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New Info/Preview on NHL 12 [Gamereactor UK]

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Old 05-27-2011, 12:12 AM   #1
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New Info/Preview on NHL 12 [Gamereactor UK]

Some new info courtesy of GameReactor

Quote:
We've been visiting EA Sports over in Vancouver for an exclusive look at the upcoming NHL 12. While still very early on in development, we did learn a few interesting tidbits about the title.
Flashback to NHL 11, where the emphasis was on the physics with the tagline "anything can happen". The game lived up to that bold claim, as players shunted into each other with the force of dominoes strapped with explosives. It captured the physicality of a game that's as big on decking as it is goals. NHL 12 furthers this ambition.

The equivalent focus this time round is "Personality Plus", EA's catchphrase for this year's sports products; we've already seen it used in FIFA. It means player differentiation, between height, strength, skill.

Transferred to the NHL, it means that this differentiation will clearly play a role in how the players act against each other on the pitch. Taller and stronger players will have obvious advantages against their smaller, weaker opponents, defensive and aggressive tactics playing out with greater accuracy in the front of goals.


We're excited about how this increased focus on the physics will weigh on the actual gameplay. It's something that in retrospect, has been missing from previous versions. To better use the player's physical attributes will undoubtedly inject more subtle (if you can call a elbow-full or armour to the face 'subtle') elements onto the rink as aggression, strength and skill throw down in winning control of the puck.

Star players will have access to more tricks, able to pull the sort of shots and tackles that'll have the (virtual) crowd in its feet, and there's also a heap of other additions EA has included that'll likely keep them there.

For instance, last year you could knock the stick out of your opponent's hands. Twelve months and one new retail disc later and you can transfer that anger to their helmet guards, which in turn leads to the inevitable schoolyard shove and punch show.

Working in these little details are what we're less sure about. Realistic and showy it may be, we wonder how many players will ignore the punch-ups completely in favour of trying for another goal. It's EA's prerogative to further match the realism of the sport on console, and its up to the players whether they want to blow off steam with a brawl. For us, the dullness from a single goalie scrap swears us to keeping hands on sticks and helmets firmly on.


Another feature to the game is that the series has been brought to the great outdoors, and Europe, for the first time. A new environment brings a new game mode; Winter Classic has you participating in the traditional tournament (a fairly new outdoor event held by the NHL every year since 200 with the look and feel, from promos to crowd atmosphere matching the real-life televised extravaganza the event has become.

As ever, its hard, event foolhardy, to draw judgement over a game so early in its development cycle. The basic elements are in place, and EA seems to be making good on the promises for this newest overhaul to the gameplay mechanics, which should add greater depth to the game. And while we're not sold on the extensive modifications added to the combat options, it at least reassures that as ever, EA is trying to replicate a sport in which anything can happen.
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Old 05-27-2011, 10:18 AM   #2
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Re: New Info/Preview on NHL 12 [Gamereactor UK]

Hearing the changes they made to differentiate stars is music to my ears.

I've never played Fifa. For those who have, how did this system work in soccer?
Did you notice a difference with the CPU? Or could the AI still pull off moves with anyone on the field regardless of attributes?
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Old 05-27-2011, 11:14 AM   #3
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Re: New Info/Preview on NHL 12 [Gamereactor UK]

I really hope the player differentiation thing is true, that would be huge.

I still think there was some better separation in 11, it's still not nearly enough.

My problems with it seemed to work opposite of most of the guys on here though. Rather than having my goons put up 20 goals, I was just having a hard time putting up points with the players who should be. At the end of both seasons I got through it seems like everyone on my team had 40-50 points.
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Old 05-27-2011, 12:32 PM   #4
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Re: New Info/Preview on NHL 12 [Gamereactor UK]

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Originally Posted by adayinthelife
I really hope the player differentiation thing is true, that would be huge.

I still think there was some better separation in 11, it's still not nearly enough.

My problems with it seemed to work opposite of most of the guys on here though. Rather than having my goons put up 20 goals, I was just having a hard time putting up points with the players who should be. At the end of both seasons I got through it seems like everyone on my team had 40-50 points.
I have the same problem too. My beef is more watching the CPU take anyone and make them into the next Stamkos.
And that's why I have/had a lot of problems producing points with my big guns.
It's tough to score with stars when they're playing against 5 Bure's every shift.

I admit I'm not a great hockey gamer like I used to be. I only play a handful of hours a week.
But at the same time, I watch the CPU do godly things with the puck that none of my stars can.
When I control Datsyuk, he feels like he's moving in mud compared to what the CPU is doing with it's stars (or scrubs). They fly into a corner, and then suddenly back up, rotate 90d and then fly back up ice without losing any speed, momentum or the puck.
It's like they're playing without gravity or restraints, while I'm just trying to make a complete circle within a 20s time frame.
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Old 05-27-2011, 12:38 PM   #5
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Re: New Info/Preview on NHL 12 [Gamereactor UK]

I busted this game out last night after a few weeks hiatus. I'm now using QB's sliders. He captures some good loose puck play but I struggled to score.

EA has GOT to get the puck physics down in 12... This game just doesn't represent real hockey yet. Closer, but not there.

Like you guys said, I'm tired of feeling powerless against 3rd/4th line guys when my top line can't do anything.

I have mixed feelings about 12... No doubt I'll be one of those bozo's buying it on release day but I hope they are listening to us. Nobody came around here much so I don't know if they are aware of what we are seeing or not...
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Old 05-27-2011, 12:40 PM   #6
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Re: New Info/Preview on NHL 12 [Gamereactor UK]

Quote:
Originally Posted by mkharsh33
I busted this game out last night after a few weeks hiatus. I'm now using QB's sliders. He captures some good loose puck play but I struggled to score.

EA has GOT to get the puck physics down in 12... This game just doesn't represent real hockey yet. Closer, but not there.

Like you guys said, I'm tired of feeling powerless against 3rd/4th line guys when my top line can't do anything.

I have mixed feelings about 12... No doubt I'll be one of those bozo's buying it on release day but I hope they are listening to us. Nobody came around here much so I don't know if they are aware of what we are seeing or not...
They have, Rammer said they have worked on and improved puck physics (your see more rolling and bouncing pucks).
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Old 05-27-2011, 01:06 PM   #7
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Re: New Info/Preview on NHL 12 [Gamereactor UK]

Quote:
Originally Posted by Money99
Hearing the changes they made to differentiate stars is music to my ears.

I've never played Fifa. For those who have, how did this system work in soccer?
Did you notice a difference with the CPU? Or could the AI still pull off moves with anyone on the field regardless of attributes?
They had a trait & abilities system called "Personality Plus". The results were mixed in terms of on the field impact and they are working on improving it for this year. I'm sure some of them like strength and aerial ability impacted the "under the hood" calculations that determined who won a tackle or header. What I want to see are more that affect playing styles & tendecies (same for NHL).

I think I told this story before, but I spent a good deal of time pitching this kind of system to Redshirt, Gurn, and anyone else that would listen at the NHL11 community event. Things like "crease crasher", "PP QB", "PK Specialist", "Shot Blocker", and so on could be used to help define player styles/roles on the ice and perhaps help with CPU line & special teams assignments. Of course the trick is to make them dictate what players do on the ice -- eg, "crease crasher" or "net-front presence" makes Holmstrom go to the paint & set up shop -- and I'm sure that's easier said than done. They loved the ideas and Redshirt told me he would make sure it was discussed in their next team meeting...

When we leaving the building at the end of the event, Jason was walking out with us and as I said my goodbyes I reminded him to bring it up. He more or less said they'd be in NHL12. Now this was 3 months before NHL11 went gold, so a lot can change. I don't have any official inside info on NHL12 to confirm they made it in or how much of an impact it would make if they did.

And just to be clear, I'm not suggesting I'm in any responsible for the addition if they did make it. Considering FIFA did Personality Plus for 11 and Madden is bringing back player roles/traits for 12, it was probably on their radar long before I ever brought it up.

Last edited by Qb; 05-27-2011 at 01:11 PM.
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Old 05-27-2011, 01:19 PM   #8
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Re: New Info/Preview on NHL 12 [Gamereactor UK]

Quote:
Originally Posted by Qb
They had a trait & abilities system called "Personality Plus". The results were mixed in terms of on the field impact and they are working on improving it for this year. I'm sure some of them like strength and aerial ability impacted the "under the hood" calculations that determined who won a tackle or header. What I want to see are more that affect playing styles & tendecies (same for NHL).

I think I told this story before, but I spent a good deal of time pitching this kind of system to Redshirt, Gurn, and anyone else that would listen at the NHL11 community event. Things like "crease crasher", "PP QB", "PK Specialist", "Shot Blocker", and so on could be used to help define player styles/roles on the ice and perhaps help with CPU line & special teams assignments. Of course the trick is to make them dictate what players do on the ice -- eg, "crease crasher" or "net-front presence" makes Holmstrom go to the paint & set up shop -- and I'm sure that's easier said than done. They loved the ideas and Redshirt told me he would make sure it was discussed in their next team meeting...

When we leaving the building at the end of the event, Jason was walking out with us and as I said my goodbyes I reminded him to bring it up. He more or less said they'd be in NHL12. Now this was 3 months before NHL11 went gold, so a lot can change. I don't have any official inside info on NHL12 to confirm they made it in or how much of an impact it would make if they did.

And just to be clear, I'm not suggesting I'm in any responsible for the addition if they did make it. Considering FIFA did Personality Plus for 11 and Madden is bringing back player roles/traits for 12, it was probably on their radar long before I ever brought it up.
Great info QB! Nice work!
2K10 had something similar in that players were rated according to their types as well. It's been around for a bit, but EA's NHL game hasn't really picked it up.

One thing I'd love to see is players being rated in every position, or a handful of positions.
Claude Giroux's a guy that can play all 3 forward positions. But few players can do that.
I'd love it if we could see a big, or bigger, difference when moving guys from RW to LW, or W to C. Stuff like that.
It would make injuries and trades a lot more meaningful knowing you might handicap your team if you place a player into a position they'll lose ratings on.
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