NHL 12 Catch-All

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I'm so ready. It looks like the game we have all loved is getting a strong injection of fun! It may not all be sim, but the hits look like they are going to be frickin' great. But they've done some tuning to the engine, and if you don't line up your hit right, you might be the one on the ground. NHL 11 did not get as much time from me as 09 and 10, but that wasn't related to just how great of a product it was. I just happened to spend more time with NCAA 11 last year.

But this year may be a return to NHL for me, as this trailer has me psyched!

And I swear hockey has the best music of any sports games.

EA Sports Burnaby have a lot of pride in their NHL games.

I loved the physics in NHL 11 except for the hitting. I played a ton of EASHL and it was just grossly inaccurate in what a 99 checking and strength person could do to a person with 90+ balance. Chara vs. a baby on skates ugly.

All I ask is that they fine tune that aspect of the physics and make the AI defensemen more aggressive on D and I will be happy.

I will definitely be getting it though and would be interested in seeing if there are any people interested in an EASHL team?

NHL is the only EA Sports game I can stand.

Well, that and Fight Night, except Fight Night continues to go soft on the "stamina" feature and allow endless punch spamming, ruining an otherwise awesome game. :/

*Legion* wrote:

NHL is the only EA Sports game I can stand.

Well, that and Fight Night, except Fight Night continues to go soft on the "stamina" feature and allow endless punch spamming, ruining an otherwise awesome game. :/

That was my biggest gripe about FN too

I play quite a bit of NHL 11 in Versus mode. The most annoying thing for me is how maneuverable players are on skates, and what that does to hitting dynamics. It is far too easy to negate hits by stopping up, turning a bit to the right, and angling your ass towards the hitter. (In reality, of course, momentum would make that impossible to do.) The result is that as a defenseman there are very few opportunities to reliably take the body against crafty human opponents, forcing you to rely on poke checks and stick lifts (which often lead to penalties and can be ineffective even when the other guy's visor is two inches from yours). And if you hit him softly enough to separate him from the puck but not hard enough to knock him over, often he will actually gain momentum on you, allowing him to skate past you and grab the puck right back.

This defensive disadvantage is compounded by the weird rules about when your team is able to pick up a loose puck versus the other team. For example, your players won't move their stick to block a pass unless they are a) really close to the intended recipient, b) really close to the passer and positioned well, or c) the puck has already traveled like 100 feet. Often I will be blocking a passing lane through the neutral zone and watch the puck sail right by my player's stick even though I was deliberately attempting to block that exact pass (but couldn't use the 'pass block' action because I needed to retain backward momentum). Another example is that when your team's goalie shoots the puck up the ice, your players have a disproportionate chance of gaining possession, often causing the puck to go right through properly-positioned defenders because the AI refuses to move the stick a couple of inches one way or the other.

The result of all this is that generally the most effective defense is to use a lot of pass/shot blocks right in front of your net (combined with throwing big hits on unwary players within a certain distance of the crease).

I hope the new physics system addresses this stuff in some reasonable way.

That's a cool trailer. I'll be buying it, but I, too, didn't play much NHL 11. It seemed like the difficulty was off. The second level (Pro?) was too easy, and All-Star was damn near impossible for my limited skillz.

I don't think I've played a hockey game (other than an occasional demo or quick borrowing of a game from a friend) since NHL 94 for the sega genesis. Gonna pick this up cause it looks great, but I am expecting to get completely destroyed for a long time as I learn the game basically from scratch.

I think you will be in for a treat. The game has progressed steadily from NHL 09, and has really become a fantastic game. For a good read of how to learn the controls and strategies, Jayson Young has a great series of article he did over at Operation Sports. I used them to get a handle on the game. Even though these are from NHL 09 and NHL 10, most of what is there is going to translate perfectly. It should do a great job of getting you up to speed on how this series works.

http://www.operationsports.com/featu...
http://www.operationsports.com/featu...
http://www.operationsports.com/featu...
http://www.operationsports.com/strat...
http://www.operationsports.com/strat...
http://www.operationsports.com/strat...

Also, scoring can be a bitch. Many of us here rely on auto-aim to play the game. Unfortunately, there is no auto-aim in online play. But it makes scoring in offline play so much easier, as you can concentrate on position and taking a good shot without having to aim for a particular corner. It also gives more weight to your player's rating. So Crosby is going to find the right hole more often than a scrub.

That said, thy have also made it annoying to find the auto-aim setting. You have to set it in the pregame menu of each and every game you play. It is not a setting you can set so that it defaults to auto-aim.

Maybe some of this stuff will be fixed for NHL 12, but since it has been the case since NHL 09, I doubt it.

Since NHL 09, I can say that I've played roughly 3500-4000 games of EASHL/Online team play ranked. It's my favorite multiplayer game.

From a June blog post at EA:

The following positional and non-puck carrier traits are in NHL 12:
• Net Agitators – players who position themselves in front of the net and are consistently screening and distracting the goalie. Example: Tomas Holmstrom
• Net Presence – players who hang out in front of the net looking for screens and deflections. Example: Ryan Kesler
• Peripheral Players – players who prefer the corners and shay away from the net and the grittier areas. Example: Alex Kovalev
• Setup Players – players who setup down low and look for shooters in the slot. Example: Joe Thornton
• Finishes Hits – players who will finish their hit after the puck is gone. Example: Matt Cooke
• Non-Physical – players who rarely throw hits. Example: Henrik Sedin
• Offensive Opportunists - players who aggressively anticipate the play and look for the quick breakaway pass. Example: Marian Gaborik
• Shooter Slot – players who frequently position themselves in the slot, when setup in the offensive zone. Example: Mike Cammalleri
• Shoots on the Rush – players who are more likely to shoot during the rush than dump the puck in or maintain possession. Example: Alexander Ovechkin

As mentioned, there are puck carrier traits as well:
• Drives the Net – forwards who like to drive hard to the net. Example: Sidney Crosby
• Dump and Chaser – players who dump and chase. Example: Many third and fourth liners
• One-time Specialists – players who frequently and effectively put themselves in position for on-timers. Example: Steven Stamkos
• Puck Protectors – players who control the puck by maintaining possession during the rush, looking for passing opportunities. Example: Henrik Sedin

Defensemen traits:
• Pinching D – Defensemen who are more likely to attempt riskier plays in the offensive zone. Example: Brent Seabrook
• Rush Joining D – Defensemen who aren’t afraid to and excel at leading the rush. Example: Duncan Keith

Note that players can and if deserving, will have multiple traits. third and fourth liners, who may or may not be your marquee players, are also eligible.

That's cool. I wonder if it will transition to the EASHL too. I'm of the playmaker mold. I will work myself into a position to make a good pass to an open teammate.

Thanks for this. My friend and I spent a bit of time last night working on faceoffs, and I believe it paid off significantly in Versus mode.

360 users...

Indian J0e(yes that's a 0) has good rosters and coach edits. Check it

lol wtf, I suck

Since when does Seabrook pinch? Other than that, those look pretty good.

I was thinking the same thing. Dan Boyle pinches.

Am I the only one that finds that trailer ridiculous? Of all the sports games EA does (minus Skate), I feel like NHL is the best game. I don't play it much because I'm not into the sports, but I respect what they've done with the game. This looks odd, though. That trailer would be like if they released an NBA Live trailer and highlighted backboards shattering, guys falling into the stands and fights. I know it's not sexy, but I like seeing improvements to core gameplay and AI. I may come back to NHL as I really loved 09's robust "Be a Pro" mode. Particularly playing through the minors, etc. Reminded me of MLB The Show.

But I will be a little annoyed if every other game the glass breaks "just because". That can't be that frequent of an event in hockey, can it?

Rarely is someone actually hit through the glass, but once every couple of games you'll see a puck shatter it. Frequently dudes are hit onto the bench, and occasionally into the stanchions at the ends of the bench.

The fact is they advertise hits every time around, so it must be that hits simply rate highly in market tests. I imagine hits are to hockey as dunks are to basketball; when you advertise the sport, you don't show people making positionally-sound jumpshots.

4xis.black wrote:

Rarely is someone actually hit through the glass, but once every couple of games you'll see a puck shatter it. Frequently dudes are hit onto the bench, and occasionally into the stanchions at the ends of the bench.

The fact is they advertise hits every time around, so it must be that hits simply rate highly in market tests. I imagine hits are to hockey as dunks are to basketball; when you advertise the sport, you don't show people making positionally-sound jumpshots.

Hey, that's what I want, though.

Also, that's largely what each game delivers well is those fundamentals.

DSGamer wrote:

But I will be a little annoyed if every other game the glass breaks "just because". That can't be that frequent of an event in hockey, can it?

I thought I actually responded to this earlier, but I must have gotten distracted.

I doubt the glass breaking is going to be overdone. Last year the trailers showed every stick breaking, but that was handled perfectly in the game.

Sticks breaking on shots is pretty realistic, but the amount of times your stick will get knocked out of your hand from a tiny bump (or get slashed in two without earning a penalty call) is sort of whack.

4xis.black wrote:

Sticks breaking on shots is pretty realistic, but the amount of times your stick will get knocked out of your hand from a tiny bump (or get slashed in two without earning a penalty call) is sort of whack.

Actually it was very accurate but that is more because NHL referees are woefully crappy properly making that call.

Also:

I hate it when video games attempt to simulate real life stupid reffing. The game knows whether it was a penalty.

Thisi s the kind of stuff that doesn't make the trailers, but it's the kind of stuff that really makes the game better.

That's the kind of thing I keep wishing an NBA game could get right. NBA2k is getting close. But certain players score or pass better from different positions. They want the ball or the puck in their comfort zone. That's good stuff.

DSGamer wrote:

Am I the only one that finds that trailer ridiculous?

Nope. Height of don't-care.

Jayhawker wrote:

Thisi s the kind of stuff that doesn't make the trailers, but it's the kind of stuff that really makes the game better.

Yup. Height of "more of this".

And another!

Yeah, of all the sports game developers going right now, the NHL guys at EA seem to have the best grasp on what really improves gameplay. Each of the last three releases had little stuff like this that really drove the game.

I think the glass breaking stuff just looks like fun, but it i the nuts and bolts that these guys use that will make this a day one purchase.

Here's another cool one:

And here's one that directly addresses what you were talking about, DS. The physics are being used in much more important ways than breaking glass. It is good to see that they are building on the physics engine frm last year.

Looks like amazon just added a $20 amazon credit for preordering NHL 12. Those are typically around for awhile, but just in case it comes and goes I wanted to mention it here.

Thanks for the heads up, that could be my jump in point for fall gaming. :p

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