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Old 04-07-2021, 11:51 AM   #1
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For those who don't like EASNHL...

There seems to be a group of people that find "modern" EASNHL games too complex, and a feeling that complexity takes away from the fun.

What are things about gameplay that you would improve in a simpler, more arcadey experience?

The first game that comes to mind for me is NHL Hitz Pro, which actually played a decent game of hockey, but at a faster-than-real pace (even though the goalies weren't great). The game was fast, there was plenty of hitting, but you also needed good puck movement on the offensive side to get into scoring positions.
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Old 04-07-2021, 01:12 PM   #2
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Re: For those who don't like EASNHL...

I don't think it's the "complexity" that's turning people away, it's that whatever EA adds to the game rarely works or makes sense.

Since the skill stick was introduced in NHL 07-08 there hasn't been one major thing they've added to the series that everyone unanimously enjoyed.

The defensive skill stick just leads to more tripping penalties than actually blocking passes/shots. The new skating engine just made everyone skate like McDavid and players continue to lack individuality. They say they update the goalie AI every year but they still seem ****ty to me.

The game has essentially been all about getting the puck to the slot and sniping near side, or throwing the puck across the crease for a tap-in.

None of the franchise additions feel like they were fleshed out at all. Morale is just random (it's flat-out broken in 21 causing prospects not to grow in overall at all). The scouting system is a total chore having to scroll through menus for *20* scouts. Coaches and line chemistry are almost impossible to max out leaving certain player types (2-way forwards for example) completely useless. Simulations feel completely random. Drafting, trading, and free agents are still incredibly easy to abuse because AI-managed teams continuously make horrible decisions.

The new Be A Pro mode was a complete let-down. The conversations are unnatural and unrealistic from the perspective of a rookie. Stats and record keeping are still broken since release last October. Your player is still referred to as a rookie no matter how many years you play through (Which would be a slog with a new conversation happening every off-day). Challenges are always 'score a goal' or 'prevent the other team from scoring' and interrupt every single game you play.

EASHL is a shell of what it once was. Players are limited to stats based on the 'class' they pick rather than fully customizable like it was up until NHL 14. I don't even want to know how long they spent adding all the cosmetic items you have to play to unlock at random.

Ultimate Team is still the same BS. Don't even need to pay to win if you're just gonna exploit the game like everyone else. Sets and challenges are insanely boring and time consuming, it's just a grind for very poor payoffs.

Meanwhile things like board play, something pivotal to a real hockey team's success, has been ignored for over a decade. AI teammates are incredibly stupid while opposing AI are overpowered with superhuman decision making.

I still buy it every f'ing year though because I love hockey but GOD if there was any other AAA hockey game I'd be all over it.
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Old 04-07-2021, 05:40 PM   #3
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Re: For those who don't like EASNHL...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zigs44
I don't think it's the "complexity" that's turning people away, it's that whatever EA adds to the game rarely works or makes sense.

Since the skill stick was introduced in NHL 07-08 there hasn't been one major thing they've added to the series that everyone unanimously enjoyed.

The defensive skill stick just leads to more tripping penalties than actually blocking passes/shots. The new skating engine just made everyone skate like McDavid and players continue to lack individuality. They say they update the goalie AI every year but they still seem ****ty to me.

The game has essentially been all about getting the puck to the slot and sniping near side, or throwing the puck across the crease for a tap-in.

None of the franchise additions feel like they were fleshed out at all. Morale is just random (it's flat-out broken in 21 causing prospects not to grow in overall at all). The scouting system is a total chore having to scroll through menus for *20* scouts. Coaches and line chemistry are almost impossible to max out leaving certain player types (2-way forwards for example) completely useless. Simulations feel completely random. Drafting, trading, and free agents are still incredibly easy to abuse because AI-managed teams continuously make horrible decisions.

The new Be A Pro mode was a complete let-down. The conversations are unnatural and unrealistic from the perspective of a rookie. Stats and record keeping are still broken since release last October. Your player is still referred to as a rookie no matter how many years you play through (Which would be a slog with a new conversation happening every off-day). Challenges are always 'score a goal' or 'prevent the other team from scoring' and interrupt every single game you play.

EASHL is a shell of what it once was. Players are limited to stats based on the 'class' they pick rather than fully customizable like it was up until NHL 14. I don't even want to know how long they spent adding all the cosmetic items you have to play to unlock at random.

Ultimate Team is still the same BS. Don't even need to pay to win if you're just gonna exploit the game like everyone else. Sets and challenges are insanely boring and time consuming, it's just a grind for very poor payoffs.

Meanwhile things like board play, something pivotal to a real hockey team's success, has been ignored for over a decade. AI teammates are incredibly stupid while opposing AI are overpowered with superhuman decision making.

I still buy it every f'ing year though because I love hockey but GOD if there was any other AAA hockey game I'd be all over it.
Great post, agreed with it all. Complexity is the LAST thing that comes to mind on why this game is a chore to play. On the contrary, it's so boring, predictable, and static that it has little to zero replay value once someone gets the hang of the controls. I remember playing NHL 08 and being amazed. Unfortunately, the game peaked in the 13-Legacy era, seemingly on the right track, and has only gotten worse and worse through this entire last generation outside of a few minor things like goalie stick deflections which is still really cool to see imo.
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Old 04-08-2021, 12:38 AM   #4
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Re: For those who don't like EASNHL...

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Originally Posted by HipNotiiC_x
Great post, agreed with it all. Complexity is the LAST thing that comes to mind on why this game is a chore to play. On the contrary, it's so boring, predictable, and static that it has little to zero replay value once someone gets the hang of the controls. I remember playing NHL 08 and being amazed. Unfortunately, the game peaked in the 13-Legacy era, seemingly on the right track, and has only gotten worse and worse through this entire last generation outside of a few minor things like goalie stick deflections which is still really cool to see imo.
agreed. I think it peaked around NHL 13 area as well. Like I've said in other posts unfortunately EA since around that timeframe, has started to make this a game for "CHEL" rather than an actual simulation of the sport.

They're all about the crazy dekes, no look cross crease passes, 8-7 final score type of games.

The actual EA NHL account re-posts these ridiculous unrealistic goals/dekes on their page, they clearly are trying to promote this type of gameplay.

The grittiness of the real sport is completely gone from this game. No board play, fighting for the puck. I think the passing is way too accurate as well. No one can receive clean passes constantly like you see in the video game. Its almost like a vacuum to the stick.

The real sport isn't always "sexy" like it is in this game. Most goals in reality are of the "throw it at the net" and rebound or deflection type.

In this game, most goals are of the cross crease or deke snipe type. Those goals happen in real life, but are far and few between, and when they do, they should get you excited. They happen so often in this game, that it completely removes the simulation aspect for me and doesn't get me excited when I just scored what usually is a sportscenter highlight reel goal.

I think a lot of it comes down to players not standing out from each other. I think NHL video game player ratings should be on a true 0 - 100 scale, maybe having your worst players on your team around the 20-40 range. Absolute best players in the current league around 90-95, with all time greats being in the 95-100.

4th liners should not be 78-82 OVRs receiving and giving tape to tape passes. They should be so low rated on their passing that they need to dump and chase, chuck the puck at the net and hope for a garbage goal or shot at the point.

The user in this game is not incentivized to dump and play on the boards like the real life sport. Its so easy with your 4th line guy to dangle your way into their offensive zone, hover around with the puck, wait for a cross crease and tap it in with another 4th line player. You will just never see a 4th line player in the NHL doing things like that.

As a user, I should feel a major difference when my top lines/players come back onto the ice. In reality, I can barely tell the difference. With that being such a big part of hockey, its surprised me that EA has not done anything to differentiate players besides making sure the 4th liners can't do the LB dekes.

Last edited by Chad0034; 04-08-2021 at 12:47 AM.
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Old 04-08-2021, 05:08 PM   #5
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Re: For those who don't like EASNHL...

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Originally Posted by Chad0034
agreed. I think it peaked around NHL 13 area as well. Like I've said in other posts unfortunately EA since around that timeframe, has started to make this a game for "CHEL" rather than an actual simulation of the sport.

They're all about the crazy dekes, no look cross crease passes, 8-7 final score type of games.

The actual EA NHL account re-posts these ridiculous unrealistic goals/dekes on their page, they clearly are trying to promote this type of gameplay.

The grittiness of the real sport is completely gone from this game. No board play, fighting for the puck. I think the passing is way too accurate as well. No one can receive clean passes constantly like you see in the video game. Its almost like a vacuum to the stick.

The real sport isn't always "sexy" like it is in this game. Most goals in reality are of the "throw it at the net" and rebound or deflection type.

In this game, most goals are of the cross crease or deke snipe type. Those goals happen in real life, but are far and few between, and when they do, they should get you excited. They happen so often in this game, that it completely removes the simulation aspect for me and doesn't get me excited when I just scored what usually is a sportscenter highlight reel goal.

I think a lot of it comes down to players not standing out from each other. I think NHL video game player ratings should be on a true 0 - 100 scale, maybe having your worst players on your team around the 20-40 range. Absolute best players in the current league around 90-95, with all time greats being in the 95-100.

4th liners should not be 78-82 OVRs receiving and giving tape to tape passes. They should be so low rated on their passing that they need to dump and chase, chuck the puck at the net and hope for a garbage goal or shot at the point.

The user in this game is not incentivized to dump and play on the boards like the real life sport. Its so easy with your 4th line guy to dangle your way into their offensive zone, hover around with the puck, wait for a cross crease and tap it in with another 4th line player. You will just never see a 4th line player in the NHL doing things like that.

As a user, I should feel a major difference when my top lines/players come back onto the ice. In reality, I can barely tell the difference. With that being such a big part of hockey, its surprised me that EA has not done anything to differentiate players besides making sure the 4th liners can't do the LB dekes.
Passing is WAY too easy in this game, 100% It's one of the main things I've tried to address in my slider set without making passing too hard for good to great players. I also think that they can't make the differential too high in players because their AI simply aren't smart enough. Like, if you have a heavy mismatch, you're collapsing/trapping more, you're giving more space so you don't get beat 1-on-1 which means screens are going to come into play much more, but the AI just aren't even close to being able to recognize things like that.

Same goes for positioning. This game can be hard offline with the right sliders, I think I've managed to create a set + slider adjustments for CPU teams to make scoring relatively hard (~2-6 combined goals a game) but the CPU defensive positioning inevitably breaks down off of almost nothing a lot of the time which leads to high-scoring affairs which can only be offset by lowering accuracy and upping fatigue effect for "randomness".

I get that they don't want this game to be mainly "garbage goals" in the competitive scene, you want skill to shine, but I also think there's a huge middle-ground of "skill" that's just untapped right now. Shooting one the move, making a lateral cut before shooting, shooting through a screen, quick RS flick one way then a quick shot to change the angle slightly on a goalie to catch them moving are all things that really don't happen in this game. Screens happen but they're usually so lame (pick the wide open 75% of the net while the goalie is paddle down for some reason). To that point, all dekes outside of LB ones can be done by anybody, super lame! Fatigue doesn't matter enough, or it matters too much! Like, I want people to be slow and dead at the end of a shift, but if they get a great shooting chance near the end of their shift (especially a top-flight guy) and they have time, space, are gliding/almost still, I really don't think fatigue should impact that shot much if at all imo. I think we need separate fatigue sliders for shooting, skating, checking/balance rather than one global setting.

More "untapped skill" would be more emphasis on opening up for passes to reduce the "pickup type effect" while receiving a pass. Right now, just sprint straight and get the puck with no effort, super lame! Slower overall game speed + drastically lower acceleration levels would force people to keep their momentum and allow people who read plays a few steps ahead rather than simply reacting to the current game state would be rewarded. The comp scene is always complaining that they don't have enough time or space so they require more speed, when in reality, they need less speed and crazy less acceleration as those things make the ice feel bigger or smaller depending on which way you go.

I could go on and on for much longer than anyone would want to read, but there's just so many "skill" items you could put into the game without making the game a chore to play with a ton of random bounces and sloppy play. There's a huge middle ground right now that is completely untapped.
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Old 04-08-2021, 06:13 PM   #6
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Re: For those who don't like EASNHL...

HipNotiiC_x you nailed it. Why can't EA sports set up the game so that it plays one way, more realistic, offline and then make the online game more arcade like. I want to play a game like the one you described.
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Old 04-09-2021, 11:13 AM   #7
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Re: For those who don't like EASNHL...

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HipNotiiC_x you nailed it. Why can't EA sports set up the game so that it plays one way, more realistic, offline and then make the online game more arcade like. I want to play a game like the one you described.
I'd love to play a much more dynamic game offline. I literally can't play more than 2 games in a row without getting bored lol.
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