Madden Ultimate Team – Additional comments after first few games.

My Madden Ultimate Team (MUT) pretty much sucks; still using my default starter pack team which may in some small way contribute to my awful record. I am currently 1-3, but have burned 6 contract cards. In other words, I only have enough cards left for 4 more games. That may not be entirely true, since I probably have not used all my starter set cards in all my games.

Why the discrepancy? One game I was disconnected; the server message said I would not get charged, but nonetheless I think I was still hit for a contract.

I did quit another game because halftime of the Vikings/Saints was over; I thought halftime would last longer than a regular season game, but I digress. Besides, I felt like I was getting a total cheese job from the Lions, so why waste my time to finish up such a dreadful game experience?

This brings me to another point. You know things are pretty bad with my default team when I am getting killed by the likes of the Detroit Lions. Detroit was up on my 21-0 in the first quarter with a whopping 51 seconds of total possession time. Three scores; one pick-six, one bomb where my players could not tackle the receiver, and one long run where once again my players could not tackle worth a damn. In my dotage I would do a rewind on some of these plays because I felt like they were total garbage. I do not have enough free time to feel like I am getting completely clowned by the CPU!

The one game I won was a FG fest; 9-3 against Tampa Bay. The only reason I won was because I went into completely clock management mode and attempted to protect my meager lead. This started when I was up 6-3, so that says it all!

That is not to say things are all bad; I actually like the concept and enjoy a decent (non stressful challenge). I am just not sure that I will have the patience to keep this up.

From my experience with the game, the more points you score, the less you give up and whether you win or lose the game are the biggest determining factors as to how many points you earn. Even if you lose and score 7-10 points a game, you will be rewarded with roughly 200 coins. With new card packs that include upper-echelon players costing 3,000 coins, some may find the task of building a team without resorting to spending real money a chore.

I don’t play Madden 10 online, and I don’t think I will start online MUT anytime soon, but at some point that may be better than getting beat over and over again by the CPU. Right now I am not interested in paying “real” money to upgrade my team, but if I want to be well represented online, it sounds like spending cold hard cash is the only way to survive.

Another issue is that this is obvious just a monetization effort for EA, by charging for player cards, EA stripped the skill out of this mode. All I need to do is spend $20 and I can instantly buy the Ultimate Team, which is very lame.

Where to from here? I have 1100 or so coins and most of my “good” players (OK, they are starters, but that does not make them good) only have 4 games left. Not sure what happens when you actually run out of players. I’ll either have to buy more Bronze packs, or watch my team get really bad (I can’t imagine being any worse!).

I really wanted to hold out and save for a Silver pack (1500), but I bet I end up having to go with a couple of Bronze packs (500) just to have enough players to field at each position. No doubt that Gold and Platinum packs are beyond my capabilities.

Of course MUT is only a few weeks old, but I am not sure if the developers considered the economy for average (to subpar) Madden gamers, that do not cheat, use money plays, try to trick the system, etc. I play for realistic statistics, and since I suck, I am mired in mediocrity.

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