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Alienating the Long-term Fans

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  • NHLDev
    1680 posts EA NHL Developer
    KoryDub wrote: »
    Cool, guess I'm not buying this game anymore then. Thanks!

    I may have missed something... Do you care to elaborate as to why you posted this?

    Because every year since TPS came out, there have been threads about how the system was clunky and people wanted the old system back, we have new features like auto-saucer and stride dekes that only serve to make those areas of the game even easier, the move to current-gen has only resulted in more threads about the lack of responsiveness, and we have a 14+ page thread about how a number of people feel alienated by the devs.

    We've tried for years to help get this fixed, and I express my frustration about it because I don't know what else we can even do at this point to try and convince EA to fix the **** problem, only to have one of the devs suggest that we're asking them to make blind decisions and that maybe I should make my own game. What's the point of posting in this forum if even one of the most commonly expressed criticisms of the game over the past 5 years is brushed off as if everything was working exactly as intended?

    They might as well change the background of this forum to a giant shredder, because that's seemingly where all of these ideas go.

    I get the passion -- that is the reason I got into making videogames -- before that, I was just able to watch from the outside, make mods and would watch to see what evolved in the core product -- I had my favorite games and least favorite games in the series too. I mentioned it before but before social media and forums were a staple, I mailed the EA NHL Team by hand to give suggestions on things I thought would take the game to the next level. So believe me, I get it. My take was more out of loving the game and wanting more but I get how the internet works now so I can take the heat to a certain degree.

    I take all the feedback seriously but my passion for the sport and the game lead me to want to talk to others that are passionate about it. In the end, this comes across to you that we don't care what you are saying but in reality, it is just part of the process for me.

    I know the fun factor of the old games. I played them a ton at a competitive level across all game modes. I was kicked out of a cash prize league for scoring too many cross crease goals once as well because people thought it was cheese.

    I also know that things get taken far too seriously here to be able to joke back at an extreme statement but the fact that you chose to say that you don't care what my reasoning is, leaves us with not much dialogue we can have. I would have thought that the dialogue would show the thought we are putting into things but if you would rather a simpler answer of 'thanks, we will look into it' that is a real surprise to me.

    It takes a lot of my free time to be here since my work day is always packed full so this isn't my job at times as much as it is a hobby and a passion to make a great playing hockey game.

  • NHLDev wrote: »

    It takes a lot of my free time to be here since my work day is always packed full so this isn't my job at times as much as it is a hobby and a passion to make a great playing hockey game.
    You'll have a great playing hockey game if you can fix the clunky FEEL of maneuvering/strafing/facing without the puck.

    Make that FEEL smooth and responsive, in the same way that 45 and 90 cuts do when you have the puck, and the gameplay is instantly pretty good..
  • NHLDev
    1680 posts EA NHL Developer
    edited November 2016

    Now im a nobody around here who has read this thread with great interest the past week or so.....im a over fifty gamer who has played nhl for many years though on xbox only since 11 released.

    Im in the crowd who feels the game tanked with the introduction of tps and have found myself playing less and less with each annual release

    Its seems to me that the developers cant acknowledge that tps may be a mistake and are unwilling or unable to satisfy both camps with the tech available to them.

    Forgot who suggested a 11 remaster, but i think that is a brilliant idea and would go a long way to satisfy both points of view

    To suggest that nick crowdfund a game if he doesn't like the current direction of the series reeks of arrogance and indifference to their customers concerns.

    A wise guy i once worked for once said to me

    Business goes where its invited, and stays where it is appreciated

    I will be investing my gaming dollars next august in a company that is interested in satisfying ALL of their customers concerns..... not just the ones who agree with the current direction the game is headed

    Terry - That is actually where it is interesting. I get that text on a website can be taken far different than what was intended but I assume responsibility for how it was taken as that is the reality.

    I am on this site because I do care what everyone has to say. There is a big difference in that though and actually being able to make everyone happy. If we could just put in some fixes tomorrow that would make everyone happy, believe me, we would. Supporting multiple game styles and difficulty levels is a ton of extra work but we do that because we know there are a lot of interests and skill levels out there.

    And for the record, all I was saying in the response to Nick was that there are reasons behind each decision we make and that change and/or making everyone happy isn't as easy as he was making it out to be. I would gladly welcome anyone that was able to get hired to join the team in helping make a better product but I am not actually asking him to go start a kickstarter instead of make suggestions here. it was hyperbole that although anything is possible, it doesn't mean it is that easy to do.

    Point taken that in my role, I can't take the same liberties on the boards as others without it being taken more harsh.





  • NHLDev wrote: »

    I get the passion -- that is the reason I got into making videogames -- before that, I was just able to watch from the outside, make mods and would watch to see what evolved in the core product -- I had my favorite games and least favorite games in the series too. I mentioned it before but before social media and forums were a staple, I mailed the EA NHL Team by hand to give suggestions on things I thought would take the game to the next level. So believe me, I get it. My take was more out of loving the game and wanting more but I get how the internet works now so I can take the heat to a certain degree.

    I take all the feedback seriously but my passion for the sport and the game lead me to want to talk to others that are passionate about it. In the end, this comes across to you that we don't care what you are saying but in reality, it is just part of the process for me.

    I know the fun factor of the old games. I played them a ton at a competitive level across all game modes. I was kicked out of a cash prize league for scoring too many cross crease goals once as well because people thought it was cheese.

    I also know that things get taken far too seriously here to be able to joke back at an extreme statement but the fact that you chose to say that you don't care what my reasoning is, leaves us with not much dialogue we can have. I would have thought that the dialogue would show the thought we are putting into things but if you would rather a simpler answer of 'thanks, we will look into it' that is a real surprise to me.

    It takes a lot of my free time to be here since my work day is always packed full so this isn't my job at times as much as it is a hobby and a passion to make a great playing hockey game.

    The problem is that what he said wasn't an extreme statement, it is justified after people have been saying for nearly 5 years that the current skating system just doesn't work properly.

    He stated that if TPS was introduced it can be removed as well (or at least updated to something new), so why isn't this being discussed. The simple fact is that nobody asked for a new skating system yet we got one before, and ever since then the game has gone downhill, but now if we try to discuss the skating it is dismissed and assumed that what we have is fine, but it isn't.

    I know that you work on the game so obviously you have a lot invested, we're not trying to say that your team isn't capable of making a good game, but frankly at this point people are just sick of what we do have, so to try to make a joke out of it is why you got the response you did. We're not here to joke about it, we're here to try and get at least part of the game back that has been missing for years, and maybe rebuild a community that doesn't really exist anymore.
  • There is one change you can make to the game that will make 100% of players happy. If done right it would be the most important change made to the game in the last 5 years. Get er done.
  • Well I don't... I really don't get this "passion" that people have for wanting the game to stay as it was. I've been playing EA NHL since it first started on the Sega Genesis, way back in 1991. It was always a dream of mine of seeing the game get to where it is now.

    We went from tiny 2D sprites with 6 frames of animation and 2 functions (pass & shoot) to having complex systems that involve real physics, lifelike fluid animations and AI that... well, the AI is till a mess, but it's at least better than it used to be (LOL).

    I've been very passionate about the things I like and dislike about this game, but I NEVER, not even ONCE suggested that the game devolve to a previous version. I may have suggested using an older model to compare how I would like the game to feel, like when I would mention the NHL 14 goalies as an example of how the current goalie model should feel, but I never once said I'd like to have the EXACT NHL 14 goalies with their unrealistic magic carpet glide and spiderman like reflexes.

    NHL 17 is a game with MANY flaws (oh gawd... the sheer multitude of them makes me head spin!). On many nights that I play this game, I want to pull what little hair I have left on my head out at the absurdities that I get to witness. But at the same time I can't deny the many strides forward that were made since last gen. There's still a long way to go, but I am cautiously optimistic about the direction that this game is going.

    It can still go very awry, mind you. One tweak in the wrong direction and whatever passes for balance in this game will go up in smoke. Right now there's many parts arcade and some parts simulation in NHL 17, so that many different types of players can enjoy the game as much as possible. I love the TPS system as it brings a much more rewarding skating engine that's based in realism (though it's not 100% real, let's not kid ourselves). The main problem with the TPS that I have is that, as many have mentioned, forwards with the puck don't seem to have to abide by it as much as players (mostly defenders) without the puck.

    That is my MAIN point of contention about it right now and I hope that Ben and his team can address this sooner rather than later.

    However, for those of you that are completely against TPS, I would suggest for you to go into offline mode, put the preset to FULL SIM and play some practice, in all positions (forward, defense and goalie). I think you'll be able to finally see the genius of the TPS much better than having to fight with it online against legions of little xxDangleSnipezCellyxx in drop-ins...
  • NHLDev
    1680 posts EA NHL Developer
    Zeroshift wrote: »

    The problem is that what he said wasn't an extreme statement, it is justified after people have been saying for nearly 5 years that the current skating system just doesn't work properly.

    He stated that if TPS was introduced it can be removed as well (or at least updated to something new), so why isn't this being discussed. The simple fact is that nobody asked for a new skating system yet we got one before, and ever since then the game has gone downhill, but now if we try to discuss the skating it is dismissed and assumed that what we have is fine, but it isn't.

    I know that you work on the game so obviously you have a lot invested, we're not trying to say that your team isn't capable of making a good game, but frankly at this point people are just sick of what we do have, so to try to make a joke out of it is why you got the response you did. We're not here to joke about it, we're here to try and get at least part of the game back that has been missing for years, and maybe rebuild a community that doesn't really exist anymore.

    In the last 5 years, we have worked on the skating. We haven't made massive changes like switching models or reverted backwards but we have made strides forward based on peoples feedback. On the old forum, I was in a discussion with a lot of the same people and we had conversation back and forth. That conversation dies if one of the parties says 'they don't care what the reason is'. You can't progress forward if both parties aren't on the same page in terms of the requests and intentions.

    If we only made changes to things that people on this board requested, you probably wouldn't have the Skill Stick or EASHL either.

    Lastly, there isn't anything that I have said to suggest we don't often talk about what the next best skate model could be and as with anything, we would take all these suggestions into account. However, until someone is actually talking about how they would build a new model, talking about advancements in machine learning, motion fields, etc. we aren't really talking about how to advance things further.

    The discussion is always about moving back to an old model and since it has it's own set of limitations and removes aspects that have to be considered when simulating the sport of hockey such as commitment to pivots, more physical accountability, etc. there is reason to show the other side.

    That doesn't mean that we don't want to advance the tech or have better skating... it just means we don't want to go backwards.

    In my position, I can at times speak on behalf of the team, I can give my own perspective and I am also limited in what I can say or commit to, due to the nature of the business.

    I ask people at work countless questions based on what I read on these forums and I know you don't see that side and that this forum is one of the only windows of any behind the scenes to the game but anyone would be able to attest to the attention I give to being an advocate for this communities voice in making the game.

  • NHLDev
    1680 posts EA NHL Developer
    edited November 2016
    kezz123 wrote: »

    To be honest, I dont play much offline anymore so im not even sure what I play as. Before NHL 09, I used to play nothing but offline since 93 I believe. In the beta, I launched one or two exhibition games with all settings defaulted playing ottawa vs some other random team. So whatever settings you have by default on exhibition is what i played. I dont even recall if I changed the difficulty. It felt good control wise. Players felt faster and more responsive and I felt like most of the time I could do somewhat decently at defense and moving the puck in the offensive zone fairly well. there were definitely hints of lack of proper control at defense while back skating but it wasnt too apparent. This may however be in part because of the better skating attributes or maybe because the AI doesnt try to dangle around you nearly as much as the EASHL people will which seems to expose defensive problems a lot more.

    Is that game style 2 as you suspect?

    I sometimes feel like I could probably buy nhl 17 and just play offline again as the style of play is less frustrating but at the same time, now that i know how much better club can be, its hard to get past playing with and vs humans to go play with the AI.

    I hope my last comment about practicing defense more didnt sound rude. I was leaving work and tossed a quick reply before leaving but I stand by that in the context you explained where you test things in practice mode a lot and so on. Perhaps you guys could enlist the services of a defense specialist who could help with the whole back skating / strafing / defensive positioning and reasoning and help you find out what feels lacking from a defensive point of view in the game. IE: Taking the body while a player tries to get too close and past you for instance. Ignore the puck put your hands ont he opponent chest and lift him backwards sort of and remove him from the puck. These are safer plays then open ice hits where you risk just looking like a fool and you soprt of just use the opponent momentum against them.

    If you take a look at this video I found on a quick search, it talks about gap control:
    https://youtube.com/watch?v=amnnMOUko64

    If you try to follow these tips as a defender in NHL 17 for instance, using the proper gap, you become extremely vulnerable to the offensive player and you will notice that you have a harder time controlling your character and see if you can push them to the outside and force them there...likely you cannot.

    What typically happens is defenders instead leave a long gap because this is the safest way to play the opponent in this game which goes against typical defensive plays.


    This video highlights hidding the poke check and watching the body and not the puck:
    https://youtube.com/watch?v=sJrdxXGR-BY

    When you see him show how to look at the body instead of the puck, he actually staff a few times to follow the skater.

    When he hides the pock check, something I myself do a lot in real hockey, look at how close to the opposing skates his poke hits. The thing is, as a defense moving backward, in NHL series, poking in that situation will very often result in poking right in the skates for a penalty...when in reality this is a fairly easy poke check to accomplish. I dont recall ever tripping someone doing this play and its a pretty routine play for me in real hockey. I however dread doing it in this game in part because the TPS will make me move all over instead of facing the puck and my stick will likely poke straight at the skate past the puck because the stick of my player seems pretty extended to begin with and then the poking motion makes for a large poke.

    Anyways, im sure I dont explain it the best but it may help understand some of the concerns at least from a defensive standpoint.

    This video explains how the stick is your tool on defense, how to move a player to the outside and how to keep your stick close.
    https://youtube.com/watch?v=0E8A1YDEuEQ

    This is where I was explaining before how poke check spam was a good way to simulate good defense as you can poke NEAR but not on the puck unless the player decide to come to you where you actually poked it away. This is the exact type of defense I USED to be able to do but no longer can achieve due to a combination of skating issues and stick tool issues.

    Well sure, the comment was a bit insulting since it jumps to conclusions that there is a bias in what we test or the level of scrutiny we put into things but you recognized it and said so, so all is good. When I put up examples, it is never an exhaustive list. We test everything. The funny thing is that I am the main advocate in the office for defense. People always come to me and ask if I think pokechecking is too strong. Remember that incidental contact knocking the puck free was never something that was on by default in online play. At most, it was on after 2 seconds of having possession and for stick on body only.

    These are the types of things I pushed for as I felt they were a big reason players could just get the puck in the corner and skate out into the slot with it blindly. This same methodology is what leads to debates around fun factor though.

    The default game style and skill level are set based on how you respond to/set your hospitality settings upon first load, so I am not sure what you would have played on but if it is drastically different and you don't think it would be online connection related, I doubt it was player attribute differences and was probably the second notch on our game style slider which leans a bit more to the arcade/forgiving side of things - less incidental contact, higher accuracy, bigger hits -- basically everything a bit more amped up but still grounded in the same models -- just less accountability in some of the details.

    Personally, I have a really low goals against online so don't have an issue with defense but I know how the system works, play the game at work, home, etc. so am a very biased opinion. I like that committing has it's consequences and find that there is still a lot that is very forgiving. You can commit a bit forward at the blueline and still get back due to the forward to back transitions still being a bit fast. I don't get unwanted pivots anymore on the rush, I like the fact that you don't have to be frame by frame accurate anymore to press VC before you press a direction to get the right facing since before if it started to pivot to forwards, you would get the full pivot before flipping back around. That consistency now is really nice and especially helpful when you are changing into an AI player that is one frame into a pivot before you take control and are pressing VC. Lots of things like that have been welcome changes in my mind to helping give more control.

    That doesn't mean we don't want to improve defense. We want to improve all aspects of the game. It is just when people speak in extremes and say you can't do something that I know I have a lot of success doing, it makes it harder to understand what they are seeing. That is where I ask questions and give examples back about why and how it works the way it does, so that we can dig deeper into the design as opposed to just staying surface level.

  • megadeth_600
    1437 posts Member
    edited November 2016
    NHLDev wrote: »
    Zeroshift wrote: »

    The problem is that what he said wasn't an extreme statement, it is justified after people have been saying for nearly 5 years that the current skating system just doesn't work properly.

    He stated that if TPS was introduced it can be removed as well (or at least updated to something new), so why isn't this being discussed. The simple fact is that nobody asked for a new skating system yet we got one before, and ever since then the game has gone downhill, but now if we try to discuss the skating it is dismissed and assumed that what we have is fine, but it isn't.

    I know that you work on the game so obviously you have a lot invested, we're not trying to say that your team isn't capable of making a good game, but frankly at this point people are just sick of what we do have, so to try to make a joke out of it is why you got the response you did. We're not here to joke about it, we're here to try and get at least part of the game back that has been missing for years, and maybe rebuild a community that doesn't really exist anymore.

    In the last 5 years, we have worked on the skating. We haven't made massive changes like switching models or reverted backwards but we have made strides forward based on peoples feedback. On the old forum, I was in a discussion with a lot of the same people and we had conversation back and forth. That conversation dies if one of the parties says 'they don't care what the reason is'. You can't progress forward if both parties aren't on the same page in terms of the requests and intentions.

    If we only made changes to things that people on this board requested, you probably wouldn't have the Skill Stick or EASHL either.

    Lastly, there isn't anything that I have said to suggest we don't often talk about what the next best skate model could be and as with anything, we would take all these suggestions into account. However, until someone is actually talking about how they would build a new model, talking about advancements in machine learning, motion fields, etc. we aren't really talking about how to advance things further.

    The discussion is always about moving back to an old model and since it has it's own set of limitations and removes aspects that have to be considered when simulating the sport of hockey such as commitment to pivots, more physical accountability, etc. there is reason to show the other side.

    That doesn't mean that we don't want to advance the tech or have better skating... it just means we don't want to go backwards.

    In my position, I can at times speak on behalf of the team, I can give my own perspective and I am also limited in what I can say or commit to, due to the nature of the business.

    I ask people at work countless questions based on what I read on these forums and I know you don't see that side and that this forum is one of the only windows of any behind the scenes to the game but anyone would be able to attest to the attention I give to being an advocate for this communities voice in making the game.

    Come on Ben. That is like saying you have to know how to cook a steak to request one medium rare at a restaurant. You don't have to be a cook to request something from a cook.

    It is as simple as this. We want control. We want to be able to do things that are realistic. Outcomes need to be realistic. The game lacks severely in the logic department. You claim to play the game online. So tell me, and be honest. How many people skate around spamming the X button? Why would they do that? How successful is it?

    As it is, we are fighting the game, fighting to not be shoved clear across the ice, fighting lag and fighting an opponent. Defense is plain boring and frustrating. Forwards are given incredible amounts of tools to beat D men, but what do D men have??

    Goalies are a mess. Pucks passing clear under pads. Goalies ducking out of the way. Clunky, messy and slow.

    I have said it before, and I will say it again. Your realism is flawed. There are too many times where logic simply does not exist and consistency is not present.

    TPS is plain horrid as is and quite frankly, I think a compromise of the old skating and TPS would be a better way to go. Sure, pivots and all that can remain, but you are forcing us to play with boundaries of reality when we don't have a fraction of the control we do in real life. In the end, we are talking about a video game. Maybe tone down the effects of momentum a bit? And seriously, give me back my **** VC.

    Sadly, you chose a job where it is YOUR job to find solutions. Your job to get it done. MY job is to spend money, but I spend it where I think it is worth it. EA NHL is simply not on my list of expenses. In 5 years, the changes to the skating engine have been minor. But all is good, we have dozens of mascots to ogle.

    I get the small team, small budget theory. Sadly, all it does for me is buying a product that feels rushed and never complete.
  • NHLDev
    1680 posts EA NHL Developer
    edited November 2016

    Come on Ben. That is like saying you have to know how to cook a steak to request one medium rare at a restaurant. You don't have to be a cook to request something from a cook.

    It is as simple as this. We want control. We want to be able to do things that are realistic. Outcomes need to be realistic. The game lacks severely in the logic department. You claim to play the game online. So tell me, and be honest. How many people skate around spamming the X button? Why would they do that? How successful is it?

    As it is, we are fighting the game, fighting to not be shoved clear across the ice, fighting lag and fighting an opponent. Defense is plain boring and frustrating. Forwards are given incredible amounts of tools to beat D men, but what do D men have??

    Goalies are a mess. Pucks passing clear under pads. Goalies ducking out of the way. Clunky, messy and slow.

    I have said it before, and I will say it again. Your realism is flawed. There are too many times where logic simply does not exist and consistency is not present.

    TPS is plain horrid as is and quite frankly, I think a compromise of the old skating and TPS would be a better way to go. Sure, pivots and all that can remain, but you are forcing us to play with boundaries of reality when we don't have a fraction of the control we do in real life. In the end, we are talking about a video game. Maybe tone down the effects of momentum a bit? And seriously, give me back my **** VC.

    Sadly, you chose a job where it is YOUR job to find solutions. Your job to get it done. MY job is to spend money, but I spend it where I think it is worth it. EA NHL is simply not on my list of expenses. In 5 years, the changes to the skating engine have been minor. But all is good, we have dozens of mascots to ogle.

    I get the small team, small budget theory. Sadly, all it does for me is buying a product that feels rushed and never complete.

    I am just saying there is a difference between calling out what you don't like and/or comparing to what you like and actually finding a solution. Both are valuable parts of the equation but people on these boards sometimes think the major battle is in the decision to change. I have never said we wouldn't change or that we aren't looking for ways to improve our tech.

    The hardest part is doing the actual work and the consequences of change, as seen by this topic. When we added TPS, it was with the intention of moving the tech forward, fixing existing issues and removing barriers that the old system had if we wanted to add more elements to skating. The grass is greener now for some looking back and that is a fair perspective for someone to have but I also don't want to ever sugarcoat anything for anyone and tell everyone they are right and that it will be easy and that we will have perfect skating next year. That isn't the person I am. I prefer to dig into it and understand all perspectives, give my points and then every day at work, we challenge ourselves to make something better. And I do think that TPS does a lot of things really well.

    And to be clear, there is no 'sadly' about my job. I chose it for a reason and I like the challenge -- I do want to find solutions.

    To use your analogy, it is fine for people to tell us they like the previous steak better but all I am saying is, that after they say that, it is on us to take that feedback and decide what the impact would be on the rest of the restaurant if we changed our style back.

    We want everyone in the restaurant to be happy but unfortunately making a hockey videogame that everyone likes can at times be tougher than making a good steak that everyone likes.
  • NHLDev wrote: »
    Zeroshift wrote: »

    The problem is that what he said wasn't an extreme statement, it is justified after people have been saying for nearly 5 years that the current skating system just doesn't work properly.

    He stated that if TPS was introduced it can be removed as well (or at least updated to something new), so why isn't this being discussed. The simple fact is that nobody asked for a new skating system yet we got one before, and ever since then the game has gone downhill, but now if we try to discuss the skating it is dismissed and assumed that what we have is fine, but it isn't.

    I know that you work on the game so obviously you have a lot invested, we're not trying to say that your team isn't capable of making a good game, but frankly at this point people are just sick of what we do have, so to try to make a joke out of it is why you got the response you did. We're not here to joke about it, we're here to try and get at least part of the game back that has been missing for years, and maybe rebuild a community that doesn't really exist anymore.

    In the last 5 years, we have worked on the skating. We haven't made massive changes like switching models or reverted backwards but we have made strides forward based on peoples feedback. On the old forum, I was in a discussion with a lot of the same people and we had conversation back and forth. That conversation dies if one of the parties says 'they don't care what the reason is'. You can't progress forward if both parties aren't on the same page in terms of the requests and intentions.

    If we only made changes to things that people on this board requested, you probably wouldn't have the Skill Stick or EASHL either.

    Lastly, there isn't anything that I have said to suggest we don't often talk about what the next best skate model could be and as with anything, we would take all these suggestions into account. However, until someone is actually talking about how they would build a new model, talking about advancements in machine learning, motion fields, etc. we aren't really talking about how to advance things further.

    The discussion is always about moving back to an old model and since it has it's own set of limitations and removes aspects that have to be considered when simulating the sport of hockey such as commitment to pivots, more physical accountability, etc. there is reason to show the other side.

    That doesn't mean that we don't want to advance the tech or have better skating... it just means we don't want to go backwards.

    In my position, I can at times speak on behalf of the team, I can give my own perspective and I am also limited in what I can say or commit to, due to the nature of the business.

    I ask people at work countless questions based on what I read on these forums and I know you don't see that side and that this forum is one of the only windows of any behind the scenes to the game but anyone would be able to attest to the attention I give to being an advocate for this communities voice in making the game.

    This feels like a lot of pivoting around the issue, we're not looking for long explanations of how you feel about how things are discussed. We are not game developers, and are not asking for things that haven't been done before. You want a conversation, which we have had for 5 years, but have gotten small improvements and nothing more.

    You talk about not wanting to go backwards, but that is exactly what happened when the current gen hit, especially on NHL 15 (which was half a game at best). Please don't act like we have been receiving great improvements every year, some extra options in EASHL has nothing to do with gameplay.

    You can decide with your team to ignore what is said here, and just claim that it is backwards thinking, but what we are asking for is to be able to play a hockey game where the player does what we want them to do, when we want them to do it, which was exactly what we had when EASHL was actually a competitive mode.

    If EA is comfortable just letting the mode die out and riding what they have with HUT that's fine, we just won't pay attention anymore, there are other games out there. But I would think that it is more rewarding to be the series that used to win awards and was praised by most people that played it every year.
  • strategg101
    823 posts Member
    edited November 2016
    kezz123 wrote: »
    NHLDev wrote: »
    kezz123 wrote: »

    What are the solutions? Clearly you believe in your product and design and I dont think you seem too intent on doing a 180 on major features like TPS. I can respect that. However, I still hope that at some points, your stats will show that its time for a change and that you will recall those of us who have been proposing a different type of flow to your game.

    I think that a proper Vision control would go a long way in improving the flow of the game. Multiple dressing rooms would help restore some popularity in clubs. Perhaps tweaks to attributes would also be in order. I do notice that playing offline always seems so much smoother than in EASHL. I assume because the players have higher skating stats, unless its purely connectivity related.

    Thanks again for sharing your views and opinions and keeping the dialogue going.

    I appreciate the well thought out responses and I respect your view on it.

    Out of curiosity, when you play offline, what game style are you playing on? I actually think that for some people that liked NHL 09-12, they may like Game Style 2 better for pure 'fun factor' so would be curious if that is the difference or if it is just online connections or player attributes as you say but the EASHL skating attributes are pretty high level these days.

    There is a reason we offer the different game styles offline and see them all used at different percentages. And then beyond that, we have groups doing their own tuning. However, that is just as polarizing as our tuning can be. When DJNeo was tuning during his visit here to test our full sim sliders, the other gamechangers were watching over his shoulder saying that looks pretty awesome, but I would never play it, haha, but a lot of people over at Operation Sports are really enjoying being able to play longer minute periods and more simulation based gameplay. Those things are only possible if you increase what others find the frustrating parts of gameplay -- and that is why we always say 'fun' is the most subjective thing.

    To be honest, I dont play much offline anymore so im not even sure what I play as. Before NHL 09, I used to play nothing but offline since 93 I believe. In the beta, I launched one or two exhibition games with all settings defaulted playing ottawa vs some other random team. So whatever settings you have by default on exhibition is what i played. I dont even recall if I changed the difficulty. It felt good control wise. Players felt faster and more responsive and I felt like most of the time I could do somewhat decently at defense and moving the puck in the offensive zone fairly well. there were definitely hints of lack of proper control at defense while back skating but it wasnt too apparent. This may however be in part because of the better skating attributes or maybe because the AI doesnt try to dangle around you nearly as much as the EASHL people will which seems to expose defensive problems a lot more.

    Is that game style 2 as you suspect?

    I sometimes feel like I could probably buy nhl 17 and just play offline again as the style of play is less frustrating but at the same time, now that i know how much better club can be, its hard to get past playing with and vs humans to go play with the AI.

    I hope my last comment about practicing defense more didnt sound rude. I was leaving work and tossed a quick reply before leaving but I stand by that in the context you explained where you test things in practice mode a lot and so on. Perhaps you guys could enlist the services of a defense specialist who could help with the whole back skating / strafing / defensive positioning and reasoning and help you find out what feels lacking from a defensive point of view in the game. IE: Taking the body while a player tries to get too close and past you for instance. Ignore the puck put your hands ont he opponent chest and lift him backwards sort of and remove him from the puck. These are safer plays then open ice hits where you risk just looking like a fool and you soprt of just use the opponent momentum against them.

    If you take a look at this video I found on a quick search, it talks about gap control:
    https://youtube.com/watch?v=amnnMOUko64

    If you try to follow these tips as a defender in NHL 17 for instance, using the proper gap, you become extremely vulnerable to the offensive player and you will notice that you have a harder time controlling your character and see if you can push them to the outside and force them there...likely you cannot.

    What typically happens is defenders instead leave a long gap because this is the safest way to play the opponent in this game which goes against typical defensive plays.


    This video highlights hidding the poke check and watching the body and not the puck:
    https://youtube.com/watch?v=sJrdxXGR-BY

    When you see him show how to look at the body instead of the puck, he actually staff a few times to follow the skater.

    When he hides the pock check, something I myself do a lot in real hockey, look at how close to the opposing skates his poke hits. The thing is, as a defense moving backward, in NHL series, poking in that situation will very often result in poking right in the skates for a penalty...when in reality this is a fairly easy poke check to accomplish. I dont recall ever tripping someone doing this play and its a pretty routine play for me in real hockey. I however dread doing it in this game in part because the TPS will make me move all over instead of facing the puck and my stick will likely poke straight at the skate past the puck because the stick of my player seems pretty extended to begin with and then the poking motion makes for a large poke.

    Anyways, im sure I dont explain it the best but it may help understand some of the concerns at least from a defensive standpoint.

    This video explains how the stick is your tool on defense, how to move a player to the outside and how to keep your stick close.
    https://youtube.com/watch?v=0E8A1YDEuEQ

    This is where I was explaining before how poke check spam was a good way to simulate good defense as you can poke NEAR but not on the puck unless the player decide to come to you where you actually poked it away. This is the exact type of defense I USED to be able to do but no longer can achieve due to a combination of skating issues and stick tool issues.


    Great videos, that first one is exactly how i play D in this game and it works. Just watched them all. they all are relatively the same and they all work with the current skating engine.

    Once they get to the corner though, because I play a left handed shot on RD i feel it works better to glide towards the net rather then stop in the corner so if he chooses to pass towards the slot i will intercept if he chooses to skate it to the net i can challenge again. Maybe thats a no, no in hockey but it seems to work well for me.
    Post edited by strategg101 on
  • cogsx86
    787 posts Member
    edited November 2016
    Zeroshift wrote: »
    NHLDev wrote: »
    Zeroshift wrote: »

    The problem is that what he said wasn't an extreme statement, it is justified after people have been saying for nearly 5 years that the current skating system just doesn't work properly.

    He stated that if TPS was introduced it can be removed as well (or at least updated to something new), so why isn't this being discussed. The simple fact is that nobody asked for a new skating system yet we got one before, and ever since then the game has gone downhill, but now if we try to discuss the skating it is dismissed and assumed that what we have is fine, but it isn't.

    I know that you work on the game so obviously you have a lot invested, we're not trying to say that your team isn't capable of making a good game, but frankly at this point people are just sick of what we do have, so to try to make a joke out of it is why you got the response you did. We're not here to joke about it, we're here to try and get at least part of the game back that has been missing for years, and maybe rebuild a community that doesn't really exist anymore.

    In the last 5 years, we have worked on the skating. We haven't made massive changes like switching models or reverted backwards but we have made strides forward based on peoples feedback. On the old forum, I was in a discussion with a lot of the same people and we had conversation back and forth. That conversation dies if one of the parties says 'they don't care what the reason is'. You can't progress forward if both parties aren't on the same page in terms of the requests and intentions.

    If we only made changes to things that people on this board requested, you probably wouldn't have the Skill Stick or EASHL either.

    Lastly, there isn't anything that I have said to suggest we don't often talk about what the next best skate model could be and as with anything, we would take all these suggestions into account. However, until someone is actually talking about how they would build a new model, talking about advancements in machine learning, motion fields, etc. we aren't really talking about how to advance things further.

    The discussion is always about moving back to an old model and since it has it's own set of limitations and removes aspects that have to be considered when simulating the sport of hockey such as commitment to pivots, more physical accountability, etc. there is reason to show the other side.

    That doesn't mean that we don't want to advance the tech or have better skating... it just means we don't want to go backwards.

    In my position, I can at times speak on behalf of the team, I can give my own perspective and I am also limited in what I can say or commit to, due to the nature of the business.

    I ask people at work countless questions based on what I read on these forums and I know you don't see that side and that this forum is one of the only windows of any behind the scenes to the game but anyone would be able to attest to the attention I give to being an advocate for this communities voice in making the game.

    This feels like a lot of pivoting around the issue, we're not looking for long explanations of how you feel about how things are discussed. We are not game developers, and are not asking for things that haven't been done before. You want a conversation, which we have had for 5 years, but have gotten small improvements and nothing more.

    You talk about not wanting to go backwards, but that is exactly what happened when the current gen hit, especially on NHL 15 (which was half a game at best). Please don't act like we have been receiving great improvements every year, some extra options in EASHL has nothing to do with gameplay.

    You can decide with your team to ignore what is said here, and just claim that it is backwards thinking, but what we are asking for is to be able to play a hockey game where the player does what we want them to do, when we want them to do it, which was exactly what we had when EASHL was actually a competitive mode.

    If EA is comfortable just letting the mode die out and riding what they have with HUT that's fine, we just won't pay attention anymore, there are other games out there. But I would think that it is more rewarding to be the series that used to win awards and was praised by most people that played it every year.

    I think your missing Ben's point, he has said its not about what people want. They know what people want and EA has things they want, but they cant just hit a key on the keyboard and wala its changed. When they program something into the algos for the game it can affect other more important issues, that have been addressed.

    For example, one might be if reducing a puck carriers puck handling ability to what point ? If he cuts 90 degress at the blue this would cause him to lose the puck vs making a sharp turn, in the corner but he doesnt lose the cut. Then compared to a player, hitting the puck carrier and the puck carrier losing the puck.

    Now EA has to design the player with the puck to be able to lose the puck when hit but when making a 90 degree turn at the blue, he doesnt the puck.


    You must unlearn what you have learned!
  • NHLDev
    1680 posts EA NHL Developer
    edited November 2016
    At the end of the day, I can be a voice for you guys as I am a voice for all the feedback I receive through channels like these, User testing, etc. Based on all that feedback, the companies direction and the direction for the game itself from our Senior Producers, I have to make the best calls I can for my areas.

    Again, I am a voice you can go through but honestly even if I was in 100 percent agreement personally with everything you said, there is more that goes into it than that since I am not making a game for myself or for a certain group of people.

    For example, I was brought onto Gameplay in NHL 13 after TPS was already underway. I looked at what they were doing and bought into the vision. I do think it is an improvement based on the goals that were set for the authenticity of the game and the additional factors it could add to skating that weren't present at all in the old system. That doesn't change the fact that I had fun with the previous system too. That said, it wasn't up to me if we created a new skating engine or not in that case but I was certainly onboard to innovate and bought in to what it could bring to the game. I am not walking a company line when I say I personally like the system and what it brought to the series.

    Since then, as with everything that was in the game before I started, it is all part of the gameplay experience I am responsible for now and I need to take into account how everything worked before, how it currently works and what we want to do into the future in everything we do.

    For NHL 15, I was asked to focus on the production/design role for Presentation only so took a year off from gameplay. For NHL 16, I was asked to go back to Gameplay. In that time, I looked at what had been done in the transition to the new consoles with some of the core mechanics and weighed those choices against what I knew we had done in 13 and 14, listened to the forums, had a lot of discussions with the Gamechangers and started to make decisions and changes based on that feedback and where I saw opportunities in the mechanics.

    Some of the things that had been done I thought were good ideas and other things I questioned more than others based on my own perspective and what I knew of being on gameplay the year before, how people play the game competitively and even just my personal take as a User of the game.

    We made some specific decisions in the direction we took knowing a main focus was a balanced Gameplay experience within the EASHL and in some cases, went too far in making things 'too simulation' for the broader audience. We then took that feedback into NHL 17 and that is where I told the Gamechangers, that NHL 16 was a modern day NHL 13 for me and NHL 17 was a modern day NHL 14 as it was basically a year of core mechanics and then a year of tightening things up the next year based on a good year of feedback and seeing how things played out in the wild. And at the same time looking for opportunities to add new features to try and give more control and/or fix holes in abilities.

    That is essentially what my role is. So I will continue to listen to what people say on these boards but I will also stand behind decisions we made since they are never made lightly. But as I said before, that doesn't mean that things won't/can't change or that our execution on something hit our intention on all accounts. There is just a lot more that goes into decisions. And as you have seen, even if our only source for features and tuning for this game was this forum, we would probably already be making 3 games.
    Post edited by NHLDev on
  • I think the issue is what a lot of what we are suggesting we can change with sliders if we play offline so we don't see it as a challenge for you to simply listen to us and adjust it. And hey if we are wrong then change it next patch or tuner. Is it that much harder than we think to tune goalies the way we have asked? Or skaters or shot accuracy?
  • As far as the defensive discussion goes, puck carriers need way less agility, they can be at full speed and turn an instant 90 degrees to avoid hits or poke checks just by toe dragging the puck or holding puck protect, players without the puck have to make wide turns at full speed, this doesn't make sense. Turning while holding puck protect also bounces about 90% of hits off harmlessly, not even a nudge or loss of possession.

    Defense have enough tools, offense just has too many exploits in my opinion. It feels like low speed hits were great in the BETA and just aren't in the game anymore, I realise you guys say hitting hasn't been changed since the BETA but that's just how it feels to me.

    In the BETA I was getting 100% defense rating almost every game, never below 80%; now I get 50-60% when I play a good game on a win, and that has to do a lot with the coach constantly blaming defense for "missing a check" on every single goal that goes in, which should also be fixed as it takes exp from you at the end and just makes you look like a bad dman, even when you play your position flawlessly.
  • strategg101
    823 posts Member
    edited November 2016
    uh oh. thats low. I get no negative if i am in position and a goal is scored, but if i am out of position i get one. especially if i miss a check and a goal gets scored as a result.

    Don't want to sound like an ****, but maybe reevaluate your defensive play. Unless of course you were covering for your D partner and covering his man that would still be a negative. but a Missed assignment one.
  • Lynch-CAN wrote: »
    As far as the defensive discussion goes, puck carriers need way less agility, they can be at full speed and turn an instant 90 degrees to avoid hits or poke checks just by toe dragging the puck or holding puck protect, players without the puck have to make wide turns at full speed, this doesn't make sense. Turning while holding puck protect also bounces about 90% of hits off harmlessly, not even a nudge or loss of possession.

    Defense have enough tools, offense just has too many exploits in my opinion. It feels like low speed hits were great in the BETA and just aren't in the game anymore, I realise you guys say hitting hasn't been changed since the BETA but that's just how it feels to me.

    In the BETA I was getting 100% defense rating almost every game, never below 80%; now I get 50-60% when I play a good game on a win, and that has to do a lot with the coach constantly blaming defense for "missing a check" on every single goal that goes in, which should also be fixed as it takes exp from you at the end and just makes you look like a bad dman, even when you play your position flawlessly.

    That's because poke checks would actually move the puck away from the guy carrying it.
  • barrett098
    428 posts Member
    edited November 2016
    Does Rammer want an arcade game or more realistic one like you? Just curious. So f glad your on that dev team because tbh he seems like he rather have pure arcade **** just based on interviews I seen him give when hyping up the game.
  • uh oh. thats low. I get no negative if i am in position and a goal is scored, but if i am out of position i get one. especially if i miss a check and a goal gets scored as a result.

    Don't want to sound like an ****, but maybe reevaluate your defensive play. Unless of course you were covering for your D partner and covering his man that would still be a negative. but a Missed assignment one.

    Like I said, these are on solid D games, 2 or 3 goals get scored while I'm in position and not throwing any checks and its -15% to -22% to defense for missing a check, when you never even threw one in the first place. Every time it says your missed check resulted in a goal you get -7%. I'm not sure if poke checking counts as a check, maybe that's the reason.
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