I know its kind of taboo for a "franchise" guy or a "sim" guy to like MUT, but I do. It's one of those modes that brings me back to my childhood of collecting cards. I've spent quite a bit of money on it the past few years and have logged hundreds of games. Eventually though, I seem to lose interest and wonder why I invested so much time and money into it. Why is that and how can MUT engage me more? How can MUT also appeal to a broader audience so it's not so "taboo" to be a "sim" guy or "CFM" guy playing the mode? This post is designed to tackle those questions and provide ideas for making the mode more universally appealing to both existing users and those who are typically turned off by online play. Gameplay This is obviously an area that will make or break the mode for most people. Many, many users get turned off when they log on to play a game and their opponent is running the same blitz over and over that they can't solve. True, some of this is on the user. Just because the opponent is running the same thing, that doesn't mean that's all he is capable of. Maybe you just don't know how to counter it. However, I think this falls on the devs to educate their user base better. People are busy and they just want to get on and play. If they have to go to YouTube or buy an eBook to even compete, they'll just walk away (for the most part). Whether the solution is to highlight users in game like Zan who post great pieces to counter many of the online strategies that are out there or they just post their own blogs and in game tutorials (like Skills Trainer), there needs to be more of a focus on educating users on how to combat what they are facing. This, obviously, goes along with improved gameplay that limits the true exploits and gives us more options to counter the various things you can run into when playing other humans online. CPU gameplay also must be improved as many people build their teams completing solos. However, that can lose it's appeal quickly if every team is calling the same plays and otherwise feels exactly the same as every other team. Solos MUT has done a pretty good job with creating solos that people can play and use to build their team without spending a ton of money. These can become tedious at times though which is why many people claim they are "grinding solos". MLB The Show has an interesting approach to this and one which I think MUT should borrow from. They have "missions" and each mission has a different set of objectives (much like MUT). However, many of the missions are stat/achievement based. Players can unlock rewards and advance "tiers" by completing statistical objectives like hitting 3 home runs with one player or striking out 12 batters with a certain pitcher. These can also be accomplished across various game modes. You don't just have to play the CPU or even a certain team. Many of these missions are able to be completed on any game mode that isn't you playing yourself or a friend (which can be manipulated). I think this would be great for MUT as unlocking players through a series of statistical accomplishments in online modes would add a new avenue for players to pursue in team building. A lot of guys like playing online and, for them, its a chore to play the CPU. Giving them incentives and things to play for in addition to the CPU challenges would make the game much more diverse. Card Variety This is an area where I think MUT has the most room to grow. I was putting together a team of all Vikings and I noticed that Randy Moss has 14 different cards and Chad Greenway only has one. I realize that many of the different Moss cards were used for completing sets. However, the 81 OVR version is mostly worthless to be used in game because there is an 82, 83 and 84 OVR version. There are also multiple versions of some cards that have the same overall. This just doesn't make a whole lot of sense. This can also lead to resentment from users who bought packs to get one version (say the 93 or 95 version) and then two different 99 OVR versions come out. I'd like to see this limited to 2-4 versions for almost all players. For Moss, I'd like to see a rookie version that is maybe 86-88 OVR, a prime Vikings version that is around 94 OVR, a Raiders version that is around 80-82 OVR and a Patriots version that is 98-99 OVR. I'd also like to see multiple versions for more players (but with more spread out ratings). Greenway for example. If I'm building an all-Vikings team, I can only have a 71 OVR ROLB. I have no other options. But if we had a rookie Greenway at say 78 OVR and a Pro-Bowl Greenway at like 88-90 OVR, I can now build my all-time favorite Vikings team and feel like I can compete with it on all modes. I think most players should have at least two versions (a rookie and base version, base and Campus Heros, etc) for that reason. Pro-Bowl players may get 3-4, especially if they changed teams and/or there's enough variance between seasons to make it worthwhile. I also think players 95 OVR and up need to be vastly limited. I think this becomes a lot easier when there are only 3-4 versions of cards vs 7+. They don't have to keep releasing the same players with slightly improved ratings or chemistry. They can release sets with different players and allow users to build vastly more diverse lineups with a much more robust group of players to choose from. The Market The auction block is it's own entity in and of itself. Users will buy and flip cards and track trends in pricing to try and make coins for team improvement much like the stock market. MLB The Show does a tremendous job with putting trends on their cards so users can see a card's volatility and decide if it is currently a good deal. I realize MUT Head does a lot of this but not everyone know about it. Also, The Show has its own website with expanded market data as well as data on the cards themselves. MUT should have something like this too. The easier it is for people to make smart decisions and maximize their time and effort, the more likely they are to stick around and keep trying. I think the auction house right now is geared to the most savvy users and those who maybe aren't as engaged or have less time to spend really get left out. The more tools they have, the better in my opinion. Stats I mentioned The Show and how many of their missions are tied to statistical achievements. They track every conceivable stat for every card for any game they have ever played for you. You can sell the card and pick him up later and his stats accrued in game for you are still there. If you play with a card in Battle Royale (like Draft Champions) then his stats will accumulate on his card and if you buy that card in the regular mode they are there for you to analyze. I think this would be a tremendous addition to MUT and add so much replay-ability. I would love to see how many yards per game rushing I average with the various running backs I have used or what my completion percentage is with my various quarterbacks. That would truly be a game changer for this series to me. More Modes I think the addition of Salary Cap ranked was great. I also love the idea of Draft Champs. However, I'd like to see more ways to use my cards that I've put together. Let me play a full season with my team and track their stats. This could be vs users or the CPU. I know they have seasons in MUT but not in Salary Cap. There also has to be a way to play Salary Cap without a cost. SC is kind of thought as a mode for the budget conscious player. However, what they save one buying packs they have to spend on entry tickets (assuming they aren't that good). It's nice that the good players can keep earning enough rewards to keep playing but what about the average to lesser-skilled users? They're eventually going to give up and quit playing as its a negative return on investment for them. There's got to be a way for them to compete on a even playing field (lineup-wise like Salary Cap) but not feel like they're wasting money if they don't have the time or desire to compete at a high level but otherwise enjoy the mode and playing other users. Another thing that I like which The Show does is have a weekly challenge. I know MUT has moments from the current or past season, but it's only in MUT. For users that don't explore the mode, they'll never find these mini-games. It would be nice to have a series of moments that you could replay from both the current season and past seasons outside of MUT that gave MUT rewards like coins, event tickets and players. Not only would this continue to give MUT players something to "grind" but it would also give non-MUT players something different to play and entice them to try the mode by earning rewards. Achievement Levels I hate to keep bringing up The Show but I really think they killed it with Diamond Dynasty this year. Of course, they've had achievement levels in the game before, but you usually topped out fairly early. This year you have bronze, silver, gold and diamond tiers, each with 100 levels of progressions. All of your missions that you complete earn XP along with other rewards and you use that to move up your experience level. That level is then displayed to your opponents in game on a badge in the upper right hand corner of the game. I think this would be a tremendous addition to MUT. Not only can you add rank through playing any of the various modes in the game, but you can also display your achievement to your opponents. It may seem minor to some, but that's a point of pride with some people to be recognized for how much time they have put into a game. Being able to calculate that through XP and display that to others users I think would be a big hit in the community, especially if there are numerous ways to display that info like The Show has. ----------------------------------------- What ideas do you have for MUT? What do you think of the ideas I have posted? What do you enjoy most about the mode? What keeps you away from playing it? Let us know what you think in the comments!