Creating a League:
- Game Mode:Career, Online, or Sandbox.
- Career – This mode is a single player mode where you compete as the coach of a team. You can perform recruiting, set training camps, and run day to day team operations. You can also set game plans and rosters for each game. However, career mode only allows you to control one team.
- Sandbox – This mode allows you to run every team in a league. This is best suited for setting up various scenarios or running multiple teams. There are no restrictions for any team, and multiple teams can be set to CPU or human owned. CPU teams will manage themselves.
- Online – This mode is set up to allow commissioners to control the league. They can manage ownership of teams, publish HTML, and import owner files. Owners can use team passwords to protect their settings and export their game plans and strategies to be imported by the commissioner.
- Roster Source – Default Rosters: Imports a set of real players.
- Roster Source – CPU Generated: CPU generates realistic players for the league.
- Roster Source – Custom Players: Allows you to import your own players into the league.
- Roster Source – Historical Players: Allows you to import historical players from a mod on the WS forum.
Navigating a League:
Most options are now available from a left-hand menu. Team related items will show the currently logged in team, or the currently selected team. League menu options will show league-wide information. The top of the menu bar will have advancing and league actions using the arrows.
You can use this modifier to either change the overall play calling blend of the league or open it up to more extreme values. Increasing the base increases the pass ratio. Increasing the modifier gives more weight to the play calling screen. The 1/100 play calling basically turns all control over to the play calling screen and basically remove the limits for how far you can go. At 10/58 you get a realistic balance for many teams... and extreme teams get to 70/30 splits. If you change the modifier in options to 1/100 then you can get even more extreme splits, like 90/10 or 95/5.
If you were to experiment with other combinations you could turn the league into old time football where the pass is almost never used, or create pass-only leagues that never run.
- Strength - Key attribute for making tackles, breaking tackles, holding blocks and breaking through blocks
- Agility - Key attribute for avoiding other players whether you're chasing them or running from them
- Arm - QB key Attribute for getting a ball to a receiver. Higher Arm means more completions.
- Intelligence - Key attribute for ball awareness. QB's need high INT to avoid interceptions. DB's need high INT to make interceptions.
- Accuracy - QB accuracy with his throws. Increases completion % and lowers interception rate.
- Tackling - Defensive attribute for bringing down a ball carrier.
- Speed - Key attribute for ALL players. Most important attribute for gaining yards and for chasing down ball carriers.
- Hands - Key attribute for making catches, making blocks, and making interceptions.
- Pass Blocking - Attribute to make successful pass blocks.
- Run Blocking - Attribute to make successful run blocks.
- Endurance - Key attribute for all players. Higher endurance players can stay on the field longer.
- Kick Distance - For kickers this affects FG % at longer distances. For Punters this affects punt distance.
- Kick Accuracy - For kickers this affects FG %. For Punters this affects killing the ball inside the 20.
- Overall – Overall rating
General Notes: Speed always wins. This is the most important attribute since if you can't get a hold of someone it doesn't matter what your other attributes are.
- Leadership – Allows player to improve the team’s morale. Motivates players to play better.
- Work Ethic – How hard the player works in the offseason to improve.
- Competitiveness – How hard the player plays during the game. Affects morale when winning or losing.
- Team Player – Plays to win and less for accolades.
- Sportsmanship – Players attitude towards the other team. Affects penalties.
- Disposition – Temperament of the player, good locker room influencer, also affects penalties.
- Values Market Size – How much the player values larger market sizes.
- Values Security – How much the player values security of the program.
- Values Loyalty – How much the player values their current team.
- Values Winning – How much the player values a winning atmosphere.
- Values Playing Time – How much the player values more playing time.
- Values Close to Home – How much the player values being close to their home town.
- Values Money – How much the player values money.
- Morale – Affects player temperament and performance. Winning games, winning awards all improve morale. Losing or getting injured can detract from morale. If morale gets low enough the player is more likely to affect the locker room negatively.
Spring camp is the place where your players can prepare for the season. The training camp thus has its own sim/stage at the beginning of the season, after signing day. Improvement wise, training camp is the sim, where your players have the best opportunity to improve.
Regular Season Training
During the regular season your players will train weekly, but due to the amount of other stuff occupying people's minds during a year, gains will be lower here.
Training schedules are where you can create different training regimens, customized to positions or players. You can create as many training schedules as you want, allowing for a great deal of micromanaging if you so please.
When you take over a new team, all your players will be assigned to a default schedule. If you cannot be bothered to micromanage training, you can either change the settings on the default schedule and leave the players there, or just ignore it, and the players will use it as is. The default schedule (starting from patch 2) will be an all-round schedule, that makes sure players get a decent amount of training across the board, and prevents the most prevalent negative side effects, such as regress and fatigue/whine.
After you have created a schedule, and set its settings (remember to click 'save') you can assign as many players as you want to it.
Observe that a player cannot *not* be on a schedule, so if you delete a schedule that still has players assigned, those players will be moved to a default schedule.
If a player is injured he won’t train - you don’t need to take him of a schedule or create a lighter schedule - the game will just let him sit out that particular training session.
A training schedule has four settings you can set.
This aspect focuses on the skills necessary for the players position. So even while QBs and LBs do not have use for the same skills, you can put them on the same schedule, and the game will make sure they train the relevant skills for their position.
This aspect focuses on developing the athleticism of players, mainly the speed and agility ratings.
This aspect focuses on developing the physical shape of the players, mainly the Strength and Stamina ratings.
Having players watch game tape and do mental reps on plays helps them prepare for upcoming games and develop their intelligence.
How many points should I assign?
The combined total of the 4 aspects you can assign to a schedule is 25 points. However, if you assign too little to a given aspect, your players may regress. If you get close to 25 in total, you run the risk of injuries, and depending on their personality players may start to complain and lose morale (the effects of which may propagate and yield further negative effects). As you will see on the default schedule, the AI is running with a total of 22 points, which will largely avoid negative effects.
After training camp, and each week during the regular season, your coaches will get back to you (in your email) with a summary of the most notable player performances in training organized by training aspect. At the top of the email you may occasionally see a few players highlighted that have either boomed or busted recently.
What determines if a player progresses
Obviously, the training schedule matters. In addition to this, there are a lot of factors, but two things are worth highlighting. The first is that personality matters a lot, and certain of the off-field player traits (listed under 'special' on the player card) can have a big impact. The second is that the player’s current ability in each rating impacts how easy it is to progress. If the player is at a level where simply teaching him the basics will yield a big improvement in his performance (i.e. a newbie LB learning to tackle properly will be able to progress from 50 to 55 in tackling with relative ease). Conversely players who are already close to perfecting a given aspect of their game will have a difficult time improving more. This is especially true for the more bodily ratings (i.e. an Olympic sprinter might need to train for months to shave just a couple of hundred MS of his 40time, similarly getting a WR to increase from 96 to 97 in speed is super difficult).
On the strategy screen you can set playbooks, game plan, formations, and view play analysis.
Setting your run/pass ratio to 100 doesn't guarantee you will throw 100% of the time. It just means max Pass which is normally around a 70/30 split. And getting to a max depends on how the games flows... if you're winning by a lot even with pass on 100 the game still runs the ball more. If you're backed up on the 1-yard line the game runs more. If you're on the 1-yard line the game runs more. If you're behind, in a 2-minute drill, or at an unfavorable down and distance, the game passes more.
Regardless of the pass/run ratio, the game will follow whichever playbook (stock or custom) you have assigned to that scenario. The game uses the pass/run ratio to determine the type of play first. After it knows whether it’s a run or a pass it will use your playbook and select a matching play. The weight determines how much that individual play will be called. If you have Slam Left set as 100 weight, but Slam Right as set to 1 weight, then Slam Left will be called 100 times more often.
*Weight does NOT affect run/pass decisions. The run/pass decision is made before the actual play is called.