The blocking AI is dumb, and it might be possible to fix it.

Sliders, settings and other adjustments to make the game more realistic.
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jose21crisis
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The blocking AI is dumb, and it might be possible to fix it.

Postby jose21crisis » Wed Jan 24, 2018 8:12 am

Something I started to realize is that the blocking AI doesn't seem to be as good as it could possibly be. For instance, during pass blocking, the O-Linemen, specially on the right side, seem uncapable of engaging a block if the defender doesn't come right at him. If the defensive end blitzes to the outside, the right tackle will barely make a move to stop him, resulting in a high RDE sack count.

During Run Blocking, at times blockers flat out refuse to block someone more dangeroud in favor of blocking someone deeper down the field. For instance, I run a power run with a FB and a G pulling, the FB engages in a block with a defender, but the G touches the defender that's coming in, but doesn't trigger the block animation, or goes deeper down the field to block a safety that is not really capable of harming the run play too much, leaving a linebacker to eat the play up.

There are more cases of this, ranging from pulling lineman incorrectly blocking on screen passes by ignoring any close defender and instead going down the field, leaving some one untouched and allowng the play to get destroyed, to blockers gettting walked around during punt returns, which help force no punt returns.

While I know I'm probably wrong, this might strive from most slider sets using Pass Blocking and Run Blocking at low levels (around 15-20) to prevent suction blocking, a offensive player suddenly engaging in a block. However, the Madden AI maybe was DESIGNED with the suction blocking in mind, maybe it is necesary for the AI to behave correctly.

This is (And a huge Your Milage May Vary warning here) that I think the newer Maddens seem to get right. Ignoring the whole "Press 1 button to break the block" instead of forcing to pick the right pass rush moves (which is dumb), the pockets seem more realistic, they are more oval, and the O-Linemen actually move around to block any incoming defender. There is still the Run Blocking issue of ignoring defenders though.
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We've yet to see a QB being as dominant as that future HOFer
And no, not those two. The one I'm talking about already retired ...
We've yet to see a WR being as dominant as that guy that won't make the HOF.
CJ ...

The blocking AI is dumb, and it might be possible to fix it.

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BUS36
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Re: The blocking AI is dumb, and it might be possible to fix it.

Postby BUS36 » Wed Jan 24, 2018 11:28 pm

From understanding blocking ( I played Defense Line in semi-pro taught both lines for HS football team and Youth Football) sometimes it is the RB that will determine the block of the G or T on the side you run. I have done the classic of holding the speed burst right after the snap. If the RB has 90 or above the blocks get over shot. Under 90 the block don't develop fast enough. Now what I have been doing is hit that speed burst when I hit the hole or just to the outside. Look also at the Break Tackle and Acceleration, cause that will tell you what can happen with the speed burst with the back. Also the acceleration on the OL will do the same on how fast he can get to the block.
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Re: The blocking AI is dumb, and it might be possible to fix it.

Postby ThePurplePeopleEater » Sat Jan 27, 2018 1:03 pm

I know exactly what you're getting at. I'll be on an outside run trying to get down the sidelines with a blocker on the inside. I'm expecting him to block the safety which puts me in an open field, but he turns around when he's just a few feet from the safety, and goes back to block a linebacker, leaving me with no choice but to get tackled.
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Re: The blocking AI is dumb, and it might be possible to fix it.

Postby jose21crisis » Sat Jan 11, 2020 2:48 pm

This is an old post, I know. But creating a new one just for this when I already made one. Basically, most of the slider sets ask for the Pass/Run Block sliders to be lower than default, while also lowering the Break Block sliders. Why this was the modus operandi, I don't know, but I thought about something. Lower block sliders mean less suction blocks BUT the AI needs suction blocks, otherwise they miss too many blocks. Pretty sure you've seen RTs just letting the LE/LOLB get by without trying to stop him, or blockers on pitch/toss plays let defenders get a TFL (This happens a lot to the CPU). With that in mind, I thought "Why not jacking up the Block sliders?". I set up a DET vs. NYG game (A Lions rebuild, we made the PO), and moved the PB/RB sliders all the way up to 65. To compensate for the increased blocking ability, I increased the False Start slider to 65 (Higher FS = lower YPC), lowered Roughing the Kicker to 15 (Lower RtK = more aggressive pursuit in the run game) and made Break Block a 99. And the results have been good. There are occasional big runs, other times the defenders burst through for a stuff, pockets look more natural, there are more block shed animations by the defenders, and I feel it is highlighting those who "can" (the good blockers, good block shedders) and those who can't (mediocre runners, bad block shedders). I shall keep testing this, but I like what I'm seeing. Heck, this might fix punt returns for all I know.
Semper fi
Spoiler:
We've yet to see a QB being as dominant as that future HOFer
And no, not those two. The one I'm talking about already retired ...
We've yet to see a WR being as dominant as that guy that won't make the HOF.
CJ ...

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Re: The blocking AI is dumb, and it might be possible to fix it.

Postby MikeWest502 » Sat Jan 11, 2020 9:36 pm

jose21crisis wrote:This is an old post, I know. But creating a new one just for this when I already made one. Basically, most of the slider sets ask for the Pass/Run Block sliders to be lower than default, while also lowering the Break Block sliders. Why this was the modus operandi, I don't know, but I thought about something. Lower block sliders mean less suction blocks BUT the AI needs suction blocks, otherwise they miss too many blocks. Pretty sure you've seen RTs just letting the LE/LOLB get by without trying to stop him, or blockers on pitch/toss plays let defenders get a TFL (This happens a lot to the CPU). With that in mind, I thought "Why not jacking up the Block sliders?". I set up a DET vs. NYG game (A Lions rebuild, we made the PO), and moved the PB/RB sliders all the way up to 65. To compensate for the increased blocking ability, I increased the False Start slider to 65 (Higher FS = lower YPC), lowered Roughing the Kicker to 15 (Lower RtK = more aggressive pursuit in the run game) and made Break Block a 99. And the results have been good. There are occasional big runs, other times the defenders burst through for a stuff, pockets look more natural, there are more block shed animations by the defenders, and I feel it is highlighting those who "can" (the good blockers, good block shedders) and those who can't (mediocre runners, bad block shedders). I shall keep testing this, but I like what I'm seeing. Heck, this might fix punt returns for all I know.


That's good info. I have had RB/PB slider at 67 for CPU for a couple seasons and will up it to 76 if I'm playing against a weaker opponent! Yesterday I started playing a week 12 franchise game, Jaguars v titans. I played as FS and SS in these examples. I was Cover 2 Man Under, but came down to LOS showing blitz. Several plays, we're up 14-3 n 2nd Qtr. As I (FS) came down to LOS outside RLOB showing blitz, uncovered! I thought I had a clear path to the QB right, wrong! The LT widened and picked me up, but no pancake! Very next play, I lined up on opposite side outside TE. TE ran his route, but the RT widened and picked me up.

Another thing I did was did using NZA 2.0 is a global rating boost for all QB's. I gave them a +10 on break tackle, + 4 Agility. So now they actually elude and break tackles, move around in the pocket and get passes down field! Instead of the dismal going down after the initial hit also think I found out why the punting and kicking is god awful! And the answer came from using the playbook editor!

On the punting and field goals, it's horrible, and if the cpu team is pinned and on 4th down the punter shanks a punt inside their own territory, I go 3 & out on purpose! But here's what's new... Madden 08 is unorthodox-ed when it comes to it's programming! While I was editing a playbook using packfan editor, I noticed the special teams plays and formations are inside the offensive books. So I went to NZA, and opened my franchise. I selected Coaches Tab! I was amazed to know the coaches are ratings based too (I never knew)! I observed the OC's, yes OC's, not ST coaches, had very low Punter/Kicker ratings. I thought to see what would happen if I raised them from the lower 40's to nothing lower than a 69. Problem solved! Now I do get the occasional shank punt or missed FG, but better punting and FG accuracy overall!

I've also modified the punt return blocking to make 6 of the 11 guys, at the snap immediately sprint back 30 yards full speed, then run block! It has improved, but the CPU punters are programmed to kick the the ball high to allow coverage to get down field.So when I lowered trajectory of punts. The returners have been getting 4-6 more yards!

Last is NZA coaches ratings tab, it seems those rating have more to do with individual players success than just sliders and player ratings. Juicing the OC's aggression will make teams try longer FG's rather than punt when close to or inside opponent 35. CPu attempting 50+ FG is normal now!

Give the blocking slider boost a try!

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BUS36
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Re: The blocking AI is dumb, and it might be possible to fix it.

Postby BUS36 » Sat Jan 11, 2020 11:34 pm

One thing I have found over the years if you hold the speed burst at the snap of the ball, you tend to out run the blockers or they miss the block entirely.
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Re: The blocking AI is dumb, and it might be possible to fix it.

Postby MikeWest502 » Sun Jan 12, 2020 9:23 pm

BUS36 wrote:One thing I have found over the years if you hold the speed burst at the snap of the ball, you tend to out run the blockers or they miss the block entirely.


Yes, that's so true, I learned that long ago. It's a technic when runnning to setup your blockers, then burst past! I hit burst, in the beginning, to get up to full speed, the come off going through to allow blockers to engage defenders! I ran a toss with the backside guard and fullback leading. The fb leading picked up the cb who broke the block of the wr. but the wr went on down field to engage the fs. Now the RG, cleaned up the ROLB. Thats normal, but the lead fb pancaked the cb whom I hurdled and continued to lead block down field where he reached (BUS36 knows about the reach blocking) the SS who was free and pursuing from the back side! As all of the was going down I was scampering own field for about 26 yards, then close to the end of the play my lead FB came flying in to pickup a 3rd block on a LB and got me a few extra yards!

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Re: The blocking AI is dumb, and it might be possible to fix it.

Postby MikeWest502 » Fri Jan 24, 2020 5:33 pm

I have found more issue with Madden 08 blocking when it comes to creating custom plays that require more that just RB or PB logic. Madden default Delay or Draw plays use PB/RB combination logic. The default Play-Action passes also use RB/PB (opposite of Draw logic) combination blocking logic! And since Madden 08 playbook editor doesn't even hold QB play-action logic, you can't expect the custom plays made in-game to be as successful or effective during game play! They just fail if the cpu runs them, the lowly cpu defense eats them up!

Since learning this, it's been a major clean-up effort with my 2020 playbooks! 8-)


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