Madden 2004 Tournament “Feature” and Work-around
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By etrigan - Last updated: Friday, September 26, 2003 - Save & Share - 6 Comments

The fantasy draft is undoubtedly the worst burden of playing our annual Madden 2004 tournament. Usually, it is a grueling 90 minutes of selecting the top players for our teams, but due to a feature in the latest version, “Madden 2004”:, we spent over 3 hours completing our draft using a work-around.

The problem appears when using the standard Tournament Mode with fantasy draft turned on. After each player in the tournament selects a team logo to play under, the draft pool appears and only contains NFL players who play for the eight teams represented in the tournament list. This means (por ejemplo) that if no-one selects the Atlanta Falcons as a team then Michael Vick is not available for the draft. Purportedly this feature was included to prevent a player in a tournament from drafting a super-team and leaving the rest of the competitors with a poor team. What it really does is eliminate the true goal of a standard Madden 2004 tournament: determining who is the best Madden 2004 player.

This is the third year in our Madden tournament. We have the same core seven players this year that we had the first year (we’ll miss you, Doc and Peter!) and we’ve added only one newbie this season. The point of having a fantasy draft each year is so that each team is filled with the top 25% of the NFL rosters. No one team is hiding power players that can overwhelm another team. Each player’s skill on the field is completely due to his ability at the PS2 controller. (No alternate sexism here — we’ve never had a female competitor.) Under the new rules of a fantasy draft in Madden tournaments, it is very likely that one team would have a particularly weak strong side or a poor choice of butter-fingered receivers. So, we found a work-around that put the “work” in work-around.

Found online in one of the Madden discussion websites, our fantasy draft work-around went something like this:

# draw random numbers for draft order*
# start Franchise Mode
# set for 32 teams
# turn on Fantasy Draft
# turn off Owner Mode
# remove Salary Caps*
# start draft
# use first 8 teams as tournament players’ teams picking real draft picks when they come up each round*
# stiff remaining 24 teams with the worst players in the league*
# after 3 hours of drafting, let computer simulate the rest of the draft
# export first 8 teams to memory card
# start Tournament mode
# set team logos to reflect Tournament players’ perferences
# load 8 teams on memory card to replace the 8 Tournament teams

*We did not follow these steps, so I can’t ensure they will work, but I think they will and if you follow our instructions you should be able to do the same and save more time than we spent. I think you can ignore the team names during the Franchise Mode draft because you retain the team logo you selected in Tournament Mode when the teams are loaded. We tried to draft as our favored teams in Franchise Mode which means we had to keep reminding ourselves which teams were our teams and which were fake teams. Instead of 8 draft picks and then quickly faking out 24 draft picks we had to work in sporadic bursts of real vs. fake draft picks.

Hopefully, “EA”: will fix this feature for 2005, but to make sure everyone should send them a suggestions e-mail bitching about the trouble. Here’s a sample message to save you from having to write your own.

bq. The limitation of Fantasy Draft in Madden 2004 that restricts the draft pool to NFL players of the selected tournament teams is unneccesary. Instead of preventing a tournament full of super teams, it actually creates paucity of skills in each team. In a home-operated tournment, like the one I participate in every year, this means our win/loss ability becomes more about exploiting the weakness in our opponent instead of our ability to actually play the video game.

bq. In next year’s version, please make this restriction on Fantasy Draft an option.

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6 Responses to “Madden 2004 Tournament “Feature” and Work-around”

Comment from cynsmith
Time September 26, 2003 at 9:20 am

A message from Ricky Williams, on

To all you Madden players, my screen name is PiruLove34. Don’t be scurred! I’m 30-14 today. It’s amazing to me. Before I put my screen name up here I couldn’t get a game to save my life, let alone a game from a ranked player. When I did I would be kickin their butts so bad they’d quit. Now I can get a game or 2 or 3 or 50 whenever I want and no matter how bad I am beating someone, they never quit. This was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Thanks to all for the great competition. Keep it coming. I’d also love to here some questions and comments from all you ballers

Comment from KellyMc
Time September 26, 2003 at 11:25 am

Damn, I thought games were supposed to be fun.

Comment from etrigan
Time September 26, 2003 at 12:38 pm

Yeah, it was a lot of work. Even more than I mention in the post. Last Thursday we spent about an hour finding the bug and trying to brainstorm our own work-around. (Thank God for the internet!)

Still, all this prep will produce at least 4-5 months of fun Thursday nights in front of Becky II (aka The Big-ass TV) competing with friends and drinking a beer or two.

Comment from Doc
Time September 26, 2003 at 5:00 pm

I’m sad already. Please tell me someone picked up Amani “its not a” Toomer for me!

Comment from tuck
Time November 4, 2003 at 11:40 am

cant nobody fuck with me period

any challenge

Comment from matthew will
Time January 15, 2004 at 4:23 pm

all yall is garbage. yall cant hang with me. if yall want to test my ability to whoop yall then come online and my name is YallgaRBage. if yall think yall can hang then bring it. CHUMPS

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