Everyone saying they aren't playing the beta anymore, that leaves less people to give feedback to EA, and what does that mean? It means less stuff gets changed. If you don't want the same game every year, then how about just play the freaking beta and report what changes you wanna see, WITHOUT insulting them and being douchebags
What other games need betas to figure out major game breaking issues? Most of the betas that are out there are the devs and close people to development team testing out bugs, glitches, connectivity issues.
It's not the job of the consumer to fix the game. To say what you are saying is that the game cannot be successful without user feedback from a beta. Bull crap. They're adults, programmers, hockey fans.... it's not that difficult
Almost every game released gets some form of closed/open public beta. They rely on the consumer because if it were up to developers to make their game, it would be vastly different. One you would probably hate more because they'd want it to be more sim and more hardcore. The fact is that most people can't handle that kind of game because it's more frustrating than fun for them. Not taking consumer feedback is a HUGE mistake.
If it wasn't that difficult, you'd see a ton of hockey games on the market. I'd love to see all the people here that think it's not that difficult to make a hockey game actually make one. You guys keep asking for someone else to make one. Do it yourselves if it's so easy.
No offense, but that's just not accurate! The reason you don't see a ton of hockey games on the market comes down to MONEY! And let me clarify- MONEY TO BE MADE! There is no money in NHL games or you would see such developers like 2k sports throwing their hat into the mix. It became clear after NHL 14's HUT when they eliminated the companion app for HUT and then nerfed the auction menus of HUT (which meant the only way to build a competitive team was to buy HUT packs online). That's example number one. Another person in this thread listed a slew of issues that I also agree on. One major issue is the Defensive AI with the puck behind the net. They just skate into the back of the net which is beyond ridiculous and not even remotely acceptable, but yet it has remained in all the games since last Gen for god sakes! The list of untouched issues goes on and on as well as arguments over the direction of certain modes (ahem EASHL). I often find myself imagining what the EA sports NHL office must look like. I envision one developer (possibly another intern-POSSIBLY) in a room the size of a janitor closet with a single flickering light bulb over his run down desk and 10 year old computer. On the outside of the door is a crooked sign that has pealed paint and dirt crusted to it that says EA Sports NHL Office. OOh don't forget about that developers pet rat that he feeds at lunch everyday! Listen, all jokes aside (and my smart a$$ comments) NHL will never compete with the likes of Fifa, Madden, NBA or MLB! Jeeze I bet even Nascar brings in more income! So with that said its like any other business model applied by all corporations today. Invest the least amount of resources and maximize profit! I give you NHL fans, HUT!
But there are other small dev teams out there making games. Take the F1 team at Codemasters. For a long time, their product struggled, until they realised that an Formula One game is basically a NICHE product that caters to a very narrow group of people. If you try to "dumb it down", not only do you alienate the core fans (who are mostly hard core Formula One fanatics) but you don't really generate any "new" sales. So after a few seasons of putting a shoddy product in store shelves (and online stores), they went 180 and started to listen to the hardcore crowd and actually worked on the foundations of the game; what makes a Formula One racing game a FORMULA ONE RACING GAME. Everything was overhauled, the physics, the controls, the presentation. Everything was made to feel more like a racing game where you are a formula one driver.
They didn't cater to the kids who wanted rocket boost racing or bumper cars. They build their game from the ground up a s a hard core simulation, with the OPTION to tone things down to your level if you like. Last year's game sold about the same numbers as NHL 17 did, and that's fine. Because they understand they are making a niche game, for a niche market.
The difference is that Codemasters is committed to cater to their hardcore audience first and foremost because they understand what makes an F1 game an F1 game.
They didn't put in a 4 cars on the track mode. They didn't dumb down the physics. They didn't boost the speed of the game to make it "feel" faster. Everything in their game is Authentic. There is no other F1 game on the market. So the little kids who find it boring, well they can go play Mario Kart or they can play Call of Duty of whatever arcade game they want to play.
The devs know they can't afford to lose their hard core fans and it shows in their product and in the support they get from their HAPPY fans.
This is a great point. Talking about Codies, they also managed to revive the DiRT franchise by going sim and pleasing the hardcore group. The best marketing a video game can get is a positive buzz from the community and that always starts with the hardcore group being happy about the game. It keeps the game on the top seller/most played charts, and gets the game exposure online.
The thing that's different in racing games and sports games is that with racing games, I always have another game where I can get my simracing fix if the licensed F1 game doesn't provide it so they actually have to worry about completely loosing the hardcore group. EA doesn't really have this problem since there isn't any competition where the hardcore group could jump ship and they know this. The hardcore fans of NHL games are the type of people who just want to play something hockey related and will continue to do so even if the product is terrible.
The "hardcore" crowd thinks this game is too much of a sim as it is. The vast majority of you are asking for the skating from pre-TPS days where the limitations of the human body weren't so adhered to. The "hardcore" crowd wants a more arcade style of skating where everyone is fast, passes and shoots perfectly, can do any deke no matter the build and never gets tired. They want a more unrealistic game so the idea a hardcore game is going to get everyone to switch most likely wouldn't be true.
Dirt also has multiple years between releases. It took, what, 4 years for DIRT 4 to release? That doesn't happen with annual sports games.
That part of the hardcore crowd doesn't know what they want. Those people seem to be frustrated with TPS going nowhere and the fact that it's still an underdeveloped buggy mess causing most of the game's problems. I'm certain that if EA would release a game where it actually worked but still stayed within the limitations of the human body, people here would be all over it. At this point that seems highly unlikely so they would rather have the floaty skating that worked, and I understand that.
To be honest, NHL doesn't even need to go absolute hardcore 'sim' since I'm not sure if that's even possible in the same sense as a racing sim or a flight sim. With NHL it's more of a question of being consistent with physics and the game looking like a believable representation of hockey on all skill levels. At the moment the better the players are, the less the game actually looks like hockey because of all the exploits in the skating and physics which have become completely acceptable to use. It's baffling to me that some of the people I play 6's with doesn't even consider the 'curling away from a hit' an exploit, it has become so common that it's a legit way to play the game.
If EA actually took a year to just focus on the skating and the physics it would be a huge leap towards a better game. If they'd work to get rid of the glide bubbles, fix the pivoting and slow speed movement off the puck, get the puck pickups to an acceptable level and fix the hitting and players bouncing off of each other it would already make for a good game.
There was three years between Dirt: Showdown and Dirt Rally. Dirt Rally is the sim i was talking about, they managed to screw it up with Dirt 4 already but at least we got one proper rally sim, that seems to be a once in a decade type of thing. I only brought that up as another example of going sim but Venom's point about the F1 series still stands. F1 games are annual as well.
I think the issue is EA's interpretation of "sim" seems to involve the chance of something unexpected (read: RANDOM) occuring, when the hardcore crowd is calling for more consistency across the board. Consistency has always been considered "arcade-like" though I never understood why.
Because "RANDOM" is allowed to happen in the NHL series quite often, what ends up happening is it even affects the physics engine, making the entire game look like a buggy, unfixable mess. The same exact scenario with the same players on the ice played out multiple times could result in drastically different outcomes because the EA gods decide it to be so.
The most commonly complained about example is the RANDOM occurence of a stick maybe or maybe not being "live". This results in missed pokechecks, which weren't really missed, and horrible passing decisions being rewarded when your player does the right thing when you read the play perfectly, but the outcome is completely incorrect from time to time.
Do I even need to mention goalie problems? We have a whole thread for those.
The situation where "sim" players are asking for a less realistic skating engine eads me to this conclusion, we need to discuss what our expectations are for a SIM sports game is, and whether there should be certain variances considered from one sport to another...IE, "What is the bare minimum acceptable threshold players expect from a SIM game, and how much SIM is going too far? Is there really even a "Going to far" point to begin with? Are there differences to consider when making a SIM soccer/baseball/basketball/hockey/football game? Are there different acceptible threasholds based on the limitations of using a video game controller?"
We should talk about the good and bad of SIM, but we cannot mix up examples of good sim and the risks of taking too many or too few shortcuts to achieve that goal.