NHL 12 Catch-All

Here's yet another good quick clip showing off the little things they do to make the game better.

Some cool info on their online modes was just released. It appears my long love/hate relationship with Hockey Ultimate Team is going to tested once again. While I absolutely loved HUT last year, it failed to be a compelling mode for anyone that didn't want to spend a lot of cash and move their way up leaderboards. EA seems to have fixed that.

Here is a little on the new features to HUT. There is more infor at the link, including about EASHL and OTP.

EA Ultimate Hockey League 24/7 – Our biggest addition to Hockey Ultimate Team in NHL 12 is EA Ultimate Hockey League 24/7! This is going to make playing Hockey Ultimate team a unique experience and make it so you always want your best on the ice.

All the teams in the EAUHL are stored on EA Servers. These teams are a user’s current Hockey Ultimate Team. Now last year at no point was someone allowed to play against another user’s Ultimate Team without playing them online.

That is all going to change. Last year when a user wanted to play a game of Hockey Ultimate Team without playing against someone online, they only had a choice of the teams in NHL 12’s 10 different leagues. Well now you have access to literally thousands of other teams. When a person selects to play an EAUHL single player match, we will automatically download four teams from the server. Three of the teams are around your team’s skill level, and one of them is a Top 100 team.

The three teams that are downloaded as potential opponents are one that is a level below your team, one that is the same as your team, and one that is better than your team. Playing one of these teams gives you EA Pucks just like any single-player match. So you will always have new and varied opponents to play every time you play Hockey Ultimate Team. As for the Top 100 team, we download one of those teams so there is one team that is a big challenge and the best that the EAUHL has to offer.

As for keeping your best lineup available at all times, you will want to do that because if your team is downloaded as one of the three teams for another user, and they are chosen to be their opponent, you will get a reward of some EA Pucks. If your team should win the game, then they will receive extra EA Pucks for winning. This will make it so your team is playing in the EAUHL 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and always able to earn you coins. Now there is a maximum amount of coins you can get this way, so you will want to be checking in to get those EA Pucks from the server so your team can continue earning you more EA Pucks while you aren’t playing. One last thing: If your team gets downloaded, they will not lose contracts or career, thus making it like free EA Pucks as long as your team is chosen.

If your team is a Top 100 team and they are downloaded as such, then your team will not earn EA Pucks as we wanted to keep it fair for people as the rich would get richer in terms of EA Pucks, but it will make your team famous to other players and the recognition of being seen as a Top 100 team.

This is a very exciting feature as it’s always fun to turn on the game and see if you got any EA Pucks. I know I play right now only against the EAUHL 24/7 teams as they are always different and it’s fun to say to somebody here at the office I just beat their team. I cannot wait to see the teams our users create and play against with the EAUHL 24/7 feature.

Play A Friend – You can now play against your friends with the ‘Play A Friend’ feature in HUT to see who is better at building a great lineup. These games won’t count against your player’s contracts or career and there is no salary cap in these games. So go crazy with your lineups and see who can put the best team on the ice. My favorite part of this feature is that you will get a friend’s leaderboard and will be able to see a running tally of all the scores of the games you have completed with a friend. This allows you to see how many wins and losses you have against your friends.

I haven't played NHL in many MANY years, I was hoping someone could fill me in on what type of leagues are available

Is it like Madden where if you join a league it always has to be a full season and all the teams will participate either through human or AI controlled?
Or it is possible to do custom leagues with less teams and less games than a full season?

We were taling NHL 12 in the NCAA 12 OD thread. I thought I would post my thoughts on why I hope that this year we may see more Goodjers playing hockey. What made me post this was LeroyOG wanting to play som more OTP and Kush wanting to play in a league. This was my response.

Jayhawker wrote:

My plan is to work on a HUT team while spending no money, and hopefully finding some Goodjers doing the same. It will track W-L among a group of friends. We can play each other, and while it won't earn you pucks, it also won't cost you contract games on players you have.

OTP is such a great idea that seems to fail because it rewards toolbags way too much. League play would be great, but we have failed to have a good group since NHL 2K6 (or 2K7, I forget).

HUT will would be more pick-up and play. And I have to say that it is a deep mode that makes it a blast to assemble a roster. The problem last year was that playing online meant facing kids who were spending stupid money on perfect teams, as well as rewarding glitchers with more pucks to spend. It made online play terrible.

This year, not only can you play friends, but you also are given the rosters of four HUT teams to play. One just worse than you, one the same, and one just better than you. You are also given a Top 100 team. So instead of playing the same teams on the discs, you can see what other guys are doing to build up their teams without having to play their glitch loving owners. I think it sounds like a blast.

Anyone else planning on delving into HUT?

I'd be concerned that I wouldn't be able to play enough to compete. I'll probably be in a small league full of RL friends who, like me, havent picked up a hockey game in ages. I don't know that I'd have time to play HUT games where I would have to play offline HUT teams to try and earn pucks to stay competitive. If I am misunderstanding how HUT works (which is possible) and I wouldn't have to invest a large amount of time to stay on equal ground with other teams, I may be interested.

If there is a league forming, I would be interested in playing. I am sure I will be cannon fodder for a long time to come, but I'd rather lose to some GWJ folk then to random people online.

Here's my take on HUT (also from the NCAA thread), and why I like it. More importantly, why it might actually matter to us here if I can convince others to give it a shot.

HUT is a card collecting type game. You get a pack of virtual cards with with players from European leagues, minor leagues, and the NHL. You then assemble a roster and set up your lines. As you play, you earn "pucks" which you can use to buy more packs of virtual cards. You can then auction off cards you don't want, as well as buy them with these pucks. The auction house actually functions pretty great.

Each card can only be used for so many games. You can extend this by applying contract cards to a player. There are also cards for healing injuries and training cards that you can use to boost attributes. Young players in the minors can be boosted more than veterans in the NHL.

Further, when you set up lines, having players from the same league on the same line will improve chemistry. Having players form the same team boosts it even more. Having a LW play LW instead of RW improves his ability. This is all well represented on the screen where you set up your lines, so you know what boosts you are getting.

You also get cards for rinks. If you have fast, but small team, you will benefit from Olympic size rinks. If you have slower, but tougher team, you will benefit from an NHL rink. You get cards for jerseys. I played as The Phog (Phog Allen Fieldhouse FTW!) so I grabbed a jersey from a Falcons team in the AHL. They wear crimson and blue and have a bird on the front!

The only downside is that the mode is really designed to encourage you to spend cash on more pucks. And while you can enjoy it without, you probably will not have a team of NHL caliber players. And since your only online experience in HUT was random games, it was annoying to face teams of kids with superstars who were rewarded for playing like tools. You can also earn pucks offline, but that gets lonely. You want to share your creation!

This year, you can play friends with your team. It just won't count for pucks or cost you games on your players. But it will track W-L with your friends. Now we can build a team and share it with someone that doesn't have several X's and various capitalizations in their gamertag that tells you how awesome they are.

So, you see, I kind of really like HUT, a lot. It reminds me of a cross of my old Strat-o-Matic baseball days when we would redraft leagues and play, and playing fantasy baseball and football. It appeals to me becasue there is a lot of deep strategy you can put into the game which created a very personal team. There were so many players I really started to follow because they were on my HUT team.

Hi, fan of the podcast, finally decided to sign up

That's a great write-up about HUT, Jayhawker. It really is quite addictive.

You may have touched on this earlier, but apparently there's an interesting feature in NHL 12's HUT where you can play other friends' HUT teams even if they're offline, earning them pucks. I don't think it's been very well defined yet, but that seems pretty cool.

Demo on the 23rd.

No actual hockey but you skate around an apocalyptic Vancouver after the Canucks lost the Stanley Cup Finals. Sorta like paperboy, you skate and check crazy people through glass windows, dodging crazy old ladies who throw sh*t at you.



Smart move by EA to include HUT in the demo - and just by trying it, if you pick up the retail version, you get a couple of packs for free.

addybojangles wrote:


Smart move by EA to include HUT in the demo - and just by trying it, if you pick up the retail version, you get a couple of packs for free.

Last year's HUT did not carry over from the demo. Did they announce that it would this year? It would be smart.

Between HUT and the Blues kicking ass this year, I'm pretty darned pumped for the game right now.

There is no other video game sport that captures the fun and non stop action like the NHL series does. I'm not even a huge hockey fan, but it's definitely up there in my top 3 favorite games to play. Soccer is another sport that I won't tune in to watch on tv, but I will definitely play the Fifa or Pro Evo series.

Here's what I'm hoping to see with NHL 12. And it's one thing that has been bugging me for the past few years. It's too easy to take the puck from your end and take it all the way up the ice without the CPU impeding your progress. I know that's not the case when playing against another human, but I'm more of a single player gamer. I'm hoping there's a little more smarts to the A.I. this year. Sure sounds like it!

September is going to be an expensive month of sports gaming for me!

One of the Quick Look videos address the defensive AI you are talking about specifically. Time will tell if it is going to be a effective as they claim. I'm sure it can be a pain to program because it is not just the attack, but how to recover when you beat the CPU defender, too.

The defensive AI starts at :58 seconds.


The demo is out now on the 360. It should be up on the PS3 later today. Summer is over!

My verdict is:

Hot damn, I love this series!

Oh snap, that's right! I'll nab it tonight and it give a little love.

Demo plays pretty well. Feels like a solid hockey game so far. We'll see what the AI exploiters can do with this one.

I'm in.

Shocking, I know.

Tried one single Play Now game last night. Highlight for me was trying a (fairly ill-advised) outlet pass up the boards that would have worked every time last year but this time the AI Lucic read it, broke back and intercepted it generating a quite dangerous two on one opportunity. I scored a single goal off a top-of-the-circles slapper with traffic that looked like any number of goals from last year's game, but that AI play still stuck in my mind. I will obviously buy it, and I hope I get more legs out of it this year. Last year I gave up after a while.

Scoring seems much easier this year (based on maybe one hour with the demo).

I've played a couple hours of the demo so far and was pleasantly surprised. But I still went back to 2K10 after (custom sliders, etc) to compare and enjoyed that more. I want to like this franchise again, I really do, but I can't let go of 2K despite the additional goodies that this EA series includes. Maybe it's just a matter of cutting bait on 2K10 and making a full commitment to EA's hockey again?

I spent about an hour with demo last night. I'm liking it.

Fyedaddy wrote:

I've played a couple hours of the demo so far and was pleasantly surprised. But I still went back to 2K10 after (custom sliders, etc) to compare and enjoyed that more. I want to like this franchise again, I really do, but I can't let go of 2K despite the additional goodies that this EA series includes. Maybe it's just a matter of cutting bait on 2K10 and making a full commitment to EA's hockey again?

I think you really just need to let go. I pretty much prefer 2K in every sport. And if 2K could give me an NHL Today mode like they do in the MLB and NBA games, I'd probably even give in on some gameplay preference. But ever since NHL 09, this series pretty much defines what I like about video game hockey.

As much as I loved NHL 2K7, I think EA really got on the the right track starting with NHL 09. Hopefully you will be able to learn to love this game until 2K gets their sports division back into shape. I think we will have a decent number of Goodjers on this year.

My hope is that plenty of us will embrace HUT. The main thing that hurt the mode last year was not being able to play friends. Now that's in. So the work we do in building up our teams will be fun to show off. Plus, I generally get the impression most of us will not be using cash to build up our team. I might buy a pack to recover from a boneheaded roster move, but generally, I like building from scratch, becasue teams with weaknesses are far more interesting to play with and against than teams that have been aced.

EA makes it pretty damn hard to ace out a team if you don't spend money. But if you just play and earn pucks, you can build a really fun team with players you really grow to like. Playing pick-up games against another Goodjers, so I can see how their team is coming along will make the entire process way more fun. Struggling to build a team that rates almost 80 is not much fun when your only online experience is against pubtards and kids who have seriously spent hundreds of dollars making their team awesome.

Now I can play HUT offline and still build up a team. While we don't earn pucks for playing friends, we also don't lose contract games either. So I can avoid random online play 100% if we get some others on board. And this year, you can also play offline games against different HUT teams created by others. You are randomly given four teams to play against offline. A top 100 team, and team just better than you, a team just worse, and a team the same. I suppose as you play them, you get provided with another. So now you don't have to play the same NHL, European and minor league teams to build up.

NHL 09-present> 2K

Case in point, the difference is so lopsided now that they quit making 2K hockey games.

The demo is interesting. Charged fullspeed at Chara, who was gliding along nonchalantly; he stumbles slightly, I end up on my ass. The goaltending seems WAY more convincing than in 11, and the fact that goalies can hit/be hit might possibly make those silly dangle-2-incnes-from-his-pads goals extinct (I'll need to test it more). Hopefully I will finally be able to use Luongo rather than Schneider when I do online versus play (in 11 he is way too floppy and overplays everything).

It also seems easier to score on quality wristers from the slot, which is interesting. We will have to see what dominant scoring strategies emerge before deciding whether this is an improvement.

I just hope they fixed the easy dangles and over juiced checking.

Jayhawker wrote:

I think you really just need to let go. I pretty much prefer 2K in every sport. And if 2K could give me an NHL Today mode like they do in the MLB and NBA games, I'd probably even give in on some gameplay preference. But ever since NHL 09, this series pretty much defines what I like about video game hockey.

I spent more time with the demo yesterday morning and it is growing on me. The loose puck physics help a ton! The more I learn about the controls (they aren't nearly as limited as I thought they were) helps too. It still doesn't feel quite as realistic as 2K10 (w/ sliders. Only with the sliders) but it's a lot closer than I was thinking. I'll continue to play the demo and see where that leads.

Would anyone like an invite to the Sunny D Money Breakers? They are my team(about 4 regulars).

I admit, I preordered from Amazon.

I'm just gonna swing into Best Buy on my way home next week and nab it.

ColdForged wrote:

I admit, I preordered from Amazon.

I admit, the reason I payed the sucker fee for EA's Season Pass last week to play Madden was that I knew I could download NHL 12 on Friday this week.