Since I've now completed my first season with two different beta teams I thought I'd share some of my thoughts on the current state on the product. I purposely started a new thread because most of the other ones are littered with complaints with how this and that don't work, etc, and I wanted to toss out more constructive thoughts on the 3.0 game. I played this game originally back in 07-08. I'm not sure what version that was but I was OK at it back then. Very recently I got the urge to play again and here I am, so some of my thoughts might be blinded by the fact that i really haven't played in a long while and I might be totally wrong, like so far I've found 2.0 rather dull and I really like all the things I can do in 3.0
Anyway, the following is what I believe to be true. It may or may not be accurate and I'd love to here from other coaches about what they think as well.
1. Talent is king. I think this is fairly true with 2.0 as well but I've already taken down SIM teams with better talent in 2.0 just by game planning against the default plan, while in 3.0 I've tried this same method and got roasted by the SIM with better players. It was like I knew every thing they'd do, planned my defense accordingly and they just shoved their offense down my throat anyway.
2. However, game planning/coaching is a close second. Regardless of these threads I've read about how defense doesn't matter, blitzing doesn't matter, etc... from what i have experienced I am going to go on the other side of the fence and say yes it does and yes you can stop the pass. (Not totally but you can stop the bleeding). I truly believe that decent game planning pushed my Bava team to the third round of the playoffs when they should have probably lost in the first round.
I have probably ran hundreds of test games while tweaking every setting imaginable. I found I got slightly better results out of my players by tweaking stamina settings up from the default (85 I think). I originally had the idea that if stamina didn't matter I'd just lower the settings and keep my starters in 24/7 but apparently their is something to it because trying that method ended up badly in test games.
I gave up less passing plays by totally eliminating blitzing from the formation settings and playbooks. I am guessing this is possibly keeping one more person in coverage rather than sending someone (usually a safety) to try and sack the quarterback who will more often than not get the pass off anyways. I'd still get sacks on the QB, mostly by a defensive lineman who probably just broke through the offensive line. unconventional formations seem to work better to. Trying to turn a 4-4 into a quasi-cover 2 with the formation settings worked better than a nickle package in some games.
I see a lot of people discussing the chuck and pray method but I didn't really have much success with that as increasing the medium pass frequency. in fact I toyed around with multiple pass length percentages. some times the short game worked well against teams some times the medium worked better. Never did setting the passing to all long and deep ever work for me.
However, their are some head scratching things going on with 3.0. First of all my freshman quarterback with decent ratings threw for over 7300 yards and 90 touchdowns to a crew of decent receivers. Aaron Rodgers he most certainly isn't. I think if the beta was totally full of human coaches game planning it probably wouldn't be so high. More often than not passes are getting completed to someone in triple coverage (you mean there isn't two other wide open guys if one man is triple teamed? ) or the receivers just break tackles all day like their Adrian Peterson or something. However, I've noticed a lot of DB's lacking in strength so maybe that is some of the reason. DB's with strength in the mid 20's to mid 30's with receivers up in the 40's and some at 50 in strength.
Then today I got my *** kicked by Rensselaer Tech and rightfully so. That team has better players and a more experienced coach with a good plan, which goes back to my original point about talent out weighing everything else at the end of the day. I tried for hours to try and game plan a solution defensively and offensively, simulating at least 100 games to figure out what worked and what didn't. I lost about 90-94 percent of the test games so I knew beforehand what the result would be, but the strange thing is in those test games i could run the same plan against RPT's same plan and the scores were all over the place. I'd have games were the score went from losing 17-19 to winning 80-48. If the test game is the same system as the one simming the real games than some of it feels like it's some random roll of the dice. I just simmed another game against Rensselaer Tech and won 91-63, followed by a loss of 21-0. The range of scoring is just really odd.
The only conclusion I could come to about that would be that teams seem like they run on a lot of momentum. One team gets rolling and just rolls while the other withers away, but not always because I've seen a lot of high scoring back and forth Oregon Duck looking games and some 14-15 slugfest. However, the better talent usually wins the majority.
Sorry for the long post.... I'll make up for it by posting no more threads till season 4 beta ends.