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Dynamic difficulty is ruining versus play

Replies

  • You guys must have not played this game very much. In EA hockey, EVERY shot is a scoring chance. Trust me.
  • In my view, there is Momentum/Catchup/DDA(MUD) logic implemented in the game. I have played thousands of matches the past few years and basing this on my observations.

    Example of momentum is when you are playing a tight close game and succeed to score the opponent just walks right through your team the next shift to even it up. Or a 0-0 game in the middle of the third, if you score you know you probably will win by 4-5 goals. These examples are true for the opposite of course.

    Catchup is also so obvious where you outclass your opponent and score two quick goals and suddenly the whole game starts to be a grind where nothing comes easy. Every bounce ends up on the opponent stick, you start missing open nets, Their goalie becomes a superstar and your superstar goalie becomes a newbie.

    Now, in real hockey, there is momentum and teams with the lead tend to play cautious and it´s totally understandable to try to replicate this. Without it, I´m sure the game would be very mechanic. It maybe should be toned down a bit and EA should be honest about it and instead explain how to beat it. Having players with high poise, much experience, play safe when a momentum shift is about to happen. The fact that EA denies the existence of this is why i cannot take anything they say seriously, you have to be blind to not see this in the game.

    DDA(MUD), For me it makes a lot of sense for EA to implement it. Just read the DDA paper to understand why it would benefit EA if you are unsure. I have been in the belief that DDA symptoms have been because of poor P2P connection but I´m pretty sure that it is not. I am 100% sure the DDA is the result of slider manipulation because Lag is a totally different thing but I can replicate DDA(MUD) by mixing with the gameplay sliders and it is noticeable both online and offline. I have monitored the network traffic on a package level having Mud and not having it and there is no difference and anyway, why should i have it playing offline challenges. For instance, grinding for Gartner i played many games against the TOTW on rookie. Without experiencing MUD i averaged +50 goals per game. When MUD was present i scored 20-30 per game with the same team, same opponent. There is absolutely no question about whether DDA exist or not. DDA/MUD feels 100% the same in online games and goes hand in hand with offline.

    One thing that i think is strange is that i live in Sweden and often matchup against players from Finland and i most often play with a MUD disadvantage against them. That makes me think that EA also has some kind of bad lag compensation that means that they adjust the sliders for the one with the better connection.

    I´m a developer myself, In my industry, we developers see a lot of possibilities to do great stuff but the management wants us to only focus on the stuff that is directly profitable in the short term. I believe the good intentions from the developers but they have demands from above.

    But DDA must disappear from HUT. It totally kills the game.
  • It seems more notice-able when playing with the ai goalies over human ones, but for our club it always seemed when we went up by 2 goals on NHL 18, thats when the shift happened. On 19, it seems that 3 goals in the magic number. Any and every time we go up by 3, we have to completely change the style we are playing, because no matter what, it seems like the game is doing things to allow the other team to catch up. Its laughable how often this happens. Our club mainly plays eashl 3 on 3. My favorite thing goes down is playing an entire game with maybe one or 2 penalty shots through 2-1/2 periods, but in the last 10 minutes of the 3rd when leading, all of the sudden everything we do is a penalty.
  • NHLDev
    1668 posts EA NHL Developer
    In my view, there is Momentum/Catchup/DDA(MUD) logic implemented in the game. I have played thousands of matches the past few years and basing this on my observations.

    Example of momentum is when you are playing a tight close game and succeed to score the opponent just walks right through your team the next shift to even it up. Or a 0-0 game in the middle of the third, if you score you know you probably will win by 4-5 goals. These examples are true for the opposite of course.

    Catchup is also so obvious where you outclass your opponent and score two quick goals and suddenly the whole game starts to be a grind where nothing comes easy. Every bounce ends up on the opponent stick, you start missing open nets, Their goalie becomes a superstar and your superstar goalie becomes a newbie.

    Now, in real hockey, there is momentum and teams with the lead tend to play cautious and it´s totally understandable to try to replicate this. Without it, I´m sure the game would be very mechanic. It maybe should be toned down a bit and EA should be honest about it and instead explain how to beat it. Having players with high poise, much experience, play safe when a momentum shift is about to happen. The fact that EA denies the existence of this is why i cannot take anything they say seriously, you have to be blind to not see this in the game.

    DDA(MUD), For me it makes a lot of sense for EA to implement it. Just read the DDA paper to understand why it would benefit EA if you are unsure. I have been in the belief that DDA symptoms have been because of poor P2P connection but I´m pretty sure that it is not. I am 100% sure the DDA is the result of slider manipulation because Lag is a totally different thing but I can replicate DDA(MUD) by mixing with the gameplay sliders and it is noticeable both online and offline. I have monitored the network traffic on a package level having Mud and not having it and there is no difference and anyway, why should i have it playing offline challenges. For instance, grinding for Gartner i played many games against the TOTW on rookie. Without experiencing MUD i averaged +50 goals per game. When MUD was present i scored 20-30 per game with the same team, same opponent. There is absolutely no question about whether DDA exist or not. DDA/MUD feels 100% the same in online games and goes hand in hand with offline.

    One thing that i think is strange is that i live in Sweden and often matchup against players from Finland and i most often play with a MUD disadvantage against them. That makes me think that EA also has some kind of bad lag compensation that means that they adjust the sliders for the one with the better connection.

    I´m a developer myself, In my industry, we developers see a lot of possibilities to do great stuff but the management wants us to only focus on the stuff that is directly profitable in the short term. I believe the good intentions from the developers but they have demands from above.

    But DDA must disappear from HUT. It totally kills the game.

    You actually hit on it in your post. You mention how teams play differently with the lead in real life but then say that we must do something to manipulate that in the game. We don't need to do anything on our side as that is up to you and your opponent. I am sure when your opponent goes down by a goal or two, they change their urgency to score which would ramp up as time is running out. Some teams would play sound defense and go on to hold their 2-0 lead and win, others will add another goal or two taking advantage of their over aggressive opponent and win 4-0 and others will buckle under that pressure and end up in a 2-2 game headed to overtime. We don't have to manipulate anything for those things to happen and we don't.
  • You actually hit on it in your post. You mention how teams play differently with the lead in real life but then say that we must do something to manipulate that in the game. We don't need to do anything on our side as that is up to you and your opponent. I am sure when your opponent goes down by a goal or two, they change their urgency to score which would ramp up as time is running out. Some teams would play sound defense and go on to hold their 2-0 lead and win, others will add another goal or two taking advantage of their over aggressive opponent and win 4-0 and others will buckle under that pressure and end up in a 2-2 game headed to overtime. We don't have to manipulate anything for those things to happen and we don't.

    First of all, thanks for the reply. much appreciated!
    But you only respond on the catchup logic and your reasoning does not explain how come my players suddenly get slower, my AI constantly being at the wrong position both offensively and defensively and start taking stupid decisions, my players start missing open nets and whiffing one-timers and so on... A lot of stuff that is out of my control.
  • NHLDev
    1668 posts EA NHL Developer
    First of all, thanks for the reply. much appreciated!
    But you only respond on the catchup logic and your reasoning does not explain how come my players suddenly get slower, my AI constantly being at the wrong position both offensively and defensively and start taking stupid decisions, my players start missing open nets and whiffing one-timers and so on... A lot of stuff that is out of my control.
    I didn't try to only answer one piece. I actually think its all related and that is the answer to all of it. I think it becomes a bias in how people recognize those things in different contexts.

    There are certain mechanics that could be improved with the game and there is also user error that can result in some of those things happening but they can all happen at anytime in the game. How we remember them sometimes changes based on the context and we attribute them to the game doing something on purpose. We aren't doing that though and that is why sometimes teams go on to win 4-0 and other times it gets tied up 2-2 and sent to OT.

  • Come on, I have been playing this game since the nineties. I´ve put a ridiculous amount of time into HUT the past years and to imply that i cannot detect when my players are not as responsive like they were the match before or just minutes ago is insulting. As i stated in my first post i can 100% replicate MUD by adjusting the sliders so for me the dynamic slider adjustment is a fact.

    As we both are developers we both know that a bug-free application does not exist. Instead of taking mine and many others bug reports (As they have to be since you did not put it into the code by design), you instead deny that the bug exists by blaming it on your customers claiming that they are delusional.

    Just why would you do that, it would be in your best interest to fix a "bug" unless you want the "bug" to be there of course. If you want to gather data to fix this bug once and for all i´m at your service for free if your intentions are right.

  • Last night and this morning i experience massive MUD both offline and online. The gameplay is totally different than what i experienced on Thursday. The animations is strange, AI erratic and so on.

    Just for one time try to offer another explanation than it´s in my head because that is so insulting.
    Can it be that...
    My Swedish premium 1GB fibre internet connection is not enough?
    Open nat is not enough?
    Cat6 Cable is not enough?
    My ISP is specifically targeting EA P2P packets since no other service has any troubles?

    Come on, IF hypothetically some of us really experiencing mud and it is not in our heads. As a developer, what would be your best guess to where the problem lies?
  • NHLDev
    1668 posts EA NHL Developer
    Last night and this morning i experience massive MUD both offline and online. The gameplay is totally different than what i experienced on Thursday. The animations is strange, AI erratic and so on.

    Just for one time try to offer another explanation than it´s in my head because that is so insulting.
    Can it be that...
    My Swedish premium 1GB fibre internet connection is not enough?
    Open nat is not enough?
    Cat6 Cable is not enough?
    My ISP is specifically targeting EA P2P packets since no other service has any troubles?

    Come on, IF hypothetically some of us really experiencing mud and it is not in our heads. As a developer, what would be your best guess to where the problem lies?

    If it is offline as well, then you don't need to even consider the internet connection side. If it has changed since Thursday, then I also don't know as nothing has been updated or changed in that window so you are playing the exact same game.

    Thinking outside the box to see you eye to eye and take it away from your perception, are you playing on xbox? and do you leave the game running? Is it possible the game isn't handling staying in memory very well on your console? Is the game installed on your primary hard drive or is it external? (I saw a few posts of people speculating about differences there)

    I wonder if you shut the game and your console down completely if that changes things for how it feels offline.

    Finally, are you always playing the game on the same tv and same setup? Do you ever change modes on your tv where you could sometimes be playing in game mode and sometimes not or anything like that where it could introduce latency just in the output of the image itself relative to your controls?
  • So i noticed a change after thursday too. There was a gameply update or something downloaded and suddenly ive been able to rack up more wins in a row until one of those games happens when i cant score. Just yesterday i increased by 565 to 600 in versus.

    What changed? I hit the 570 - 579 barrier at least 10 to 15 times prior to now, and it always made it impossible for me to win those games to get past that score. I even dropped all the way to 500 at least three times. My play style hasnt changed in months, but yesterday was the first day where i didnt get stuck in an artificial win /loss tailspin.
  • NHLDev wrote: »

    If it is offline as well, then you don't need to even consider the internet connection side. If it has changed since Thursday, then I also don't know as nothing has been updated or changed in that window so you are playing the exact same game.

    Thinking outside the box to see you eye to eye and take it away from your perception, are you playing on xbox? and do you leave the game running? Is it possible the game isn't handling staying in memory very well on your console? Is the game installed on your primary hard drive or is it external? (I saw a few posts of people speculating about differences there)

    Turning off the console has no affect on the affects people are mentioning. Ive tried it. The game can get into a strange state where music stops playing or the game crashes after you play a bunch of games. It is installed on my primary drive.
    Finally, are you always playing the game on the same tv and same setup? Do you ever change modes on your tv where you could sometimes be playing in game mode and sometimes not or anything like that where it could introduce latency just in the output of the image itself relative to your controls?

    Always on the same tv and same settings for me.
  • If it is offline as well, then you don't need to even consider the internet connection side. If it has changed since Thursday, then I also don't know as nothing has been updated or changed in that window so you are playing the exact same game.
    Thinking outside the box to see you eye to eye and take it away from your perception, are you playing on xbox? and do you leave the game running? Is it possible the game isn't handling staying in memory very well on your console? Is the game installed on your primary hard drive or is it external? (I saw a few posts of people speculating about differences there)
    I wonder if you shut the game and your console down completely if that changes things for how it feels offline.
    Finally, are you always playing the game on the same tv and same setup? Do you ever change modes on your tv where you could sometimes be playing in game mode and sometimes not or anything like that where it could introduce latency just in the output of the image itself relative to your controls?

    First of all, i want to clarify that all my experiences have led me to believe that the MUD is the result of a DDA engine or something of the likes especially since the EA DDA paper fit the bill. BUT i am totally open for that i am a victim of a bug in the game and that you guys have not implemented anything like a DDA in HUT. I am though after years of playing and thousands and thousands of games played not open for an explanation that it is all in my head. The hours i have put into this game is massive and i can feel when something is very off. You should be able to look at my history and see that I´m telling the truth about games played and achievement.

    I Will try to provide as many relevant facts as possible. Once again it is very noticeable when i play with MUD/Fatman Lag or not and i have tried so much different solutions the past years that i probably can't remember them all. I absolutely love the game when it is crisp and fluent and my players react to my commands but unfortunately, it is very rare for me. But those rare days and a hope for a solution is what keeps me playing but i have to avoid playing online while having mud because it´s no point. I start losing hope and think i have to abandon the only game i play.

    I will just list what i have tried regarding network first.
    Tested 6 different ISP (including Fibre, Adsl & Mobile)
    5 Different routers
    Wireless/wired
    Open/moderate/strict nat
    Vpn
    QOS and different settings
    I have captured console packages from my pfsense router and compared the pattern.
    I pretty much have tried everything but play from a different geographical place.

    All this make it hard to believe that it is network related on my side anyway.

    For the hardware
    Tried two different XBOX
    Tried on two different brands of pc gaming screens and a projector.
    The MUD has not appeared in relation to any change of settings either on my hardware or in XBOX settings.
    Own 6 controllers and same behaviour on all wireless/wired.
    I have tried a total factory reset several times.
    Have tried different energy xbox settings.

    Since i work a lot from home i probably are online in the game 16 hours per day but while having MUD a restart / Hard reset does not fix it so i cannot see how it can be related. I have the game installed on my internal hard drive and currently, it´s the only installed game so it cannot be related to a full drive (But maybe drive performance) But why would a game feel muddy because of that, i cannot believe that the game constantly reads the disk during a match? I have thought of upgrading to an Xbox X but i have heard that people experience mud on that console as well.

    The thing that i find so strange is that this fall i have contacted EA support on four occasions to complain about mud. All four times they have asked me to different stuff on my side like clearing persistent storage, alternate mac, hard reset, wipe game settings and so on. When i try these things by myself nothing changes but every time i have been in contact with the support and done what they are asking the mud has disappeared for a day or a couple. Four times is a bit much to be coincidence i think. But i refuse to constantly be in contact with the support since it takes so much time, i just want to be able to enjoy the game.
  • DontNeedTips
    187 posts Member
    edited November 2018
    OP. honestly, maybe you are just not as good as you think you are?

    If you can't get back to back wins and you think it's becuase of the team you pick.....

    Like... Really? I would take a step back and assess your play.
    Post edited by DontNeedTips on
  • Fatboyee
    83 posts Member
    edited November 2018
    OP. honestly, maybe you are just not as good as you think you are?

    If you can't get back to back wins and you think it's becuase of the team you pick.....

    Like... Really? I would take a step back and assess your play.

    That post added nothing. Theres nothing wrong with the way i play. Btw now im hovering between 622 and 612 points. I haven't had a prolonged stretch of 25 games where its win loss.

    One thing i noticed is that since the gameplay update mattews is scratched on toronto. Im able to win without him easier then i could with him.

    Also ive noticed players with a higher rank tend to use lower rated teams.

    Perhaps ea can tells us what is done in the background to allow a poor team be more competitive with a good team? I wonder if that is the clue.

    What id ask is a player at a disadvantage using a lower rated team? If so, in what way?
  • So now ive lost all the poits ive gained after 5 losses. All of a sudden i cant win a face off no matter what i do, and my players either lose the puck if i try to do anything in the attack zone or the ai players on the opponents team intercepts anything that comes close to them (wristers, slaps, passes even sauce.). Ive even seen oponents ai reach behind them and stretch to pick off a pass.

    My Ai players rarely intercept a puck or a pass goes right through them. I hit pass and its ignored. I try a one timer and the player hardly gets a shot off. I also recorded a video where i scored and the puck went through the net. Im just not enjoying winning or losing in this game.
  • Sgt_Kelso
    1255 posts Member
    edited November 2018
    I think bad AI behaviour might be down to lag: could be that he game needs to read some stuff for the AI constantly from server, and lag makes this suffer.

    That's a bit far-fatched maybe, more likely is that the AI tries to react to what the players are doing, where they're positioned etc. and if there's lag with getting this info and processing it, the AI makes bad choices or doesn't react at all. As if it didn't know where the live player/players are?

    That might be why it seems like the AI on one side is superhuman, and on the other it's brain-dead? Because often it's clear they're from another planet, and it has nothing to do with strategy settings.

    Just throwing this out there.
  • j0rtsu67
    480 posts Member
    edited November 2018
    Sgt_Kelso wrote: »
    I think bad AI behaviour might be down to lag: could be that he game needs to read some stuff for the AI constantly from server, and lag makes this suffer.

    That's a bit far-fatched maybe, more likely is that the AI tries to react to what the players are doing, where they're positioned etc. and if there's lag with getting this info and processing it, the AI makes bad choices or doesn't react at all. As if it didn't know where the live player/players are?

    That might be why it seems like the AI on one side is superhuman, and on the other it's brain-dead? Because often it's clear they're from another planet, and it has nothing to do with strategy settings.

    Just throwing this out there.
    It would be interesting to hear @NHLDev's opinion on this one.
  • Sgt_Kelso wrote: »
    I think bad AI behaviour might be down to lag: could be that he game needs to read some stuff for the AI constantly from server, and lag makes this suffer.

    That's a bit far-fatched maybe, more likely is that the AI tries to react to what the players are doing, where they're positioned etc. and if there's lag with getting this info and processing it, the AI makes bad choices or doesn't react at all. As if it didn't know where the live player/players are?

    That might be why it seems like the AI on one side is superhuman, and on the other it's brain-dead? Because often it's clear they're from another planet, and it has nothing to do with strategy settings.

    Just throwing this out there.

    I am 1000% convinced AI suffers from the same lag when you do. I do not see how your AI can be real time when you yourself have 1 second of delay. Only seems logical your AI also has 1 second of delay. When I feel laggy, or my player feels sluggish, my AI plays worse than normal. The AI gets passive and seems to take a step back.
  • NHLDev
    1668 posts EA NHL Developer
    edited November 2018
    j0rtsu67 wrote: »
    It would be interesting to hear @NHLDev's opinion on this one.

    I spoke to our lead Gameplay engineer who has also been a lead Online engineer for some perspective before jumping into this one and confirmed that the delay that a player may experience due to different network conditions in either a P2P game or a Server based game will not impact the ai on either side. The game is running at a set update that has to remain in sync.



  • If you say so, it's a theory only; but what do you mean by "The game is running at a set update that has to remain in sync"? Can you open that up a bit, please?

    I don't like to play with AI players anyways, the ideal would be 6v6 in clubs, but sadly our club can't get that many players in play anymore.
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