Well, it’s finally here. The big reveal! Madden NFL 15 CFM news. Here’s the highlights from the EA release and a few thoughts I have on it:

1. Game Prep and Confidence – The article spends a lot of time on this subject and appears to be a main factor for how CFM will play this year. It replaces the hot/cold streaks. As mentioned before, M15 CFM’s game prep functionality allows you to gain XP to upgrade backups and younger players, which is pretty cool. The confidence portion will be the biggest part of it since a player’s confidence will boost or lower his key ratings. The confidence meter looks like it touches everything – trades, winning, losing, etc and is able to be bumped positively by things like “watching game film” and other simulated actions taken during the week. The article notes that every player in CFM starts out with a confidence rating of 50, which is something I think a lot of people will squawk at depending on how much time it takes a player to get their player’s confidence up to the 75/80 number needed to boost attributes. Fans of the Seahawks will rightly wonder why both Richard Sherman and Blaine Gabbert’s confidence rating are 50 to start with. I think the confidence rating might work out pretty cool, at least until players get a sense of what really affects it and how much and what doesn’t. That’s when confidence exploiting will begin and potentially ruin a good idea. One thing I like about Game Prep/Confidence is that there are different things that you can do each week to either earn confidence or XP. This is a pretty important change and if it works, can be really cool to help create parity in leagues. For M15, all you could do was earn XP which did one of two things – allow the best teams to get better and better or discourage them a little because it takes so long to bump a speed rating from 97 to 98 for a HB for example. Once a player got out of that middle to upper tier, XP was a drag (never mind the time it took to actually spend, unless it was on a one shot upgrade). This new part of CFM should allow new guys the ability to work on their teams and feel they are progressing while allowing the top teams to boost confidence for key games and not Beast Mode every player in the process. We’ll see.

2. Free Agency Re-Design – I can’t say a whole lot about this because the article did not give specifics other than FA is now not just about money. Maybe I’m slow, but I thought it was always supposed to work like that.

3. Random Draft Classes – THANK GOD – No more draft cheat sheets? What will 75% of the Super Bowl winners in Online Leagues do? All I can say about this is, it’s about time! I know every commish out there is grateful for this because it makes league play so much better when guys don’t join a draft and pick superstar after superstar in the 7th round when the draft is in the 1st round because the drafts aren’t random. It’s been a long time since I’ve said this but, thanks EA.

4. Bulk Package XP Spending – This isn’t a huge deal or at least it shouldn’t be but, well, it is. I swore all of last year when i was upgrading guys that not ONE EA developer actually QA’d this and spent the time to upgrade a player. How can you sleep at night knowing the MILLIONS of hours spent click, click, click, clicking away to spend XP?

5. Co-Commish – Ho hum. It is one of the features I’ve been requesting as a commissioner for years so hey, I should be happy but – I only have a few requests so, at this rate, it’ll be Madden 20 before they are all in. Give me a. Auto/invite/boot from the website b. Co-Commish c. Reset a played game d. Sim to a specific result (pick the winner) e. Roster Control Here’s to Madden 25 (or MLB The Show 14) for getting all these features implemented!

6. Oh, and it has auto-pilot control. There’s other stuff in the announcement. Go check it out. I really am not a Madden hater, I just continue to be under-whelmed by CFM with regard to the commish controls. Other than that, I like a lot of the changes. If EA would just give commissioners the power to run their leagues without so much headache, I’d be leaping for joy and writing EA a thank you letter. But honestly for me as a commish, this is simply not good enough.…