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Offline player-Pros/Cons of gameplay

I’ve been a regular NHL series player over the years, sticking to offline mode. Rating the overall feel, skill level of AI, and general gameplay consistency I do feel like there is a gap to filled on EA’s end. Being a former hockey player, I prefer realism in the game over padding stats with ridiculous goals/dekes, etc. The skating engine is by far the best in this series. I enjoy the agility of the players movement, and their motion seems a bit more fluid with edge work.

What’s lacking is the consistency with gameplay vs AI. I typically can play on superstar in previous series, but I’m forced to switch between Pro and Allstar because of the extreme polarity in gameplay. Allstar assumes the AI is invincible. Overpowered forecheck on the PK, way too many accurate passing touches in the O-zone without losing the puck, and unrealistic shot selection/goals by the AI in the ozone. AI appears to be more sound in terms of overall puck management in their D zone though, forcing me to choose carefully my own shot selection, or passing options. Unfortunately, the aggression on the PK by AI, even with proper tuning, is extremely unrealistic. At times I’ll have the ability to set up my PP as the AI backs off a bit, but once they gain possession and dump it, I’m being forced to have my D play more cautiously so as to get back to the puck before the AI rushes in to steal it in my zone. This forces unnecessary board rims in order to set up again, and I lose possession. They need to fix that aspect. The PK line should typically play more cautiously so as not to get caught in the o-zone. Also, the PK should NEVER send in 2 forecheckers. On Allstar this is the norm.
On Pro, I feel like the gameplay tilt is ridiculously overpowered. I’ll end a game with 35 shots while the AI has 5! To make up for it, I’ll tune the AI goalie to near superhuman power in order to make the game somewhat enjoyable. 8-2 games are not fun. I’d rather play a game with fairly realistic shot totals and score of 2-1 then that garbage.
Also, an option for D-men to rim the puck off the glass would be great. I don’t know how many delay of game penalties are called in one game, but it’s ridiculously high. Throwing the puck up the boards along the ice is typically a no-go for most skilled defenseman. Option to pass, or high off the glass.
Also, the option to pass out of zone to my forwards is really bad. Even with a strategy set to have puck support, my dmen are forced to pass the puck to my forwards facing up the ice rather then opening up for a true pass. Funny enough, they miraculously catch a pass facing in the wrong direction. Not good gameplay.
Lastly, board work support. On a rare occasion does a player kick the puck out from a board scrum. That’s what the stick is typically used for (sarcasm). Skate kicking the puck free is the only option when pinned. Not realistic at all. Plus, my teammates seemingly float around the perimeter rather then supporting play along the boards. I hate this aspect of gameplay, and it definitely needs to be addressed.
I’m fairly certain the devs could address these issues, and in my opinion, tune down the focus on HUT/pay to play. I understand it’s a business, but it appears that this series is forgetting the seasoned Vets who’ve played this game long before the internet was an option. Keep it pure, keep it realistic as it can be, and remember your roots EA. Remember, Hockey is a nitch sport. Loyalty should be the priority over glitz. 👍
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