ESPN NFL 2K5 Final Slider Notes Plus Franchise House RulesIf you saw the sliders on Saturday (the post immediately below this one), I made a couple of small but important changes for the final versions. I edited the post below to include the changes, but I basically made some minor changes to pursuit and fatigue. I think they have taken the sliders to the point where they're about as good as they can get. The game itself is absolutely phenomenal.
Now, about Franchise mode. With any franchise mode, there are ways to dink and dunk the CPU to gain advantages, and while that might be fun at first, it tends over time to make the game less challenging. I've come up with some very simple house rules that will help you be challenged over time and keep Franchise mode fun.
--When trading, you must fill up the other team's 'interest bar.' This holds true even when a team makes an offer for a player you have on the trading block. Right now, you can be one bar short of full and the opposing team will accept the trade. Not so fast. Fill that bar up and it makes trading more challenging and realistic.
--Quarterbacks cannot be traded for position players, only draft picks. You can't trade for another team's starting quarterback. You also can't trade for a quarterback in his first three years in the league, because the A.I. undervalues Q.B. potential. This is all in response to the A.I. giving an inadequate value bonus for the unique nature of the quarterback position.
----Kickers cannot be traded. Ignore all those kickers on the trading block. It's wrong.
--Any contract you negotiate must include at least 30% as a signing bonus. The A.I. will let you sign players without paying any bonus at all, just by forking out a little more money for salary. That makes it too easy for you to cut players without paying for bad personnel decisions. If you really want to make this rule tough, limit your ability to cut a player's requested bonus to no more than 10% of the total contract. So 50% bonus request must get at least 40%, 40% requests must get at least 30%, etc.
Think that's stiff? The real number for guaranteed money as a percentage of total player contracts is actually around 50 percent for the 1999-2001 seasons (see http://www.nflpa.org/PDFs/Shared/Guaranteed_Contracts.pdf).
For me, these house rules have made Franchise mode more challenging and more fun.