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Clearly scripted gameplay

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  • Bmh245
    905 posts Member
    NHLDev wrote: »
    The ai defense is more likely to do that when the strong side defender gets burned as they are then considering the puck carrier and the pass lane and are more urgent in their decision making as the puck carrier is no longer contained properly.

    This is true, but it doesn't make the AI's decisionmaking in this situation any less bizarre. Once the strong-side defender is burned, it's a 2-on-1, with the puck carrier even with the top of the circles. How often in this game - if ever - does a puck carrier in that situation pass the puck across the center of the ice to a shooter in the high slot for a one-timer? I'm not sure I've ever seen it. Of course the puck carrier is going to attack the net and force the goalie to commit one way or the other. So the AI defenseman's "decision" to step up there - which is not rare, but way too common - to cut off a pass that has a 1% chance of coming is just madness.

    What's especially frustrating about this is that it's a new problem. It's never been an issue in past games, and I don't understand what problem you guys thought you were trying to solve by making weakside defensemen more aggressive at guarding the high slot - and that's regardless of strategy, which is another frustrating part of all this.
  • NHLDev
    1680 posts EA NHL Developer
    edited March 2020
    Bmh245 wrote: »
    NHLDev wrote: »
    The ai defense is more likely to do that when the strong side defender gets burned as they are then considering the puck carrier and the pass lane and are more urgent in their decision making as the puck carrier is no longer contained properly.

    This is true, but it doesn't make the AI's decisionmaking in this situation any less bizarre. Once the strong-side defender is burned, it's a 2-on-1, with the puck carrier even with the top of the circles. How often in this game - if ever - does a puck carrier in that situation pass the puck across the center of the ice to a shooter in the high slot for a one-timer? I'm not sure I've ever seen it. Of course the puck carrier is going to attack the net and force the goalie to commit one way or the other. So the AI defenseman's "decision" to step up there - which is not rare, but way too common - to cut off a pass that has a 1% chance of coming is just madness.

    What's especially frustrating about this is that it's a new problem. It's never been an issue in past games, and I don't understand what problem you guys thought you were trying to solve by making weakside defensemen more aggressive at guarding the high slot - and that's regardless of strategy, which is another frustrating part of all this.

    In the worst case scenarios it definitely seems bizarre but what they do in those worst outcomes isn't what we intended.

    What was on our plate this year in that realm was to make sure players didn't just come down the wing and blindly throw weak wristers on the net for rebounds this year. The goalie was going to have new behaviors in redirects and controlled saves (which in my opinion turned out really well) and we also had tasks for the weakside ai to be aware of defending against the rebound (if they did still come) as well as wanting to give the shooter the long weak shot over allowing them an easy chance to center the puck to a more dangerous player/position on the ice. So that is where the pass lane comes in, especially as the threat of the driving winger will become a threat but it was never expected for them to jump up into that lane, only consider it as they managed their gap still moving backwards with the rush.

    That is what we are looking at improving to understand why it took what we intended and turned that into overly aggressive concern for that lane at times and in the further future, still wanting to look at better analysis of the threat of the puck carrier vs the pass option for the lone defender.
  • NHLDev
    1680 posts EA NHL Developer
    NHLDev wrote: »
    Bmh245 wrote: »
    EA_Aljo wrote: »
    Bmh245 wrote: »
    EA_Aljo wrote: »
    Those actions are based on what the humans are doing. If you control your defense, you avoid them stepping up.

    What are you talking about? Are you actually saying if you play on-the-puck defense it's your fault that your off-the-puck defenseman is going to idiotically step up and let the backside winger in for an easy tap-in? That's just an indefensible argument to make.

    Why are you defending this clear example of scripted idiocy by the AI? And why in God's name have the developers not fixed it, more than six months after the game was released?

    That's not what I'm saying. I've seen what you're talking about occur and I agree it's frustrating. It's just not one that is very common with me. What I'm saying is that you have a better chance of defending that play by controlling the defense. I'm agreeing with you, but I'm suggesting how you can help avoid that play from happening with the current version of the game because we don't have any information on if/when this will be addressed.

    I still don't know what you mean by "controlling the defense" - are you talking about controlling the off-the-puck defenseman? Because yes, that does keep the off-the-puck defenseman from stepping up, but it also means that you can't control the defenseman who's on the puck carrier. Which honestly feels so weak.

    The only way to prevent this which is so stupid ,is take the off the puck d man bring him quickly to the front of the net then switch back the the other d man to pressure the puck carrier ,but if you get a guy that knows what he's doing with that stupid self sauce pass that yet has been addressed he'll probably go right by you so again fix this because it's not the players fault that the game is broken

    We have been working on improvements for both of these things. Self sauce, just so everyone is aware doesn't give your player a speed boost or anything -- if anything it can slow you down depending on the pickup you get after releasing it or could cause a turnover if you aren't delicate enough with it. So from a speed perspective you are better just to hustle. It does however cause some issues with loose puck ai so can cause the most issues for ai players so that is why we are looking at that and our assessment of 'guarding pass lanes'. Our players are too aggressive in trying to cut off the early one timer pass that they can give up a later tap in one timer behind them depending on how things play out. We fixed a few issues around it in our last update and a few more rare issues than that still exist.

    The ai defense is more likely to do that when the strong side defender gets burned as they are then considering the puck carrier and the pass lane and are more urgent in their decision making as the puck carrier is no longer contained properly. This is why some believe they can control it more or see it less than others because they may play better on puck defense and when the puck carrier becomes less of a threat (ie drives wide or goes below the goal line) they may switch to guard the pass or drop off their close gap with the puck carrier and take the pass lane that way as well.

    Either way, we are looking at it and it won't change until if and when an update goes live so in the meantime you can accept others advice on best current tactics (and there are tons of players shutting players out still) and also know we have heard the pieces that you all want us to improve.

    I’d be interested to see how the AI define “getting burned” and “no longer containing him properly” as I’ve been saying for years that the AI have a much more strict interpretation of positioning than a real user would which leads to them over-committing and quick to leave their assignments. Just watching how they react, the scenarios when it happens, and the angles they take, I’m 100% convinced it’s more to due with their interpretations of positing than their actual ability to position themselves properly if that makes sense.

    There’s a reason why AI EASHL D partners are insufferable to play with. As soon as you let a guy go wide on you, knowing that even if he’s a half a step ahead of you on the outside you still can beat him back to the post, the AI sprints (at a horrible angle) towards the puck carrier which exposes the “cross-crease” pass everyone likes to complain about.

    I’m sure there’s other factors you’re trying to address, but it seems like their “reading” or “understanding” of actual position is flawed. When the AI strong-side dman is “burned” the weak-side AI defensemen also doesn’t help by taking a direct angle at the carrier rather than an angle at the far post or somewhere that leads the carrier to create the illusion of anticipation.

    If I were a competitive 1v1 player, I’d rather my weakside D stay on his course in the middle and let me at least decide fro myself what to do. Seems somewhat static but it’d mitigate these issues and would create that always talked about “skill gap” by making players read and adapt to situations quickly.
    Yep, I agree and we have talked about that. Some of the changes we are trying to get in will help the worst cases but they still see the puck carrier as more of a threat than they should too early at times.

    It isn't a matter of being able to identify that from a game tape perspective, it is more on the execution side that it gets hard to do. There are plenty of times the ai does stay with the weakside player very well and there are times they make bad mistakes.

    You are right that they they could be more passive so that in modes where the user can switch they are there to take two cracks at what they personally want to do but right now other than turning off the defensive actions, from a position standpoint, we don't code unique ai for all the modes. It is a concept we talked about in these improvements though -- specifically saying that if we were looking at passive vs aggressive, it would be better for modes like VS and HUT to have more passive rather than more aggressive as it at least gives the human the option. But at this stage, it would be bug fixes and improvements and not bigger changes like that.
  • Bmh245
    905 posts Member
    NHLDev wrote: »
    So that is where the pass lane comes in, especially as the threat of the driving winger will become a threat but it was never expected for them to jump up into that lane, only consider it as they managed their gap still moving backwards with the rush.

    That is what we are looking at improving to understand why it took what we intended and turned that into overly aggressive concern for that lane at times and in the further future, still wanting to look at better analysis of the threat of the puck carrier vs the pass option for the lone defender.

    I hope you are able to figure out why this is happening and stop it, because it leads to really bad plays by really good defensemen. Here's an especially odd example from last night:



    There was a scrum in the neutral zone. Opposing team came away with it, and broke into the zone. I was controlling the defenseman next to the puck carrier. Tried to check, but he brushed it off. But Lidstrom - 99 defensive awareness - was in reasonably good position. Except that before I could switch to him, he just skated forward into no man's land - not skating at the puck carrier, but just stepping up and letting the puck carrier go right past him for an easy 2-on-0. Here it is up-close:



    I guess maybe, following the logic you're describing, Lidstrom was thinking about cutting off a pass to the winger who was behind the puck carrier, but that's just an insane play. And there are just way too many of these this year.
  • NHLDev
    1680 posts EA NHL Developer
    edited March 2020
    Bmh245 wrote: »
    NHLDev wrote: »
    So that is where the pass lane comes in, especially as the threat of the driving winger will become a threat but it was never expected for them to jump up into that lane, only consider it as they managed their gap still moving backwards with the rush.

    That is what we are looking at improving to understand why it took what we intended and turned that into overly aggressive concern for that lane at times and in the further future, still wanting to look at better analysis of the threat of the puck carrier vs the pass option for the lone defender.

    I hope you are able to figure out why this is happening and stop it, because it leads to really bad plays by really good defensemen. Here's an especially odd example from last night:


    There was a scrum in the neutral zone. Opposing team came away with it, and broke into the zone. I was controlling the defenseman next to the puck carrier. Tried to check, but he brushed it off. But Lidstrom - 99 defensive awareness - was in reasonably good position. Except that before I could switch to him, he just skated forward into no man's land - not skating at the puck carrier, but just stepping up and letting the puck carrier go right past him for an easy 2-on-0. Here it is up-close:


    I guess maybe, following the logic you're describing, Lidstrom was thinking about cutting off a pass to the winger who was behind the puck carrier, but that's just an insane play. And there are just way too many of these this year.

    Could be partly that he is concerned about defending the pass option a bit too much and could also be him being too aggressive when the puck is lost briefly. Him having 99 awareness may actually make his quick reaction time to a loose puck like that worse for situations like this. Either way, both of those things are being looked at so may both be improved.

    My ask was that even if they were concerned about the pass lane, they should never be further up ice than the gap they would need to the puck so the puck carrier can't get behind them but they could end up a lot closer to the net than the puck to stay with their assignment, just not commit too far up ice if they are trailing the puck. Again easier for us to review game tape and call out mistakes and what we would prefer than it is to code the organic decisions they will make in real time without it exposing another issue -- but that is why we continue to keep at it.
  • NHLDev wrote: »
    NHLDev wrote: »
    Bmh245 wrote: »
    EA_Aljo wrote: »
    Bmh245 wrote: »
    EA_Aljo wrote: »
    Those actions are based on what the humans are doing. If you control your defense, you avoid them stepping up.

    What are you talking about? Are you actually saying if you play on-the-puck defense it's your fault that your off-the-puck defenseman is going to idiotically step up and let the backside winger in for an easy tap-in? That's just an indefensible argument to make.

    Why are you defending this clear example of scripted idiocy by the AI? And why in God's name have the developers not fixed it, more than six months after the game was released?

    That's not what I'm saying. I've seen what you're talking about occur and I agree it's frustrating. It's just not one that is very common with me. What I'm saying is that you have a better chance of defending that play by controlling the defense. I'm agreeing with you, but I'm suggesting how you can help avoid that play from happening with the current version of the game because we don't have any information on if/when this will be addressed.

    I still don't know what you mean by "controlling the defense" - are you talking about controlling the off-the-puck defenseman? Because yes, that does keep the off-the-puck defenseman from stepping up, but it also means that you can't control the defenseman who's on the puck carrier. Which honestly feels so weak.

    The only way to prevent this which is so stupid ,is take the off the puck d man bring him quickly to the front of the net then switch back the the other d man to pressure the puck carrier ,but if you get a guy that knows what he's doing with that stupid self sauce pass that yet has been addressed he'll probably go right by you so again fix this because it's not the players fault that the game is broken

    We have been working on improvements for both of these things. Self sauce, just so everyone is aware doesn't give your player a speed boost or anything -- if anything it can slow you down depending on the pickup you get after releasing it or could cause a turnover if you aren't delicate enough with it. So from a speed perspective you are better just to hustle. It does however cause some issues with loose puck ai so can cause the most issues for ai players so that is why we are looking at that and our assessment of 'guarding pass lanes'. Our players are too aggressive in trying to cut off the early one timer pass that they can give up a later tap in one timer behind them depending on how things play out. We fixed a few issues around it in our last update and a few more rare issues than that still exist.

    The ai defense is more likely to do that when the strong side defender gets burned as they are then considering the puck carrier and the pass lane and are more urgent in their decision making as the puck carrier is no longer contained properly. This is why some believe they can control it more or see it less than others because they may play better on puck defense and when the puck carrier becomes less of a threat (ie drives wide or goes below the goal line) they may switch to guard the pass or drop off their close gap with the puck carrier and take the pass lane that way as well.

    Either way, we are looking at it and it won't change until if and when an update goes live so in the meantime you can accept others advice on best current tactics (and there are tons of players shutting players out still) and also know we have heard the pieces that you all want us to improve.

    I’d be interested to see how the AI define “getting burned” and “no longer containing him properly” as I’ve been saying for years that the AI have a much more strict interpretation of positioning than a real user would which leads to them over-committing and quick to leave their assignments. Just watching how they react, the scenarios when it happens, and the angles they take, I’m 100% convinced it’s more to due with their interpretations of positing than their actual ability to position themselves properly if that makes sense.

    There’s a reason why AI EASHL D partners are insufferable to play with. As soon as you let a guy go wide on you, knowing that even if he’s a half a step ahead of you on the outside you still can beat him back to the post, the AI sprints (at a horrible angle) towards the puck carrier which exposes the “cross-crease” pass everyone likes to complain about.

    I’m sure there’s other factors you’re trying to address, but it seems like their “reading” or “understanding” of actual position is flawed. When the AI strong-side dman is “burned” the weak-side AI defensemen also doesn’t help by taking a direct angle at the carrier rather than an angle at the far post or somewhere that leads the carrier to create the illusion of anticipation.

    If I were a competitive 1v1 player, I’d rather my weakside D stay on his course in the middle and let me at least decide fro myself what to do. Seems somewhat static but it’d mitigate these issues and would create that always talked about “skill gap” by making players read and adapt to situations quickly.
    Yep, I agree and we have talked about that. Some of the changes we are trying to get in will help the worst cases but they still see the puck carrier as more of a threat than they should too early at times.

    It isn't a matter of being able to identify that from a game tape perspective, it is more on the execution side that it gets hard to do. There are plenty of times the ai does stay with the weakside player very well and there are times they make bad mistakes.

    You are right that they they could be more passive so that in modes where the user can switch they are there to take two cracks at what they personally want to do but right now other than turning off the defensive actions, from a position standpoint, we don't code unique ai for all the modes. It is a concept we talked about in these improvements though -- specifically saying that if we were looking at passive vs aggressive, it would be better for modes like VS and HUT to have more passive rather than more aggressive as it at least gives the human the option. But at this stage, it would be bug fixes and improvements and not bigger changes like that.

    Yeah I get the execution is hard, thanks for the response. I was actually trying to take your “side” here by saying that it’s not the “base” read that’s wrong but how the AI interprets their teammates positioning and how they prioritize the play going forward.

    The biggest thing that could be fixed (and I know you know this by your response, thanks for that insight again) is that “hitch” or stop the weakside D does when you can tell their calculation/assignment has changed. So I guess that’s what I meant by them being more passive, is that if something drastically changes in their read or assignment, I think the best solution would be for them to default collapse to their zone/middle of the rink like someone in real life would who isn’t sure of who to take when their teammates start getting burned.
  • ke0niPD
    288 posts Member
    Oh it’s this discussion again. Now when I’m actually playing NHL a lot for the longest time I feel like I really should start recording my gameplay and make some clips for these.

    I want to give my 2c for the consistency stuff on the first page though.

    If I say this game is inconsistent I usually mean the inconsistency and AI behavior coming from attributes. At least I think it’s caused by attributes... so basically:

    1. Situations where I think that I was in correct position to pick up or steal the puck but my opponent got it because he probably had better puck control or something. A lot of times it feels like a stat check who gets the puck if its pvp. Also the AI is a lot better in micromanaging it’s movements than humans so the AI seems to be better in stealing and picking up loose pucks than any human i’ve ever played against. So in puck battles you have to always consider is your opponent a player or an AI, what are the attributes of the players and positioning. Obviously the only thing you have control over is your own positioning which is sometimes enough and sometimes it isn’t and there’s no way to know what it’ll be.

    2. The weakside AI in defence: It’s the same situation over and over again. Puck carrier is looking for a one timer by the boards and you’re trying to make it difficult with dss and bumps. My weakside AI gets beaten by his AI and he gets the one timer or my AI gets there first and my opponent is spinning in the corner waiting for the next dice roll. Since I can’t let my opponent walk freely to the slot I have two options. Either I control the closest D man to the puck and let jesus take the wheel on what happens on the weak side or I take the center and go in front of the net myself and play turtle. The point is that either way I really have no control over the AI versus AI battle on the weak side and I really have no way of predicting it either. It’s just a dice roll with attributes and the player can only do damage control.

    Then the overall AI behavior is a whole another discussion I think. The AI behavior for most part is really predictable and it seems like it goes on rails. You can choose the rails on the strategy screen. I haven’t found any rails yet that doesn’t lead the AI to make the same stupid mistakes over and over again. Usually the mistakes are: AI skating away from the play or completely in the wrong direction, AI grouping up in stupid places, AI getting stuck on other players or the net, AI following the user controlled player, AI doesn’t recognize an empty space on the ice or a passing lane because the rails don’t go there, etc.

    This stuff usually happens in very particular situations but mostly it seems to be consistent and I would need gameplay clips to show what situations I mean. A lot of skill in this game is about knowing what the AI does or doesn’t do in certain situations and then obviously exploiting it’s short comings.
  • I see so many predictable circumstances in this game it's hard not to believe it. I played another game last night. Was down 3-1 in the 3rd. With just under 5 minutes left, my team FINALLY gets a power play. Why is this big? Because most power plays seem to happen under 5 mins in this game. And guess what happens again? My team scores to make the game close with under 4 minutes left to play.

    This situation is so common in this game. Your team or the other team will make the game close with under 5 minutes left. Not 10 minutes, not 15, but always seems to be under 5 minutes. Especially if you're only winning / losing by 2 goals. I literally said out loud that I was going to score and within a minute, my team scored.

    You can name all the things that will happen in this game and probably be 99% accurate. Power play that leads to a game tying goal? Check. Power play under 5 mins that leads to a game tying or making it close goal? Check. When winning, your team suddenly loses pass accuracy with a few minutes left in the game...check. And this has NOTHING to do with the other team ramping up their offense. Your team will lose speed, passing accuracy, and miss the net even being 3 feet from it. The game has become so predictable.

    Another thing I've noticed, is if you start the game and the other team starts dominating like a superstar team, just quit and select rematch. It seems (in my experience) to put the teams back to playing to their ratings. You can say all you want this stuff doesn't exist, but myself and many others experience the same thing. Could it be position lock was not implemented correctly? Quite possibly. Either way, something is going on that shouldn't be.
  • Bmh245
    905 posts Member
    NHLDev wrote: »
    My ask was that even if they were concerned about the pass lane, they should never be further up ice than the gap they would need to the puck so the puck carrier can't get behind them but they could end up a lot closer to the net than the puck to stay with their assignment, just not commit too far up ice if they are trailing the puck.

    Yes, this seems like what's needed. On a more basic level, though, AI defensemen's decisions are often mysteriously bad. Here's one more example, from a game I played against the AI on All-Star:



    This was at best a 2v2 for me, but the weakside defenseman turned it into an effective 2v1 by following the other defenseman and skating after me, leaving Coffey open. I just have no idea what he could have been thinkingI - the obvious, and simple, play, was just to track back with the offside winger. I didn't do anything special, just basically skated straight ahead and to the right to create a little space. Just feels like the AI gifted me a goal for no obvious reason.
  • EA_Blueberry
    4769 posts EA Community Manager
    @Bmh245

    Thanks for sharing that. It looks like the defender closest to your shooter was trying to go to the other side and got hung up (ideally if they're going to do that they should have broken off much earlier but that would give more space), so the weakside defender should have indeed broke off to the other side.
  • Sounds like your difficulty settings aren’t high enough. Turn up attribute effects as well, every player becomes 100% unique when you do that.
  • I would suggest playing WoC so you don't have to play against CPU players but unless you have a club with enough people AND there are clubs searching, you will likely play with and against a lot of CPU's anyway.. that's what this game promotes!
  • Sounds like your difficulty settings aren’t high enough. Turn up attribute effects as well, every player becomes 100% unique when you do that.

    I wouldn’t say “unique” but I’d certainly say the elite players stand-out. I will only rock 10/10 in my offline sliders. Twitch skill is important, but knowing when and who to do it with should be even more important imo.
  • Pxshyy
    2 posts New member
    This game is 100% scripted, just look at EASHL for an example, I’ve seen games where a team is winning 6-0 and from that point forward the game does everything in its power to allow crap goals to go in and trickle through the goalies equipment, it’s ridiculous but you have to remember these guys gotta make the game fun for little casual kids who aren’t good at the game. It’s worse in FIFA
  • bails5746
    1 posts New member
    I do think EA is on the right track with having momentum swings in the game. I don't want every game to feel exactly the same. However the execution of this concept is terrible. I play franchise mode ( superstar), and almost every game has a photo finish (especially in the playoffs) . It's really silly and predictable. I know if I get down 2 or 3 nothing the game will allow me to come back. And vice versa, if I'm up in a game, the AI will become a impossible to stop. I don't mind that the game gets harder and the AI pressures me to keep the lead. But the game completely takes away your ability to defend. The puck just sticks to the players. You can't stick check them, hitting them does nothing, and they can magically just skate through your defenders sticks without losing the puck. I often feel like I'm just a spectator, participating in the "story" of my game, rather then playing it.
  • Socair
    2810 posts Game Changer
    Please don’t necropost. Closing thread.
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