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Dynamic game difficulty balancing

I had high hopes this time around. I tend to get an all Oilers line up. This year with the added luxury of having Smyth (94) and Kurri (91) available.

So I worked the market. Sold of players just before the big drops and kept grinding until I could have a really good competitive squad. Before this I played with random RUB-players with lower stats.

I played allright with the lineup I had before getting my all-star Oiler squad. So what happens when I put my hard earned Oilers to use? Well, they are slow as hell. Connor McDavid can't controll a pass tape-to-tape. The whole teams is a catastrophy. So I remove Smyth and Kurri and add some low end players and voilà! They play like a team and can acutally recieve a high percentage pass.

But this weird phenomena does not exist in a normal Ranked Online Match. Nor in Draft Champion.

So, what going on? I'd say it's the classic Super Mario Kart rubber banding. When you the last driver you get better power-ups so you can catch up. Also called Dynamic game difficulty balancing (read the examples regarding FIFA and Madden) . There is no doubt in my mind that this is what's going on in HUT.

So what are the consequences? If you have a high rated squad, make sure you play other high rated squads. Or play other game modes than HUT. What EA seem to be missing is that players themselves want to affect the game and that the game should be as realistic as possible. We don't want the NHL-series to be the hockey equivalent of Mario Kart, we want it to be Forza or Grand Turismo.

I'll just stick to Online Games and keep my money away for HUT.


  • I haven't noticed this.
  • I have unfortunately seen this as well, scared everytime I get a good player to put him in the lineup...upgraded my D with Weber and Josi and the forwards turn into a bad 3 stooges movie...once I get a setup that works I won't change it even if I get crosby and ovi.
  • that honestly doesn't make any sense to me... if I add good players my team usually gets better
  • @ESPOtheDON You are right. Adding a good player makes your team better. Adding several good players makes your team sluggish. Especially if you are facing a player with a, seemingly, lesser team. I've played several thousand HUT games the last few years. The pattern has been there a long time and it does not show in other game modes.

    It's hard to see the point in acquiring your Ultimate Team if EA is going to punish you for it.
  • Oh is that what it's called these days? :#
  • From the linked article:

    "The recent FIFA series by EA has also started to introduce a difficulty balancing system. The Ultimate Team game mode has been known to lower the performance of players on the winning side's team. However, although the Madden developers has admitted to their handicapping system, the FIFA developers have yet to admit to it, raising question about their motives for it."

    What makes you think HUT would be any different than FUT? There is some rubber-banding mechanic in HUT that is not present in EASHL, DC or Online match. I've played the series since mid 90's. Have well over 1000+ games of HUT. I think I would notice if my team all of a sudden lost all of it's artificial intelligence. ;)
  • So we're talking ice tilt (again)
  • There is an actual name for it, namely Dynamic game difficulty balancing.

    Since HUT is the game mode that is almost alone with the association with Dynamic game difficulty/rubber-banding/ice-tilt I think this sort of discussion should garner more traction. Especially considering the fact that people actually spend money on the game mode.

    Expecting a correlation between money/effort/grinding and your squads ability on the ice should be natural. The lack of such correlation should worry the average gamer and EA for that matter.
  • I thought we weren't allowed to talk about I've tilt. Why do people always blame something else for them not being able to win. Justifying the loss in your mind this way isn't healthy just admit someone was better than you and you lost.

    So many people on here say you can't buy wins. It's true you have to know how to play. I have noticed when you get a new player there is a learning curve understanding how to play with said player.
  • h8ttrick wrote: »
    I thought we weren't allowed to talk about I've tilt. Why do people always blame something else for them not being able to win. Justifying the loss in your mind this way isn't healthy just admit someone was better than you and you lost.

    So many people on here say you can't buy wins. It's true you have to know how to play. I have noticed when you get a new player there is a learning curve understanding how to play with said player.

    i agree
  • Pr0xY00
    156 posts Member
    edited September 2016
    I have to say I like the name tho...Dynamic game difficulty balancing..fancy!
  • bibliotekarien
    24 posts Member
    edited September 2016
    @h8ttrick I see your point. But I've played HUT a fair bit. Won division 1 a couple of times. I'd say I'm a decent player of the game. As such I can also evaluate how the game flows and if the mechanics of the game is altered.

    It's not like I'm the first or only person noticing this. It keeps coming up every year. And why is it that Dynamic game difficulty only can be found in HUT? I play other modes a ton. Have no complaints there. But in HUT, rubber-banding is in effect no doubt.
  • I don't have any complaints either... however, it is kind of annoying when an 83 Murray flies over to save 3-5 perfect timed OneTimers by Seguin and Kessel. yet my 87 Varlamov cant save a simple wrister from the outside by Brassard.
  • Last year I played almost 2,000 HUT games, maybe two third off-line season games. After last years experience I´m quite sure there was some kind of AI balancing in the game against high rated MOV teams. However, even the computer AI always gets stronger with each new high rated player in my team, I felt much better with my qualitly MOV cards because the better shooting accuracy and the other skills of these guys always allowed me to create more and better chances, even the AI defenders and goalies worked harder.

    With NHL17 I only played 35 games so far. For all these games I only used players with 84-87 ratings (currently I keep my 88-89 players for later), for now I just want to learn the basics of this years version. Overall I like the game play far more compared to last year. Better defence work, less penalties, less cross bar shots and even my 86 Lehtonnen has a 91% safe percentage (all my high end goalies had 88 safe percentage last year). On the other hand it`s currently more difficult for me to score on my own. Instead of 12:4 on allstar I only win 7:1. I really realize the speed of guys like Cogliano from time to time, I really can move away from the defenders. The game is also more fluently.

    Futhermore I can currently experience an improvement with higher rated (86-87) players but not with all of them. E.g. 86 Nyqvist is a scoring machine while 86 Boedker has only one goal and five assists in 15 games. So with these slight improvements my team gets better without a recognizebale balancing boost of the AI. On the weekend I intend to start with my 88-89 team, I´m excited to see if the AI balancing is still similar to last year?
  • You know what it is? It's the randomness that goes into this game. Last night played a game where a guy just walk up to my goalie, he did this twice, and ran into my goalie and the puck slid right in for a goal... Its just the randomness of this game that's all it really comes down to at the end.
  • the game is never going to change. Ive managed to put together a steller lineup, played a lot of offline games just to avoid headache sometimes. played a dozen or so games online, every 3rd or 4th game is completely lop sided where the opponent doesnt need any skill what so ever to outplay me. his lineup was made up of an avg 82 players and he just was all over me. outskated me, beat me to every puck, won every puck battle... he managed to score 2 goals on 6 shots compared to my 1 goal on 28 shots... typical EA game like any other year. consistancy is hard to come by. was sucks is when your opponent msgs you and says that they didnt even belong in that game and they should have lost, haha.
  • So you're pointing to a Wikipedia page with absolutely no relevant references about this being applied to NHL, closest one being something about Madden '09. Seems legit.

    I can write a Wikipedia page and confirm once and for all that Ice Tilt does not exist.
  • Most of these issues are down to connection quality or the lack of it, something along those lines. I'd be willing to be some good money on that. That's what cause I-T.

    Then there might be a momentum engine in the game, sometimes teams/players are hot or cold. That's been in there in the past, so I don't think it's been removed. And you certainly see some odd things in singleplayer games which might account for this type of thing.

    There would be completely legit ways of 'momentum' affecting gameplay, like a big hit, or the goalie making huge save, someone scoring a hat-trick etc. But as far as I can see, hitting doesn't have ANY effect on gameplay. In singleplayer i throw three big hits in a couple of seconds, and that has no discernible effect on the game flow, I feel.
  • The entire mode plays like a turd sandwich. Dunno why but it is a mode that has all the best, fastest players but every game plays at half speed. I'm 8-0-2 and every time I play I want to throw my playstation out the window.
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