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What Could HUT Look Like Without Loot Boxes?

With all the talk around loot boxes and how they upset the community, I thought it would be an interesting topic to imagine what something like HUT would look like without such a mechanic. How would progression work, would it be based more so on skill or time spent, how would users stay interested for 6-9 months, how much time or how skilled would you have to be to get a stacked team of top players? It's almost a completely different game mode, but maybe that's where things are headed if EA continues to get this sort of media coverage.

I think the general game would stay the same; Collect player cards to make a better team, and then play against other teams. Maybe when EA releases cards, you get them by repeating the same accomplishments that they did. For example, if Wheeler gets a primetime card for his 4pt night, you have to have a Wheeler card get at least as many goals and assists as the real life one in a single game in the 24-48 hours after the card is released, for a TOTW maybe over your next three or four games you have to have them score at least that many goals, get hits, +/-, or other stats to get the card. For milestones it would be a bit more tricky, but maybe that could be something like making it to 10-30% of what the milestone was for with any card of that player (score 50 goals with Ovi to get his 500 goals milestone, or play 400 games with Jagr to get his 1600 GP milestone for example), and give players the full year to get that accomplishment.

As for how to get the base level cards to begin with, maybe they could have the AHL or lower rated NHL players available by default for most teams, and you need to complete certain challenges with players from that team to unlock them. Think something like 1,000 GP 250 Goals, 300 Assists by Pitt or WBS Pens players to unlock Crosby for example. It's not all that difficult if you have a full Penguins roster (full 20-man roster can do it in 50-100 games easily), but you won't end up with more than a few high-value players at the end of it. Even if you could complete every team in 50 games a piece, that's still 1500 games played just to unlock every base level player and none of the in-form versions.

Legends could be a whole other world too. The legends right now just seem to be in an awkward spot, where they're some of the best cards to start with, but within a couple months you already start seeing lots of cards with better stats and synergies and no reason to hold on to the legends. Maybe you unlock them once you unlock all of the base players for a team and the cards start out somewhere in the 70's, so you need to hit certain stats with that specific card to boost them up. Maybe give players some sort of appearance difference once they reach the max attributes, or unlock a retro jersey for the team. EA could even update the maximums as the year goes on so that they stay competitive throughout the year, and cane make it to the end of the year without looking out of place on even the best teams.

Obviously EA can't just give up microtransactions completely though. Giving users the ability to rent players for 10 or so games at a time without it counting towards any player or team unlocks would sort of guarantee that players would lock themselves into playing with real-money if they always waned to play with the best available players, but also give normal users a chance to try out Ovi before spending 100+ hours unlocking him. They could also sell time-based boosts so that stats count double for a few days or so, reducing the grind for some of the weekend-only players, but also have those boosts include a cooldown of at least as long as the boost lasted where the player might only earn half the stats. This would keep the game from getting full of people who boost their way to the top, and more meant for the people who don't get to play often and don't like getting left behind by some of the other players.

Anyways, curious to see what other ideas people have that would not only make it a more well-defined path to improving your team, but also to continue providing additional revenue to EA without it being an unlimited money-sink, and potentially adding to the enjoyment of the game. It's hard to fault EA for continuing a business model that generates revenue for them, but just complaining about it doesn't seem likely to solve anything on its own, and they need ideas on how to change it before that can actually happen.


  • Not sure how people would feel about it but ive always thought it would be fun to get like a team of lets say rated 50 overall players with randomly generated names\Appearence and as you play games the cards\Players attributes progress based on play kind of like how BAP players progress but on a team wide scale then they could get bonus boosts for scoring 25-50-100 goals 10-20-30 Blocked shots ect and so your team would also kind of evolve based on your playstyle as well
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