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Unfair advantage with different control schemes

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Fatboyee
83 posts Member
edited December 2016
Often when playing the game online (OTP) I've been totally baffled by what I see some players doing. I'm sure everyone else here has seen it, when you play someone and the game essentially acts very strange. I'm talking about things like:
  • You can't poke the puck off someone
  • They spam poke check or stick lift without ever receiving a penalty
  • They somehow nudge you off the puck every time they get close
  • Your opponent players accelerate faster than your players ( even if you use the same team & no matter how long the lines have been on the ice )
  • In OPT the AI controlled opponent players constantly attempt to steal the puck off you, and your AI doesn't ever attempt to take the puck off your opponent
  • Opponents take slap shots incredibly quick, or get off wrist shots quickly and you can seemingly not get shots off as the controls seem unresponsive
  • Opponents seemingly win every faceoff without changing faceoff stance
  • Opponents seemingly miss shots rarely

There's other instances that i didn't include above. I've been playing EA hockey games for a very long time - Since 1992 on the Sega Genesis (and even previously worked with a few people that were once on the development team in the early 2000's). I'm an ex game developer ( producer ). I'm not here to whine or complain, but I'd like to partake in honest discussion. So I'll get to my point.

I believe the differences in the items I listed above, have nothing to do with lag, or bugs, but specific to which control scheme you are playing with. There are three control schemes allowed:
  1. NHL 94
  2. HYBRID
  3. Skill Stick

Each control scheme has its advantages and disadvantages, for example.

NHL 94
  • Passing is easiest ( tends to hit its target more often ) and the strength on passes might be different compared to other control schemes
  • Shooting the puck is WAY faster then using the skill stick controls
  • You will hardly ever take penalties
  • AI will attempt to steal the puck on your behalf
  • Easier to win faceoffs using buttons ( button is faster than stick )
  • Players seem to have a higher speed to make up for a lack of speed burst
  • Vision control not needed, shot aim is auto

HYBRID
  • Passing is easier and quicker to pull off compared to skill stick ( tends to hit its target more often ) and the strength on passes might be different
  • You can move your stick to strange positions and still make a pass
  • Shooting the puck is WAY faster then using the skill stick controls ( Wrist or Slap )
  • You will take fewer penalties
  • AI will attempt to steal the puck on your behalf
  • Easier to win faceoffs using buttons ( button is faster than stick )
  • Speedburst seems to accelerate quicker than then using the skill stick controls ( or has a higher top speed )

Skill Stick
  • Speedburst is slower, or your player get tired faster
  • Shooting the puck is slower & causes misfires that doesn't happen with the above control schemes
  • You take FAR more penalties attempting to steal the puck or poke it loose
  • Passes get intercepted more
  • AI players hardly ever attempt to steal the puck
Post edited by Fatboyee on

Replies

  • Fatboyee
    83 posts Member
    edited December 2016
    I forgot to mention NHL94 & HYBRID controls, its far easier to win faceoffs. A button is faster then pulling back on the stick. You see this when you come up against someone that almost never loses a faceoff, no matter what faceoff stance you attempt.

    My recommendation to EA is to drop the different control schemes, make it visible to players which controls the opponents are playing with, or allow player to fully customize their controls to perform similar functions.

    If it's necessary to keep three different control schemes, then each one needs to be made more even. It's literally the difference between winning and losing. More so, if you play OTP and use the non skill stick controls, you should receive far less RANK points for the win loss bonus. I'd be willing to bet more than 80% of the players in the TOP 100 or even 1000 are using the hybrid controls to get an advantage. Really the game should be pushing people to using the Skill stick controls, as they should be "the best" option, however with the current differences in how the game plays, they are not.

    Many times I've played the game and come out of it with a feeling of fighting the controls. Doing things you don't want to be doing, like hitting pass before getting to the puck by accident and then auto passing the puck when you get there.

    NOTE to EA: Chop puck radius is too large and being abused online. It's easier to chop the puck around the boards then to shoot it. There's less risk in missing using chop puck compared to shoot. It should be the other way around.

    Also shooting when near boards should be context sensitive. If you attempt a slap shot while too close to the boards, you get a wrist shot instead.

    In NHL 2018 I would really love to see penalties not be so random. I hate when I intend to poke check and instead get a penalty for hooking ( something that is non existent in the control scheme ) or when I get a penalty for slashing when I'm performing a stick lift. IMO it would be better to have two new controls added.

    1. Brace for a hit - to replace puck protect, so players have a much greater sense of control when taking a hit. Right now its pretty random. If you throw a body check and they are prepared for it ( hitting brace ), it makes sense to bounce off them. If they are not prepared for it, they get knocked off the puck, or knocked to the ice.

    2. Give me a context sensitive steal button. Use this to pick up loose pucks, or hit this button after tying up and opposing player or lifting their stick. Again taking away the randomness of knowing who will come out with the puck. If its less random its harder to feel like you were cheated.

    3. I would prefer control over the ability to slash at players, throw elbows, spear, or take cheap shots. I hate the fact penalties are given randomly for using poke check or stick-lift. if you poke check and trip someone that is fine, but it should never turn into a hook.

    Anyway, that is all IMO.


  • I've never been called for a hook when I've used poke check so I've never seen that..
    These control schemes and how your player behaves in regards to which set-up you have is something that's news to me as well. I've never used the '94 or hybrid controls because to me it seems those control schemes are lacking a lot of the tools available to your player...

    Good post though. Would be nice if a dev confirmed that it was their intention to make hybrid/'94 control schemes easier to win draws, shoot the puck, and make passes...that seems very off to me
  • I've seen hooks when using poke check all the time. IMO it doesn't make sense, if you are using poke check and your stick isn't in the opponent's skate, it should never give you a hooking penalty. Sports games do need randomness to keep players on their toes, however the player should always feel like they are in full control. Right now there's too much randomness where you get penalized for trying to make a play. If I can get called for hooking, then I should have the ability to hook, or slash, or elbow, etc...
  • Fatboyee
    83 posts Member
    edited December 2016
    Also, I forgot to add that it's' specifically implemented that players have trouble picking up the puck when a penalty has been called. Specifically for teams with lower ratings. This should simply be removed, if I'm already getting penalized why give the opposing player even more of an advantage? I've been burned many times because my player refused to pick up the puck after a penalty was called and I had no way to affect the situation.

    Randomness in gameplay is needed.
    Randomness in my ability to affect play is not wanted.
  • EVerk81 wrote: »
    I've never been called for a hook when I've used poke check so I've never seen that..
    These control schemes and how your player behaves in regards to which set-up you have is something that's news to me as well. I've never used the '94 or hybrid controls because to me it seems those control schemes are lacking a lot of the tools available to your player...

    Good post though. Would be nice if a dev confirmed that it was their intention to make hybrid/'94 control schemes easier to win draws, shoot the puck, and make passes...that seems very off to me

    Hi Everk81, what rank are you online?
  • I wonder if this also effects how some people can skate along the boards and alot of the time go through people trying to hit or poke check the person.. I try and skate along the boards and lose it most of the time even if i hode my stick towards the boards or use protect puck
  • Fatboyee wrote: »
    EVerk81 wrote: »
    I've never been called for a hook when I've used poke check so I've never seen that..
    These control schemes and how your player behaves in regards to which set-up you have is something that's news to me as well. I've never used the '94 or hybrid controls because to me it seems those control schemes are lacking a lot of the tools available to your player...

    Good post though. Would be nice if a dev confirmed that it was their intention to make hybrid/'94 control schemes easier to win draws, shoot the puck, and make passes...that seems very off to me

    Hi Everk81, what rank are you online?

    I have no idea what 'rank' I am. I've only played maybe 30 games of HuT, and about 250 online EASHL/Drop-in games. Probably ain't ranked that high.

    Why?
  • Having multiple control schemes with advantages would not be very e-sporty.
    Tastes Good With The Money https://youtube.com/watch?v=GS4dO-0YI2E
  • EVerk81 wrote: »
    I've never been called for a hook when I've used poke check so I've never seen that..
    These control schemes and how your player behaves in regards to which set-up you have is something that's news to me as well. I've never used the '94 or hybrid controls because to me it seems those control schemes are lacking a lot of the tools available to your player...

    Good post though. Would be nice if a dev confirmed that it was their intention to make hybrid/'94 control schemes easier to win draws, shoot the puck, and make passes...that seems very off to me

    No there is nothing in those control schemes that would make it easier to do any of those things, unless of course you consider that someone with skill stick could physically miss the pie section at the top of their right stick that would trigger the shot and with buttons, just a press will trigger it.

  • Lots of speculation in the original post. Just want to make it clear that none of it is true.

    As a side fact, a player would actually have a disadvantage using button controls during faceoffs as there is a bonus to holding a grip first which was put in to originally eliminate spamming. Since then, we added the condition that if you jump early, you lose the draw but there is still a bonus for holding a grip which both players even out if they both get down into a grip.

    If you are changing your response to the high level questions for your experience in the settings screen to get the different control types, I can see noticing changes in the game difficulty as those high level changes also change the difficulty level and game style but if you are only changing your controller setting and playing on all the same settings (or playing online that has fixed settings), it is purely confirmation bias.

    Lastly, I don't know of a way that a pokecheck will trigger a penalty other than a trip. If it does, there is a bug, but I haven't seen that reported before. A stick lift can trigger a slash, high stick or hook but it isn't random. They only happen if you are doing it from the wrong angle and miss the stick lift, which can partly come from attributes of the stick checking of the player you are using as well but if you have the right angle and timing from user control, you probably won't see many, if any, penalties.
  • There are only 2 penalties I have an issue with, the first is elbowing, which does seem completely random. At first, I thought it was tied to player discipline, but then I started having players with 85+ discipline taking 2 or more elbowing penalties a game. It feels to arbitrary. The second and infinitely more annoying one is interference. Firstly in offline the CPU will often let pucks go along the boards once you have committed to a check, since they don't play it....bam! Interference. Worse though is that the CPU constantly interferes with my players. Picking my forecheckers in the offensive zone and running over defenders in the d zone. They NEVER get called. I turned interference up to 100 in the slider and the CPU didn't get an interference call over EIGHT GAMES with it set like that. Those 2 penalties are totally broken and need to be fixed. 2 other penalty related things that aren't right.... 5 min majors other than boarding/hitting from behind follow no rhyme or reason. I have gotten 5 minutes and a game for interference, elbowing etc... in situations where I wasn't being overly aggressive and it didn't make sense. I have only seen the CPU given a major once in hundreds of games. The other one is there needs to be some kind of logic written into the game (playing offline) about penalties in close games. So many times I'm playing a fun game, up by a goal with the CPU pressing for the tie and with a minute left they take a penalty. It happens probably 1 out of 3 in games I'm leading by one. There are also way too many 5 on 3's and penalties in playoff OT. When playing offline, it's all about immersion, and those things wreck it.
  • DeejNYLV wrote: »
    There are only 2 penalties I have an issue with, the first is elbowing, which does seem completely random. At first, I thought it was tied to player discipline, but then I started having players with 85+ discipline taking 2 or more elbowing penalties a game. It feels to arbitrary. The second and infinitely more annoying one is interference. Firstly in offline the CPU will often let pucks go along the boards once you have committed to a check, since they don't play it....bam! Interference. Worse though is that the CPU constantly interferes with my players. Picking my forecheckers in the offensive zone and running over defenders in the d zone. They NEVER get called. I turned interference up to 100 in the slider and the CPU didn't get an interference call over EIGHT GAMES with it set like that. Those 2 penalties are totally broken and need to be fixed. 2 other penalty related things that aren't right.... 5 min majors other than boarding/hitting from behind follow no rhyme or reason. I have gotten 5 minutes and a game for interference, elbowing etc... in situations where I wasn't being overly aggressive and it didn't make sense. I have only seen the CPU given a major once in hundreds of games. The other one is there needs to be some kind of logic written into the game (playing offline) about penalties in close games. So many times I'm playing a fun game, up by a goal with the CPU pressing for the tie and with a minute left they take a penalty. It happens probably 1 out of 3 in games I'm leading by one. There are also way too many 5 on 3's and penalties in playoff OT. When playing offline, it's all about immersion, and those things wreck it.

    Elbowing does take discipline into account but in NHL 17, so that it is in the players control, for better balance in online competition, it uses discipline to sometimes turn what would be a charging penalty or just shy of, into elbowing for penalty variance. So if you don't get into that realm of charging for your hits, you shouldn't see elbowing penalties.

    Interference should take puck proximity into account so even if a player doesn't touch the puck, if you hit them when it is close, you shouldn't get called. If you hit them after it has gone by, then you can get called for interference and would need to stop trying to lay the hit once you notice it wasn't picked up. If you turn interference up, it is going to lower the time you have after the puck has left that players control or the proximity around them and could increase your chance of getting called in those scenarios as well.

    Depending on the settings you are playing on and what you have incidental contact set to, you can get settings that possibly lead to less of an effect (not as easy to stumble, etc.) when players away from the puck are bumping into each other and leading to less moments of what feels like interference that isn't called. Right now, we don't call those contacts but it is something I would like to be able to recognize properly.

    5 minute majors on those other penalties you mentioned could be due to an injury occurring to the player the infraction was against. If an injury occurs the penalty is upgraded to a major, so interference or elbowing could be a major penalty if the player is injured.

    To your last comment, you are right that we don't do anything to 'put the whistles away' but that is again mostly done to be consistent in online play. For offline players like yourself, I can see how this may feel realistic in some ways for the situations you described.
  • An aside note for elbowing penalties, something is wrong with the sliders for offline play. I turned the elbowing slider down to zero and still got called for it with the same frequency I did before.
  • An aside note for elbowing penalties, something is wrong with the sliders for offline play. I turned the elbowing slider down to zero and still got called for it with the same frequency I did before.

    Ok thanks. With all of the slider additions this year and the increase in range, we did do a lot of testing around them but I will let the team know this one slipped through.
  • NHLDev wrote: »
    Lots of speculation in the original post. Just want to make it clear that none of it is true.

    As a side fact, a player would actually have a disadvantage using button controls during faceoffs as there is a bonus to holding a grip first which was put in to originally eliminate spamming. Since then, we added the condition that if you jump early, you lose the draw but there is still a bonus for holding a grip which both players even out if they both get down into a grip.

    If you are changing your response to the high level questions for your experience in the settings screen to get the different control types, I can see noticing changes in the game difficulty as those high level changes also change the difficulty level and game style but if you are only changing your controller setting and playing on all the same settings (or playing online that has fixed settings), it is purely confirmation bias.

    Lastly, I don't know of a way that a pokecheck will trigger a penalty other than a trip. If it does, there is a bug, but I haven't seen that reported before. A stick lift can trigger a slash, high stick or hook but it isn't random. They only happen if you are doing it from the wrong angle and miss the stick lift, which can partly come from attributes of the stick checking of the player you are using as well but if you have the right angle and timing from user control, you probably won't see many, if any, penalties.

    I admit I am speculating, but I wouldn't dismiss everything as untrue.

    I don't think the bonus for holding grip works to the skill stick advantage on faceoffs when the opponent is using a different control scheme. The person using the skill stick is at a disadvantage as they could have to fight a bug ( where if you push or hold anywhere on the left of your stick circle, your player acts like it's moving forward, causing you to lose the faceoff. ). This forces you to hold a certain faceoff stance. Also pushing back a stick is always going to be slower than hitting a button. I don't think saying that is opinion, it's a fact. I could post a video of this happening.

    Also do you have to pull all the way back for it to work with skill stick faceoffs? Skill stick users are are a disadvantage as you mention for shooting as well. You can miss like you said, so I'm not sure I see any advantage for the skill stick user in this area. So that is true.

    Are you certain about AI players being more aggressive in attempting to steal the puck on your behalf if you use the non-skillstick controls? No matter what settings I use with the skill stick I can't get my AI players to ever steal the puck like I see some players in OTP. In fact there's something i'm doing that causes players away from my control to take penalties. Any idea what that is?

    How do you account for speedboost with the NHL94 control scheme? I still think there is something to using the different control schemes that affects play. I've had numerous breakaways where I was far and away from any opposing player, then all of the sudden one of their players skates back at a rate that seems impossible and takes the puck away, or nudges my player.

    Non skill stick users can also nudge opponents off the puck that I've seen. At the very least its easier.

    Also the chop puck radius is too large and being abused online. It's easier to chop the puck around the boards then to shoot it. There's less risk in missing using chop puck compared to shooting. This is also true. Watch how people playing in the top 1000 are playing.

    The rest of my original post is mostly IMO as I mentioned. But I think it would do the game some justice to find a way to remove the randomness in getting penalties. I agree that using poke check in the wrong position should result in a penalty, however sometimes it's my AI player that attempts to do so, and I don't know why. It's really frustrating and feels like Ice tilt, or whatever people want to call it. I think any people arguing about tilted ice, are just frustrated by anything that seems to not be in their control.

  • NHLDev
    1355 posts NHL Developer
    edited December 2016
    Fatboyee wrote: »
    I admit I am speculating, but I wouldn't dismiss everything as untrue.

    I don't think the bonus for holding grip works to the skill stick advantage on faceoffs when the opponent is using a different control scheme. The person using the skill stick is at a disadvantage as they could have to fight a bug ( where if you push or hold anywhere on the left of your stick circle, your player acts like it's moving forward, causing you to lose the faceoff. ). This forces you to hold a certain faceoff stance. Also pushing back a stick is always going to be slower than hitting a button. I don't think saying that is opinion, it's a fact. I could post a video of this happening.

    Also do you have to pull all the way back for it to work with skill stick faceoffs? Skill stick users are are a disadvantage as you mention for shooting as well. You can miss like you said, so I'm not sure I see any advantage for the skill stick user in this area. So that is true.
    We don't favor the player that is the fastest in any way. So the button being faster than moving the stick isn't an advantage unless you are missing the window completely. Due to online latency, we didn't want to rely on frame by frame accuracy as much as using the right counters in the faceoff mechanic itself so most people that know the general timing in the competitive space shouldn't be missing the window anymore.

    If you press into what is considered the 'forward' or 'back' part of the pie on your right stick, then yes, he will attempt a stick lift or draw back but if you are in the 'left' or 'right' of your player, he will hold the corresponding backhand or forehand grip.

    If players are having a hard time hitting those parts of the stick then they would be at a disadvantage but that isn't meant to be part of the skill. Those windows are a quarter of the sticks circumference each to make it as easy as possible to hit while still giving control over all of those choices. With the button, you can only try a draw back (unless you are tying up with the left stick) so aren't able to perform the proper forehand vs backhand counters manually.
    Fatboyee wrote: »
    Are you certain about AI players being more aggressive in attempting to steal the puck on your behalf if you use the non-skillstick controls? No matter what settings I use with the skill stick I can't get my AI players to ever steal the puck like I see some players in OTP.

    Yes. This is probably just confirmation bias.
    Fatboyee wrote: »
    In fact there's something i'm doing that causes players away from my control to take penalties. Any idea what that is?

    AI players use the logic they have to decide when they should perform a defensive action. If you are getting a lot of AI penalties compared to your opponent, you are probably not playing the puck manually as much as they are and letting your AI do that more often and/or your opponent is probably doing a better job protecting/moving the puck against the AI, drawing them into penalties, compared to what you are. I can't know for sure without seeing clips, that is just from my own experience/observation of the game.
    Fatboyee wrote: »
    How do you account for speedboost with the NHL94 control scheme? I still think there is something to using the different control schemes that affects play. I've had numerous breakaways where I was far and away from any opposing player, then all of the sudden one of their players skates back at a rate that seems impossible and takes the puck away, or nudges my player.
    It is the same as hustle with the skill stick controls so depending on the game style that you are playing on, it will work the same for both according to what hustle is set to (which is authentic for the online default settings)
    Fatboyee wrote: »
    Non skill stick users can also nudge opponents off the puck that I've seen. At the very least its easier.

    Again, I think this is confirmation bias.
    Fatboyee wrote: »
    Also the chop puck radius is too large and being abused online. It's easier to chop the puck around the boards then to shoot it. There's less risk in missing using chop puck compared to shooting. This is also true. Watch how people playing in the top 1000 are playing.
    Chopping the puck is intended to be quicker than shooting it but you have less control in the outcome and less power. You can get it out of danger but often can't clear the zone with it as easy as a shot or flip dump if its deep in your end. It is a balance of time vs control and power.
    Fatboyee wrote: »
    The rest of my original post is mostly IMO as I mentioned. But I think it would do the game some justice to find a way to remove the randomness in getting penalties. I agree that using poke check in the wrong position should result in a penalty, however sometimes it's my AI player that attempts to do so, and I don't know why. It's really frustrating and feels like Ice tilt, or whatever people want to call it. I think any people arguing about tilted ice, are just frustrated by anything that seems to not be in their control.

    There isn't randomness in the penalty mechanics themselves but the AI situations are similar to what I said above. The more you let them play the puck carrier, the more it is out of your control if they take a penalty or not. They are just doing what they think is the right action and people with better puck control and stick handling are going to draw them into more penalties as they would against User players.

  • This might the most intriguing post ever. The only way to confirm Fatboy's theory is to put it to test. Stay tuned. On a side bar, it can easily be confirmed if a player is using NHL 94 controls because they can't take wrist shots.
  • While we are talking about penalties, get rid of injuries in eashl. Literally the dumbest feature ever. As well as forcing people into fights. Players have no control over this things happening and ruins experience. Kind of like forcing rw into penalty box when goalie decides to start a fight.

    On that note fix all the rw randomly being sent to the bench bugs in eashl.
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