Many people were excited and just as many people were skeptical about the all new Connected Careers Mode in Madden NFL 13. The mode replaced both the Franchise Mode (which was the most popular mode in Madden for most of the life of the series) and the Be a Super Star Mode (which allowed you to play a career as a player instead of a coach and GM). Both sides seemed to agree that it was an ambitious undertaking by EA Sports.
At this point, if you are even remotely interested in Madden, you already know the gist of what Connected Careers is all about. You choose to be a coach (with a lot of General Manager duties like drafting, signing players to contracts and managing the CAP) or a player. You can have an offline Connected Career or an online Connected Career.
The online Connected Career has a lot of advantages over the offline Connected Career. The chief advantage up to this point has been that the online Connected Career receives minor game-play modifications and fixes to resolve certain issues and bugs much faster than offline. This is possible because most of the data for an online Connected Career is stored on EA Sport’s own servers and so they can implement those types of things without having to get approval from hardware companies such as Sony and Microsoft. This has been crucial in making the online Connected Careers much more enjoyable to most players.
Even if you don’t want to play against other people (which is traditionally why you would choose online over offline), it is better to start a one person online Connected Career rather than an offline one. Another advantage is access to the MaddenCareer.com website. This allows you to look at data from your career and perform some minor duties like from any computer. So, if you take a break at work, you can log on and see what is going on in your virtual NFL.
Another advantage to doing an online Connected Career over an offline Connected Career is that should you decide at any time that you would like to have friends join your virtual NFL league and take control of a team or a player, you can do that. You can even have a friend join your league and be a coach of a certain team for one game and then retire and control a different team the next week. There is just so much more that you can do with an online Connected Career than there is virtually no reason not to do one…except one.
The one disadvantage of doing an online Connected Career is that you are at the mercy of EA Sports’ servers. If you are playing a game and at any time you lose your connection to the servers, your game won’t count. The servers have been reasonably stable, but inevitably there will be a time when you are in the fourth quarter of a tightly contested game when the server crashes and your game won’t count. If that happens, the only thing you can do is replay the game again.
Occasionally losing a game to the servers like losing a sock in the dryer is extremely frustrating, but the benefits far outweigh the negatives. Having access to server-side fixes is reason enough to choose online Connected Careers mode over offline. Having to replay one game out of every fifteen or so is a small price to pay if all fifteen of the other games are a better experience overall.