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NHL 20 Content Update October 25th


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Why Does This Happen Every Year?

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  • Bmh245
    872 posts Member
    NHLDev wrote: »
    We have seen cases where the puck gets knocked away before contact in a clean pokecheck case. Unfortunately that is more complex code and not tuning so you need good repro cases on a debug machine and it isn't necessarily easy to repro on one machine -- which is why I was curious on your stats when you say 'all the time'.

    Ghost pokes - where the puck gets knocked away without the defensive player's stick ever making contact with the puck or the offensive player's stick - happen reasonably often, by which I mean once every few games or so. They're infuriating, but in most cases I assume they're the result of frame update issues. There are other cases, though, where the hit box just seems far too big for it to be an update issue.
    NHLDev wrote: »
    When you say 'all the time' what would you say the actual percentage is that you still see a puck knocked away after the stick went through geo first?

    Plays like this:



    happen typically at least once every night I play, which means every two or three games. To be fair, because people spam poke check all the time in HUT, that means only a small percentage of overall poke checks work this way. But precisely because people spam poke check all the time, including from behind, it's a real gameplay issue.
    NHLDev wrote: »
    That is in part due to the current tuning that if we changed it for other scenarios might diminish its ability in the places people like how it is working -- which is why we spent more time on the spamming case, accuracy at bad angles and penalty cases when getting your stick into a players skates, etc.

    I understand the current tuning is supposed to penalize players more for poke-check spamming/putting their sticks into players' skates, but even more than the things mentioned above, tripping penalties (or rather the lack thereof) are really really inconsistent this year. Here are three clips, all of which happened in the space of about two minutes of game time in the same game (this is post-tuner):







    In all three cases, the defensive player put his stick into the offensive player's skates from a bad (or at least not good) position, without any penalty being called. Yet occasionally, you'll do the exact same thing (or less) and get the penalty call. That inconsistency and unpredictability - since as far as I can tell there is no obvious reason why no penalty was called in the clips above (particularly the first two) - really hurts the gameplay experience.

    I remember the failed "make tripping calls accurate" tuning experiment from last year, but when the defensive player is blatantly putting his stick into the offensive player's skates without any realistic chance of getting the puck (because he's poking from behind or the offensive player is protecting it), it should be a penalty. The fact that so often it isn't just encourages people to spam RB, and the fact that you can sometimes put your stick through geometry and knock the puck away amplifies the problem.
  • I don’t know the proper gaming term (“clipping”?) but all three videos the games physics are clearly broken. No wonder why the penalities and poke checking are so inconsistent because of that to begin with. :smirk:
  • Sinbin
    1331 posts Member
    mhandymanb wrote: »
    I don’t know the proper gaming term (“clipping”?) but all three videos the games physics are clearly broken. No wonder why the penalities and poke checking are so inconsistent because of that to begin with. :smirk:

    You should see what NHLDev has said about this. The clipping is intended.
  • NHLDev
    1365 posts NHL Developer
    Bmh245 wrote: »
    In all three cases, the defensive player put his stick into the offensive player's skates from a bad (or at least not good) position, without any penalty being called. Yet occasionally, you'll do the exact same thing (or less) and get the penalty call. That inconsistency and unpredictability - since as far as I can tell there is no obvious reason why no penalty was called in the clips above (particularly the first two) - really hurts the gameplay experience.

    I remember the failed "make tripping calls accurate" tuning experiment from last year, but when the defensive player is blatantly putting his stick into the offensive player's skates without any realistic chance of getting the puck (because he's poking from behind or the offensive player is protecting it), it should be a penalty. The fact that so often it isn't just encourages people to spam RB, and the fact that you can sometimes put your stick through geometry and knock the puck away amplifies the problem.

    Are most of the cases that you see the puck hit after the stick goes through the body similar to your example where the puck goes free before the contact is allowed? It looked like the puck carrier may have tried a deke there? Something I don't know for sure but we may only run that logic when the puck is possessed or may reset the flag when the puck changes possession. Something to look at for sure.
  • NHLDev wrote: »
    There are people that say the game is ridiculous because every time they get hit, they lose the puck and everytime they hit their opponent, they somehow keep it. That isn't the game being out of balance, that is a skill difference between Players.

    There are players that will tell you that the pokecheck is too overpowered and others that will tell you that it is too hard to strip a puck carrier.

    Wanted to pull these things out to comment on them because I think they are somewhat related as it ties into the experience of playing the game.

    I think you are correct in saying that there is some sort of skill difference at play here, but I contend that the "skill" to basically be invincible with the puck on offense is toxic to the gameplay in general. There are a good numbers of players that know how to use the glide feature so effectively that you basically cannot hit or poke them for unreasonably long periods of time. There are many, many instances of players skating into a group of two or three defenders and somehow retaining the puck. Pokechecking and hitting feel absolutely useless under these conditions and it is pretty rage-inducing. Again, this is because the skill of the player allows them to do this (I am not good at that at all) but I am arguing that this is not where any sort of skill gap should come into play.

    On the flip-side, there are times, usually when an offensive player has a step or two on the defender, where pokes and hitting seem overpowered. As I mentioned in a previous post, the pokes from behind are WAY to frequent. And less frequent, although present, are the "nudges" from behind when a defender is beat that somehow dislodge the puck. These are moments that leave me as a player frustrated because they simply make no sense.

    Now, your explanation for how the pokes work on a technical level do make sense actually (turning down pokes from behind will mess with other pokes to an undesirable level). This is why this sort of interaction is great, because that shows the why behind things that I, as a player, wonder how can get by play-testing to begin with. However, what I wrote above explains the seemingly contradictory thoughts of some (dare I say most) of the player base. Pokes are BOTH under-powered and overpowered.

  • NHLDev wrote: »
    Okay, so if you're able to tune something like goalie movement speed, acceleration, agility, hitting power, etc. and you're aware of some of the issues as brought up by the community and acknowledged by EA themselves, why hasn't there been more tuners to address them? My initial statement I was pretty harsh in critiquing the involvement of the development of the game, but I just don't understand why any of these band-aid fixes haven't been applied. The pokechecking and goalie tuners were necessary, but the game has been out for 8 months and there have been patches and whatnot, but for only 2 tuners (affecting raw attributes) I just find it kind of odd that in previous titles I felt there were many more tuners and a much more of an attempt to balance the game more.

    .....

    Just by replying to us goes a long way. It takes my hate level for EA from maybe an 8 down to a 3 and actually gives me hope for NHL 19 sadly. Why? Because as a community we at least know that people like yourself actually put in the effort. And hey, even if you voice an opinion that'll receive negative feedback, then that's a great thing. It means more ideas, it gives the company the direction they're supposed to go (as opposed to TOLD to go). Sorry to be harsh but I really think band-aid fixes is your last move to make this year's installment at least less frustrating and if you don't do that, then you fail a ridiculously easy task as a company. What's the worst that could happen? You resort back to the old tuner? It's been on the old tuner for months on end, and we're frustrated with it.

    The thing is when you say "we're", you aren't actually representing the whole community and game balance is very subjective. If we thought the game was out of balance, we would continue to tune the game.

    In the past we have had players tell us the game played better in the Beta or that it played better before tuners. Those are perfect examples where we had been given information (from what we had hear, read and seen ourselves) that led us to believe the game wasn't playing the way we intended so we tuned to get it more in line with the initial direction/balance we expected, yet not everyone felt that was the case once all was said and done.

    You are free to voice your opinion on what you think the 'band-aid fixes' would be that you would make but if we don't make them, that doesn't mean that we aren't listening or aren't trying. It just may mean that we don't agree and/or don't feel the opinion is represented by the community as a whole. We also understand what we have the ability to tune and what the knocks on are to the rest of the balance of the game.

    When there are people saying the game is too slow and too fast, it is actually probably balanced even though both sets of people would make a change.

    There are people that say the game is ridiculous because every time they get hit, they lose the puck and everytime they hit their opponent, they somehow keep it. That isn't the game being out of balance, that is a skill difference between Players.

    There are players that will tell you that the pokecheck is too overpowered and others that will tell you that it is too hard to strip a puck carrier.

    All that said, there are plenty of improvements I would like to make with each of the mechanics in the game to make them even better. Those aren't always simple fixes though. So we always tune the game within the current way that it plays. I am not sure if we will put out more tuners or not but as of right now, it is tuned the way we intend based off the sum of all of the parts.

    Would it be possible to go into a little more detail on the highlighted part?

    Thank-you.
  • NHLDev wrote: »
    Okay, so if you're able to tune something like goalie movement speed, acceleration, agility, hitting power, etc. and you're aware of some of the issues as brought up by the community and acknowledged by EA themselves, why hasn't there been more tuners to address them? My initial statement I was pretty harsh in critiquing the involvement of the development of the game, but I just don't understand why any of these band-aid fixes haven't been applied. The pokechecking and goalie tuners were necessary, but the game has been out for 8 months and there have been patches and whatnot, but for only 2 tuners (affecting raw attributes) I just find it kind of odd that in previous titles I felt there were many more tuners and a much more of an attempt to balance the game more.

    .....

    Just by replying to us goes a long way. It takes my hate level for EA from maybe an 8 down to a 3 and actually gives me hope for NHL 19 sadly. Why? Because as a community we at least know that people like yourself actually put in the effort. And hey, even if you voice an opinion that'll receive negative feedback, then that's a great thing. It means more ideas, it gives the company the direction they're supposed to go (as opposed to TOLD to go). Sorry to be harsh but I really think band-aid fixes is your last move to make this year's installment at least less frustrating and if you don't do that, then you fail a ridiculously easy task as a company. What's the worst that could happen? You resort back to the old tuner? It's been on the old tuner for months on end, and we're frustrated with it.

    The thing is when you say "we're", you aren't actually representing the whole community and game balance is very subjective. If we thought the game was out of balance, we would continue to tune the game.

    In the past we have had players tell us the game played better in the Beta or that it played better before tuners. Those are perfect examples where we had been given information (from what we had hear, read and seen ourselves) that led us to believe the game wasn't playing the way we intended so we tuned to get it more in line with the initial direction/balance we expected, yet not everyone felt that was the case once all was said and done.

    You are free to voice your opinion on what you think the 'band-aid fixes' would be that you would make but if we don't make them, that doesn't mean that we aren't listening or aren't trying. It just may mean that we don't agree and/or don't feel the opinion is represented by the community as a whole. We also understand what we have the ability to tune and what the knocks on are to the rest of the balance of the game.

    When there are people saying the game is too slow and too fast, it is actually probably balanced even though both sets of people would make a change.

    There are people that say the game is ridiculous because every time they get hit, they lose the puck and everytime they hit their opponent, they somehow keep it. That isn't the game being out of balance, that is a skill difference between Players.

    There are players that will tell you that the pokecheck is too overpowered and others that will tell you that it is too hard to strip a puck carrier.

    All that said, there are plenty of improvements I would like to make with each of the mechanics in the game to make them even better. Those aren't always simple fixes though. So we always tune the game within the current way that it plays. I am not sure if we will put out more tuners or not but as of right now, it is tuned the way we intend based off the sum of all of the parts.

    Would it be possible to go into a little more detail on the highlighted part?

    Thank-you.

    It's pretty self evident and something I've been saying a lot around here: Some of the complaints being posted here day to day can be attributed to a lack of skill.

    NHLDev is far more respectful about it than I am though lol
  • NHLDev wrote: »
    Okay, so if you're able to tune something like goalie movement speed, acceleration, agility, hitting power, etc. and you're aware of some of the issues as brought up by the community and acknowledged by EA themselves, why hasn't there been more tuners to address them? My initial statement I was pretty harsh in critiquing the involvement of the development of the game, but I just don't understand why any of these band-aid fixes haven't been applied. The pokechecking and goalie tuners were necessary, but the game has been out for 8 months and there have been patches and whatnot, but for only 2 tuners (affecting raw attributes) I just find it kind of odd that in previous titles I felt there were many more tuners and a much more of an attempt to balance the game more.

    .....

    Just by replying to us goes a long way. It takes my hate level for EA from maybe an 8 down to a 3 and actually gives me hope for NHL 19 sadly. Why? Because as a community we at least know that people like yourself actually put in the effort. And hey, even if you voice an opinion that'll receive negative feedback, then that's a great thing. It means more ideas, it gives the company the direction they're supposed to go (as opposed to TOLD to go). Sorry to be harsh but I really think band-aid fixes is your last move to make this year's installment at least less frustrating and if you don't do that, then you fail a ridiculously easy task as a company. What's the worst that could happen? You resort back to the old tuner? It's been on the old tuner for months on end, and we're frustrated with it.

    The thing is when you say "we're", you aren't actually representing the whole community and game balance is very subjective. If we thought the game was out of balance, we would continue to tune the game.

    In the past we have had players tell us the game played better in the Beta or that it played better before tuners. Those are perfect examples where we had been given information (from what we had hear, read and seen ourselves) that led us to believe the game wasn't playing the way we intended so we tuned to get it more in line with the initial direction/balance we expected, yet not everyone felt that was the case once all was said and done.

    You are free to voice your opinion on what you think the 'band-aid fixes' would be that you would make but if we don't make them, that doesn't mean that we aren't listening or aren't trying. It just may mean that we don't agree and/or don't feel the opinion is represented by the community as a whole. We also understand what we have the ability to tune and what the knocks on are to the rest of the balance of the game.

    When there are people saying the game is too slow and too fast, it is actually probably balanced even though both sets of people would make a change.

    There are people that say the game is ridiculous because every time they get hit, they lose the puck and everytime they hit their opponent, they somehow keep it. That isn't the game being out of balance, that is a skill difference between Players.

    There are players that will tell you that the pokecheck is too overpowered and others that will tell you that it is too hard to strip a puck carrier.

    All that said, there are plenty of improvements I would like to make with each of the mechanics in the game to make them even better. Those aren't always simple fixes though. So we always tune the game within the current way that it plays. I am not sure if we will put out more tuners or not but as of right now, it is tuned the way we intend based off the sum of all of the parts.

    Would it be possible to go into a little more detail on the highlighted part?

    Thank-you.

    It's pretty self evident and something I've been saying a lot around here: Some of the complaints being posted here day to day can be attributed to a lack of skill.

    NHLDev is far more respectful about it than I am though lol

    Congratulations to you if it is so evident. While I appreciate you taking the time to respond, I still would appreciate the view of the person involved in game play as opposed to someone who just has an opinion.
  • As I mentioned in my post above it is definitely skill that allows the best players to retain the puck much more than the average player. I 100% understand this and agree. The players who have mastered how to basically be invincible when holding the puck (usually while utilizing big players like Ovechkin, Getzlaf, etc.) are 100% better than me at this game. And they are usually amongst the top players. When I play top 100 players in HUT (which is pretty often) I can tell who the truly elite ones are because I cannot get the puck off of them in the offensive zone no matter what I do (unless, of course, I cave and let the AI take over).

    What I argue is that being better at this game should not be tied to that mechanic. It should be about sound positioning, great passing, team defense, etc. It should be about hockey. I am not whining, I am just explaining what I envision an NHL game should play like. Some (or many) may not agree, and that is fine. But I think the majority of players would enjoy the game more the way I've laid out.

    So yes, these players are more skilled than me in that aspect of the game, but that one aspect shouldn't have such a big impact on the way the game is played.
  • There's two problems with the current DSS/Pokecheck mechanism that are both tied to allowing the defender's stick to clip through the puck carrier's legs.

    First, the way tripping penalties are currently called is incomprehensible. It's seemingly random what will trigger a tripping penalty and what won't. If there's a defined set of rules I'd love to know what they are.

    Second, allowing clipping without penalties allows the defender to put and keep their stick in spots they really shouldn't be able to based on the puck carrier's body positioning. This results in situations where the defender can successfully take away options they shouldn't be able to ( without taking a penalty ).

    The below clip has several examples.

    0:00 - 0:30 Seems like it should be a trip. The defender's stick went through both legs on a failed poke attempt.
    0:30 - 0:55 Similar play but contact with the puck is made. A tripping penalty is called here and seems reasonable.
    0:55 - 1:19 Given what people get away with in this game the fact that my opponent got a penalty there is laughable.
    1:19 - 2:03 Here's an example of where the defender is allowed to hold their stick in a completely unrealistic spot taking away the ability to make any sort of deke and forcing a bad shot.


    Another one where the defender shouldn't have been able to break up the play but was allowed to.


    A lovely phantom poke without a tripping call.


    The defender's stick clips through the pass but somehow trips the offensive player.


    I think most people could live with sticks going through legs as a necessary evil in the game if the penalties were just consistent. As it is there are far too many penalty calls like the ones in that last clip or the 0:55 penalty in the first clip and not enough calls where the chasing defender is waiving their stick through the puck carrier's legs.

    Right now penalties feel completely arbitrary and it can be very frustrating on both defense and offense.
  • NHLDev
    1365 posts NHL Developer
    edited March 2018
    There's two problems with the current DSS/Pokecheck mechanism that are both tied to allowing the defender's stick to clip through the puck carrier's legs.

    ...

    I think most people could live with sticks going through legs as a necessary evil in the game if the penalties were just consistent. As it is there are far too many penalty calls like the ones in that last clip or the 0:55 penalty in the first clip and not enough calls where the chasing defender is waiving their stick through the puck carrier's legs.

    Right now penalties feel completely arbitrary and it can be very frustrating on both defense and offense.
    There are good examples here and they are broken down similar to what I do with the team when looking for improvements in the mechanics and consistency.

    One thing to remember is that a player doesn't have complete control over the path a pokecheck animation takes towards the puck -- that is why we are forgiving in some cases to not cause a trip but want to add mechanics where you can't get the puck as well when that is the case. In some of the videos, a real world player could see the players legs and with more fidelity, take a slightly different angle to get to the puck so we can't always be so harsh on stick contact. So in some cases, it is the amount of frames that a stick makes contact with geometry, if both legs are swept through vs one or if the blade of the stick makes direct contact with the skates directly with force. When in DSS, you can have the shaft of your stick make contact slightly with one leg as that still shows some control if you then limit it back but if you swipe through both legs, you should see a trip for sure. (I would like to improve all of this more by the way)

    We don't trip non puck carriers right now unless it is a dive and there may be revisions to the logic needed for the one case you showed where the player swept through the intended receivers legs before hitting the puck on the opposite side, but again, imagine the poke taking the path to the right rather than the left first to get there and it would have been physically possible to get to that puck so from a balance perspective, the puck could be deflected there in real life and causing a trip would probably be too harsh.

    So definitely not making excuses as I think all of those cases in one form or another could be improved. However, it is an example where the tuning does try to take into account the fidelity that players have over their pokechecks and the direction the game chooses in the animation.

    I worked with our team to try and get more direct pokecheck blends in the animation so that in the blend, it didn't add unnecessary arcs and therefore have a chance to go through legs when you otherwise have a direct path at the puck, etc. which would allow us to be more harsh on tripping in that a player should only poke when they have a direct line between their stick hand and the puck (I see this as being way better in 18 than it was in 17) -- but even with that, a real world player would still make a few more subtle changes at the beginning of their action to give them an angle that can get to a puck without going through a player. That is why sometimes we don't look at a tripping penalty in the first few frames of a blend and we don't intend to call tripping if it is the blend out/recoil of a pokecheck action, etc.



  • NHLDev
    1365 posts NHL Developer
    edited March 2018
    Would it be possible to go into a little more detail on the highlighted part?

    Thank-you.

    Since it also relates to what @apperos76 was talking about as well, I can go into a few things...

    Collisions in the game have to do with multiple factors. You have the relative speed and angle of the collision itself and then a bunch of factors that have to do with the two players involved as well (relative size, ratings differences, relative angle of player to player, etc.)

    So in a collision, there is a skill in lowering the relative speed of the collision by changing the angle or ultimately lowering your speed relative to your opponent. Based on size and ratings differences, some players are going to be able to withstand the same collision better than others while others are more likely to be effected. With variance in the collision results as well, there is more grey area as well instead of a black and white fall or not fall condition -- you can brush off the hit as incidental collision, you can stumble and retain the puck, stumble and lose the puck, stumble fall, or full on fall.

    The relative angle of the hit against the puck carrier relative to the pucks location makes a difference as well. If a player is getting hit away from the puck, regardless of size, if the collision is at least a stumble, they are going to lose the puck as it is pretty tough for anyone to be hit away from the puck and pull the puck with them. However, if you are gliding and get a shove from behind towards the puck, a player that goes into a smaller stumble has the ability to retain control of the puck.

    So although, apperos76 has some good points and I understand the sentiment about what should be a skill divide in hockey at a high level (great reads, passing plays, good defensive position etc.), there are also a lot of subtle things that happen as well that we need to model. Puck control is a big part of this and is a differentiating factor in being able to control a cycle of the puck -- it isn't just about finding the open man, it is about minimizing impact of collisions and protecting the puck through subtle turns and protecting the puck to roll off a collision before then making the next pass, etc.. Players do this in hockey all the time.

    That said, there is also a lot of skill on the defensive side to prevent this as well. You want to force players to make plays off their backhand rather than forehand. You want to angle them in towards the boards where their options are limited and you may ultimately be able to boardplay them. You can use your defenders stick to make a play on the puck/puck carriers stick or you can use it to take away one lane so that they only have one choice when looking to continue to skate.

    When players are picking the puck back up, part of this skill is knowing when you are going to lose the puck and minimizing your speed and ensuring you are in a position to regain control of the puck. A good defender will do the same thing, using body position to limit the puck carrier from being able to cleanly get through without losing the puck to incidental contact, even before needing an actual pokecheck or hit attempt. That defender knowing the result they are after has to think ahead to what they are going to do to reacquire the puck as well -- if a puck is lost to incidental contact, it is likely to keep traveling the direction it was going and the defender now has the body position on the forward and may need to pickup the puck and roll the opposite way, stick handle the to the protected side to keep body position, etc.

    Anyways, sometimes it would be easier to play and talk about it, but those are some of the things I think do relate to skill, even though on top of it all, there are more improvements that can be made to the mechanics and consistency to improve it all even further -- as pointed out in some of the videos from others.
  • The phantom poke happens way to often from behind. If timed to the deke, stick handling, pass, shot or any puck movement it seems to register as a successful poke limiting your options while a player chases you from behind. This is most evident when on a breakaway like your video, When you are skating forward and someone from behind puts a stick between your legs wile making a move it should result in a penalty 90% of the time. If you use the protect the puck motion on the breakaway it significantly decreases the chance of the phantom poke but limits your breakaway move to a back and forth motion and also slows you to be checked. It’s even for both sides but makes it too easy to recover from sloppy defensive play.
  • NHLDev wrote: »
    One thing to remember is that a player doesn't have complete control over the path a pokecheck animation takes towards the puck -- that is why we are forgiving in some cases to not cause a trip but want to add mechanics where you can't get the puck as well when that is the case. In some of the videos, a real world player could see the players legs and with more fidelity, take a slightly different angle to get to the puck so we can't always be so harsh on stick contact. So in some cases, it is the amount of frames that a stick makes contact with geometry, if both legs are swept through vs one or if the blade of the stick makes direct contact with the skates directly with force. When in DSS, you can have the shaft of your stick make contact slightly with one leg as that still shows some control if you then limit it back but if you swipe through both legs, you should see a trip for sure. (I would like to improve all of this more by the way)

    ...

    I worked with our team to try and get more direct pokecheck blends in the animation so that in the blend, it didn't add unnecessary arcs and therefore have a chance to go through legs when you otherwise have a direct path at the puck, etc. which would allow us to be more harsh on tripping in that a player should only poke when they have a direct line between their stick hand and the puck (I see this as being way better in 18 than it was in 17) -- but even with that, a real world player would still make a few more subtle changes at the beginning of their action to give them an angle that can get to a puck without going through a player. That is why sometimes we don't look at a tripping penalty in the first few frames of a blend and we don't intend to call tripping if it is the blend out/recoil of a pokecheck action, etc.

    Fair enough. I still lean towards being more punishing for poorly thought out pokecheck attempts but I understand the desire to balance out the imperfect control we have on the direction of our pokes.

    Hopefully for NHL 19 we can get more control over our stick and that would allow you to push up the penalties for flailing away.

    Thanks for the detailed reply. Those of us looking for a better dialog with the developers ( even if we don't always agree with every decision ) appreciate it.

  • kezz123
    550 posts Member
    @NHLDev

    My take on the whole "skill level" thing when it comes to hitting is that as far as I have seen in the recent years, the games with "fat man lag" dont behave the same as the games without. So as such, things become unreliable and skill isnt as much a factor anymore. IE: I have played teams and discussed after the game and they knew they were not as skilled but they knew we had "disadvantage" because all of our passes would be inaccurate, our pokes would miss nonstop, we took forever to turn around, lost all faceoffs and our hits just bounced off all game. Meanwhile, they would hit us from behind with no momentum while we are both skating in the same direction (basically their gloves barely grazing our back) and we would lose the puck they would nail almost all their passes and their pokes would be godlike. Since they had played us before they knew how well we could play. We had the same issue happen in our advantage against much better teams too. Its obvious when it happens if you are honest about your game but most kids dont want to admit they arent better than the teams they beat.

    We still would win the game, barely, but it felt like a drag. Both teams knew fatman lag was involved.

    So before jumping to the skill argument, you should definitely consider how the latency or host advantage or whatever is causing this fatman lag is impacting your game.

    And this brings the whole point of how competitive a game can be when such an issue is going on unfixed. When you are at a point where dominating a player no longer means you are better but whether or not the other team had a uncontrollable disadvantage all game.
  • Bmh245
    872 posts Member
    NHLDev wrote: »
    Are most of the cases that you see the puck hit after the stick goes through the body similar to your example where the puck goes free before the contact is allowed? It looked like the puck carrier may have tried a deke there? Something I don't know for sure but we may only run that logic when the puck is possessed or may reset the flag when the puck changes possession. Something to look at for sure.

    No, in most cases they happen when the puck carrier still has the puck and is skating away from the defensive player, who reaches forward and through the puck carrier's leg and manages to deflect the puck away. It happens rarely in the offensive zone. Almost always in the defensive or neutral zones.

    And in the clip above, I don't think I was trying to deke. I just went into a glide by taking my thumb off the LS.

  • NHLDev
    1365 posts NHL Developer
    edited March 2018
    Bmh245 wrote: »
    No, in most cases they happen when the puck carrier still has the puck and is skating away from the defensive player, who reaches forward and through the puck carrier's leg and manages to deflect the puck away. It happens rarely in the offensive zone. Almost always in the defensive or neutral zones.

    And in the clip above, I don't think I was trying to deke. I just went into a glide by taking my thumb off the LS.
    Ok good to know. In the clip you posted, he didn't seem to lose the puck until he went into the glide deke that you performed out of the glide, that is why I was curious. It may have been there there is a frame timer that expired on the stick on geo collision since his stick was clean between your legs for 'x' frames before that happened.

    We probably want to ensure, the flag stays set until you exit DSS if we aren't already doing that, at least when the collision was against the current puck carrier.

  • NHLDev wrote: »
    Would it be possible to go into a little more detail on the highlighted part?

    Thank-you.

    Since it also relates to what @apperos76 was talking about as well, I can go into a few things...

    Collisions in the game have to do with multiple factors. You have the relative speed and angle of the collision itself and then a bunch of factors that have to do with the two players involved as well (relative size, ratings differences, relative angle of player to player, etc.)

    So in a collision, there is a skill in lowering the relative speed of the collision by changing the angle or ultimately lowering your speed relative to your opponent. Based on size and ratings differences, some players are going to be able to withstand the same collision better than others while others are more likely to be effected. With variance in the collision results as well, there is more grey area as well instead of a black and white fall or not fall condition -- you can brush off the hit as incidental collision, you can stumble and retain the puck, stumble and lose the puck, stumble fall, or full on fall.

    The relative angle of the hit against the puck carrier relative to the pucks location makes a difference as well. If a player is getting hit away from the puck, regardless of size, if the collision is at least a stumble, they are going to lose the puck as it is pretty tough for anyone to be hit away from the puck and pull the puck with them. However, if you are gliding and get a shove from behind towards the puck, a player that goes into a smaller stumble has the ability to retain control of the puck.

    So although, apperos76 has some good points and I understand the sentiment about what should be a skill divide in hockey at a high level (great reads, passing plays, good defensive position etc.), there are also a lot of subtle things that happen as well that we need to model. Puck control is a big part of this and is a differentiating factor in being able to control a cycle of the puck -- it isn't just about finding the open man, it is about minimizing impact of collisions and protecting the puck through subtle turns and protecting the puck to roll off a collision before then making the next pass, etc.. Players do this in hockey all the time.

    That said, there is also a lot of skill on the defensive side to prevent this as well. You want to force players to make plays off their backhand rather than forehand. You want to angle them in towards the boards where their options are limited and you may ultimately be able to boardplay them. You can use your defenders stick to make a play on the puck/puck carriers stick or you can use it to take away one lane so that they only have one choice when looking to continue to skate.

    When players are picking the puck back up, part of this skill is knowing when you are going to lose the puck and minimizing your speed and ensuring you are in a position to regain control of the puck. A good defender will do the same thing, using body position to limit the puck carrier from being able to cleanly get through without losing the puck to incidental contact, even before needing an actual pokecheck or hit attempt. That defender knowing the result they are after has to think ahead to what they are going to do to reacquire the puck as well -- if a puck is lost to incidental contact, it is likely to keep traveling the direction it was going and the defender now has the body position on the forward and may need to pickup the puck and roll the opposite way, stick handle the to the protected side to keep body position, etc.

    Anyways, sometimes it would be easier to play and talk about it, but those are some of the things I think do relate to skill, even though on top of it all, there are more improvements that can be made to the mechanics and consistency to improve it all even further -- as pointed out in some of the videos from others.

    Thanks for the response. I see where you're coming from, and can agree more or less. More than less, to be fair.

    While there is logic to your explanation and the game's mechanic, the issues I see are some players really know how to abuse this feature. As you pointed out, improvements and consistency can probably go a long way in adding logic to it all.

    I was essentially looking to see the the intended mechanics vs the actual outcome. I basically got a confirmation that it works as intended, but want to make it better.

    Thanks for your time, very appreciated.
  • apperos76
    28 posts Member
    edited March 2018
    Piggy-backing off of @WainGretSki, the intention behind how puck control works is great and makes perfect sense. Honestly, it is cool to see that so much thought was put behind the various interactions between a forward and D - I didn't think the thinking went this in depth. Edge work in the corners is really important in hockey, and it is commendable to try and recreate this.

    That being said, my experience says I do not think it plays out as intended. What happens in this game is not cycling in my opinion (which is quick turns, short passes, throwing it down the boards, etc.). Instead, it is ONE player on offense using the superior agility offered to them with the glide mechanic to figure skate in the corner just long enough for 1) the skating engine to force the D man to do an awkward movement that gives a free lane to the net/into the slot for a short side snipe to 2) the AI in front of the net to rush into the corner leaving a man wide open in the slot. I am repeating myself here from previous posts I know, haha, and I apologize.

    I do not believe the game offers enough tools on defense to properly defend against this, which is why you see most people use their AI in the defensive zone (at least at higher levels). This problem is somewhat abated in EASHL from what I notice, since you don't have juiced up Ovechkins and Getzlafs with 99 puck control and strength running around. Still, the psuedo "bubble effect" is still present.

    Regardless, constantly playing against this type of mechanic is exhausting and, most importantly, not at all FUN. Again, all my opinion. Completely see where you are coming from, but much like the skating engine I don't think the reality matches up to the ideal at all.

    EDIT: I don't mean to beat a dead horse here. We can leave this at that with the understanding that maybe we just see things differently here. Just wanted to give you my perspective, we don't have to continue going back and forth rehashing things.
  • NHLDev wrote: »
    Would it be possible to go into a little more detail on the highlighted part?

    Thank-you.

    Since it also relates to what @apperos76 was talking about as well, I can go into a few things...

    Collisions in the game have to do with multiple factors. You have the relative speed and angle of the collision itself and then a bunch of factors that have to do with the two players involved as well (relative size, ratings differences, relative angle of player to player, etc.)

    So in a collision, there is a skill in lowering the relative speed of the collision by changing the angle or ultimately lowering your speed relative to your opponent. Based on size and ratings differences, some players are going to be able to withstand the same collision better than others while others are more likely to be effected. With variance in the collision results as well, there is more grey area as well instead of a black and white fall or not fall condition -- you can brush off the hit as incidental collision, you can stumble and retain the puck, stumble and lose the puck, stumble fall, or full on fall.

    The relative angle of the hit against the puck carrier relative to the pucks location makes a difference as well. If a player is getting hit away from the puck, regardless of size, if the collision is at least a stumble, they are going to lose the puck as it is pretty tough for anyone to be hit away from the puck and pull the puck with them. However, if you are gliding and get a shove from behind towards the puck, a player that goes into a smaller stumble has the ability to retain control of the puck.

    So although, apperos76 has some good points and I understand the sentiment about what should be a skill divide in hockey at a high level (great reads, passing plays, good defensive position etc.), there are also a lot of subtle things that happen as well that we need to model. Puck control is a big part of this and is a differentiating factor in being able to control a cycle of the puck -- it isn't just about finding the open man, it is about minimizing impact of collisions and protecting the puck through subtle turns and protecting the puck to roll off a collision before then making the next pass, etc.. Players do this in hockey all the time.

    That said, there is also a lot of skill on the defensive side to prevent this as well. You want to force players to make plays off their backhand rather than forehand. You want to angle them in towards the boards where their options are limited and you may ultimately be able to boardplay them. You can use your defenders stick to make a play on the puck/puck carriers stick or you can use it to take away one lane so that they only have one choice when looking to continue to skate.

    When players are picking the puck back up, part of this skill is knowing when you are going to lose the puck and minimizing your speed and ensuring you are in a position to regain control of the puck. A good defender will do the same thing, using body position to limit the puck carrier from being able to cleanly get through without losing the puck to incidental contact, even before needing an actual pokecheck or hit attempt. That defender knowing the result they are after has to think ahead to what they are going to do to reacquire the puck as well -- if a puck is lost to incidental contact, it is likely to keep traveling the direction it was going and the defender now has the body position on the forward and may need to pickup the puck and roll the opposite way, stick handle the to the protected side to keep body position, etc.

    Anyways, sometimes it would be easier to play and talk about it, but those are some of the things I think do relate to skill, even though on top of it all, there are more improvements that can be made to the mechanics and consistency to improve it all even further -- as pointed out in some of the videos from others.

    I think the issue with the puck pickup model, is that the high level players exploit this religiously. The best danglers in the game just go super slowly, and they know that defenders have to be more active in them to retain the puck. So even if the puck gets knocked off their stick, it floats a foot away and he picks it up before the defense can because the defense has to react and be proactive to strip the puck so they're likely going to be moving at a quicker pace, thus lowering their ability to pick the puck up, and before you know it, buddy with the puck who is skating like an idiot towards you doesn't receive a consequence for a misstep, but rather an advantage because the game is designed this way. He'll pick the puck up around the defender instead of the defender possibly streaking away with the puck because of what should have resulted in a bad turnover.

    I'm not the best dangler, but when I'm on my game this works because the pokecheck is so inconsistent. I feel more often times than not a puck isn't poked loose, but rather the stick is checked by the pokecheck which results in a slight dislodge of the puck as opposed to the puck actually traveling a distance away from the puck carrier.

    Now, this would all be fine if hitting in this game was actually effective. I find it weird that a slow moving player also gains the bonus of not being able to be shoved off of the puck because of the "relative speed" argument. Hits don't work super often unless you're an enforcer or a big size, but even a class like two-way forward which should have at least the ability to hit somewhat can't really shove off a jumbo playmaker. And then it's back to the argument, well now the puck is loose, how many frames until the defender initiating the hit is lost before he can be allowed to pick the puck up again? He's got to initiate the hit, which means he has to generate speed to actually do anything with a hit, so therefor again, offense wins the puck pickup again because they're traveling slower.

    The only way a hit results in a successful takeaway is if the defender is a hitting class (otherwise you have to charge at somebody and pray you don't get a charging penalty) hits precisely enough to be fortunate enough to dislodge the puck and then has TOTAL body position over the puck. And on top of all of this, cross your fingers that the bubble doesn't appear (which is again, usually granted to players moving a lower relative speeds).

    So let's look at the advantages to being on offense skating slowly with the puck. Automatically more skating control than a defenseman (they just have more animations which allows them to control their skater more, deking can alter speeds, puck protect can slow and turn players on a dime, etc.), they have more agility due to lower speeds because they're in control (which is a good thing, it should be this way), they can pick the puck up faster because they're at a slower speed, they can get away often times through pokes because pokes don't make contact and shoot the puck away enough in this game, they gain more of an opportunity to pick the puck up after being shoved off of the puck because they're moving slower than the defenseman skating at them to hit them, and they have an increase in a chance to bubble off of what should be a great hit completely.

    That's a lot of ridiculous advantages.

    This is also a huge issue with interceptions as well. Defense will often make an amazing read on a pass and step into the lane but because they needed some speed to get into that position they magically don't pick up that long stretch pass that had been traveling flat on ice for the past 10 feet. You have to be in a glide facing the opponents endboards 90% of the time to intercept a pass with control if you're in the lane. It's silly.
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