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The problem with EA's "hockey"...

So, a lot of people have been saying (and rightly so) that offense is once more the driving factor behind's EA's brand of "hockey" (which isn't hockey).

But upon further reflection, that's not really the problem with their game(s). The issue is that EA promotes a very individual, maybe even downright SELFISH type of play. Look at how Forwards have such a wide range of movement options, how they can instantly control bouncing/rolling pucks and gain 100% shot acc and power. How they can slam into the boards and bounce off like a Pinball... ball... (?) How every time there's a loose puck it somehow finds its way to the offensive player most of the time.

Even on defense, positioning and good stick/gap control is downplayed in favor of big hits that return the puck, even from behind.

It sickens me that this is what they want to promote. Never mind that Hockey is a Team game. The only place where that's even mildly in evidence is EASHL Clubs, and that mostly in 6v6 games. But even then the selfish player gets way too many tools at his disposal to be... Well, selfish.

Even the goaltending is meant to be played in a very selfish, one dimensional style by staying at your goal line in the middle while everyone else on your team tries to bail you out.

This is a trend that was evident in past EA NHL games all the way back to NHL Hockey ('92) and came to grow as the years progressed.

And as long as they keep this mentality, which doesn't seem like they haven't with the upcoming NHL 21, then this game is doomed to fail in every aspect that should matter in a hockey game. It doesn't matter how good the developers are at coding and how good their intentions are.

EA's NHL is a selfish man's game and that is why people are frustrated with the game.

Replies

  • Im never totaly against you venom but I dont think we are to far away of having a pretty cool hockey game.

    One thing is for sure, passes goes way to fast, it has the effect that you can go one man solo and rely on 1 or 2 turbo pass before you get to goal. It encourage straight forward hockey.

    Turn that down a notch, and I do think people would start to think twice before they try that same old play that always use to work out.
  • Turning down the game speed to 0 offline was made this game so much more fun. You actually have time to do things like in real life. You actually have time to setup a shot through a screen and have a strategic approach to zone entries, passing plays, and breakouts. Upping the board effect sliders makes it so you can’t bounce, turning passing reception ease down makes it so passes are actually bobbled, and upping fatigue effect makes shots “miss” more but not to a point of missing the net entirely. Reducing goalie reactions while upping cross crease reactions make the goalies seem more real. They’re quick, but they’re forced to block too which creates rebound. Up screen effect to 100 and persistence to 80 and you start seeing screen effect both save reactions and reacting to passes that travel through a screen. Really makes you have legitimate hope when you turn the game speed down, up a few sliders to make the game a little more true to life.

    My point being: there’s so much that can be fixed simply via tuners. I don’t think this game has a bad foundation. I really don’t. I think a lot of the foundational aspects and tools at our disposal are great in theory and with slider adjustments work very well. I think the base puts madden to shame to be quite honest. The most frustrating part is that the default online tuning makes this game seem a lot worse than it is. You can’t appreciate the little things or the DSS tool when everyone moves at 1000 mph and can slam into the boards at full speed with no consequence.

    One other thing that really needs a nerf imo is passing on the backhand/behind your back. Those passes should be so much slower compared to a forehand pass made from a balanced position, yet in this game it’s a negligible difference. That’s one of the main “under the hood” things that truly needs fixing (obviously the AI is the other) but seriously a ton of issues in this game come down to tuning and I think that’s super frustrating as a hockey fan, and someone who has played, to see.

    Going back to the last-gen games last week (13 in particular as idk where 14/15 are lol) it was super noticeable how much slower the default game was. It was also extremely noticeable how many times long stretch passes were bobbled due to a wobbling puck. You just don’t see that as much (if at all) in this generation. Also, the old skill stick felt really good in terms of being able to change the angle of a shot. You could actually do a full toe drag and glide a bit to the inside to create that “pull and snap” feeling which can only be done via the no-touch drag + instant shot in the new gen.

    The skating wasn’t missed tbh, but it did make me realize how incredibly forgiving this new skating engine is. We’ve gone from TPS which involves turning a battleship to basically arcade floating again due to the acceleration levels in the default slider set. This skating engine is actually a great base, but I feel like it’s a tad too easy to make lateral cuts at full speed (not even mentioning LT here because that’s been beaten to death haha) and it’s also a tad too easy to transition from backwards to forward (and again, this might be due to acceleration levels rather than agility - also, the CPU just ignores the acceleration system and sprints from 0 -> 100 on pivots so that could also be why I believe this to be true) when hard dump are made. In NHL 13, you could actually beat the AI defenders to a dump because they had to transition and adhered to the same skating engine that the user did. They actually took proper angles to pucks and you’d beat them. Now, if you do a hard slap around the boards, the D semi goes to it, gets confused because it goes too high in the zone so he passes that responsibility off to the wing in his head (who by the way, isn’t even in the zone yet) and then the user gets a free puck. That’s the “dump and chase” game state right now in NHL 20. Another blatant “under the hood” fix that’s required.

    So long-story short here, I think this team spends way too much time adding in features rather than fixing the few egregious “under the hood” issues that would instantly make this game much more immersive, but they also spend way too little time playing with tuner settings. I know “realistic” hockey can be subjective, but to truly get the most out of RPM and DSS, slowing the game down and holding puck carriers more accountable for slamming into the boards at full speed will instantly make skill gaps larger and add a ton of “realism” to the game that doesn’t terribly interfere with the “fast and fun” approach to hockey this game has.

    I know I’m not asking for an incredibly loose puck on simple stops and starts, pivots, and RS movements, but I think there’s a really large middle ground that can be achieved that exists between that and the default tuner set. There really are a ton of “little things” that can be encouraged via tuners to make this game a more realistic hockey simulation and the same “under the hood” fixes that people have highlighted since NHL 15 at the latest that would go an incredibly long way. I’ll easily pass on 21, so I guess we’ll see if 22 can try and deliver on some of these community asks.
  • Sega82mega wrote: »
    Im never totaly against you venom but I dont think we are to far away of having a pretty cool hockey game.

    One thing is for sure, passes goes way to fast, it has the effect that you can go one man solo and rely on 1 or 2 turbo pass before you get to goal. It encourage straight forward hockey.

    Turn that down a notch, and I do think people would start to think twice before they try that same old play that always use to work out.

    You and venom are talking about 2 completely different games. I would love to see these forums split up to 1v1 modes, 3v3 and 6v6 just to see where the complaints and opinions change.
  • Sega82mega wrote: »
    Im never totaly against you venom but I dont think we are to far away of having a pretty cool hockey game.

    One thing is for sure, passes goes way to fast, it has the effect that you can go one man solo and rely on 1 or 2 turbo pass before you get to goal. It encourage straight forward hockey.

    Turn that down a notch, and I do think people would start to think twice before they try that same old play that always use to work out.

    If you couldn’t tell by my post, I agree with you and venom both. The foundation is there, the execution is not imo. There’s also still some “under the hood” things that need to be addressed before real progress can be made, but I seriously don’t think this game is madden-levels off from being a good game.
  • VeNOM2099
    3178 posts Member
    edited September 16
    Sega82mega wrote: »
    Im never totaly against you venom but I dont think we are to far away of having a pretty cool hockey game.

    One thing is for sure, passes goes way to fast, it has the effect that you can go one man solo and rely on 1 or 2 turbo pass before you get to goal. It encourage straight forward hockey.

    Turn that down a notch, and I do think people would start to think twice before they try that same old play that always use to work out.

    If you couldn’t tell by my post, I agree with you and venom both. The foundation is there, the execution is not imo. There’s also still some “under the hood” things that need to be addressed before real progress can be made, but I seriously don’t think this game is madden-levels off from being a good game.

    I do agree that there would be a way to improve the game just with a change in sliders and settings rather than the default "Chel bruh" online settings they're are trying to ram down our throats. But that would only fix part of the issues with the game. The other parts, like the god awful AI and the wonky physics would need a huge overhaul which would likely require a sizeable patch or just downright them rebuilding the game from the ground up (and not obviously just transporting the old code to a new engine like they probably did with NHL 15).

    The other factor that seems to mitigate them doing any "good" changes to the game is this team's philosophy on what makes HOCKEY actual HOCKEY. Their current one seems to align themselves to the same one Streamers and Influencers have rather than one you'd see from an actual person who's ever played real hockey before.

    Which is infuriating because, they surely must have access to actual NHL level players and coaches, not to mention lesser leagues, where they could get great feedback and direction for their game. But no... Let's listen to Streamer61er who has 500+ subs and lets the sweet DUBSTEP drop when he opens PAX! PAX! PAX!!
  • Sega82mega
    1488 posts Member
    edited September 16
    Turning down the game speed to 0 offline was made this game so much more fun. You actually have time to do things like in real life. You actually have time to setup a shot through a screen and have a strategic approach to zone entries, passing plays, and breakouts. Upping the board effect sliders makes it so you can’t bounce, turning passing reception ease down makes it so passes are actually bobbled, and upping fatigue effect makes shots “miss” more but not to a point of missing the net entirely. Reducing goalie reactions while upping cross crease reactions make the goalies seem more real. They’re quick, but they’re forced to block too which creates rebound. Up screen effect to 100 and persistence to 80 and you start seeing screen effect both save reactions and reacting to passes that travel through a screen. Really makes you have legitimate hope when you turn the game speed down, up a few sliders to make the game a little more true to life.

    My point being: there’s so much that can be fixed simply via tuners. I don’t think this game has a bad foundation. I really don’t. I think a lot of the foundational aspects and tools at our disposal are great in theory and with slider adjustments work very well. I think the base puts madden to shame to be quite honest. The most frustrating part is that the default online tuning makes this game seem a lot worse than it is. You can’t appreciate the little things or the DSS tool when everyone moves at 1000 mph and can slam into the boards at full speed with no consequence.

    One other thing that really needs a nerf imo is passing on the backhand/behind your back. Those passes should be so much slower compared to a forehand pass made from a balanced position, yet in this game it’s a negligible difference. That’s one of the main “under the hood” things that truly needs fixing (obviously the AI is the other) but seriously a ton of issues in this game come down to tuning and I think that’s super frustrating as a hockey fan, and someone who has played, to see.

    Going back to the last-gen games last week (13 in particular as idk where 14/15 are lol) it was super noticeable how much slower the default game was. It was also extremely noticeable how many times long stretch passes were bobbled due to a wobbling puck. You just don’t see that as much (if at all) in this generation. Also, the old skill stick felt really good in terms of being able to change the angle of a shot. You could actually do a full toe drag and glide a bit to the inside to create that “pull and snap” feeling which can only be done via the no-touch drag + instant shot in the new gen.

    The skating wasn’t missed tbh, but it did make me realize how incredibly forgiving this new skating engine is. We’ve gone from TPS which involves turning a battleship to basically arcade floating again due to the acceleration levels in the default slider set. This skating engine is actually a great base, but I feel like it’s a tad too easy to make lateral cuts at full speed (not even mentioning LT here because that’s been beaten to death haha) and it’s also a tad too easy to transition from backwards to forward (and again, this might be due to acceleration levels rather than agility - also, the CPU just ignores the acceleration system and sprints from 0 -> 100 on pivots so that could also be why I believe this to be true) when hard dump are made. In NHL 13, you could actually beat the AI defenders to a dump because they had to transition and adhered to the same skating engine that the user did. They actually took proper angles to pucks and you’d beat them. Now, if you do a hard slap around the boards, the D semi goes to it, gets confused because it goes too high in the zone so he passes that responsibility off to the wing in his head (who by the way, isn’t even in the zone yet) and then the user gets a free puck. That’s the “dump and chase” game state right now in NHL 20. Another blatant “under the hood” fix that’s required.

    So long-story short here, I think this team spends way too much time adding in features rather than fixing the few egregious “under the hood” issues that would instantly make this game much more immersive, but they also spend way too little time playing with tuner settings. I know “realistic” hockey can be subjective, but to truly get the most out of RPM and DSS, slowing the game down and holding puck carriers more accountable for slamming into the boards at full speed will instantly make skill gaps larger and add a ton of “realism” to the game that doesn’t terribly interfere with the “fast and fun” approach to hockey this game has.

    I know I’m not asking for an incredibly loose puck on simple stops and starts, pivots, and RS movements, but I think there’s a really large middle ground that can be achieved that exists between that and the default tuner set. There really are a ton of “little things” that can be encouraged via tuners to make this game a more realistic hockey simulation and the same “under the hood” fixes that people have highlighted since NHL 15 at the latest that would go an incredibly long way. I’ll easily pass on 21, so I guess we’ll see if 22 can try and deliver on some of these community asks.

    First of, glad to "see" you, and second of all, you nailed it. I agree all the way.

    I Wonder what this change to this skating engine really did, it's pretty advanced if you use it by the book, but to just hustle your way in 300mph cant be good for the game itself, unfortunately it works, every day, more or less.
  • jrago73 wrote: »
    Sega82mega wrote: »
    Im never totaly against you venom but I dont think we are to far away of having a pretty cool hockey game.

    One thing is for sure, passes goes way to fast, it has the effect that you can go one man solo and rely on 1 or 2 turbo pass before you get to goal. It encourage straight forward hockey.

    Turn that down a notch, and I do think people would start to think twice before they try that same old play that always use to work out.

    You and venom are talking about 2 completely different games. I would love to see these forums split up to 1v1 modes, 3v3 and 6v6 just to see where the complaints and opinions change.

    Very good suggestions jrago. I understand it plays out abit diffrent from mode to mode.
  • VeNOM2099 wrote: »
    Sega82mega wrote: »
    Im never totaly against you venom but I dont think we are to far away of having a pretty cool hockey game.

    One thing is for sure, passes goes way to fast, it has the effect that you can go one man solo and rely on 1 or 2 turbo pass before you get to goal. It encourage straight forward hockey.

    Turn that down a notch, and I do think people would start to think twice before they try that same old play that always use to work out.

    If you couldn’t tell by my post, I agree with you and venom both. The foundation is there, the execution is not imo. There’s also still some “under the hood” things that need to be addressed before real progress can be made, but I seriously don’t think this game is madden-levels off from being a good game.

    I do agree that there would be a way to improve the game just with a change in sliders and settings rather than the default "Chel bruh" online settings they're are trying to ram down our throats. But that would only fix part of the issues with the game. The other parts, like the god awful AI and the wonky physics would need a huge overhaul which would likely require a sizeable patch or just downright them rebuilding the game from the ground up (and not obviously just transporting the old code to a new engine like they probably did with NHL 15).

    The other factor that seems to mitigate them doing any "good" changes to the game is this team's philosophy on what makes HOCKEY actual HOCKEY. Their current one seems to align themselves to the same one Streamers and Influencers have rather than one you'd see from an actual person who's ever played real hockey before.

    Which is infuriating because, they surely must have access to actual NHL level players and coaches, not to mention lesser leagues, where they could get great feedback and direction for their game. But no... Let's listen to Streamer61er who has 500+ subs and lets the sweet DUBSTEP drop when he opens PAX! PAX! PAX!!

    100% agree with you man, that’s what I was trying to convey in my post. There’s some massive improvements that need to be made, but they also do not even come close to executing with the tuners they have available! I mean, have you tried the default “full sim” settings lol? What hockey are they watching where that’s “full sim”? Basically added fatigue and that’s it. Screens don’t mean anything, there’s not any more incidental contact, still no penalties, and no added screen effect to goalies. Haha it’s not even an effort at “full sim” imo.
  • Unfortunately, magnetism accompanies all EA games. it's so designed by an engineer that I design EA sports games. it's bad from the beginning and it's clear that it's been bad for 30 years. yes the puck really bounces mainly on hockey sticks and EA is just trying to adjust the tuners to make it look like reality.

    One or two passes look great and realistic, but then, unfortunately, this principle always comes across the physical ends of the game.

    it's actually a duel of two groups.
    one group suggested magnetism to make the game well controlled. and the second group wants realism so that the puck behaves freely.

    In my opinion, they definitely have a version where the puck behaves the same as in 2k hockey. but for some reason it doesn't work as EA imagines. in terms of programming, this is certainly a very complex process with unclear results and maybe a million hours for beta testers. Apparently not even a company as large as EA can afford that.

    the only solution is to try to make the game completely over and over again, but on other basic principles than magnetism, which only facilitated the creation of the game.
  • VeNOM2099 wrote: »
    Sega82mega wrote: »
    Im never totaly against you venom but I dont think we are to far away of having a pretty cool hockey game.

    One thing is for sure, passes goes way to fast, it has the effect that you can go one man solo and rely on 1 or 2 turbo pass before you get to goal. It encourage straight forward hockey.

    Turn that down a notch, and I do think people would start to think twice before they try that same old play that always use to work out.

    If you couldn’t tell by my post, I agree with you and venom both. The foundation is there, the execution is not imo. There’s also still some “under the hood” things that need to be addressed before real progress can be made, but I seriously don’t think this game is madden-levels off from being a good game.

    I do agree that there would be a way to improve the game just with a change in sliders and settings rather than the default "Chel bruh" online settings they're are trying to ram down our throats. But that would only fix part of the issues with the game. The other parts, like the god awful AI and the wonky physics would need a huge overhaul which would likely require a sizeable patch or just downright them rebuilding the game from the ground up (and not obviously just transporting the old code to a new engine like they probably did with NHL 15).

    The other factor that seems to mitigate them doing any "good" changes to the game is this team's philosophy on what makes HOCKEY actual HOCKEY. Their current one seems to align themselves to the same one Streamers and Influencers have rather than one you'd see from an actual person who's ever played real hockey before.

    Which is infuriating because, they surely must have access to actual NHL level players and coaches, not to mention lesser leagues, where they could get great feedback and direction for their game. But no... Let's listen to Streamer61er who has 500+ subs and lets the sweet DUBSTEP drop when he opens PAX! PAX! PAX!!

    Unless they have a year where people just don't buy the game, they'll never give it the overhaul it desperately needs to look anything like real hockey. The physics will always be a mess and the AI will always be a disaster. The amount of time, effort and money it would take for this overhaul is likely not worth it when they can keep the same engine, slap some band-aids on it, add little things like the Michigan and call it a new game.

    I really want playing goalie in this game to be more fun, but between the lack of defensive functions, the overall garbage AI and the incredibly frustrating goalie mechanics make the position unplayable at times.
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