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NHL 20 Patch Details January 30th


Check out our January 30th patch details here.

NHL 20 Gameplay Discussion

Replies

  • Honestly, the first thing we need to do as a passionate community, is come to some sort of consensus on what we want because, frankly, we are not going to be able to get everything we want vs total realism. If the game is too realistic then 50,000 people are going to buy it and it ceases to exist. If it is too arcade then the hockey enthusiasts load up 2k8. If it doesn't have the aesthetic stuff then the kids are going to not buy it and play fortnight.

    Personally, I will sacrifice aesthetics, true skating vs physics, some elements of realism, for the Ai to play like a typical NHL 2nd liner every game and have extreme amounts of error in pass acceptance, accuracy, etc and those things I mentioned above.

    Problem there is I, as a player, love the difficulty of hockey and most people wouldn't be able to handle it without throwing their controller.

    For me personally, I would like an NHL game that plays like the actual sport, not an ESPN or NBC Highlight reel.

    I think you underestimate the potential for an NHL game that is a little more challenging. I think if this game went more simulation, at least for competitive online modes, you'd definitely see a shift in the player base, but not one as drastic as you seem to think. The people who don't know how to play hockey would probably be upset and stop playing, but eventually some (if not most) would come back because... well there's just nothing else and I believe at least they have a small interest in hockey if they pick this game up. But for all the people this series would lose, they'd probably gain back just as many of the hard-core NHL gamers they've lost over the years. They're still there, they're just playing other (better) games.

    EA could potentially turn this game around. Some of the things I'd look into:

    - Slowing down the game back to what it was in NHL 19, which was still too fast, but not as ridiculous as it is now.

    - Goalies (both AI and Human controlled) need to be much, much better. I'm almost ready to accept having goal line goalies again rather than seeing how pathetic they are now. I've said it before, but if people can score 20+ goals on Super Star difficulty and 2 minute periods, people should be ok with scoring 2-3 goals in 4 minute periods. You still get a "W" and 2 points in the standing regardless of how many goals you score. And personally, I would be extremely happy with a 1-0, hard fought, goalie showdown of a game. Wouldn't that be exciting?

    - Skating needs to be less twitchy. Players don't spin around 360° on an axis like a table-top hockey figurine. I agree with the agility they have currently, but the speed of the skating coupled with the spinny nature of the whole gameplay makes for complete chaos. And it looks so silly to see players spinning like tops on the ice everywhere. This isn't the Ice Capades, it's supposed to be Hockey.

    - AI offense and defense needs to be better. Less running around chasing the puck and more positional hockey.

    - Player switching needs a complete tuning. Many times the game gives you the wrong player. Other times, the game simply refuses to give you control of a player you desperately want to control. This happens a lot when chasing loose pucks up the ice. You'll hit the RT to switch and you see the ARROW at the bottom of your screen cycling between the D-men while your forward who's racing to get the puck is controlled by the AI who refuses to hustle to get the puck. By the time you get control of him, the opponent who's been using the hustle feature has beaten you to it.

    - Different settings for different game modes. HUT needs to be different than VS, needs to be different than EASHL.

    - Defensive Skill Stick needs to stop causing penalties, period. I'm ok with wild poke checks dropping someone like he got shot (which is still highly unrealistic), but at least it makes more sense. And besides, you want more people using DSS on defense than mashing poke or stick lift. There's no way to control the Depth of your stick when you use DSS, so it's silly to see a player crash on the ice and the ref call a penalty when all you wanted to do was use your stick to disrupt the play. You can't even get control of the puck with DSS like you can with a poke check, so again, very silly to punish you for using something that's more (or at least should be more) useful for defense than any other tool we have.

    - Speaking of stick lift, player tie-ups need to be easier to do. If I have to hold A or Y for a few seconds while my opponent is completely still to possibly engage in a tie-up, it kinda defeats the purpose. We need to be able to use our bodies to contain the play more and that would probably reduce the amount of stick play users would want to utilise.

    Those are all things that could probably be solved with a quick tuner/patch and it would make the game a thousand times more enjoyable. Would everyone enjoy it? No. Again, I think that the people who like the game how it is now are going to complain that it will be too difficult. But at the same time, maybe it could bring back some of the hard core people who've left? I'd call that an even trade.
  • Steven5470
    277 posts Member
    edited January 9
    @EA_Aljo
    EA_Aljo wrote: »

    Can you show me slower skaters catching faster skaters? That's something that has been debated for a very long time. In a previous role here, I engaged with the community and repeatedly asked for videos showing this. I got them sent to me twice. Out of all the times I asked, only two times did someone get back to me with them. In both cases it showed the carrier turned, which slowed them down enough for a defender to catch up. I've played this game a ton. Pretty much daily for years now. I've never seen an instance where I was caught on a breakaway when I shouldn't have been. However, I also know what to look for. I know what causes the carrier to slow down. I can also see the angles taken by the carrier and defender and know why they were caught. If slower players are constantly outskating faster players, why aren't people able to get video of it? Speed is one of the most important attributes........

    I've posted this in these forums. But here is one example of a soft lobbed puck hitting the goalie, then defying physics and going the way of the open opposing player. This was slowed down, but it makes no sense and has happened quite a few times. The fact the puck should either stay in the goalies glove or continue to the right, but somehow goes to the left faster than it was shot is crazy:



    Illogical AI passing. He is about to skate across the crease and passes back to the point??



    More illogical passing. He passes right to the opposing team player in front of the net instead of taking it up the ice.



    Want more? Here. Why would he pass back again? These happen quite frequently.


    Should have skated out of the zone, but passes back again??



    When i find the speed thing I'll post it. But honestly, after years of pointing these things out, it gets tiring to constantly repeat yourself on these boards. As someone else mentioned, EA says they listen, but these issues seem to fall on deaf ears year after year. You said you have more insight as to how the game works and that's great. Again, for years, we have been asking for better explanations of the sliders. Each year it seems certain sliders function in reverse. Description says one thing, but slider is opposite. And wasn't there a rating (poise?) that was mentioned it does nothing at all in game??? What else does nothing? Any other ratings? If I want to have an even balanced game based off the player ratings only, how could I do that?

    Simple questions like those can help bury the ice tilt feeling. If there are sliders that just might contribute to it, would be nice to know.
  • EA_Aljo
    360 posts EA Community Manager
    Steven5470 wrote: »
    @EA_Aljo
    EA_Aljo wrote: »

    Can you show me slower skaters catching faster skaters? That's something that has been debated for a very long time. In a previous role here, I engaged with the community and repeatedly asked for videos showing this. I got them sent to me twice. Out of all the times I asked, only two times did someone get back to me with them. In both cases it showed the carrier turned, which slowed them down enough for a defender to catch up. I've played this game a ton. Pretty much daily for years now. I've never seen an instance where I was caught on a breakaway when I shouldn't have been. However, I also know what to look for. I know what causes the carrier to slow down. I can also see the angles taken by the carrier and defender and know why they were caught. If slower players are constantly outskating faster players, why aren't people able to get video of it? Speed is one of the most important attributes........

    I've posted this in these forums. But here is one example of a soft lobbed puck hitting the goalie, then defying physics and going the way of the open opposing player. This was slowed down, but it makes no sense and has happened quite a few times. The fact the puck should either stay in the goalies glove or continue to the right, but somehow goes to the left faster than it was shot is crazy:



    Illogical AI passing. He is about to skate across the crease and passes back to the point??



    More illogical passing. He passes right to the opposing team player in front of the net instead of taking it up the ice.



    Want more? Here. Why would he pass back again? These happen quite frequently.


    Should have skated out of the zone, but passes back again??



    When i find the speed thing I'll post it. But honestly, after years of pointing these things out, it gets tiring to constantly repeat yourself on these boards. As someone else mentioned, EA says they listen, but these issues seem to fall on deaf ears year after year. You said you have more insight as to how the game works and that's great. Again, for years, we have been asking for better explanations of the sliders. Each year it seems certain sliders function in reverse. Description says one thing, but slider is opposite. And wasn't there a rating (poise?) that was mentioned it does nothing at all in game??? What else does nothing? Any other ratings? If I want to have an even balanced game based off the player ratings only, how could I do that?

    Simple questions like those can help bury the ice tilt feeling. If there are sliders that just might contribute to it, would be nice to know.

    Thanks for the videos.

    In the first one, it looks like the goalie might be pushing the puck away instead of picking it up. Either way, it looks odd and probably shouldn't happen. That's one EANHLDev could explain better. Those kinds of occurrences are pretty uncommon, but of course, we don't want them happening.

    In the second video, he's recognizing the threat from the defender and passing back to the D. There's an open lane so that takes priority rather than forcing passes through traffic.

    I agree with you on that 3rd video. It would have been better for them to carry it up the ice.

    I agree with you on the 4th video as well. It looks like a pass could have been made to the wing on the left.

    The same goes for the 5th video. Passing straight up to the RW would have been a better choice.

    Hopefully, we'll see their passing improved in the future. I understand that's not the answer you're looking for, but making the AI look at better options isn't exactly as easy as it may seem. Even though it's obvious what they should be doing.
  • VeNOM2099 wrote: »
    Honestly, the first thing we need to do as a passionate community, is come to some sort of consensus on what we want because, frankly, we are not going to be able to get everything we want vs total realism. If the game is too realistic then 50,000 people are going to buy it and it ceases to exist. If it is too arcade then the hockey enthusiasts load up 2k8. If it doesn't have the aesthetic stuff then the kids are going to not buy it and play fortnight.

    Personally, I will sacrifice aesthetics, true skating vs physics, some elements of realism, for the Ai to play like a typical NHL 2nd liner every game and have extreme amounts of error in pass acceptance, accuracy, etc and those things I mentioned above.

    Problem there is I, as a player, love the difficulty of hockey and most people wouldn't be able to handle it without throwing their controller.

    For me personally, I would like an NHL game that plays like the actual sport, not an ESPN or NBC Highlight reel.

    I think you underestimate the potential for an NHL game that is a little more challenging. I think if this game went more simulation, at least for competitive online modes, you'd definitely see a shift in the player base, but not one as drastic as you seem to think. The people who don't know how to play hockey would probably be upset and stop playing, but eventually some (if not most) would come back because... well there's just nothing else and I believe at least they have a small interest in hockey if they pick this game up. But for all the people this series would lose, they'd probably gain back just as many of the hard-core NHL gamers they've lost over the years. They're still there, they're just playing other (better) games.

    EA could potentially turn this game around. Some of the things I'd look into:

    - Slowing down the game back to what it was in NHL 19, which was still too fast, but not as ridiculous as it is now.

    - Goalies (both AI and Human controlled) need to be much, much better. I'm almost ready to accept having goal line goalies again rather than seeing how pathetic they are now. I've said it before, but if people can score 20+ goals on Super Star difficulty and 2 minute periods, people should be ok with scoring 2-3 goals in 4 minute periods. You still get a "W" and 2 points in the standing regardless of how many goals you score. And personally, I would be extremely happy with a 1-0, hard fought, goalie showdown of a game. Wouldn't that be exciting?

    - Skating needs to be less twitchy. Players don't spin around 360° on an axis like a table-top hockey figurine. I agree with the agility they have currently, but the speed of the skating coupled with the spinny nature of the whole gameplay makes for complete chaos. And it looks so silly to see players spinning like tops on the ice everywhere. This isn't the Ice Capades, it's supposed to be Hockey.

    - AI offense and defense needs to be better. Less running around chasing the puck and more positional hockey.

    - Player switching needs a complete tuning. Many times the game gives you the wrong player. Other times, the game simply refuses to give you control of a player you desperately want to control. This happens a lot when chasing loose pucks up the ice. You'll hit the RT to switch and you see the ARROW at the bottom of your screen cycling between the D-men while your forward who's racing to get the puck is controlled by the AI who refuses to hustle to get the puck. By the time you get control of him, the opponent who's been using the hustle feature has beaten you to it.

    - Different settings for different game modes. HUT needs to be different than VS, needs to be different than EASHL.

    - Defensive Skill Stick needs to stop causing penalties, period. I'm ok with wild poke checks dropping someone like he got shot (which is still highly unrealistic), but at least it makes more sense. And besides, you want more people using DSS on defense than mashing poke or stick lift. There's no way to control the Depth of your stick when you use DSS, so it's silly to see a player crash on the ice and the ref call a penalty when all you wanted to do was use your stick to disrupt the play. You can't even get control of the puck with DSS like you can with a poke check, so again, very silly to punish you for using something that's more (or at least should be more) useful for defense than any other tool we have.

    - Speaking of stick lift, player tie-ups need to be easier to do. If I have to hold A or Y for a few seconds while my opponent is completely still to possibly engage in a tie-up, it kinda defeats the purpose. We need to be able to use our bodies to contain the play more and that would probably reduce the amount of stick play users would want to utilise.

    Those are all things that could probably be solved with a quick tuner/patch and it would make the game a thousand times more enjoyable. Would everyone enjoy it? No. Again, I think that the people who like the game how it is now are going to complain that it will be too difficult. But at the same time, maybe it could bring back some of the hard core people who've left? I'd call that an even trade.

    @VeNOM2099

    - I do agree the game is too fast currently. Too much puck carrier agility.
    - We are in the minority about goals. Personally, I would be pumped for a 1-0 game. I do not think most people would like that.
    - I have messed with the sliders a great deal in this rendition and found with back skating at 25, puck carrier agility at 30, I have a much better and realistic experience. You can beat people on the edge, plus you cannot loop ad nauseum. The big problem there is, with low agility, stopping becomes an issue because it is tied together. Puck carriers definitely have lower agility but they should still be able to stop on a dime.
    - The AI needs to have basic plays programmed in. Center drives, trailing forward, criss-crossing and overlaps, etc. From what I gather, the player paths may be too complicated?
    - Remember icon passing/switch players from 2k? I liked that.
    - I like DSS but I do agree with the depth control thing you mentioned.
    - I think a jostle (like FIFA) mechanic would really benefit tie ups and puck battles.

    I don't disagree with you on a lot of this I just fear that alienating ballerinas (whom I despise with the fury of Ares) and the casual player more would hurt us in the long run. 2k was very sim. I know you know. The buttons were clunky, the players looked like barnyard animals, but the AI position was great and it played pretty well. The proof is in the pudding. At that time EA's game was more arcade and lacked "hockey IQ". Once skill stick happened 2k began a nosedive that led to it's demise. Nothing changed except ease of controller use.

    Do you play on PS4 or Xbox?
  • EA_Aljo
    360 posts EA Community Manager
    VeNOM2099 wrote: »
    Honestly, the first thing we need to do as a passionate community, is come to some sort of consensus on what we want because, frankly, we are not going to be able to get everything we want vs total realism. If the game is too realistic then 50,000 people are going to buy it and it ceases to exist. If it is too arcade then the hockey enthusiasts load up 2k8. If it doesn't have the aesthetic stuff then the kids are going to not buy it and play fortnight.

    Personally, I will sacrifice aesthetics, true skating vs physics, some elements of realism, for the Ai to play like a typical NHL 2nd liner every game and have extreme amounts of error in pass acceptance, accuracy, etc and those things I mentioned above.

    Problem there is I, as a player, love the difficulty of hockey and most people wouldn't be able to handle it without throwing their controller.

    For me personally, I would like an NHL game that plays like the actual sport, not an ESPN or NBC Highlight reel.

    I think you underestimate the potential for an NHL game that is a little more challenging. I think if this game went more simulation, at least for competitive online modes, you'd definitely see a shift in the player base, but not one as drastic as you seem to think. The people who don't know how to play hockey would probably be upset and stop playing, but eventually some (if not most) would come back because... well there's just nothing else and I believe at least they have a small interest in hockey if they pick this game up. But for all the people this series would lose, they'd probably gain back just as many of the hard-core NHL gamers they've lost over the years. They're still there, they're just playing other (better) games.

    EA could potentially turn this game around. Some of the things I'd look into:

    - Slowing down the game back to what it was in NHL 19, which was still too fast, but not as ridiculous as it is now.

    - Goalies (both AI and Human controlled) need to be much, much better. I'm almost ready to accept having goal line goalies again rather than seeing how pathetic they are now. I've said it before, but if people can score 20+ goals on Super Star difficulty and 2 minute periods, people should be ok with scoring 2-3 goals in 4 minute periods. You still get a "W" and 2 points in the standing regardless of how many goals you score. And personally, I would be extremely happy with a 1-0, hard fought, goalie showdown of a game. Wouldn't that be exciting?

    - Skating needs to be less twitchy. Players don't spin around 360° on an axis like a table-top hockey figurine. I agree with the agility they have currently, but the speed of the skating coupled with the spinny nature of the whole gameplay makes for complete chaos. And it looks so silly to see players spinning like tops on the ice everywhere. This isn't the Ice Capades, it's supposed to be Hockey.

    - AI offense and defense needs to be better. Less running around chasing the puck and more positional hockey.

    - Player switching needs a complete tuning. Many times the game gives you the wrong player. Other times, the game simply refuses to give you control of a player you desperately want to control. This happens a lot when chasing loose pucks up the ice. You'll hit the RT to switch and you see the ARROW at the bottom of your screen cycling between the D-men while your forward who's racing to get the puck is controlled by the AI who refuses to hustle to get the puck. By the time you get control of him, the opponent who's been using the hustle feature has beaten you to it.

    - Different settings for different game modes. HUT needs to be different than VS, needs to be different than EASHL.

    - Defensive Skill Stick needs to stop causing penalties, period. I'm ok with wild poke checks dropping someone like he got shot (which is still highly unrealistic), but at least it makes more sense. And besides, you want more people using DSS on defense than mashing poke or stick lift. There's no way to control the Depth of your stick when you use DSS, so it's silly to see a player crash on the ice and the ref call a penalty when all you wanted to do was use your stick to disrupt the play. You can't even get control of the puck with DSS like you can with a poke check, so again, very silly to punish you for using something that's more (or at least should be more) useful for defense than any other tool we have.

    - Speaking of stick lift, player tie-ups need to be easier to do. If I have to hold A or Y for a few seconds while my opponent is completely still to possibly engage in a tie-up, it kinda defeats the purpose. We need to be able to use our bodies to contain the play more and that would probably reduce the amount of stick play users would want to utilise.

    Those are all things that could probably be solved with a quick tuner/patch and it would make the game a thousand times more enjoyable. Would everyone enjoy it? No. Again, I think that the people who like the game how it is now are going to complain that it will be too difficult. But at the same time, maybe it could bring back some of the hard core people who've left? I'd call that an even trade.

    Thanks for all the feedback here.

    I definitely understand the appeal of a more simulation type game. That's just not how most people feel though. When we've made the game harder and more sim, we've gotten a lot of negative feedback. Especially here. Tripping is a good example. When that change went in a couple years ago, people didn't take it well. Now it's not as much an issue as it was then, but it's still common to see people have a problem with the ease at which you can take a tripping penalty. When it comes to spins, if someone is spinning all over the place, they can be defended. The guys that use it sparingly are more dangerous. In my experience at least. They hit you with it when you're not expecting it. Which I don't have a problem with.

    Do you ever use manual switching? I use that very frequently. In most cases when I need either the last man back or the one farthest up the ice. Otherwise, switching works well the majority of the time. However, I agree there are times I just can't get the player I want. If I had better twitch skills, I may be able to manually switch fast enough, but there are times I just don't get the player I want regardless. Thankfully, it's not that often, but I know I give up the occasional goal because of it.

    In a way, HUT has different settings as player ratings change frequently. This isn't the same for EASHL obviously. Ratings always stay the same.

    I'm not sure I agree with you about DSS not causing penalties. It most definitely would be nice to be able to control the depth of your poke. Hopefully, that happens someday, but I don't agree that you should currently be able to sweep your stick and not be accountable for it.

    I agree with you on the net front battles. I frequently use the extended stick lift because I haven't been able to get down holding Y to tie someone up. Like you said, it's also dependant on the player not moving. Which isn't that common. Using your body to contain the play would be nice, but of course, we want to avoid how it used to work where tieing someone up sort of sucked the players together.

    I get that it seems like this might be a quick patch or tuner, but it just isn't. Nothing ever is when it comes to tuning or making code changes. Some things are also better saved for future games. That way there's time to get the work they need. Plus, changes made now may not line up with what's in store for the future. So, it's not really the best use of time and resources to build it now if it's going to need to be done again in the next game. There's just a lot to consider.
  • EA_Aljo wrote: »
    When we've made the game harder and more sim, we've gotten a lot of negative feedback. .

    I think that became the issue. There was no reason to make the game harder. Just make it more sim. When you say you made the game harder, you basically eliminated the sim aspect because now it was based on not letting the player win so easy, instead of ratings taking precedence.

    Over the years, I personally don't recall any comments saying they wish the game to be more arcade or easier. I've heard people ask for balance. Balance being players play according to stats and the game is "even" in the difficulty sense.

    I'll I've ever read is that the player ratings aren't accurate, there is no real player separation, the presentation is extremely lacking (and continues to get worse each year), AI intelligence is not there, etc.

    Never heard anything about making the game more arcade. There are several other modes where the game can be arcade, but the actually game itself (exhibition, franchise...) should be sim.

    PRO favors the HUM and All Star seems to favor the CPU. Where is the balance? What about a "normal" mode? If you say All Star is the even field, 9/10 times it sure doesn't feel that way. Are the default All Star sliders on SIM the "balance"? If not, what would be the settings so the game plays according to the players ratings? How does playing position lock affect the sliders?

    With the direction this game is headed and what you said about reducing difficulty, I'm worried it might be re-titled to "NHL Hitz".

  • EA_Aljo
    360 posts EA Community Manager
    Steven5470 wrote: »
    EA_Aljo wrote: »
    When we've made the game harder and more sim, we've gotten a lot of negative feedback. .

    I think that became the issue. There was no reason to make the game harder. Just make it more sim. When you say you made the game harder, you basically eliminated the sim aspect because now it was based on not letting the player win so easy, instead of ratings taking precedence.

    Over the years, I personally don't recall any comments saying they wish the game to be more arcade or easier. I've heard people ask for balance. Balance being players play according to stats and the game is "even" in the difficulty sense.

    I'll I've ever read is that the player ratings aren't accurate, there is no real player separation, the presentation is extremely lacking (and continues to get worse each year), AI intelligence is not there, etc.

    Never heard anything about making the game more arcade. There are several other modes where the game can be arcade, but the actually game itself (exhibition, franchise...) should be sim.

    PRO favors the HUM and All Star seems to favor the CPU. Where is the balance? What about a "normal" mode? If you say All Star is the even field, 9/10 times it sure doesn't feel that way. Are the default All Star sliders on SIM the "balance"? If not, what would be the settings so the game plays according to the players ratings? How does playing position lock affect the sliders?

    With the direction this game is headed and what you said about reducing difficulty, I'm worried it might be re-titled to "NHL Hitz".

    By making the game more sim, the challenge goes up. When we start getting a lot of unhappy people due to the game being more challenging to play, the balance needs to change. The game should be more fun than frustrating.

    What exactly would you like to see change to make the game more of a sim?

    I can't agree we're headed in the direction of NHL Hitz. Except for Threes, which obviously is meant to be more over the top, arcade action.
  • Lol this game has a 2 star rating ,that alone should tell you that not to many people like this game very much in it's curremt arcade style
  • VeNOM2099
    2825 posts Member
    edited January 10
    EA_Aljo wrote: »
    Steven5470 wrote: »
    EA_Aljo wrote: »
    When we've made the game harder and more sim, we've gotten a lot of negative feedback. .

    I think that became the issue. There was no reason to make the game harder. Just make it more sim. When you say you made the game harder, you basically eliminated the sim aspect because now it was based on not letting the player win so easy, instead of ratings taking precedence.

    Over the years, I personally don't recall any comments saying they wish the game to be more arcade or easier. I've heard people ask for balance. Balance being players play according to stats and the game is "even" in the difficulty sense.

    I'll I've ever read is that the player ratings aren't accurate, there is no real player separation, the presentation is extremely lacking (and continues to get worse each year), AI intelligence is not there, etc.

    Never heard anything about making the game more arcade. There are several other modes where the game can be arcade, but the actually game itself (exhibition, franchise...) should be sim.

    PRO favors the HUM and All Star seems to favor the CPU. Where is the balance? What about a "normal" mode? If you say All Star is the even field, 9/10 times it sure doesn't feel that way. Are the default All Star sliders on SIM the "balance"? If not, what would be the settings so the game plays according to the players ratings? How does playing position lock affect the sliders?

    With the direction this game is headed and what you said about reducing difficulty, I'm worried it might be re-titled to "NHL Hitz".

    By making the game more sim, the challenge goes up. When we start getting a lot of unhappy people due to the game being more challenging to play, the balance needs to change. The game should be more fun than frustrating.

    What exactly would you like to see change to make the game more of a sim?

    I can't agree we're headed in the direction of NHL Hitz. Except for Threes, which obviously is meant to be more over the top, arcade action.

    It is frustrating now though. For a lot of people. Is it going to change? Probably not. Why? Apparently because we're not the "right type" of people. Because we want a challenge instead of "fun"? I'll tell you what's 100% NOT fun:



    That's not fun. That's not hockey. That's FRUSTRATING. And I scored that...

    Making the game more challenging doesn't mean it should necessarily be more frustrating, nor would it make it less fun. And yet it's frustrating to a lot of people to work so hard for our success, and then have someone just casually throw a muffin on net and negate all that hard work. That's the difference between a hard core player and a casual player.

    The casual player equates skill to results. The quicker and easier he can get results, the better he perceives his skill to be. If you win, you're "Good". If you lose, you're "Bad". The hard core player, on the other hand, values the journey to get better over getting results and views a challenge not as frustrating, but as a way to improve his skills, and also his enjoyment. Winning or Losing isn't important, it's the battle for supremacy that entices us. For example, when I play Street Fighter, I would rather play 50 matches against a really tough opponent that knows how to play the game and defeats me, instead of playing even 2 matches against someone who doesn't know the first thing about the game, that I can defeat in 4 quick rounds while learning NO new skills.

    There is a video on youtube called "The Consequence of Reducing the Skill Gap". Watch it. It explains a million times better than I could why competitive video games (of which the NHL series is one) need to be challenging more than they need to be "fun" if you want it to succeed and grow; if you want to create a thriving community around it.

    Make it too easy and "fun" and... Well... Look at what happened to Street Fighter 5. They went from a game (Street Fighter 4) that single handedly revitalized the fighting game genre at a time when Fighting Games were on the verge of phasing out completely. It sold well over 4 million copies in its first year alone. But when creating SF5, what did Capcom do? They listened to the casuals who complained that SF4 was too challenging and not "fun" for them. So they dumbed it down for them and guess what happened? SF5 didn't even reach half the numbers of SF4 until well into it's 3rd year, but by then it was too late. They became the laughing stock of the FGC (Fighting Game Community) and ridiculed by the Pro Street Fighters whom once held them in high esteem.

    By making their game "fun", they destroyed it. Especially where it concerns the competitive scene. Sometimes it pays to know your audience and sadly Capcom did not. Or rather they chose to ignore it thinking it could make a quick buck by inviting the casuals and shunning their hard core audience.
    Post edited by VeNOM2099 on
  • EA_Aljo wrote: »
    Steven5470 wrote: »
    @EA_Aljo
    EA_Aljo wrote: »

    Can you show me slower skaters catching faster skaters? That's something that has been debated for a very long time. In a previous role here, I engaged with the community and repeatedly asked for videos showing this. I got them sent to me twice. Out of all the times I asked, only two times did someone get back to me with them. In both cases it showed the carrier turned, which slowed them down enough for a defender to catch up. I've played this game a ton. Pretty much daily for years now. I've never seen an instance where I was caught on a breakaway when I shouldn't have been. However, I also know what to look for. I know what causes the carrier to slow down. I can also see the angles taken by the carrier and defender and know why they were caught. If slower players are constantly outskating faster players, why aren't people able to get video of it? Speed is one of the most important attributes........

    I've posted this in these forums. But here is one example of a soft lobbed puck hitting the goalie, then defying physics and going the way of the open opposing player. This was slowed down, but it makes no sense and has happened quite a few times. The fact the puck should either stay in the goalies glove or continue to the right, but somehow goes to the left faster than it was shot is crazy:



    Illogical AI passing. He is about to skate across the crease and passes back to the point??



    More illogical passing. He passes right to the opposing team player in front of the net instead of taking it up the ice.



    Want more? Here. Why would he pass back again? These happen quite frequently.


    Should have skated out of the zone, but passes back again??



    When i find the speed thing I'll post it. But honestly, after years of pointing these things out, it gets tiring to constantly repeat yourself on these boards. As someone else mentioned, EA says they listen, but these issues seem to fall on deaf ears year after year. You said you have more insight as to how the game works and that's great. Again, for years, we have been asking for better explanations of the sliders. Each year it seems certain sliders function in reverse. Description says one thing, but slider is opposite. And wasn't there a rating (poise?) that was mentioned it does nothing at all in game??? What else does nothing? Any other ratings? If I want to have an even balanced game based off the player ratings only, how could I do that?

    Simple questions like those can help bury the ice tilt feeling. If there are sliders that just might contribute to it, would be nice to know.

    Thanks for the videos.

    In the first one, it looks like the goalie might be pushing the puck away instead of picking it up. Either way, it looks odd and probably shouldn't happen. That's one EANHLDev could explain better. Those kinds of occurrences are pretty uncommon, but of course, we don't want them happening.

    In the second video, he's recognizing the threat from the defender and passing back to the D. There's an open lane so that takes priority rather than forcing passes through traffic.

    I agree with you on that 3rd video. It would have been better for them to carry it up the ice.

    I agree with you on the 4th video as well. It looks like a pass could have been made to the wing on the left.

    The same goes for the 5th video. Passing straight up to the RW would have been a better choice.

    Hopefully, we'll see their passing improved in the future. I understand that's not the answer you're looking for, but making the AI look at better options isn't exactly as easy as it may seem. Even though it's obvious what they should be doing.


    in second video there's a wide open lane backdoor for a tap in goal. instead of passing it he skates towards the crease, the closer he gets the more the defender backs up and closing the lane. when he finally passes it out to the point, there's still room but it's about to be closed off. if he makes that pass right as he turns off the boards or even moments later, its not a force, its a great play.

    The problem is the AI is terrible about priority passing. To me it seems like the closer they are to the net, the more they look to carry to the net and shoot it if there's a lane to carry and shoot. After that passing it seems to be about the safest way to get rid of it. So whomever is the most wide open. When they should be analyzing who is in the highest scoring opportunity areas and seeing if they can feed them the puck.

    the real problem is we keep hearing "improved AI decision making, passing, etc..." but the reality is it keeps getting worse.

    Take that 2nd video. Remove every skater but the passer and the guy back door. The AI is so bad that 9/10 times he will skate that straight to the slot and shoot it from in tight rather than pass it for the easy sure goal. It makes no sense.
  • EA_Aljo wrote: »
    Steven5470 wrote: »
    EA_Aljo wrote: »
    When we've made the game harder and more sim, we've gotten a lot of negative feedback. .

    I think that became the issue. There was no reason to make the game harder. Just make it more sim. When you say you made the game harder, you basically eliminated the sim aspect because now it was based on not letting the player win so easy, instead of ratings taking precedence.

    Over the years, I personally don't recall any comments saying they wish the game to be more arcade or easier. I've heard people ask for balance. Balance being players play according to stats and the game is "even" in the difficulty sense.

    I'll I've ever read is that the player ratings aren't accurate, there is no real player separation, the presentation is extremely lacking (and continues to get worse each year), AI intelligence is not there, etc.

    Never heard anything about making the game more arcade. There are several other modes where the game can be arcade, but the actually game itself (exhibition, franchise...) should be sim.

    PRO favors the HUM and All Star seems to favor the CPU. Where is the balance? What about a "normal" mode? If you say All Star is the even field, 9/10 times it sure doesn't feel that way. Are the default All Star sliders on SIM the "balance"? If not, what would be the settings so the game plays according to the players ratings? How does playing position lock affect the sliders?

    With the direction this game is headed and what you said about reducing difficulty, I'm worried it might be re-titled to "NHL Hitz".

    By making the game more sim, the challenge goes up. When we start getting a lot of unhappy people due to the game being more challenging to play, the balance needs to change. The game should be more fun than frustrating.

    What exactly would you like to see change to make the game more of a sim?

    I can't agree we're headed in the direction of NHL Hitz. Except for Threes, which obviously is meant to be more over the top, arcade action.

    I believe you are mixing things up here. more realistic does not mean more "sim" and definitely doesn't mean harder to play. just more realistic.

    You use poke checks as an example. poke checks are currently the least "realistic" they have ever been. There's nothing realistic about stick checking in EA NHL 20. Sorry its just not. No pro hockey player has a problem where they have to be "careful" with their stick checking. In fact in general real hockey players are down right reckless with their sticks. On average what is there 1000s of "stick checks" per game every night and maybe 0.3 trips called. And even then 75% of trips are the fault of a skater stepping into a stick in a way that causes them to lose their feet. The other 25% are basically a fluke. I spend most of my free time in hockey rinks watching fast young players and i can go weeks and not see any trips. Not from a lack of trying, because its almost impossible to trip a hockey player unless thats what you are trying to do. EA NHL? almost any time you "stick check" anywhere near the legs its a trip.

    In real hockey when a puck carrier turns their back to the defender, he will likely get attacked to the body to close the gap and stick check spamming will commence. That's not possible right now. In fact the stick lift is a better option which is insane. Another feature that is simultaneously broken and over powered. Over powered how well it works when it lands and broke in that it's a penalty when it doesn't. Something that probably happens about 10x a year league wide. Because stick lifts are not an action that leads to sticks going up into peoples faces, again unless its a fluke, like the carrier is low to the ground and basically falls down into the lift.

    Thats just a couple of examples of where the game is not realistic and could have big improvements without making the game any harder (may get easier to at least play defense but also fix the overpowered stick lifts and offense will get a bit better too) . More realistic, more fun and not harder to play.

    About the only way I see more realistic not being as easy is how pathetically easy it is to score on the AI goalies. its not realistic that 100% of the time that i skate at the goalie, he would just move out of the way and open up short side for an easy backhand tuck.

    Maybe over thinking "sim/realism" in areas like how hard should it be to skate, how hard to deke, etc... that is an area where more SIM means harder and likely less fun. Even then most of the complaints were poorly implemented physics. Or just going way too deep where it doesn't matter.

    There's so many ways the gameplay could be improved. Its not bad, in fact gameplay is where the game is at its best. I've many times given the devs credit for where the game is compared to where it was in 15, 16, 17, 18, etc... The other aspects are mostly an embarrassment, anything besides the actual 'hockey' play is just awful.

    but there's still a bunch of little things that could be fixed in gameplay (with goalies some big things). hope that continues to improve.
  • WainGretSki
    3486 posts Member
    edited January 10
    EA_Aljo wrote: »
    Steven5470 wrote: »
    EA_Aljo wrote: »
    When we've made the game harder and more sim, we've gotten a lot of negative feedback. .

    I think that became the issue. There was no reason to make the game harder. Just make it more sim. When you say you made the game harder, you basically eliminated the sim aspect because now it was based on not letting the player win so easy, instead of ratings taking precedence.

    Over the years, I personally don't recall any comments saying they wish the game to be more arcade or easier. I've heard people ask for balance. Balance being players play according to stats and the game is "even" in the difficulty sense.

    I'll I've ever read is that the player ratings aren't accurate, there is no real player separation, the presentation is extremely lacking (and continues to get worse each year), AI intelligence is not there, etc.

    Never heard anything about making the game more arcade. There are several other modes where the game can be arcade, but the actually game itself (exhibition, franchise...) should be sim.

    PRO favors the HUM and All Star seems to favor the CPU. Where is the balance? What about a "normal" mode? If you say All Star is the even field, 9/10 times it sure doesn't feel that way. Are the default All Star sliders on SIM the "balance"? If not, what would be the settings so the game plays according to the players ratings? How does playing position lock affect the sliders?

    With the direction this game is headed and what you said about reducing difficulty, I'm worried it might be re-titled to "NHL Hitz".

    By making the game more sim, the challenge goes up. When we start getting a lot of unhappy people due to the game being more challenging to play, the balance needs to change. The game should be more fun than frustrating.

    What exactly would you like to see change to make the game more of a sim?

    I can't agree we're headed in the direction of NHL Hitz. Except for Threes, which obviously is meant to be more over the top, arcade action.

    You are absolutely right. The game does need to be fun, which is of course subjective. Then you say if it is too challenging then it needs to change. But then again, when we say challenging, there are many different types of "challenging". There are many different ways and in many different areas of the game where you can make it more challenging.

    Take NHL 16 as an example. Pass receptions were much harder than they needed to be. Many passes were being bobbled. Sadly though, you cannot practice "pass receptions". It isn't a skill you can work on, and was poorly implemented. No wonder players were screaming for it to be fixed. However, if say a zip pass from 6 feet away and it was bobbled, it may have been easier to swallow. It was ridiculous that you could bobble a 45 foot pass. So there is an example of being more challenging, but it was illogical and certainly not fun. It may have had a certain realism to it, but again, was not a fun addition in any regard.

    In any case, this franchise has had a track record of catering to forwards for well over 10 years. It is a culture that got bred and is actually expected. The NHL 19 beta was clear about it. Goalies were saving the same garbage cheese goals and next thing you know, "top" players are screaming they can't go back to their cheese goals that they all know by heart and don't even need to practice. L2 abuse is another good example. They want the easy way to the net to beat an incredibly lame AI goalie that bites the same way every single time.

    Couple of years ago there was this big stink in the community about "skill zoning" and people whining that all you needed to do was take control of 1 player and just sit in the high slot while your AI D did all the work. Why is this? Pretty simple really, and I explained this in detail before and I will do it again right here. (Oddly enough, not a single person and not a single EA employee asked for videos or examples. It just got neutered without a single person breaking down any video explaining that you could pass the puck or any suggestions to beat skill zoning).

    The back door AI was always doing the same stupid play and abandoning his post to go defend an area where his help was not needed in any way, and it allowed for the incredibly easy and predictable back door one-timer. Player switching is horrible and unpredictable at an alarming rate. Forwards were always doing the exact same play, every single time. So to avoid all this, defenders started to simply defend the high slot and wait for the incredibly predictable play from the opposing attacker. No to mention, if you decided to attack the carrier, you were pulling yourself out of position to go for a hit that would fail most times, or you hit glass ankles and got called for tripping and your backdoor AI defenseman would still pull himself out of position...

    So instead of massively improving player switching, and instead of fixing the AI logic for the back door defender, EA decides to severely gimp the AI logic and have them be pylons to deter skill zoning..... It was the short, lazy and easy path to "fixing" the problem, but in reality, it wasn't a problem. Instead of forwards changing it up and finding new ways to score, they simply cried and EA simply obliged. It was not that much of a challenge to beat if you had any decent hockey IQ and if you decided to move the puck around. In essence, it was not that much of a challenge, yet EA obliged and in reality, fixes nothing at all.

    Most people playing this game want to take the puck and just blitz all the way to the other net and score. They basically want to be Rambo running through a rice field taking on 87 Viet Cong with nothing but a bow and 7 arrows and magically, does not take a single bullet.

    As I have stated earlier and actually many times over, the deke buttons and system are optional. You can wiggle around with your LS to avoid physical plays and most times you will get away with it. That is not realistic and certainly not challenging. You also don't need to move the puck around all that much either, in a team sport no less. If you can wiggle away from a few hits, then get to that magical high slot sweet spot and fire off a top shelf wrister, you are golden. If you can wiggle a bit in the corners to pull a defender out of position, you are practically golden, again. The game isn't about skill or challenge. It is nothing more than who can abuse its shortcoming the most, and more consistently.

    I still see the game the same way as I have for the last 6 years or so. Wherever there is a certain "realism" or skill gap added into the game, most times it is poorly implemented, or actually, not the way to go. The pass bobbles in 16 is a great example. Another good example is the glass ankles... Like really? Forwards can deke if they want, or actually just wiggle around instead, the top players still know how to negate body checks very often, they can still twirl around and abuse L2, and they can also pass the puck. Yet, a defender wiggles his DSS around with only 1 hand can literally take attacker's skates right from under his feet and this, every single time.... You think that is balanced, or a logical "challenge"? I certainly don't.

    It should be incredibly challenging to skate around everywhere while trying to do as little passing as possible. It should be incredibly rewarding to move and cycle the puck around. It should pull people around and eventually out of position. It should wear defenders down on the PK. It should eventually have the goalie slightly off his angle because he is constantly re positioning himself.

    The game should make you try to take your game to the next level. It should strive to make you understand hockey and develop plays to become better. There are tools in the game and it should force you to use them and with practice make those tools even more effective if you know what you're doing.

    Instead, we get gimped AI that is frequently braindead, AI D that will not overly defend in any way whatsoever to deter "skill zoning", AI goalies that will bite every single time with the same move, dekes that are not really required, a pass button that is optional, and ironically, the best way to defend is to not move around too much and just bump into players because incidental contact is the safest and most reliable way to defend. It's as if EA compares this to Call of Duty and wants everyone to have a 27 kill streak. Stop holding people's hands and make them take their game up a notch or two.

    Yes, arcade 3s is over the top with the shots and body checks. I am totally fine with that. it is intended and expected. Don't like it, then move on to another mode. Funny how that mode is very specific and yet us players that want more realism, more effort and more hockey IQ to be rewarded are still waiting for a mode tailored to that style of play.
    Post edited by WainGretSki on
  • EA_Aljo
    360 posts EA Community Manager
    EA_Aljo wrote: »
    Steven5470 wrote: »
    @EA_Aljo
    EA_Aljo wrote: »

    Can you show me slower skaters catching faster skaters? That's something that has been debated for a very long time. In a previous role here, I engaged with the community and repeatedly asked for videos showing this. I got them sent to me twice. Out of all the times I asked, only two times did someone get back to me with them. In both cases it showed the carrier turned, which slowed them down enough for a defender to catch up. I've played this game a ton. Pretty much daily for years now. I've never seen an instance where I was caught on a breakaway when I shouldn't have been. However, I also know what to look for. I know what causes the carrier to slow down. I can also see the angles taken by the carrier and defender and know why they were caught. If slower players are constantly outskating faster players, why aren't people able to get video of it? Speed is one of the most important attributes........

    I've posted this in these forums. But here is one example of a soft lobbed puck hitting the goalie, then defying physics and going the way of the open opposing player. This was slowed down, but it makes no sense and has happened quite a few times. The fact the puck should either stay in the goalies glove or continue to the right, but somehow goes to the left faster than it was shot is crazy:



    Illogical AI passing. He is about to skate across the crease and passes back to the point??



    More illogical passing. He passes right to the opposing team player in front of the net instead of taking it up the ice.



    Want more? Here. Why would he pass back again? These happen quite frequently.


    Should have skated out of the zone, but passes back again??



    When i find the speed thing I'll post it. But honestly, after years of pointing these things out, it gets tiring to constantly repeat yourself on these boards. As someone else mentioned, EA says they listen, but these issues seem to fall on deaf ears year after year. You said you have more insight as to how the game works and that's great. Again, for years, we have been asking for better explanations of the sliders. Each year it seems certain sliders function in reverse. Description says one thing, but slider is opposite. And wasn't there a rating (poise?) that was mentioned it does nothing at all in game??? What else does nothing? Any other ratings? If I want to have an even balanced game based off the player ratings only, how could I do that?

    Simple questions like those can help bury the ice tilt feeling. If there are sliders that just might contribute to it, would be nice to know.

    Thanks for the videos.

    In the first one, it looks like the goalie might be pushing the puck away instead of picking it up. Either way, it looks odd and probably shouldn't happen. That's one EANHLDev could explain better. Those kinds of occurrences are pretty uncommon, but of course, we don't want them happening.

    In the second video, he's recognizing the threat from the defender and passing back to the D. There's an open lane so that takes priority rather than forcing passes through traffic.

    I agree with you on that 3rd video. It would have been better for them to carry it up the ice.

    I agree with you on the 4th video as well. It looks like a pass could have been made to the wing on the left.

    The same goes for the 5th video. Passing straight up to the RW would have been a better choice.

    Hopefully, we'll see their passing improved in the future. I understand that's not the answer you're looking for, but making the AI look at better options isn't exactly as easy as it may seem. Even though it's obvious what they should be doing.


    in second video there's a wide open lane backdoor for a tap in goal. instead of passing it he skates towards the crease, the closer he gets the more the defender backs up and closing the lane. when he finally passes it out to the point, there's still room but it's about to be closed off. if he makes that pass right as he turns off the boards or even moments later, its not a force, its a great play.

    The problem is the AI is terrible about priority passing. To me it seems like the closer they are to the net, the more they look to carry to the net and shoot it if there's a lane to carry and shoot. After that passing it seems to be about the safest way to get rid of it. So whomever is the most wide open. When they should be analyzing who is in the highest scoring opportunity areas and seeing if they can feed them the puck.

    the real problem is we keep hearing "improved AI decision making, passing, etc..." but the reality is it keeps getting worse.

    Take that 2nd video. Remove every skater but the passer and the guy back door. The AI is so bad that 9/10 times he will skate that straight to the slot and shoot it from in tight rather than pass it for the easy sure goal. It makes no sense.

    In the second video, that's not a wide open backdoor tap in. There's a defender that most likely would have intercepted the pass. Saucing it would give it more of a chance though. As far as removing every skater, but the passer and the backdoor guy, it's possible they'd take the shot, it's possible they'd pass. The AI has a tendency to set up some pretty great one-timers though as well. I have seen them thread the needle many times.

    I'm not going to argue that the AI are perfect passers. I've definitely seen instances where they make bad choices. Of course, we want to minimize that from happening. At the end of the day, they are AI responding to a ton of different variables they take into account. I doubt they will ever be 100% perfect. At that point, they could also be seen as OP. Humans make mistakes. I probably see humans make more mistakes than AI players, but obviously, that's not the issue here.

    I can't agree that AI passing keeps getting worse. Especially since they started banking passing off the boards a couple years back. They also have been well known to make pretty incredible passes when left to their own devices. Watching a team of AI play when compared to a team of humans is noticeably different. They get open for each other, they create space and use the open lanes. Humans don't seem to focus on this as much as there are a ton of forced passes through traffic. In no way am I saying the AI are perfect, but when you mix a human element into them, you see more issues with their passing. They don't have quite the same options that they do with a team full of other AI players.

    I can see how it's easy to make the assumption passing is getting worse, but you also can't ignore how many good passes they make along with the rest of their play. It's a lot easier to pick out the times they do something bad and turn that into the idea the AI rarely do anything useful. Again, they are not perfect. There are times they make bad choices. I'm not denying that by any means. There's room for improvement for sure and the dev team is always looking to do that.
  • EA_Aljo
    360 posts EA Community Manager
    EA_Aljo wrote: »
    Steven5470 wrote: »
    EA_Aljo wrote: »
    When we've made the game harder and more sim, we've gotten a lot of negative feedback. .

    I think that became the issue. There was no reason to make the game harder. Just make it more sim. When you say you made the game harder, you basically eliminated the sim aspect because now it was based on not letting the player win so easy, instead of ratings taking precedence.

    Over the years, I personally don't recall any comments saying they wish the game to be more arcade or easier. I've heard people ask for balance. Balance being players play according to stats and the game is "even" in the difficulty sense.

    I'll I've ever read is that the player ratings aren't accurate, there is no real player separation, the presentation is extremely lacking (and continues to get worse each year), AI intelligence is not there, etc.

    Never heard anything about making the game more arcade. There are several other modes where the game can be arcade, but the actually game itself (exhibition, franchise...) should be sim.

    PRO favors the HUM and All Star seems to favor the CPU. Where is the balance? What about a "normal" mode? If you say All Star is the even field, 9/10 times it sure doesn't feel that way. Are the default All Star sliders on SIM the "balance"? If not, what would be the settings so the game plays according to the players ratings? How does playing position lock affect the sliders?

    With the direction this game is headed and what you said about reducing difficulty, I'm worried it might be re-titled to "NHL Hitz".

    By making the game more sim, the challenge goes up. When we start getting a lot of unhappy people due to the game being more challenging to play, the balance needs to change. The game should be more fun than frustrating.

    What exactly would you like to see change to make the game more of a sim?

    I can't agree we're headed in the direction of NHL Hitz. Except for Threes, which obviously is meant to be more over the top, arcade action.

    I believe you are mixing things up here. more realistic does not mean more "sim" and definitely doesn't mean harder to play. just more realistic.

    You use poke checks as an example. poke checks are currently the least "realistic" they have ever been. There's nothing realistic about stick checking in EA NHL 20. Sorry its just not. No pro hockey player has a problem where they have to be "careful" with their stick checking. In fact in general real hockey players are down right reckless with their sticks. On average what is there 1000s of "stick checks" per game every night and maybe 0.3 trips called. And even then 75% of trips are the fault of a skater stepping into a stick in a way that causes them to lose their feet. The other 25% are basically a fluke. I spend most of my free time in hockey rinks watching fast young players and i can go weeks and not see any trips. Not from a lack of trying, because its almost impossible to trip a hockey player unless thats what you are trying to do. EA NHL? almost any time you "stick check" anywhere near the legs its a trip.

    In real hockey when a puck carrier turns their back to the defender, he will likely get attacked to the body to close the gap and stick check spamming will commence. That's not possible right now. In fact the stick lift is a better option which is insane. Another feature that is simultaneously broken and over powered. Over powered how well it works when it lands and broke in that it's a penalty when it doesn't. Something that probably happens about 10x a year league wide. Because stick lifts are not an action that leads to sticks going up into peoples faces, again unless its a fluke, like the carrier is low to the ground and basically falls down into the lift.

    Thats just a couple of examples of where the game is not realistic and could have big improvements without making the game any harder (may get easier to at least play defense but also fix the overpowered stick lifts and offense will get a bit better too) . More realistic, more fun and not harder to play.

    About the only way I see more realistic not being as easy is how pathetically easy it is to score on the AI goalies. its not realistic that 100% of the time that i skate at the goalie, he would just move out of the way and open up short side for an easy backhand tuck.

    Maybe over thinking "sim/realism" in areas like how hard should it be to skate, how hard to deke, etc... that is an area where more SIM means harder and likely less fun. Even then most of the complaints were poorly implemented physics. Or just going way too deep where it doesn't matter.

    There's so many ways the gameplay could be improved. Its not bad, in fact gameplay is where the game is at its best. I've many times given the devs credit for where the game is compared to where it was in 15, 16, 17, 18, etc... The other aspects are mostly an embarrassment, anything besides the actual 'hockey' play is just awful.

    but there's still a bunch of little things that could be fixed in gameplay (with goalies some big things). hope that continues to improve.

    My point with making the game harder as it becomes more of a simulation is that there's less help from the game with things like pass and shot aim, puck control, poke checking, etc. Things that could potentially frustrate a lot of people. Yes, there would be some that would appreciate that though. I'm not denying that. I'm sure I'd prefer to play a more sim-like mode where you were more accountable for your play, but that doesn't mean I don't enjoy the amount of assistance we currently have as personal skill is still very much at play.

    We probably can't really have a mechanic where you need to watch where you step. Yes, I get the realism with that, but that's where the video game aspect kicks in. Maybe if this was a VR game, it would make more sense, but having people being that focused on skating would probably cause more frustration than fun. Whereas, being more careful with pokes is a lot easier to control. When pokes were a lot more forgiving, we had a ton of negative feedback about poke check spam. That's basically been eliminated now. We can't have defenders able to spam pokes and be successful. That takes away from the skill and makes the game less sim or realistic.

    You obviously have to be careful with stick lifts. I use them very frequently and don't take many penalties from them. That doesn't mean they're always successful though either so I'm not really seeing how they are overpowered. Unsuccessful lifts aren't always a penalty. As far as the realism of it goes, this is another area where we need to realize a video game version of hockey needs to have some balance built into it. You shouldn't be able to just spam stick lifts with no penalty. As it is now, you are rewarded for them by wisely using them which does take some skill. I'm not saying it's perfect. Hopefully, we'll see improvements to lifts and pokes in the future.

    There are people that also have trouble scoring easily on AI goalies. That's an issue with skill. Yes, some people are incredibly good at it. Me, personally, I'm not the greatest on breakaways. I won't score every time on them. That's because my skill isn't as good as others. That said, I'm not seeing goalies just move out of the way when they're facing a breakaway. They're moving according to the carrier and trying to stop them. If the carrier is getting them out of position so they can score, isn't that the point of dekeing? Over the years people have gotten very good at scoring on AI goalies. If we make them too difficult to score on, people get upset. Hence, the term Spider-Man goalies from several years back. We can't have goalies just stop ever breakaway though. Especially when the carrier is exhibiting the skill needed to beat them.

    There's no denying the game has room for improvement. We're never just looking at it all, giving it a thumbs up and moving on to something else. Every year there are changes to existing features. It's constantly in a state of tweaking, balancing, updating, etc. A huge amount of that is based on what we get back from the community.
  • EA_Aljo
    360 posts EA Community Manager
    VeNOM2099 wrote: »
    EA_Aljo wrote: »
    Steven5470 wrote: »
    EA_Aljo wrote: »
    When we've made the game harder and more sim, we've gotten a lot of negative feedback. .

    I think that became the issue. There was no reason to make the game harder. Just make it more sim. When you say you made the game harder, you basically eliminated the sim aspect because now it was based on not letting the player win so easy, instead of ratings taking precedence.

    Over the years, I personally don't recall any comments saying they wish the game to be more arcade or easier. I've heard people ask for balance. Balance being players play according to stats and the game is "even" in the difficulty sense.

    I'll I've ever read is that the player ratings aren't accurate, there is no real player separation, the presentation is extremely lacking (and continues to get worse each year), AI intelligence is not there, etc.

    Never heard anything about making the game more arcade. There are several other modes where the game can be arcade, but the actually game itself (exhibition, franchise...) should be sim.

    PRO favors the HUM and All Star seems to favor the CPU. Where is the balance? What about a "normal" mode? If you say All Star is the even field, 9/10 times it sure doesn't feel that way. Are the default All Star sliders on SIM the "balance"? If not, what would be the settings so the game plays according to the players ratings? How does playing position lock affect the sliders?

    With the direction this game is headed and what you said about reducing difficulty, I'm worried it might be re-titled to "NHL Hitz".

    By making the game more sim, the challenge goes up. When we start getting a lot of unhappy people due to the game being more challenging to play, the balance needs to change. The game should be more fun than frustrating.

    What exactly would you like to see change to make the game more of a sim?

    I can't agree we're headed in the direction of NHL Hitz. Except for Threes, which obviously is meant to be more over the top, arcade action.

    It is frustrating now though. For a lot of people. Is it going to change? Probably not. Why? Apparently because we're not the "right type" of people. Because we want a challenge instead of "fun"? I'll tell you what's 100% NOT fun:



    That's not fun. That's not hockey. That's FRUSTRATING. And I scored that...

    Making the game more challenging doesn't mean it should necessarily be more frustrating, nor would it make it less fun. And yet it's frustrating to a lot of people to work so hard for our success, and then have someone just casually throw a muffin on net and negate all that hard work. That's the difference between a hard core player and a casual player.

    The casual player equates skill to results. The quicker and easier he can get results, the better he perceives his skill to be. If you win, you're "Good". If you lose, you're "Bad". The hard core player, on the other hand, values the journey to get better over getting results and views a challenge not as frustrating, but as a way to improve his skills, and also his enjoyment. Winning or Losing isn't important, it's the battle for supremacy that entices us. For example, when I play Street Fighter, I would rather play 50 matches against a really tough opponent that knows how to play the game and defeats me, instead of playing even 2 matches against someone who doesn't know the first thing about the game, that I can defeat in 4 quick rounds while learning NO new skills.

    There is a video on youtube called "The Consequence of Reducing the Skill Gap". Watch it. It explains a million times better than I could why competitive video games (of which the NHL series is one) need to be challenging more than they need to be "fun" if you want it to succeed and grow; if you want to create a thriving community around it.

    Make it too easy and "fun" and... Well... Look at what happened to Street Fighter 5. They went from a game (Street Fighter 4) that single handedly revitalized the fighting game genre at a time when Fighting Games were on the verge of phasing out completely. It sold well over 4 million copies in its first year alone. But when creating SF5, what did Capcom do? They listened to the casuals who complained that SF4 was too challenging and not "fun" for them. So they dumbed it down for them and guess what happened? SF5 didn't even reach half the numbers of SF4 until well into it's 3rd year, but by then it was too late. They became the laughing stock of the FGC (Fighting Game Community) and ridiculed by the Pro Street Fighters whom once held them in high esteem.

    By making their game "fun", they destroyed it. Especially where it concerns the competitive scene. Sometimes it pays to know your audience and sadly Capcom did not. Or rather they chose to ignore it thinking it could make a quick buck by inviting the casuals and shunning their hard core audience.

    Why is that goal you scored not fun? Should you not be rewarded for winning the faceoff as well as aiming your shot? If it's something you can do a very high percentage of the time, then I get that. It's not one I've seen used against me nor is it one I've used in the past. I'll give it a shot and see if it's easy to do. Throwing muffins on net is a part of hockey. It happens in real games. I'm not saying every muffin needs to go in though. The high majority of them are stopped. Again, like they are in the real world. As I said previously, making the game more sim would probably involve removing a lot of the assistance from the game. We've had a lot of negative feedback from people that like the old EASHL system where you used points to upgrade your stats. That was adding more assistance to those areas of your player. It's possible the crowd that wants a more sim friendly game would like that system back. It goes against making the game more skill-based and less computer-assisted though.

    I'm not saying there's no room for a hardcore or sim setting. Anything's possible. Community feedback is a huge part of what gets added to the game.
  • Stovetop9620
    179 posts Member
    edited January 10
    Here is what I have discovered in my quest for the perfect slider setup, I am sure @EA_Aljo will be able to clarify or add some information here:

    From what I have gathered as far as how the player AI is programmed coupled with the decision tree they have, they seem to be programmed specifically to the pre-set slider groups. 1/4, 2/4, 3/4, 4/4 ( I forget how they are denominated). This causes a few things to happen:

    1. Someone noted above that the sliders have the "opposite effect". That is not true, HOWEVER, whenever you deviate from these defaults, I find that it causes other sliders (or aspects of gameplay) to not be able to handle it. An example: At base value, I find that (using 4/4 full sim preset) I prefer back skating and puck carrier agility to be dropped considerably. I think my back skating is set to 25 and puck carrier agility to be 35-40. When I made this change, I found that the CPU didn't know how to accommodate my change. They were, seemingly, going for the plays they would make at the default setting but would make more mistakes because, I assume, they were expecting their speed to be unchanged. Things like the way they step up on forwards they would mis-time because they didn't realize their back skating agility was nerfed.
    2. Considering that change, when it came to AI forwards, since their agility was nerfed, they were trying their usual maneuvers but, again, were unable to make the adjustment.

    So, it's not that the sliders have the opposite effect (I can clearly see the difference in my game with my settings, IE I can beat dudes on the outside and they have to turn at the right time to match me, IE they try the AI curl move and put themselves in a bad spot they typically don't), it is (my theory) that the foundation of the AI has a hard time deviating from the pre-set slider settings.

    Another thing I would like to say is this. NHL 14 is the gold standard around here. Most of us agree that was the most "fun". Watch gameplay videos now. The skaters feet do not match the path they take, you can receive passes that sometimes magnetize to your stick, there were less "small" instances of realism and more overall realism. We wanted complexity, we got it, and now we hate it. That is the main issue here. When the game was simpler it was more fun but we wanted more. We got it and now we can't handle it.

    I said it above and here it is again. We need to come to a consensus on what we are willing to concede in terms of realism to achieve the maximum fun factor. No matter what you guys say, these dudes are busting their bums to enhance the realistic factor of the game. That, in turn, has aggravated a lot of people because it is almost "too real" and therefore causes a lot of clustering (IE incidental contact). Prior to this generation of games, a lot of people wanted more realism and when it came now people aren't satisfied. Remember pre-incidental contact? The main gripe was "Well, people can dance around the whole game and nobody can touch them." So EA makes incidental contact a big factor to mitigate some of that and now we hate it because there isn't enough space to move around?

    We will never have the total package. Never. Get every gameplay developer from 1991 from either EA or 2k together with an unlimited budget and a true duplication of hockey will still not happen. Personally, I will sacrifice all those little instances of realism (skates matching movements, incidental contact, sticks detecting legs/body mass, etc.) for a game that has more flow. I would simplify CPU AI to make them do basic hockey plays and nothing more. No advanced decisions, less decisions in regards to their thought tree. It would be up to the human to be creative and make plays. The AI would basically just exist as a typical 3rd liner to support me.

    I get frustrated with this game too. No question. However, I have been able to mitigate some of that through a lot of experimentation and taking a lot of time on my sliders. On the other hand, you all can't sit here and bash these dudes incessantly without taking the time to ask about how these things are built. Personally, I was in your shoes but after speaking with some of the EA guys privately and asking questions, I have a different view on this stuff now because I totally see the difficulty they face.

    NHL 15 was a set back. If you understood why, I think you may appreciate the last 2 renditions a bit more.

    Edit: No, I am not an EA fanboy. I just appreciate what they do a bit more after talking to these guys.
  • Here is what I have discovered in my quest for the perfect slider setup, I am sure @EA_Aljo will be able to clarify or add some information here:

    From what I have gathered as far as how the player AI is programmed coupled with the decision tree they have, they seem to be programmed specifically to the pre-set slider groups. 1/4, 2/4, 3/4, 4/4 ( I forget how they are denominated). This causes a few things to happen:

    1. Someone noted above that the sliders have the "opposite effect". That is not true, HOWEVER, whenever you deviate from these defaults, I find that it causes other sliders (or aspects of gameplay) to not be able to handle it. An example: At base value, I find that (using 4/4 full sim preset) I prefer back skating and puck carrier agility to be dropped considerably. I think my back skating is set to 25 and puck carrier agility to be 35-40. When I made this change, I found that the CPU didn't know how to accommodate my change. They were, seemingly, going for the plays they would make at the default setting but would make more mistakes because, I assume, they were expecting their speed to be unchanged. Things like the way they step up on forwards they would mis-time because they didn't realize their back skating agility was nerfed.
    2. Considering that change, when it came to AI forwards, since their agility was nerfed, they were trying their usual maneuvers but, again, were unable to make the adjustment.

    So, it's not that the sliders have the opposite effect (I can clearly see the difference in my game with my settings, IE I can beat dudes on the outside and they have to turn at the right time to match me, IE they try the AI curl move and put themselves in a bad spot they typically don't), it is (my theory) that the foundation of the AI has a hard time deviating from the pre-set slider settings.

    Another thing I would like to say is this. NHL 14 is the gold standard around here. Most of us agree that was the most "fun". Watch gameplay videos now. The skaters feet do not match the path they take, you can receive passes that sometimes magnetize to your stick, there were less "small" instances of realism and more overall realism. We wanted complexity, we got it, and now we hate it. That is the main issue here. When the game was simpler it was more fun but we wanted more. We got it and now we can't handle it.

    I said it above and here it is again. We need to come to a consensus on what we are willing to concede in terms of realism to achieve the maximum fun factor. No matter what you guys say, these dudes are busting their bums to enhance the realistic factor of the game. That, in turn, has aggravated a lot of people because it is almost "too real" and therefore causes a lot of clustering (IE incidental contact). Prior to this generation of games, a lot of people wanted more realism and when it came now people aren't satisfied. Remember pre-incidental contact? The main gripe was "Well, people can dance around the whole game and nobody can touch them." So EA makes incidental contact a big factor to mitigate some of that and now we hate it because there isn't enough space to move around?

    We will never have the total package. Never. Get every gameplay developer from 1991 from either EA or 2k together with an unlimited budget and a true duplication of hockey will still not happen. Personally, I will sacrifice all those little instances of realism (skates matching movements, incidental contact, sticks detecting legs/body mass, etc.) for a game that has more flow. I would simplify CPU AI to make them do basic hockey plays and nothing more. No advanced decisions, less decisions in regards to their thought tree. It would be up to the human to be creative and make plays. The AI would basically just exist as a typical 3rd liner to support me.

    I get frustrated with this game too. No question. However, I have been able to mitigate some of that through a lot of experimentation and taking a lot of time on my sliders. On the other hand, you all can't sit here and bash these dudes incessantly without taking the time to ask about how these things are built. Personally, I was in your shoes but after speaking with some of the EA guys privately and asking questions, I have a different view on this stuff now because I totally see the difficulty they face.

    NHL 15 was a set back. If you understood why, I think you may appreciate the last 2 renditions a bit more.

    Edit: No, I am not an EA fanboy. I just appreciate what they do a bit more after talking to these guys.

    15 was a setback because they took many devs and resources from the game to finish ufc, then were totally ok selling a game they knew should have never been shipped, AND still charged full AAA price for it after admitting they cut manpower and resources. It was an all around scummy move
  • "15 was a setback because they took many devs and resources from the game to finish ufc, then were totally ok selling a game they knew should have never been shipped, AND still charged full AAA price for it after admitting they cut manpower and resources. It was an all around scummy move"

    That isn't totally true though. I can prove it as well. If you really want to challenge my stance then I beg you to do this. Go through the credits for NHL 13 and 14 and note every game developer. Then read the names of the people who did the gameplay development for 15. There was a change there. NHL 16 reverted to a lot of the guys who helped make NHL 14 baller. They had to rebuild a foundation after that set back. Some of it had to do with porting to a new generation of consoles as well. It took them a lot of time to get to a point where they were happy.

    It has been said, in jest, that "They are happy with the game and they are dumb for it" in this thread like 30 times. They are happy with the direction of the game. You should be too. No, it is not perfect. Yes, there are flaws. But are you really going to believe that these dudes go to work and do a sub-par job? Are you really going to say NHL 19-20 hasn't improved SOME things from their predecessors?

  • "15 was a setback because they took many devs and resources from the game to finish ufc, then were totally ok selling a game they knew should have never been shipped, AND still charged full AAA price for it after admitting they cut manpower and resources. It was an all around scummy move"

    That isn't totally true though. I can prove it as well. If you really want to challenge my stance then I beg you to do this. Go through the credits for NHL 13 and 14 and note every game developer. Then read the names of the people who did the gameplay development for 15. There was a change there. NHL 16 reverted to a lot of the guys who helped make NHL 14 baller. They had to rebuild a foundation after that set back. Some of it had to do with porting to a new generation of consoles as well. It took them a lot of time to get to a point where they were happy.

    It has been said, in jest, that "They are happy with the game and they are dumb for it" in this thread like 30 times. They are happy with the direction of the game. You should be too. No, it is not perfect. Yes, there are flaws. But are you really going to believe that these dudes go to work and do a sub-par job? Are you really going to say NHL 19-20 hasn't improved SOME things from their predecessors?

    I dont think anyone will refute that there have been improvements made...but it feels more like most of them were ATTEMPTED, not fully done. I have no doubt the dev team works their butts off. Its the guys above them that pull the strings that bear the blame here.
  • @Kmahrle83

    This is true with any large corporation. I mean, imagine being some of these guys. Their budget is smaller, their team is not enormous, they have hard deadlines to squeeze in, they have families and children as well. Their names are on the game and they have to own the product. Their senior team has been around a while but they have to answer to people who probably don't oversee much in terms of development and crunch numbers and figures. You know what they say about poo and it running downhill...

    I joke with my friends that if I had the capital I would steal a lot of these dudes from EA, get some old school developers from both EA and 2k as well, and create a true competitor with a legit budget. Nice pipe dream. Reality says that if someone were to do that you need to make money to continue making the game to keep paying these people. Everyone knows that the hockey video game market is the smallest of all the sports. That does not make this easy as you have a wacky dichotomy where profit meets quality of product. Base idea is that having 2k around was nice for both as they had to compete. When competition is devoid, you aren't really pressed as hard. Now, since they are the only one on the market, EA (the corporation) can focus on money rather than product. The senior team probably wants to make the best game ever, they are deterred because EA needs to make a profit, the boots on the ground developers suffer in the long run as well.

    2k had a nice thing...they sold their game for 20$ less...look how that turned out. Great game, terrible business plan. Once EA came out with the skill stick it was curtains for 2k hockey.

    Since this is all we have now, it would be best for this community to be better at conveying issues without attacking these dudes personally. I do see that a lot. I am sure they get annoyed with it as well...I know I would.
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