There are changes to defense and not quite to the level of the offense, and I think there are many things we can do with defense to get where we all want to be, but I wanted to get feedback on the defense and suggestions before I start going crazy with changes. There are a couple issues with adding the things I think we all want to defense - one is that there are already a ton of settings for defense and I want to be careful about adding even more settings, and the other is that we don't really set anything currently relating to a specific game or opponent, so things like specific player match ups would be something new.
For defensive formations, the players' roles are locked in to a certain extent. Players that will play at the line, rushing the passer or stopping the rusher, will be locked in as well as where they contribute to the line. Players that drop into cover will be locked in and certain slots will be designated as FS or SS. The players that are locked into cover have the option to blitz. So right now, the only option you have in setting up defensive formations is which depth chart to pull from and the player's blitz chance.
in the playbooks, you have the option to pick the formation set (basically depth chart and blitz packages), tendency for rush or pass defense, chance to blitz on the play, and a cover setting (short, medium, or long). There will be certain differences between what players do on defense based on all these settings and hopefully it's something I can plainly lay out in the help. For instance, the SS will be closer to the line based on the Cover setting as well as if you call for a rush or pass defense. I'd like to work in these types of combination settings where we don't have to specifically set what each player is doing to avoid additional settings, as long as it gives us all the options we would want.
I think of all the additions, the defensive settings are probably the most likely to change during beta given any feedback we get. Maybe there are some more options we can find with the defensive formations and maybe there are some more options we can find in the playbook. We might also work on adding game-specific settings so we can look at something like lock-down corners, especially if we can find some simple settings that accomplish what we want. I also am not sure I like the defensive role breakdown, and I think I'll probably get some feedback on player roles within each formation, but I'm kind of counting on it.
Testing all of these settings will be tough. That's why I hope allowing people to play test games will foster more testing. It might be that you have to build some extreme playbooks, like an all short cover, all rush defense playbook, and see if game results are what you would expect, and stuff like that. I will show whether it is pass defense or rush defense in the pbp and if there is a blitz and who is blitzing, so I might add the type of cover (short, medium, long) to that as well so you can tell what is going on in each play.