in general have a higher percentage going to AWR than offensive skill positions like WR, TE and RB.

    Centers and QBs have the highest percentage going to AWR on offense at 20%.  I really like that, and it seems to be consistent with how the NFL depends on centers and QBs.  There is a nice distribution here in blocking attributes.
    While the percentage of distribution is good here, there are still several ways to rate this player and it will be a juggling act to keep him in the 75-80 OVR range.  Again, you will have to underrate some attributes just hold OVR down.

    Once again, I did RE and LE separately and got the same exact figures.  Prior to my calculations, I would have guessed that PUR would be higher for DE's.

    DTs are one of my biggest pet-peeves when it comes to Madden Ratings.  You will often find that BSH and TAK are the most inaccurate and inconsistent of all these attributes.  From my observations, they tend to be the target for any weekly decreases and increases.  There is a DT in Madden 12 who has a 79 TAK attribute, but made 56 tackles this season and missed zero.  If the TAK attribute is the ability to make a tackle, then this type of inaccuracy should never happen.

    Furthermore, when came out with their new Tackle Efficiency Stat they did not include DTs or NTs.  I contacted them to ask why and they stated because DTs/NTs very rarely miss tackles.  We have a position where players "very rarely" miss tackles, yet the TAK attribute is often underrated in Madden 12 to hold down OVR.

    Basically, ROLB and LOLB are the same.  This is what I was talking about in the beginning of this post, you will have a small difference in OVR pts available at times.  

    Here again, PUR doesn't play much a role in OVR.  PUR is also an attribute that is typically overrated in Madden 12 when it comes to OLBs as a result of having less impact to OVR.  

    Notice, for MLBs the PUR attribute has more impact on OVR.  Another thing to notice, was that while  CAT had a small impact for OLBs, it has no impact for MLBs.  

    From what I've seen, BSH has been a favorite attribute to decrease at MLB when the ratings folks want to get a lower OVR.  

    I was actually pretty shocked to see that only 11 attributes contributed to the CB overall rating.  One attribute that jumped out as missing, was catch (CAT).  I did this one several times, to make sure I wasn't missing something.  No matter how I did it, CAT no impact on a CBs overall (OVR).  Also, notice the large gap between MCV and ZCV.  That gap is why you will see many CBs with better ZCV than MCV.  What really gets me about how ZCV and MCV are rated, is that it doesn't seem be based on what type of coverage the player is actually good (bad) at.  You will see CBs who play primarily MCV defense on their NFL team, yet they seem to receive more increases in ZCV.  This makes no sense when they play more MCV and are better at it than ZCV.

    I thought the FS distribution came out pretty good.  Good FSs are very aware and the position tends to play a heavy amount of zone coverage.  CAT does play a small role here for FSs, after not playing any role for CBs.

   You see TAK shoot up the chart for SS, this make sense when you think of how many SS play in the box to help stop the run.  POW (Hit Power) comes in at 6% and it's the highest percent for any defensive player when it comes to POW.  

   Not a shock to see only 3 attributes contribute to the OVR of punters and kickers.  Notice the punter distribution is almost a perfect three way split, where more weight is giving to accuracy for the kicker.  I couldn't leave out the kickers after my last blog, but I think we see why some KAC attributes seem too low.  It's because of how much KAC effects OVR.  Once again, instead of accurate and consistent attributes first, the OVR is decided than the attributes are adjusted to attain that OVR.


- One note about the KR/PR rating.  It has no effect on OVR and is actually just a number that anyone can move up or down, and as far as I could tell it has no connection to other attributes. 

-  Remember, this is not 100% perfect.  I did my best with what we have available as consumers and owners of the Madden 12 game.  

- In future roster updates these attributes are the ones you should focus on to figure how the OVR actually changed.  Right down the attributes before and after you download the newest update so you can identify the changes.  This is how you find sneaky decreases or increases.

- Just because an attribute does not contribute to OVR, does not mean it won't contribute to gameplay.

   Ok guys, that is enough for now.  I will refer back to this information in future blogs as I break things down further.  Please leave any comments, suggestions, corrections, or anything else you can think of.  Have a great weekend.

 *To receive information on my future blog posts, follow me on twitter @mannmicj

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  1. great work man. This is quality quality stuff right here. EXACTLY what I was looking for.

  2. Do you know what RBS and RBF actually do in game? I have the same question for IMP, MCV, ZCV, Strength, etc.

    1. Some people think RBS and RBF don't do anything for game play. To me, RBS helps the oline overpower the assigned defensive player on running plays. RBF (footwork) would help put the lineman in the correct area to make his assigned block. IMP blocking would be the initial jolt (punch) an olineman gives the defender when coming off the ball. MCV is for Man Coverage. When you pick a defensive play like two man under, your CB's play man coverage. The higher the MCV attribute the better they will defend the pass. ZCV is Zone Coverage and works the same way when a zone play is called. Some CB's are good in one area and not the other, this will help you decide what defense to call. I like CB's with ZCV of 80 or above for the defensive style I play. I don't play a lot of man coverage, so it's not as important for my team.

      I think STR can be seen the most on DL and RB. If you have a strong RB he tends to fall forward more and shed a few more blocks. A defensive lineman with high STR will hold his ground a little longer when blocked, especially against a weaker Olineman. He will have a better chance to beat the offensive lineman if he has higher STR.

      These are just my observations. EA has never come out and given the community a clear set of definitions for all the attributes, or told us how they effect gameplay. Some people claim they don't matter and others like myself believe they contribute heavily to gameplay.

      I hope that helps.

  3. How would you rate the importance of each position on a scale of 1-5, 5 being the highest, in Madden 12? For example, QB 5, HB 3, FB 2, C 1, MLB 5, etc.

    I ask this because I will look over all the teams and look at each position and, using your attribute blog here, see which players are good enough to make a difference.
    For example, say you gave QBs a 5 importance rating, going by your blog, if Alex Smith had AWR and THP above, say, 85, he would be good enough to make a difference, so I would give the 49ers the 5 points for the QB slot. If he didn't have good enough stats, they wouldn't receive the 5 points. I'll do this for every position, then add up the points, then compare it to the other 31 teams to find which team is the best.

    So, let's say the Cowboys only had players good enough to make a difference (by having the top stats that make a difference be, say, 85 or above) in the QB slot, TE slot, and OLB slot and the value for each was QB 5, TE 5, OLB 4; the team's overall rating would be 14. Whichever team has the high rating using that system, is the best team in Madden 12.

    Also, at what number do you think the ratings define an elite player from a mediocre player? Say Brady has a 99 SAC and Alex Smith has an 85 SAC, will there be any difference between them when it comes to throwing short passes accurately?

    I would really appreciate any help, I've been trying to calculate the best team in Madden 12 for months now.

  4. I Wonder if you would see a difference in the OT positions depending on the QB being Lefty vs. Righty. I imagine so and you did your research with a righty seeing the importance of Pass Blocking, this being his blindside. If your QB is a southpaw I'd switch these.