Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Doug Miller on 07/22/11 at 05:37 PM ET
EA dropped a bit of a bombshell in people laps when they released a new video for “Be a Pro” for NHL 12 on Wednesday. There wasn’t a bunch of new information revealed, but one very significant piece of news did come from this, as they announced that there will now be a staggering 18 levels of player development. As opposed to the usual six levels (Amateur, Rookie, Professional, Veteran, Superstar, and Legend) that players have become accustomed to since the feature was first introduced in NHL ‘09.
At this point, it has been assumed by the community, that these same levels will also be used for your online BAP, just as they have been mirrored in previous years, all be it with different requirements needed to level up your pro online in the EASHL as opposed to offline. But nothing has been officially confirmed by EA regarding “online communities” as they have remained rather mum on details for the upcoming changes to the EASHL. And as it stands now, information about this has been given an ominous “TBD” date in terms of release info on EA’s official “white board” of NHL 12 features.
Although, last week EA at least shredded the shroud of mystery about when new information about NHL 12 would be released, as they appear to be following a regular pattern of announcements planned for every Wednesday and Friday of each week. And following this same pattern, we can expect to finally have the egg of “online info” cracked sometime in the first few two weeks of August, at least, presumably. Considering the demo for NHL 12 is expected to be released sometime in mid to late August, as per usual.
But I find this will be the likely scenario, as they have still yet to shed any light on the much speculated about and very mysterious “big announcement” planned to be released “much later” and presumably closer to launch of the game in early September (the 9th in Europe and the 13th in North America).
While my mind began to wonder about exactly what EA was planning with all these new “levels” of player development… I knew we’d likely get some answers today, when the developer/producer blog would be released for “Be a Pro”. However, EA seems to have already broken their announced “Wed/Fri” plans for announcements. As the new blog was released early, late Thursday afternoon via an exclusive with operationsports.com
And with this blog, they cleared up all of the speculation about these 18 new levels, revealing that they will be the same six ranks we are familiar with, but now each of those six will have three individual “sub-levels” within them, which makes up for our total 18.
Gurn Sumal - EA NHL 12 Producer Blog
“In addition to the all-new upgrades in Be a Pro, we’ve also updated the Performance Tracker. The Performance Tracker has six rankings, but now each ranking has three levels so your amateur ranking, for example, will now have Amateur 1, Amateur 2 and Amateur 3. With a total of 18 stages in your Be a Pro development, it will lessen the gaps between level-ups.”
Also new to BAP, likely because of the large demand for it by the player community is “Profile Migration”. It isn’t quite the full blow, all out ‘profile migration’ that many people wanted, in which you would keep your player “level” from year to year, and thus would not have to go through the hassle of re-earning your “Legend” status each year… but it’s still better than nothing…
Gurn Sumal - EA NHL 12 Producer Blog
“New this year in Be a Pro mode will be Profile Migration. In NHL 12 you will now be able to bring over some of your stats including goals, assists, games played, etc. from your NHL 11 Be a Pro character’s profile so you can compare what you did from last year to this year. You will also get free boosts based on your Be a Pro stats from last year:
• More than 100 games played – Strength Boost +1
• More than 100 goals – Slapshot Power +1
• More than 100 assists – Passing +1
• More than 100 points – Offensive Awareness +1
In addition to this, we will also take into account what rank you were last year and start you off at a higher rank than a person who had never played Be a Pro in NHL 11.
• NHL 11 Rookie/Amateur = NHL 12 Amateur 1
• NHL 11 Pro/ Veteran= NHL 12 Amateur 2
• NHL 11 Superstar/Legend = NHL 12 Amateur 3”
So, as you can see, it’s still something significant. And for stats whores (such as myself) it’s a pretty cool feature, although note that they said “some” of your stats. As to what will be applicable, it’s again just left for speculation until further notice. And yet again, EA leaves Goalies completely in the dark, but taking into account the skater stats EA mentioned, we can assume Goalies will carry over (and get bonus from) games played, wins, SV%, GAA, and possibly even shutouts.
I again stress that all this information pertains to offline BAP, but much as with previous years, we can assume that most of the major features will somehow be integrated into your online career in the EASHL. Which means that with these new “sub-levels” you can expect to unlock your next chunk of EXP to use to upgrade your ratings, on a much more frequent basis. It’s also assumed, at this point that the new “task” system in BAP will also be somehow included into online play, and likely be both position specific (as to not continue to shaft d-men in the “stats” grade if they don’t have a point) and may even somehow tie into the new “signature traits” system announced last week.
And I do find it a bit of a surprise that EA didn’t mention anything about how that new “traits” system will apply to your own created skater/goalie. Are we still going to have the same old “player types” to choose from as a basis for player builds? Or are we going to just have a few “basic” player types that we can then assign signature traits to? Presumably for a specific stat bonus across applicable categories of said “trait”. And as was mentioned last week in the “signature traits” announcement, players can have more than one of these traits, which leads to me assume that for online BAP, you will “unlock” a new “slot” to apply a signature trait to as you level up your player rank. With perhaps a total limit of three traits for the new “Legend 3” rank.
Of course, this is all just calculated speculation on my part. We really have no clue how player development will work online in the EASHL. But unless EA makes an announcement that online player development will be “radically different” than offline, we will likely see a system similar to what I have just been talking about.
Of course once something solid hits the wire on this I’ll be all over it, until then, we wait.
And in case you missed it:
The new “Be a Pro” video released by EA on Wednesday
And for the full “Be a Pro” blog released late yesterday at Operation Sports:Click Here
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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.
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