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EA Releases “Full Balance Control” Video for NHL 12

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Alright, now that my involuntary exile from the internet is finally over, and my modem again blinks green with delight, I bring you the latest NHL 12 update. Yesterday, EA released a new video showing off some of the new features of the “Full Balance Control” system, new for the upcoming NHL 12.

As a major part of EA’s plan for a “three year physics overhaul”, with NHL 12 representing the second year of the process, this new FBC system was designed to bring a much more realistic feel to checks, as well as any kind of contact a player might have with another player (or the boards). Gone now are the “awkward” checks that would send players flying off their skates for seemingly no reason, at least no reason to those of us with a rudimentary understanding of basic physics.

EA sites these three major points on their “Features Whiteboard” for NHL 12’s FBC system:

 

Drive the Net: In NHL 12, powerful skaters will be able to drive to the net and shrug off ill-timed hits by defensemen along the way.
Size and Strength Matter: In NHL 12, use big, powerful players to your advantage, as they will be able to dominate smaller players and absorb hits from less physical players with minimal impact.
Recover from hits: New to NHL 12, is the ability of players to catch their balance after being hit. Just because you’ve received a hit, doesn’t mean you’re going to fall to the ice. Now you can stumble to your knees, or use your hands to stay on your skates and in the play!

EA Sports Hockey Whiteboard

If you didn’t know any better, you would probably assume that EA has now tipped the scales in favor of the bigger, more physical players. Although it hasn’t been touched on much in other developer blogs or interviews, EA has stated that this won’t be the case, and that the smaller skaters with good “balance control” will be no easy task to knock off the puck.

Anyway, let’s get to the goods…


For those of you that have been closely following the developing news and announcements regarding NHL 12, the majority of this video should look familiar, as we’ve already seen this “Crosby-balance” clip comparison before. Although I’d like to point out, for those of you who might not have noticed it before, in the NHL 12 version of the clip, Crosby is doing one additional thing that he isn’t doing in NHL 11. Right before he is about to get clipped with the hip-check, he throws out the “puck protect” move. Which leads me to the thinking that the “Puck Control” stat will now also likely be a factor when you’re the puck carrier taking a check.

So really, the only “new” thing we are seeing here is a couple more of what I’m guessing will be a wide variety of animations for players to quickly recover from checks, assuming they have the necessary attributes to do so. While there is no solid information of what exactly all the stat categories will be that factor into your skater’s balance control, we can take the logical approach and assume the following for the time being:

- Balance will be king, which is kind of a no-brainer, obviously the balance stat will be the biggest modifier here.

- Strength will now also likely factor into your overall “balance control”. The higher the strength rating, the harder the checks a skater will be able to absorb and recover from.

- Agility should also be a factor. How quickly a skater is able to get his feet, knees, and/or hands under him, will likely result in how quickly they can get back on balance and back in the play.

- Puck Control is the biggest speculation I’m making, but I think that it’s likely going to be included in this system. As we’ve seen with the video, you’ll likely be rewarded for having good hockey sense and using the “puck protect” button at the right time, and gone should be the old days of “baby checks” (low momentum checks) that knock you off the puck and cause you to lose possession.

Of course all of this just remains as speculation on my part, and I likely won’t have any definitive answers until I get my hands on a copy of the game, then have the time to start messing around with different types of players builds, and then analyze a number of collisions, all in an effort to see what stats will or won’t have an effect with this new FBC system.

EA is expected to release a new developer blog tomorrow, that will go into more detail about the new “Anticipation AI” which could single handedly be the biggest factor in improving the EASHL for casual players. Expect a write up from me breaking down any new info there to be posted early Saturday afternoon though, as I’ve been without internet for a few days, and have to get myself back into the loop of hockey news, which is what I’ll be rounding up for you in tomorrow’s blog entry.

 

Filed in: Fantasy Hockey and Gaming, Doug Miller, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ea+sports+nhl+12

Comments

red_wings_49's avatar

Where is the video game footage of Crosby holding his head?

Posted by red_wings_49 from Mad Heights, MI on 07/28/11 at 04:23 PM ET

Doug Miller's avatar

Where is the video game footage of Crosby holding his head?

That, you have to do for yourself wink

Posted by Doug Miller from Wyandotte, MI on 07/28/11 at 04:25 PM ET

Itrusteddrrahmani's avatar

thanks for the info! If you haven’t already and are going to buy nhl 12, Paul put up a link a couple days ago to Amazon, where u get 20$ gift card and 3 months of THN online. I think this site gets a kick back too, so everyone wins.

Posted by Itrusteddrrahmani from Nyc by way of A2 on 07/28/11 at 04:44 PM ET

Paul's avatar

Thanks Doc and here is the link for the discount on NHL 12.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 07/28/11 at 04:47 PM ET

Matt Fry's avatar

Cool.  This will be a nice addition to online play.  Some of my stats were completely useless in NHL 11.  Now, I can just hope that eventually, they’ll be implementing an “Online Franchise” mode so me and a buddy can play a 25 year Franchise against the AI together (since he lives 2,000 miles away).

Posted by Matt Fry from Winnipeg on 07/28/11 at 04:50 PM ET

Doug Miller's avatar

If you haven’t already and are going to buy nhl 12, Paul put up a link a couple days ago to Amazon

I saw Paul’s link, and as I said in the comments on his post, that’s a great deal for most people… but I’m the kind of person that lines up at midnight to pick up my new NHL. wink

However, I’ve already sent EA an email regarding getting an early review copy sent out to me, so I can have a full review up for you guys when the game gets released on September 13. I have yet to hear back from them, but I don’t foresee it being a problem.

Now, I can just hope that eventually, they’ll be implementing an “Online Franchise” mode

I’ve yet to hear anything for an online franchise mode, other than EA knows that the players want it…. although I don’t expect it to happen this year, but probably next year. Although we’ll find out one way or the other in a few more weeks when EA finally lifts their embargo about “online communities”.

Posted by Doug Miller from Wyandotte, MI on 07/28/11 at 05:03 PM ET

Avatar

Posted by red_wings_49 from Livonia, MI on 07/28/11 at 02:23 PM ET

Classy as always.

Biggest changes that I’ve liked so far are the net front battles and the offline BAP adjustments.  I’ve wanted the net front battles since the EASHL started, since it will make it easier to stop people doing the same thing over and over.  The offline BAP where you don’t get to pick shift lengths is awesome.  And simming between shifts will be great as well.  Hopefully, as a defensive dman, I won’t have to go out when the goalie gets pulled late in a game.  I also love the fact that you can play a full junior career.  Pretty pumped for this game.

Posted by pens fan in baltimore on 07/28/11 at 08:36 PM ET

Doug Miller's avatar

Biggest changes that I’ve liked so far are the net front battles and the offline BAP adjustments.  I’ve wanted the net front battles since the EASHL started, since it will make it easier to stop people doing the same thing over and over

I know a few other d-men who are also quite excited about finally being able to tie up players in the slot, and, as a goalie, I’m excited for them to finally get that option too, haha.

As for offline BAP, for me, playing goalie, so much of it is going to hinge on the AI improvements. Hopefully it’s actually playable as a goalie for once, as I’m also looking forward to that full junior career… assuming EA gives me some explanation about player height-growth with that…

For example, if I’m starting out at age 15-16 as a goalie, and for it to be realistic, I’m assuming I’d gain a couple inches of height by the end of my junior career. Is this going to be randomly generated, or controllable (or more likely) not even in the game at all? Weight will also be a bigger factor for both skaters and goalies, as it will factor into balance control for skaters and agility for goalies. I just wonder how that will also be addressed with a young player growing into an adult.

Just some food for thought.

Posted by Doug Miller from Wyandotte, MI on 07/28/11 at 08:56 PM ET

Avatar

I completely agree about the height and weight.  I hated this past year having to do the Memorial Cup with a guy who would never gain any weight or grow.  Hopefully they have something, but I doubt it.  It would be nice to have offseason training that would determine your weight (incorporate injuries from prior seasons or if you work out too much).  I would think height would be more static, maybe an inch or two though obviously some people have massive spurts later.

Posted by pens fan in baltimore on 07/28/11 at 09:34 PM ET

Ducksworth's avatar

Awesome, cant wait for this. Hopefully they do a better job with player ratings this year, Helm’s speed needs a bump!

Posted by Ducksworth from Brownstown, MI on 07/28/11 at 11:04 PM ET

Doug Miller's avatar

It would be nice to have offseason training that would determine your weight

Agreed, I would really like to see EA throw in some player training mini-games as well as team practices. I don’t think we’ll see additions like this until after NHL 13 though, as they seem to be focusing on the massive physics overhaul.

Hopefully they do a better job with player ratings this year, Helm’s speed needs a bump!

I don’t remember what Helm’s speed was rated at out of the box, but I know after the roster updates it was rated at 90 or 89, which I’ll take. I’m sure the ratings will still be off, as they never seem to be perfect, but thankfully the new signature traits will make up for it, and make teams plays more like their real life counterparts.

I just want to see the great injustice that is Pavel Datsyuk’s stick checking rating only being at 83, get corrected. 83 is just borderline insulting…

Posted by Doug Miller from Wyandotte, MI on 07/29/11 at 12:01 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

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